One of the most common beliefs a lot of us have is that eating clean is for the elite. In fact, fitness as a lifestyle is perceived as an elite lifestyle. The image most of us have of eating clean is the trendy woman shopping in organic foodstores. She goes out for brunch with her friends at upmarket restaurants and orders an overpriced salad. Her IG feed has ‘organic’ labeled veggies you’ve never seen and R60 bread, against a white background.
The woman I’ve described does exist. But so do small businesses that sell veggies and fruits, hardworking men and women who sell their farm produce in the CBD. All selling at a fraction of the price you’d get from the big fancy Food Stores. As for things like chicken breast, I found a woman with a small chicken farm, and a number of such farmers exist, also selling at prices Cheaper than the food stores. You can also buy eggs from such people, eggs that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
When it comes to eating out, my argument has always been that you can save that money and buy food items and make your own meals to go.
Here are a few tips on HOW TO EAT CLEAN ON A BUDGET
1. Buy the cheap produce in bulk – items like beans and rice are cheaper if you buy at local markets or local farmers in your community. If you don’t have any close by, ask around!
2. Learn to cook – If you cook your own meals, chances of being efficient are higher. You can cook in bulk and use the food for a couple of days. You can also prepare meals and snacks to carry with you to work or school. Much easier and cheaper way to stick to your diet.
3. Take advantage of seasons- when things are in season, they’re cheaper. Adjusting your diet so that you benefit most from what’s in season will save you money.
4. Buy unpackaged, raw food – once veggies and the like are packaged, the price goes up. Often you find a supermarket sells the same product at different prices simply cause one is packaged and the other isn’t.
5. Find suppliers for meats and eggs- someone who supplies you with meat, chicken and eggs will be cheaper than a supermarket, especially if you purchase in bulk. If you can’t afford to buy a lot of kilos at once or don’t have space in your fridge, find a friend or two whom you can split the cost and produce with.
If you can get past the image of the organic queen and her Instagram posts, you’ll realize that eating clean is not exclusive to the rich. It is only an expensive lifestyle if you want it to be. Why not bend the rules?