Tips For Eating Clean When You’re Broke

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Does clean eating seem like a really expensive and overpriced option to you? Avoiding clean eating because you just don’t think you can afford it?

I was the same way at first. That is, until I learned how to eat clean on a budget! Below, I’ll share with you the 5 tricks and tips I’ve used to do just that.

5 Tips For Eating Clean When You're Broke

Shop in bulk

Start in the bulk section of your local health food store. Bulk foods are cheaper than the packaged versions, and you get really clean and healthy foods. Think beans (easy to cook and cheaper than buying cans), whole grains such as barley, millet, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), and whole grain flours. Avoid anything boxed or canned. While this is pretty much a general rule of clean eating, many clean items still come in a can or box. Remember, you pay for the packaging!

Selective Organics

You don’t have to purchase all organic produce to get the benefits of eating organics. Save your money for the organic options of the “dirty dozen”. Those foods which contain the highest amounts of pesticides.

  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Bell Pepper
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Grapes
  10. Spinach
  11. Lettuce
  12. Potatoes

Get familiar

I shop at three different stores because I know where I can get better prices on different foods and supplies. That said, you have to factor in the carbon foot print and cost of driving from store to store. For me, these stores are relatively close together. If I had to drive further to get to each one, it would outweigh the benefits of going to a cheaper store.

Clip those coupons

While few people want to take the time to clip and organize coupons, it can definitely add up in the savings department. Typically, you won’t find a lot of sales on bulk items or fresh produce. But often, stores will put out coupons for a certain amount off of your entire order, as opposed to the manufacturer offering a discount on one specific item. Keep your eyes open for these deals. I know Whole Foods occasionally offers discounts on anything in their bulk section. This is the time to stock up, especially on items you buy regularly.

Cook from scratch

I know, I know. You don’t have time to cook every day. But with a little planning, you can work in home cooked meals every day of the week. Plan to cook and freeze portions of large recipes on the weekend. Bake your own bread. With the right recipe, it’ll be cheaper then that 99 cent loaf at the SaveMart. And it’s easy! Here’s a recipe for Healthy Bread In 5 Minutes A Day, and here’s another quick and affordable recipe for Irish Soda Bread.

Buy the whole bird

Buy a whole, organic chicken. Yes, it seems pricey at first. (I paid almost $14 for a medium-sized, organic chicken at Trader Joe’s). But here’s the thing.There are so many ways to extend the “life” of that chicken. The meat can be frozen or used in soups, sandwiches or on its own.Plus, once you’ve removed the meat, you can boil the bones to make the best chicken stock ever. You just can’t beat a home-made chicken stock. So you can start to see where you can actually save money by buying a whole bird.

This is by no means a definitive list. If you know of any ways to save on eating clean, please share them in a comment below. We’re all on a budget these days. Let’s help each other out and save some money, while still maintaining our health!

Article is an original work and is © Tiffany McCauley. It may not be reproduced for any reason without written permission by the author.

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111 Comments

  1. Love the list!
    I love freezing a lot of the stuff I use, so that I can buy things when they’re on sale, freeze them, and be able to put something together quickly and also if I don’t use them for a while they don’t go bad. I peel fresh ginger and freeze that, I chop lots of onion and freeze it, I zest lemons and freeze it, I wash cilantro, dry it and freeze it… I freeze a lot of things, so everything’s on hand when I need it. I also keep many organic cheeses in the freezer because I don’t use cheese very often but it’s nice to have on hand, so when there’s a coupon or something’s on sale, I get it.
    Also, buying frozen fruit and vegetables is normally much cheaper than buying fresh and as long as it’s JUST the fruit and veggies and no additives or sugars it might be more nutritious than buying fresh since they’re frozen at their prime.
    And like you said, cooking from scratch is best but sometimes it takes a little time. So, it’s a good idea to take some spare time to make your own clean-eating mixes (like for pancakes or muffins, maybe) and store them in the freezer so it’s not such a hassle but you don’t have to pay a lot of money for the good-quality mixes.
    Also, shopping at warehouse stores really help. They have a lot of junk food, but they also sell whole ingredients really cheap, like rolled oats and agave nectar and organic peanut butter that just has roasted peanuts and salt (at least my local Costco does) which definitely saves on costs. Sometimes looking at the big-company stores not known for having health food helps. More often than not, they listen to what the customer wants and a lot have started stocking more wholesome ingredients simply because that’s what’s “in” and will get them money, and they probably sell it a bit cheaper, especially if it’s a warehouse store.
    Stock up on BEANS. It’s not necessary to eat meat every day, and it’s healthier to eat fish so why not save that money toward good-quality fish and eat more beans? Buy them dry, preferably in bulk, and cook them in some salted water. You can freeze them and if you’re adding them to stews or soups, they’ll defrost as they cook. Or you can defrost them yourself and use in things like tacos and salads. As long as you don’t overcook them, beans hold up extremely well to freezing.

