Eating Lean and Green on a Budget is easy with these 3 simple hacks.
Let’s face it- the cost of food is getting higher and higher every year. This is especially true when you are trying to make smart choices and eat whole, fresh foods. It seems that no matter where you look, the price of packaged, processed food remains super cheap while good, wholesome food just keeps getting more expensive.
What’s a person to do?
Well, first of all, resist temptation to go the inexpensive, packaged food route when it comes to preparing Lean and Green meals. Although the convenience factor can be alluring, the nutritional quality is often lackluster at best, not to mention the often tons of chemicals, preservatives and additives yo just don’t need. Secondly, trust that making whole, fresh foods CAN be inexpensive, you just have to know a few tricks of the trade and do a “little” work.
Hack #1: Really Pay Attention to Sales Flyers
If you’re like most of us, each week your mailbox gets stuffed with sale flyers. From grocery stores to the local quick oil-change place, we’re presented with offers to save money that often get ignored. It’s too much effort to read the flyers, figure out where to go, what to buy, blah.. blah… blah… I get it, really I do. But the reality is, you are throwing money away! Why? because it’s so much easier to just run into the store, grab what you need and leave, mindlessly.
The truth is, marketers KNOW this and prey on you for it. They make sales flyers busy, difficult to read and often just put some big savings on the front to maybe lure you into the store. But they know you won’t often stick to your list… heck, they know that chances are you won’t even MAKE a list!
I challenge you this week to save the flyers from the stores you frequent. Become familiar with the layout of the ads. Make a list of the things you need and then shop for ONLY the things you need. I promise that the time you invest in doing so will come back to you in the amount of time you SAVE while actually shopping. I also promise you that you’ll see the savings in your bank account.
Hack #2: Buy in Bulk
When it comes to lean protein, buy in bulk. With items like boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs, lean ground beef, turkey and other meats, there are HUGE savings to be had by buying in bulk. Wholesale buying clubs (both brick & mortar as well as online) offer great discounts for items like these. Why? Because there is FAR less packaging (which is great for the environment too.)
The same can be said for vegetables, aka the “greens” however, if you are not going to go through a big bag of lettuce or broccoli, then by all means, don’t buy it. There is one exception, however: veggies that can be frozen. That broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, etc. can be prepped and frozen with just a little bit of work and save you a lot of money in the long run.
When buying in bulk, it will take a little bit more work on your end to break things down and prep them for the freezer. Not crazy about that idea? Keep reading…
Hack #3: Band Together
If the thought of buying in bulk scares you, then share the load with others! While you don’t need to go to great lengths and start an official “buying club” you can get a few friends together, watch the sales each week, buy in bulk and then even spend time prepping together.
There truly is strength in numbers in this approach. Not only do you get the benefit of additional buying power (by splitting the overall cost 2, 3 or even 4 ways, you save!) but you get the added benefit of saving lots of time. As if this wasn’t enough, studies show that people who have close friends live longer, so having a great reason to get together once a week to bond over food, share prep ideas and even recipes will help you more than you thought in the long run.
Eating Lean and Green on a Budget is not difficult and these 3 quick and easy hacks can help. Simply by paying attention to sales flyers, buying in bulk and banding together, you can save tons of time and money while achieving your goal of living and loving a lean and green lifestyle.