Eating a healthier diet can be a shock to your grocery budget. Healthier food is more expensive than junk food so here’s How to Eat Clean on a Budget.
Why junk food is so cheap?
Junk food is cheap because it’s made in a lab with mostly chemicals and very few fresh ingredients. Junk food is essentially made form chemicals, which are a lot cheaper than real whole food.
Why is healthier food more expensive?
Healthier food tends to be made of real, whole ingredients like fruit, veggies and pastured meats. Those things take time and are dependent upon the weather and seasons to produce. Since fresh food doesn’t contain chemicals that means that they don’t have a very long shelf life either. That makes it more difficult and expensive to transport and keep fresh.
- Cook: Whether you like lobster or burgers (with a gluten free bun, of course), it’s much cheaper to buy the ingredients and make it yourself. I can easily make dinner for a family of 4 for under $10. It’s hard to do that at a restaurant. If you’re interested in Summer Recipes for the Autoimmune Protocol, check out this post of over 100 recipes.
- Meal Plan: If you plan your meals in advance, you can ensure that nothing goes to waste. Groceries that go bad and end up in the trash is a waste. It’s like throwing money in the garbage. If you want some AIP Meals, check out my Meal Prep post.
- Make a list: If you plan your meals, then you know exactly what you need. It saves time in the grocery store and money.
- Don’t go to the store hungry: This is a very important rule. If you’re hungry, you’ll make impulse buys, which have a tendency to be unhealthy. Just stick to your list!
- Don’t buy prepackaged items: They are very attractive when you are busy but you pay for that convenience. Not to mention the additional waste it creates. I like to buy things in bulk and then separate them into servings.
- Buy generic: Same stuff. Different packaging. When you buy generic you don’t have to pay for the corporate marketing and branding. I find that even when brand names are on sale, generic can still be cheaper. Keep in mind that you’ll want to read the labels to make sure that the products are in fact, the same.
- Eat seasonally: When fruits and vegetables are in season they are plentiful which drives the price down. I can find produce during their peak at a fifth of what they cost the rest of the year. They are also more nutrient dense and ensures variety. You never get bored when you’re eating seasonally. If you’re interested in eating seasonally, check out my book “AIP by Season.’
- Go to your local farmers market: You local farmer’s market usually only carries items that are grown nearby so they only carry what is in-season. Once during the peak of tomato season, I was at the farmer’s market and they were giving tomatoes away because they had so many. You can literally get free groceries! You don’t get the same in season deals in the grocery store.
- Spend less on medical bills: When you eat healthier food, your body appreciates it. You’ll be healthier, which means you’ll spend less time in doctors’ offices, which means less money on medical expenses. Whole food is the best preventative medicine.
- Buy in Bulk: When you find a good deal on produce, meat, etc., buy it in bulk. Then I find ways to either use it immediately or store it long term. Sometimes that means fermenting, pickling or storing it in the freezer. Thanks to my thriftiness I currently have a freezer full of grass fed meat, wild caught seafood, homemade bone broth and homemade freezer meals.
What do you to to eat clean while on a budget?