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Clean eating on a budget

Just as you’ve taken the hurdle of cheating your familiy on clean eating, you’re confronted with another challenge: accounting for the how clean eating bites into your family budget. Because let’s face it: eating all those super foods will make your wallet skinny before your body does. That is why I’ve chosen not be an all-in hardcore clean eating prophet. This is how I do it.

Following the seasons

When buying fruits and veggies, I first and foremost go with the seasons before anything else. So in summer my green smoothies are made with spinach, while being made with kale in winter. We eat loads of fruits fresh fruits in the summer months, especially our free blackberries from our garden. And in winter we stick with apples, pears, oranges, bananas and mangoes.

Not only does seasonal produce save money, it is also good for the planet! Seasonal fruit are grown locally, saving transport or electricity for green houses.

Keeping an eye on the Dirty Dozen

I usually don’t buy organic grown produce. If you have a pre-teen at home and a toddler who either eat heaps and heaps of fruit, or refuse to eat any veggie at all, it’s a waste of money. Only with the Dirty Dozen, I try and buy the organic ones. The Dirty Dozen is a short list of fruits and vegetables that contains a lot of pesticides. So it is better to buy these ones organic.

Animal friendly meat and diary

Clean eating for me is not just about keeping your body free from pesticides or bad nutrients. It is also about eating with a conscience. So for our animal-sources foods, I prefer buying the more expensive free-range or organic type. To keep it within our budget restraints, I use smaller portions. On top of that, we’ve started eating fewer meat. One day in the week, we have a vegetarian meal for dinner. And another day in the week, fish is on the menu. The other meat days include at least one day of poultry.

Buy local

My Turkish greengrocer is my new best clean eating friend forever, as he sells seasonal produce for half the price the supermarket does. In the weekends, we love to go for a spin on the bicycle to the local farms, buying fresh and organic strawberries, apples, potatoes and cheese.

Skipping the super foods

Yes, I said it. Apart from the relatively cheap flax seeds, we don’t eat super foods. Mainly because it’s hard to set the super foods apart from the not so super foods. And also because I’d rather have my family eating healthy in general instead of having a diet of sinning with processed foods and repenting with super foods. Even if they are just boys (I think with girls this is even more important), I sincerely believe it is my responsibility as a parent to raise in the perspective that healthy food is normal.

As an extra bonus, skipping so-called super foods from the family diet saves serious money.

How do you stay on budget while eating clean? Post your ideas in a comment below, with your tips we can all save money for that extra weekend trip with the family (or those extra pair of Nikes).

 

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