    I think that’s all I have. 🙂 Oh, and I bought a star fruit the other day because I saw they were on sale. It’s not ripe yet but I can’t wait to try it!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Hey Mo!

      Such great ideas! My freezer is so small that I can’t freeze too much, but I do have it crammed with good food. I keep telling myself I’m going to buy a deep freezer some day, and then…. let the cooking REALLY begin! lol

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Tiffany

  2. I just wish I could have a better selection of good foods here where I live. I am from small town Iowa and things are hard to find. Everything Organic or anything healthy here in Iowa is almost outrageous! I want a Trader Joes so bad here!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Hi Angie,

      I’m so sorry. Have you tried growing your own veggies? If you don’t have much space, you can always try container gardening. I do that here with my son. We only have a small patio off our condo. We have fresh herbs all season long!

      All you can really do, is the best you can. Buy the best you can afford, and cook as clean as you can. Believe me. Even small changes make a big difference!

      Take care,
      Tiffany

    2. I totally agree with you. I live in a little town in Iowa myself and gosh it is so hard to find things that will be healthy and nutrious. Organic is just so expensive that it makes it hard.

      1. The Gracious Pantry says:

        Vanessa – Dry beans, rice, lentils, oats, things like that are always affordable. Do you have those in your locals stores? Add some fresh produce and you’re doing pretty good. Is that available to you? Or can you sign up for a farm box? Order from Amazon? A lot of people do weekly grocery shopping that way and it comes right to your door.

  3. Tiffany,

    My freezer is small, too! Haha. I just cram and cram and cram until it all fits, then eat away to make room. 😉

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      I wonder if I could get my 2 year old to sit on some of my freezer food like you do a suite case. Maybe then I could get it all in? Just a thought. lol

  4. Heard about your blog through Facebook. I am trying to eat clean as well. It’s hard. I’m about 50% successful so far, but I feel that the percentage is growing. Thanks for this blog!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Thanks Becky!

      I’m glad you found it too! Making the switch to clean eating is a process. You can’t expect to go cold turkey overnight. As long as your percentage keeps growing, you’re doing very well!

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Tiffany

  5. Great ideas! I’m going to try my hand at growing my own tomatoes this summer to try to save some money. Wish me luck! 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Hi Shannon,

      You’ll do great! Plenty of sunshine and water, and you’ll have more tomatoes than you know what to do with.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Ive been clean eating for about 6 months now with a few slip ups every great once in a while , but iam thankful i picked up toscas books . I started 6 months ago on losing weight and only got so far before i stopped and tryed everything to finish losing and when i found clean eating more just started coming off with no effort . Iam so thankful i found clean eating and i try to spread the word about it and hope more will follow .

  7. Thanks for the budget tips. One way I save money is being vegetarian though i occassionally eat seafood. I have a small patio on my condo as well and am doing container gardening this year to grow my own herbs and veggies i use often.
    I like the freezer idea for allot of items! Some things I buy and freeze are: zuchini, squash, portabello mushrooms (my meat replacement and SO yummy). I also make my own spahgetti sauce and freeze that too along with vegetable soups in the winter time.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      That’s great Michelle! I tried being vegetarian for a while, but just could not stick with it. I admire you for doing it. That’s wonderful!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  8. Hello… I like to save all of my cuttings from vegetables.. anything and everything cut from onions, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.. and any herbs that you would put into a soup broth.. (ex.. parsley, thyme..etc.). I put them all in a gallon size freezer bag and when the bag gets full, I make my own vegetable broth. Just toss in water, boil for a few hours, strain.. and your ready to make soup or freeze for later use… minus additives and high sodium.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Robyn – That is an amazing tip!! I think I’ll use that myself. Thank you so very much!

