10 Tips for Eating Clean on a Budget

Medically reviewed by Dr. Pam
Medically reviewed by Dr. Pam on April 19, 2020
Ph. D, Founder of Chemical-Free Life
Updated on April 20th, 2020
eating healthy on a budget

Many people are struggling with their finances during the virus lockdown. If you are one of those people who are fortunate enough not to depend on food banks during these trying times, it is likely you still want to conserve your financial resources.

Here are some tips for eating foods that allow for a diet free of unwanted additives while still staying within a budget. While some of the tips are the best fit for after the lockdown period has ended (save the tips in a folder to use in the near future!), several can be tweaked to fit the needs of the current circumstances.

10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

  1. Eliminate or at least significantly minimize processed, packaged foods from your grocery cart. This will allow for more available funds for healthy, additive-free organic items.
  2. Buy foods that you prepare and cook yourself rather than ‘convenience’ versions—they are far cheaper. (Example: buy individual salad ingredients rather than bags of packaged, precut salad; buy blocks of cheese and a grater rather than bags of pre-shredded cheese, etc.)
  3. Invest in a good cookbook (used copies can be found online for as little as three dollars) and collect a file folder of recipes you find for free online.
  4. Avoid ordering take-out restaurant foods (and during normal times, minimize eating out).

Eating food that has been prepared for you is expensive and may even be unhealthy. The reason is that most restaurants obtain their ingredients in bulk—ingredients that are frequently filled with unwanted preservatives, dyes, additives, pesticides, synthetic animal hormones, antibiotics, and other animal drugs. Instead, prepare your own meals and snacks together as a family.

Suggested Read:
• No Food, Only Water Fast for a Healthy Lifestyle!
• What Foods Must You Eat on a Low Fibre Diet?

Experiment, try new recipes, and have some fun with the experience! (And when things return to normal, invite your friends and family to a cook-in or host potluck dinners of healthy homemade dishes free of unwanted food additives that you have perfected with your family during the lockdown period.)

  1. Take advantage of the times your local health food/organic store or co-op has specials on large shipments of fruits and vegetables. If you have a good supply of recipes, you can save money by getting the fruits and veggies that are on sale because you will know what to do with them/how to prepare them.
  2. If, you are free of dietary restrictions, include grains and beans, as a part of your diet. They supply plenty of nutrients and can be purchased very cheaply in bulk. There are many delicious recipes that focus on both of these food groups.
  3. If you are not in lockdown in a state that has prohibited buying garden supplies, start growing your own vegetables and herbs and spices. Look through our blog archives and elsewhere online for articles on how to start your own organic garden. There are numerous, easy step-by-step instructions available—including how to start and maintain a container or deck garden for people with limited space.
  4. Check your area for community gardens and discounts with local farms. Many local co-ops and farms offer deep discounts for picking your own fruits and vegetables and/or in exchange for volunteering a couple of hours a month.
  5. Make your own healthy, organic snacks and breakfast drinks rather than buying prepared versions. There are countless recipes available free online—including in our blog archives.
  6. Use the recipes in the Chemical-Free-Life.org blog archives and numerous other online sources to make your own personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, facial wash, masks, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, cosmetics, etc. Not only are these organic DIY versions free of harmful, unwanted additives, and healthier for you, but you can save a significant amount of money that can be put towards your organic food budget.

About the Author:


Dr. Pam C

Dr. Pam, Founder of Chemical-Free Life, began researching the link between food chemicals of concern and adverse reactions back in the late 1980‘s.

Throughout that time she has published journal articles and books, presented at scientific and professional conferences, and designed and conducted seminars and workshops, training clients and the general public about chemicals of concern in our food and products and their link with adverse health consequences.

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