Dear Boys and Girls,
Is it possible to eat clean when on a very tight budget? People think it’s not, but I’ve been saying for years that it is. It’s time to prove it.
My plan (upon the suggestion of a friend) is to post three meal plans: one for folks looking to lose weight/eat clean on a shoe-string budget, one for those with a bit elasticity in their wallets, and the third, for those who are looking for optimum health without having to worry about cost.
Ideally we would all be able to eat farm-raised, chemical free poultry/beef. After watching the documentary Food Inc., I’m sorry to say that when it comes to eating chicken and beef, folks on a tight budget really do get the short end of the stick. Organic, farm-raised chicken or beef can cost around $8 to $9 a pound. For many, that’s just outside of the budget. Well, you do what you can. You can still get good quality food for cheap.
Okay, here we go.
Quaker Oatmeal ($3.59 for 18 ounce canister), 6 egg whites or egg beaters (15 ounce $3.99)
2 Quaker rice cakes $2.69 (you get 7 days’ worth in a bag), 1 tablespoon of Smucker’s creamy natural peanut butter ($3.69 for jar), 1 scoop of whey protein (Beachbody brand $39.99. It will last you about a month if you use a scoop per day) mixed with water
6 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast ($3.29/lb for family pack), sweet potato (.99/lb) or 1 cup of Lundberg brown rice ($3.69 for 2lb bag) , 2 cups frozen veggies (you can find these for 10 for $10 on sale!)
hummus (Tribe 4-pack $2.69) and 2 cups of veggies, or cup of fat-free cottage cheese ($3.59 for 16 ounces), or whey protein and 1/2 serving frozen fruit
6 ounces of chicken/fish/beef (keep beef to once a week) and veggies
Water: 8 to 10 glasses per day, more if very active
Supplements: at the very minimum, take a multi-vitamin.
Note: I stay away from dairy and wheat. I feel less bloated without it. Also, I eat very little fruit.
Total price for the week: Around $35 to $40.
Most people eat out at least once or twice a week. If you cut back on just one dining out experience, you’ll find that you can put that towards your groceries.
Happy eating, boys and girls. Don’t let your tight budget keep you from eating clean and reaching your goals.
Barbie Decker, PhD