  9. i do have a large deep freeze, so i make great use of it. one trick i do for the kids is i make all kinds of wholewheat muffins, banana, bran, blueberry..ect..they defrost well within 30 min. or 20 sec in micro. i also make breakfast cookies, i go to bulk section and grab all the nuts and seeds the kids like and freeze them for when time is short. just give each kid a cookie on the way out.
    i also make my beans from scratch and i dont add salt at all, just a couple of cloves garlic when boiing. salt can make it take forever to cook as it stops the water from penatrating the outer skin. i also make musli for snack time. the kids love it with a touch of honey for sweetness. its cheap and healthy. i love having a deep freeze. i can really take advantage of those once i year sales..lol
    des

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Desiree – I’m envious! I’d love to have a deep freezer. My mom has one, and they’re fantastic. Not very expensive either. But I don’t have the room at the moment. Serious bummer. Some day though!

  10. Hether Crawford says:

    Great tips!

    Buying local, in-season only produce is a great way to save money! You cut out the middle man. Also, pick one day every week to go meatless. It’s only one day, and it saves a lot!

    This spring/summer I have a group of friends that have agreed to start a “community” garden with me! We are all going to plant, work and harvest, saving a lot of money!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Heather – What a fabulous idea! More people should create community gardens. In fact, if you get a chance, check out the book Food Not Lawns. Such a fabulous look at cutting your food budget and helping your community in the process!

  11. Great tips! I heard on TV that dried beans cost 1/5th as much as canned. I’m too dependent on the cans and need to break this habit. Can you freeze soaked beans?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sarah – You can freeze beans for up to 6 months (I believe, it might be longer) after they have been cooked.

  12. HI great tips!…I heard about your website through youtube and I’m trying to lose weight. I wanna explore clean eating and it benefits. I’m a little confused about your list at the top. Is it a list of what we should eat or a list of what we should avoid?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Shay – My list at the top? I’m not sure what list you are referring to. If you meant the list of foods at the top of this article, that’s just a list of foods that you should try to buy organic instead of conventional due to pesticide content. Usually, the thicker the skin is on a fruit, the less you have to worry about how much pesticides have sunk in.

  13. Great list! I was just telling someone about clean eating and her main concern was how she would afford it. Forwarding her this now!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Megpies – Fabulous! Thanks for sharing my article!

  14. Great list. Looking forward to the chicken stock recipe. There is a Trader Joes coming this year to a city near me, so excited for this! Thanks Tiffany 🙂

  15. Oh, I wish I had a deep freezer! My fridge freezer is crammed to the point that I don’t even know what’s back there anymore. 🙁 If I had a deep freezer, I’d prepare four-serving lasagnes, and make my own muffins (instead of the VitaTops and Van’s muffins I’ve been getting).

    I’d, definitely, have to blend and freeze lots of whole fruit popsicles for my sweet cravings. There would be black cherries with dark chocolate chips, cherries with vanilla yogurt, strawberries and kiwi, grapes and no-sugar-added white grape juice… Mmm… 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charlena – Sounds like it’s time to clean out the freezer!!

  16. In the meantime, I can just run some frozen mixed berries through my Magic Bullet and eat it like granita. 🙂 A splash of fruit juice would melt it enough to make a sorbet.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charlena – Sounds yummy!

  17. bloominwhereGodplantedme says:

    the best ways we save are growing our own herbs and veggies (we have more luck with tomatoes than anything else…. early girl and big boy always give us the most fruit… growing lettuce and kale is also really easy and they’re pretty… you can plant them in with your flowers!! For several years I just mixed edibles in with my flowers lol!! Tomatoes are great b/c you can make so many things from them… pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, salsa, ketchup, the ilst goes on… frozen fruit also helps a lot in the winter… just check the label to make sure they don’t add a bunch of crap to it lol! Also throughout the summer I try to pick up an extra here and there (peaches, berries, squash, etc….) and freeze it… that way by the time winter rolls around we have lots of stuff in the freezer (we have a deep freeze that I would be willing to stick in the living room if I had to haha! Just throw a table cloth over it and call it a “sidebar” ha! Also buy cheap oats in bulk and grind them in the food processor to make oat flour… the same can be done with rice… buying the flour in the store is ridiculously expensive!!!! Oh! And another trick to make your freezer space go further…. instead of putting stuff in tupperware containers or whatever… put it in freezer baggies and let all the air out…. then it just takes up a tiny bit of space and it will pretty much “freeze” to whatever wedge of space you happen to have. Sorry this is long…. just my thoughts!

    1. Anonymous says:

      BWGPM – Wow!!! Thank you so much for the hints and tips! Man, I wish I had a deep freezer. I would give just about anything for one of those. Some day! Love the zip lock bag trick. I WILL remember that one!!

