Having a larger family while trying to eat clean can be challenging, especially if you are on a budget. I have learned a few things that have helped me save money while trying to eat healthier.
This always brings me back to my school days. Our school menu. Great idea to keep the school on or under budget. Even better idea to do it to save your family some money. Planning out the meals your family will eat for the week, or even the month, is a HUGE way to save. It can even be a fun way to get the whole family involved to decide when they want their favorites. With myself having a family of seven we each pick the meals and snacks for a certain day of the week.
There are even some great apps out there for help in making your menu. Find one that best suits you and your families needs. My favorite app is called "Menu Planner" and you can also have it sync to their website and have the freedom to plan out your menu on your pc, laptop or ipad. I just love the versatility of the app.
Stock Up Your Pantry
Buying in bulk can help you save money. For us, I like to get a couple friends together and make a hour trip to our "local" Trader Joes. I try to do this once a month and stock up on a lot of frozen goods, bulk foods like, rice, quinoa, beans and whole grain flours that we can get for a lot cheaper than buying them from our local big grocery chains. Remember when buying them all pre-packaged you are buying convenience. I take 1-2 days out of my week to prepare my brown rice, beans or quinoa so they are ready in my fridge to grab and heat up for our meal.
Pick Your Produce
When you are eating clean it is suggested that you eat organic produce. Before you go crazy about how expensive it is to buy organic, there is a way to save on your produce. There is something known as the "Dirty Dozen". They are the fruits and veggies that are grown with the highest amount of pesticides. The 12 fruits / veggies you should try to budget for to buy organic are:
There is also the clean 15. These are the ones that DO NOT needarily need to be bought organic:
2. Sweet Corn
6. Sweet Peas
13. Sweet Potatoes
I know not everyone is able to have a garden but if you are in an area where you can have a garden, that is another HUGE way to save money on Eating Clean. We are sufficient enough that we are able to live on a small hobby farm where we are able to raise our own meat and grow our own vegetables. One draw back is our location though. We have a very short growing season here in Minnesota. So we do a lot of cannning and freezing of our Summer and Fall bounty. This year we are starting our own seedlings in our house to transplant into the garden once the risk of frost has passed.
This is our first year doing it so we are all excited to see how it turns out. My twin boys are quite the green thumbs and LOVE helping in the garden and with this years project.
If you have your own budget tips you would like to share that are not listed, please feel free to add them below. Please post below what stuck you the most when you read this. I'm going to be reading each and every comment so that I can see how to better serve you!