Eating and Living Well + Affordability
Eating well can be incredibly expensive, and it can require sacrifices in other areas of spending in your life. It means reaching for organic ingredients rather than conventional, sometimes shopping at specialty grocery stores instead of convenient ones, and changing or tweaking your lifestyle. Is it worth it? You can guess my answer.
I am not yet raking in the money, but I still manage to eat and live a life of wellness despite the costs that can come along with doing so. I still enjoy treating myself and splurging every once in a while, but I want to mention a few of the factors behind how I affordably lead a healthy lifestyle and how you can too!
- Meal prep.
Meal prepping is one of the best things that you can do to save money during the week. When you eat at home for practically every meal, you save the money that you would have spent eating out at various restaurants. You also rid yourself of the anxiety of trying to squeeze in breakfast, lunch or dinner because you already know what you have available and prepared in your fridge! Not to forget, your body thanks you because, depending on where you live, it can be hard to find local eateries that align with a clean diet.
- Make a grocery list and stick to it.
When you are thinking ahead for the week or next couple of days, consider exactly which recipes you are planning to follow, which ingredients you'll need and what exactly you are missing in your fridge that you'll be looking for in the coming days. Make a list of these items and physically take the list with you into the grocery store. Only buy what's on the list! This way, you don't walk out of the grocery store with 3-4 additional items that you don't need.
- Know what produce is okay to purchase conventionally.
There is a list that exists called "The Clean 15," a lineup of all of the produce that have little to no traces of pesticides and are safe to consume inorganically, or in their conventional form.
Onions and Sweet Onions
The outer layer of the skin on these vegetables and fruits save the inside from coming into contact (or too much contact) with pesticides.
By purchasing these products inorganically, you can save a little bit of money at the store.
- Shop at your local farmer's market.
Grocery stores tend to have really expensive prices for their organic produce. I've found that I'm able to get most of the vegetables that I desire from the farmer's market, and for less! For example, the other weekend I bought a bunch of Kohlrabi at the farmer's market and it was $2 flat. If I had purchased that at Sprouts or Whole Foods, which are probably the only places that I would have been able to find it in Kansas City, it would have easily been $4-$5. Support your local farmers by purchasing from them, and you'll save money by doing so! If you don't believe me, do your own experiment and compare prices to your nearest natural grocer.
- Hold yourself back from shopping online.
I feel lucky to not really be someone that loves shopping for new dresses, shirts and shoes. Workout clothing, though? Sign me the f up. This is somewhere that I have to draw the line though. I treated myself to a few tops and pair of leggings a couple months ago, but I haven't shopped for clothing since. If I want to be able to spend money on ingredients and kitchenware that I highly value, then I can't always be spending my money in other directions. If you desire to eat clean and focus more on your diet, then maybe it will help you to focus less on your wardrobe. Saving money in one direction leaves you with options in another!
- Buy bulk ingredients or products on Amazon.
Some necessary-for-a-clean-diet ingredients like coconut butter, ghee, almond or coconut flour, seeds and nuts can be really expensive in stores. I like to purchase some of these things on Amazon because you can find more affordable options. During the summer time, coconut butter and ghee can arrive at your home a bit melty, but it's better that way anyways ;) and it hardens at room temperature.
Speaking of bulk ingredients, the items that I would suggest always having on hand at home are as follows and can be purchased on Amazon: coconut butter, almond butter or other nut butters (except peanut), organic ghee, almond flour, coconut flour, organic almonds and other nuts, flax seed, coconut oil and organic dried fruits. Sometimes you can find your favorite protein bars in bulk too.
- Use Honey, the Google Chrome discount code extension.
Honey has made the biggest difference in the amount of money that I spend online. It's a browser extension (I use Google Chrome, it doesn't work on Safari) that searches thousands of sites for coupon and discount codes when you are checking out online. It automatically applies coupons and discounts that it finds, and you even earn cash bonuses when you purchase on some sites that Honey is affiliated with. I check honey on every single site that I online shop on, whether it's clothing, food, supplements or events.
- Be mindful of your spending.
Ultimately, I think we just need to be mindful when we are swiping our debit cards. Every dollar counts, so we have to make sure that we're spending $ on items that are truly worth it! Being mindful of our spending means being intentional about the ways in which we use the money that we work hard to earn. We need to think, save, prepare and intentionally spend. Yes, we all splurge and spend carelessly, but it would be ideal if we were more in tune to our habits!
This list could probably extend to #100, but I'm still learning just like you! These are just a few of the tips that I believe in and want to offer to those of you who have asked me about affordability when it comes to a clean lifestyle. Do you have any tips or practices that you want to share?