  18. betty @sweatstudysleeprepeat says:

    love this post.. ive recently decided to change my lifestyle and start eating clean.. i’m def having a hard time adjusting my budget..which stores to shop at, which items to get when.. so thanks. i need to start using these tools!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Betty – You bet! You don’t have to go broke eating clean!

  19. graciouspantry says:

    Christi – Excellent point! So very true!

  20. graciouspantry says:

    Alicia – So true! Thanks for the input!

  21. graciouspantry says:

    Jenpix – In my humble opinion, yes. It would be worth the drive.

  22. graciouspantry says:

    Stacey – That’s wonderful! I wish our local $.99 stores carried produce. Sounds like a wonderful resource!

  23. How about eating clean at College or Uni?

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Jessica – A slow cooker would be my best friend in that scenario.

  24. I second the vote for going to Farmers Markets – especially 30 minutes before the close, farmers are willing to sell at reduced rates so they don’t have to haul produce back to their farms. Also, Asian Markets have great prices on bulk brown rice, seeds, rice pastas, and spices. Som eof them even have fresh produce!

  25. This is awesome!! Thank you soo much for your blog and insights. These tips and pointers will help make the transition to total clean eating so much easier (I’m about 50% into it) & less scary! I’m looking forward to trying your recipes for my hubby & I. Again, thank you thank you thank you!
    Jeebs

  26. graciouspantry says:

    I was feeding a family of 5 for a while and I spent about $150 a week on groceries. You can certainly eat the rest of the bird. It’s cheaper to buy the whole thing if your budget is tight. Then use the bones and such to make broth/stock. Just don’t eat the skin as it’s the fattiest part.

  27. graciouspantry says:

    So are you referring to single ingredient items or actual recipes that freeze well?

  28. graciouspantry says:

    Generally, with clean eating, you tend to get more protein. And that does fill you up. So it may help, yes. And when your body gets all the nutrients it needs, it’s not as hungry either. That said, growing boys are notorious for eating a ton of food. So it’s hard to say if it will help or not, but it’s worth a shot!

  29. As a University student, clean eating is a struggle financially, and time wise..but its something I really want to implement into my life. Thank you for your tips!

  30. Hello everyone! I just wanted to say thank you for all the advice and tips I have read! I am actually going to start transitioning my family tomorrow. I have to do something my 7 year old daughter is weighing 108 pounds :/ and me and my better half have quiet a bit to loose as well. So we are turning this family around and making healthy choices. I am just so lost on where to start. I decided to do clean eats about a week ago and have been reading up on things since then and now tomorrow is the big day to clean out certain things and bring new things in! So, if anyone has any easy recipes that we can start with it would be greatly appreciated! I have three picky kids so I am nervous about the change. Thank you to everyone!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      I recommend checking out my kids section. You’ll find a lot there that your kids will most likely enjoy.

  31. Found your site through pinterest and what a find! So many resources and helpful tips. We started eating clean about 2-3 weeks ago. It was nice to read that we are on the right track. At first I was so overwhelmed, but friends convinced me to take baby steps – not do it all at once. I look forward to being totally clean, but for now, am pumped about the journey. I could relate to many of your stories and tips and have been “pinning” many of your recipes and ideas. I’ve subscribed to your recipes, and will be back many many times!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Thanks Char. Welcome!

  32. I also have a problem here in Southeast Kansas finding foods for clean eating at an affordable price. In the spring/summer it’s not so bad, but in winter it’s awful trying to find these items without having to take out a 2nd mortgage on your house. We have a large backyard, and do grow our own veggies in the summer. I can up as much as possible, and make an awesome salsa straight from home! Only thing I add is vinegar! One thing that is impossible, though, is being able to tell whether or not the seeds we buy for our garden are from Monsanto, or some other altered food ‘factory’. None of them say on the back, and Monsanto has so many sister companies….That’s the only thing I hate about purchasing seeds for our garden. I’ve been told ‘they’ have a hand in just about every seed packet in the country…Any tips there? 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Yes actually! Baker’s Creek (www.rareseeds.com) is a pretty good one, you can also find heirlooms from Peaceful Valley (www.groworganic.com). Both companies have non-gmo seeds.

  33. When we lived in Raleigh they had an amazing farmer’s market. I would shop in the wholesale building that the local restaurants would also utilize, and it saved me a TON of money. Most people don’t realize that the general public can shop in there as well. Wish we still lived there, the prices where we live in Georgia are ridiculous.

