SUMMARY: Although healthy eating is essential for losing weight and overall health, it is not always budget friendly. Here are some of the most cost-effective ways you eating clean on a budget.
Looking for the best inexpensive ways to eat clean while trying to lose weight?
Eating clean is all about introducing and maintaining healthier eating habits and getting rid of the poorer eating choices from our diets.
When you’re low on funds, you have limited options for eating clean on a budget.
In this article we’re going to list out some of the best clean eating tips to get your diet in order while trying to save money.
But first, let’s take a look at what clean eating actually is and then why many people choose to start eating clean in the first place.
Eating Clean On A Budget – Lose Weight And Save Money
But it can also be of great benefit for anyone who is trying to boost their metabolism and lean out too.
Overweight and obese people in the United States are more likely to reach for a candy bar when they are hungry, because it’s not only satisfying, but it’s also cheaper than reaching for an apple or some other “healthy” food.
With that said, clean eating on a budget may seem impossible, but following some of the basic principles can have added benefits, leading you to the establishment of healthier habits. 
These principles include:
- Eating breakfast within an hour of waking up
- Eating six smaller meals during the day
- Consuming lean protein and low glycemic carbohydrates during every meal
- Eating healthy fats such as coconut oil
- Getting fiber content from fresh fruits and vegetables
The Rise in Popularity of “Clean Eats”
Now that consumers have paid more attention to the processes involved in making our food, it has caused a boom in the popularity of health food stores like Whole Foods. 
Most people are plagued with the high cost of healthier foods, but there are ways of enjoying clean meals on a budget.
If you’re broke, you don’t want to reduce yourself to the consumption of fast foods just because of budgetary constraints.
Follow the below tips in order to eat clean while keeping food items affordable.
1. Clip Coupons
It’s no secret that clipping coupons saves you money as a consumer overall.
So with that said, you will find that your favorite grocery stores will offer coupons on their fresh produce and vegetables.
If the grocery store doesn’t offer coupons on fresh fruits and vegetables, start looking for coupons that will save you money on your overall purchase price.
Even if it’s a few cents off, all of the savings add up over time.
2. Buy In Bulk
Buying healthy foods in bulk has gained popularity over the past few years because of the large amount of outlets like Costco that offer a large variety of organic and other health related grocery items.
Try to avoid canned products as a whole, but look for items that are fresh or freshly packed that you can buy in bulk.
Items such as beans, quinoa, barley, most vegetables and leafy green salad mixes can all be bought in bulk and offer cheaper pricing than regular clean items that are boxed.
Remember, the packaging costs extra money and for those on a budget, buying a larger amount can add up with the savings.
A side note on organic produce: Buying organic items is always a great idea but not always affordable.
So making sure that you know the “dirty dozen” might be preferable when choosing what organic produce to invest your money in. 
These items include: strawberries, grapes, celery, apples, peaches, spinach, potatoes, hot peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers and nectarines.
Making sure that you purchase these items in the organic section of your grocery store is preferable because of the amount of pesticide residue that can be on the non-organic variety.
These particular produce items are meant to be consumed with their skins intact, thus increasing our exposure to the pesticides used during the growing process, so it is best to go organic with these items.
3. Cook And Prepare Your Own Meals
It may seem like a daunting task, but you can prepare easy to make foods that are actually really clean and can save you money.
Planning healthy meals that you can easily cook and freeze for later not only saves you a lot of time and effort, but it also saves you money in the long run.
Devoting one day out of the week to the preparation of these meals can work for those who are limited by time and budgetary constraints.
You can take advantage of produce items when they’re in season by doubling a recipe and saving the leftovers for later use.
This eliminates food waste and saves money.
In-season foods like tomatoes are at their peak for providing a higher flavor quality and nutritional value.
4. Limit Foods That Are Processed
It may seem like a no-brainer, but limiting processed foods goes a long way in developing and maintaining healthier eating habits.
Healthy eating involves the exclusion of processed foods that are in no way considered “clean”, in favor of those that are fresh and natural.
So, instead of reaching for a processed food snack when you are hungry because it is convenient, you can enjoy something that is void of sugar and a lot healthier such as raw nuts or raw organic vegetables.
These items contain all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need and taste great too.
You can also prepare home cooked versions of various items that you would normally order when eating out, such as pasta.
If you aren’t sure if your favorite item is overly processed, read the nutritional label on the packaging.
If the label has ingredients you can’t pronounce or a long list of items, then the chances are higher that the food product is processed.
Clean foods contain very few ingredients and are healthier for our bodies as a whole.
5. Reduce Intake Of Alcoholic Beverages
Clean living shouldn’t just involve what food products you ingest, but should also apply to what you drink.
If you’re already eating clean and want to take it a step further, consider the reduction of your overall alcohol intake, since it’s the one thing that can easily kill your budget.
There are some benefits to a certain level of alcohol consumption such as red wine, but you must avoid going over these limits to reap the health benefits.
Partaking in the enjoyment of over the recommended daily amounts of alcohol can not only dehydrate you, but it can also add to your daily calorie intake (and weight gain).
So what’s the best advice when it comes to alcohol?
It’s best to stay away from mixed drinks at all costs, which often contain loads of added empty calories and sugars.
If your beverage is processed in a machine or unnaturally colored, then the chances are higher that it won’t fit in with your clean diet.
When you start eating cleaner, healthier foods, you promote healthy weight loss without the urge to relapse into poor eating habits.
This is because eating clean works to regulate your blood sugar levels and helps you avoid sugar spikes and crashes as a direct result of eating processed carbohydrates and trans-fats.
Here is a bonus tip: To save money while on a clean eating budget, consider purchasing from the following list of food items:
- Raw Almonds
- Chicken Breasts
- Frozen Vegetables
For more clean eating recipes and ideas, you can head to Pinterest where you are provided a bunch of healthier options and grocery store lists.
You don’t have to spend your entire paycheck on eating and can save money in the process.
When confronted with the myriad of lesser quality of choices, always opt for foods that are clean and offer health benefits in the long and short-term.
You work to increase your overall longevity with healthier foods, so create a food budget and stick to it!