Monday, January 19, 2009

Clean eating, eating cheap, and compromises

I've been wanting to write about this for awhile as I'm sure it effects others. I am on a limited budget and only have about $80 every 2 weeks to buy groceries AND get gas for my car. Luckily I live 2 minutes from work.. and really.. if it wasn't so cold, I could walk. I'm very grateful for that because it gives me a little more $ for food.

When you start out on eating clean a lot of purchases have to be reconsidered. Gone are the days where buying groceries is something that can be done quick. I spent 2 HOURS yesterday at 2 different stores getting what is hopefully 2 weeks work of groceries (minus some fresh fruit/veg come next week). I took my time looking at the ingredient of each item. I shopped at a discount grocery store called Aldi's. It's not that I haven't known about them.. I just never thought I could find clean items... boy was I wrong. A 12oz bag of unsalted almonds for $3.49.. score! Other stores sell for $3.99 - $4.99. Baby carrots.. .95 cents for a 12oz bag.. I bought 2 and thats even cheaper than the deal over at Tops for 2 for $3.

As much as I feel degraded for having less then before.. I am hopeful now and inspired to make this work for me.

Am I eating 100% clean?.. no.. and I'm ok with that.

I bought a case of dannon light and fit yogurts (12 containers) for $5.50, and while I couldve saved a little by buying the big containers of yougurt (and have it be a little cleaner).. I decided to go for ease of use. If it's not going to be something quick I can grab.. and I have to sit there and divy out portions.. I wont do it. Is it an eat-clean end of the world? No.. because overall I'm eating healthier than ever AND It's helping with my mental sanity.

I don't think eating clean is any more expensive than what I was previously shopping for. I find good deals on proteins... and even though eating beans that are canned is not the best.. It's the quickest for me right now.. so that's what I do. I'll take convenience over price if that's what's goign to help me to stay on track.

Are you saving or spending since chosing to eat healthier or clean? How do you stretch your food purchases.


HopeFool said...

In the case of my family, it's a wash. We used to eat fast food or go out at least 5 and sometimes 10 times a week. So when our meals were cooked at home, if we were eating the same unhealthy foods it would be cheaper.

However, since we're eating healthier, once you add in the cost of all of the produce, it comes out about the same as eating out.

There have been times when I took the whole family 100% clean and organic, and that was definitely more expensive.

Although I have noticed that every year eating whole, natural and organic becomes more popular. As that happened in my area, more "healthier" food items became available in my regular grocery stores, and the prices have been coming down too.

It's also a cost savings for us not to have to drive 45 minutes to Whole Foods.

Tamzin said...

I'm bad - I should budget and count - but I don't. WHat I have noticed is this...

I used to get about (maybe slightly less) fruit and veg everyweek... but before I started eating better more then half of that was tossed out half rotten instead of getting eaten.

AND on top of buying that stuff I was eating out a LOT more, so really doubling my food costs.

I'd say that I'm likely saving more then I am spending - athough it feels like more on groceries but they are actually being consumed now - but I'm not spending so much on dinners/lunches out.

spunkysuzi said...

I'm trying to eat as clean as i can and yep some weeks it depends on how much is in my purse. This week i've had to be a little more inventive and it's not my cleanest week however i'm pretty happy that i'm making the best choices that i can.
Also i do buy reduced things like bags of peppers which i take home, chop and freeze.
The grocery store right across the road reduced their meat every now and then and it's just meat from the day before so i scoop that up whenever i can :)
What i do try to stay away from is processed stuff, or things high in sodium.
My laugh for today was when i served hubby baked beans on whole wheat toast and he turned around and said, we haven't had this for ages it is soooo good :) Got to love that man i tell you.

Katschi (Karen) said...

When I first started eating clean, I was very strict but I'm loosening the reins a little. Like eating cereal for instance that isn't oatmeal. I mean, big deal, right? I'm aiming for 90% clean.
Most of my food is unprocessed. What I can't understand is why you can have protein powder while eating clean. It's totally processed. Oh well, I like using it as a meal replacement.
I would say I'm spending alot less on food because like Suzi, I'm actually eating all the fruits & veggies I buy. I would buy all this but buy LOTS of fast food & junk too. Guess what got in my mouth?
I use canned kidney beans & chickpeas too but just rinse them well. I bought dried ones but never cooked them. Lazy.
I try to buy my chicken on sale & I buy alot of frozen veggies.