Eating Healthy on a Budget

Real food on a real budget

Eating Clean. Real Food. Organic Foods. All important terms when you are considering a healthy diet. Clean Eating is the practice of eating foods with 5 or less ingredients in them. Real Foods are foods that are not processed and you know where they came from. Organic Foods are foods that are certified organic by the USDA and are created using organic methods.

All these foods are seemingly hard to come by when you are on a budget. With the price of organics being at least double the price of non-organic foods, it’s easy to see why many give up on these healthy eating practices after a short while.

Eating healthy on a budget is possible, but  it takes a little more creativity & work.  Here are some tips to make the most of your grocery dollars and to incorporate healthy foods into your lifestyle:

Follow the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 Rule

The dirty dozen list is a list of the produce that has been sprayed with worst pesticides or has been sprayed more than another kind of produce. Currently on the dirty dozen list are: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, domestic blueberries, nectarines, sweet bell peppers, spinach kale and collard greens, cherries, potatoes, imported grapes, and lettuce. These are the products that you want to stay away from and buy organic.

On the other hand there is also the clean 15 list. This list includes: onions, avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, mango, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi fruit, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes, sweet onions. These are all items that when tested, showed little residue of pesticides. They are safe to purchase non-organic.

Just following the dirty dozen/clean 15 purchasing rules will save you a good amount on produce. Make sure to check this list as it gets updated yearly.

Buy Local

Save money on organics by buying from your local farmers! Many farmers don’t use heavy pesticides or sprays at all since their produce doesn’t have to travel far to be sold. Make sure you take full advantage of your local farmer’s market during the months it’s running and if you aren’t sure if a farmer sprays or not, just ask.

Find Coupons for Organics

Coupons for organic products aren’t as easy to come by as coupons for regular products but they can still be found! Sites such as Mambo Sprouts, Common Kindness, and more have many organic coupons and some can also be found directly on the manufacturer’s website. You can get even more coupons for organics by writing to companies and asking for the coupons directly.

Shop the Discounts

If your local grocery store has a scratch and dent or a near-expiration date section, make sure you watch their for organic products! You may also want to search and see if there is a discount grocery store in your area that sells dented items. These are usually an excellent place to find organics!

Shopping for organics and real food can be easier on your budget when you follow these tips and you know where to shop.

Where do you find the best deals on organics? What about produce?

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