Eating clean can be time-consuming and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a couple of my grocery store cheats for eating right on the cheap.
- Frozen Vegetables- Eating clean means eating a lot of vegetables. But unless you want to make a trip to the grocery store every couple of days, you’ll need to find a way to keep your vegetables fresh longer. Frozen veggies are perfect. Unlike canned veggies, they don’t have any added salt or preservatives, and unlike fresh vegetables, you can stock up when they go on sale. Another added bonus is the variety you get. We know we’re supposed to eat as many colors of vegetables as possible to get a wide variety of nutrients, and if you buy the mixed or variety bag of frozen veggies then you’re set.
- Seasonal Produce- Fruits and vegetables are seasonal products and therefore the stores will have an abundance of certain items when they are in season. This is the time to buy and freeze these fruits and vegetables. Take advantage of the low prices due to excess stock and create your own frozen mixed veggie packs. See below for a handy chart on when produce is in season.
- Sale/Clearance Meat- Most people go to the grocery store on the weekends and buy the food that they will be cooking/eating for the next week. Grocery stores on the other hand run their sales in 12 week cycles. So every 12 weeks you’ll get a good deal on meat. If you’re eating a clean diet (and aren’t vegetarian or vegan) then you know that you go through a lot of meat. The trick is to keep an eye on prices for meat and buy then freeze when it goes on sale. Another trick is to shop the clearance section. Meat has a sell by date. Once the sell by date has arrived, you have one week left to cook and eat that meat. Let me repeat the important part of that last sentence…. ONE WEEK. So, check the clearance section and buy the meat that hasn’t turned brown and still looks fresh, then stick it in your freezer until you’re ready to cook it! I’ve gotten buffalo meat for 70% off this way.
- Frozen Meat- Like number 3 above, pay attention to prices. When you see those bags of frozen chicken breasts or tenders go on sale, buy them up! If your grocery store has them advertised with a limit per customer then you know it’s a rock bottom deal. Buy as many as you can (even if you have to go back the next day to get more)
Here is a list of when fruits and vegetables are in season:
Infographic by Visual News
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