So, there have been a lot of questions lately in our Challenge Group about how to not break the bank while eating clean. While it does take some work, it IS possible. I’ll share some tips that I, as well as some of my fellow coaches, use to stay on track, both nutrition-wise as well as budget-wise.
Recently, I decided to challenge myself by taking on the task of keeping the food budget between $50-$75 a week for two people. Crazy right? Not as crazy as I thought! I stuck to a few rules and have been diligent in my planning and it has be totally doable. This $50-$75 dollars covers five meals a day, for two people, with little to no processed food.
So, here it goes…
- Shop in bulk. Stores like Sprouts offer a bulk section. These stores seem expensive but they really aren’t. Don’t let the fancy name fool you. In the bulk section you can get rice, beans, quinoa, granola, nut butters, flour, and coffee and they’re generally about 25% cheaper than their prepackaged counterparts. The prepackaged rice is more expensive because you are paying for the packaging.
- Don’t be afraid of the freezer section. I have a rule that I won’t pay more than $2/pound for chicken breasts! If I am out of chicken, and it isn’t on sale in the meat section, I will pick up a bag of the frozen chicken breasts that normally run about $2/pound. Frozen veggies and frozen fruit are amazing! Companies freeze them at peak season so they are normally the best quality. If something is overpriced because it’s not in season, grab a bag of frozen!
- Freeze, Freeze, Freeze. I buy meat 4 times a year. When chicken is on sale I buy at least 4 packages and freeze whatever I won’t use that week. Once I start running low on staples like chicken, ground turkey, pork tenderloin, and beef roast, I know it’s about time to go shopping again.
- I used to browse the ads to find out what was on sale and shop at 3, sometimes 4, different stores. Now, I browse when I’m running low on meat to find who has the lowest prices. If nothing impresses me, I will just go to Costco or Sam’s Club. I used to be afraid to buy that much meat for two people, but if you are utilizing your freezer it’s not a problem. As far as veggies and dairy, I shop at Walmart using the Savings Catcher App. It finds the lowest deal for me and gives me the difference, which I can turn into a Walmart gift card that I can use on future grocery trips.
- Cook from scratch. I know, I know. You don’t have time to cook every day. But with a little planning, you can cook one day and have food for the week. Plan to cook and freeze portions of large recipes on the weekend. Food PREP is key! When whole chickens are on sale, I cook one up in the crock pot for shredded chicken for tons of recipes, and I get several cups of broth out of it, that’s one way to save money right there!