  34. Hi! My daughter told me about this site. I’ve started eating clean about a month ago because of a book I read…The Perfect 10 Diet. It’s not really a diet, but about eating organic good food that will control the 10 major hormones which will help you live a healthier life. It will help you lose weigh if you want, but it’s not necessary to be healthier. I’ve lost about 11 pounds. I’ve found that Costco here in MN is a great source of organic meat, chicken and ground beef. I go in with a few people so it’s not like I’m buying a TON of food just for me. It’s great that we can split the cost of a big package of meat between two or three people. Anyway, long story short, my daughter has convinced her family to give it a try…a step at a time for them, so I’ve VERY happy!

  35. Hi! I just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying your site. I started going to the gym and trying to eat healthy in January and I’ve come across the concept of clean eating in the past few weeks. I’ve got to admit I’m struggling with it at the moment (I live in Central London, UK, and most of the supermarkets are small, metro versions so they don’t stock a lot of variety), but I’m taking it one step at a time and find your site really, really helpful, so thank you!
    Emma x

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      My pleasure! 🙂

  36. Mrscarter says:

    I am not sure if this counts but my easy suggestion is to grow your own sprouts. Are those clean? I am new to this and I have enjoyed reading so much. It can be overwhelming. I like growing my sprouts because I can grow them in the winter and have cheep green to add to just about anything.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Yup! Definitely clean. I love sprouts!

  37. I just found you via a FB friend who has lost 85lbs last year. She attributed most of it to eating healthier by way of clean eating. I am sort of lost though so I have printed out pretty much all of your getting started articles. Mo, thanks so much for all of your advice. Amazing and it doesnt sound so hard to do. Others are very helpful too, thank you.
    We have had a small garden for the past 3 years. When I freeze sauces or soups, I fill the freezer baggies half to 3/4 the way full, take the air out and lay them flat to freeze. Makes it easier to manuever things in the freezer as well taking up space.
    I am looking forward to this journey and am confident that once I run into any snags along the way, I can ask for advice here!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      You’ll do great! 🙂

  38. I just discovered your website and am looking at using several of your suggestions as I began to change our eating methods. I had some questions on the Healthy homemade bread recipe. So…just to be sure–the video said 5.5C WW flour + 2C AP flour. Instead you use 7.5C WW Pastry flour? You said you were only using 3 ingredients…but I noticed kosher salt, granulated yeast AND vital wheat gluten, and of course water. Did you nix something else? Thanks for all you do!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Mae – Was that on this blog post? I think I know what you are referring to and if so, then yes. I used 7.5 cups ww pastry flour.

  39. I can’t buy Organic here in Texas it is SOO pricey. Non-organic is spanic is $1.30 while the Organic is $3 to $4 dollars it is so crazy.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rene – Ya, there can be a big difference. Just do the best you can.

  40. to help me freeze more i freeze in the dollar store freezer bags they lay flat and r cheap i have lots of disabilbtiy so i cook enough for a couple meals at a time sometimes and freeze the left overs for when i am unable to cook i just thaw and nuke so much healthier than fast food

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lou – That’s a great way to stack them too! 🙂

  41. Hello! I’ve seen your blog referenced on Facebook and heard about it through friends at LEAST once a day for the last 10 days, I swear…so I decided to come by and check it out! I’m just slowly getting on board (again) with clean eating…I’m at about 50% now, and, as you mentioned above, it’s a journey, not an overnight process, so I’m being kind to myself when I accidentally find my spoon in a Talenti gelato container. These suggestions (yours, and everyone elses) will be so beneficial for me. Thank you for posting all of the fantastic recipes, and for sharing your life with us!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Melanie – My pleasure! I’m happy I can help in some way. 🙂

  42. Switched myself and family to clean eating three weeks ago. I like the idea of making my own beans. Do you have a receipe. I am not very creative when it comes to cooking and in the past relied on canned and frozen. I love your blog I have made several of your receipes in the last three weeks. Thanks

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Staci – It’s been my experience that the best way to cook dry beans is in a slow cooker. I have a 4 quart pot. I put 1-2 cups of beans in the pot and fill it a little more than 3/4 of the way up with water. I let it cook all day and I get perfect beans every time. (you do have to drain them). If you don’t have a slow cooker, then you’ll have to do it on the stovetop. A large pot with approximately 3-4 cups of water for every cup of beans. I’m sure there are other ways to make them, but those are the two I know of.

  43. heather malott says:

    Your website has been a godsend for my family and myself! Started clean eating just recently and I basically plan my weeks off of your pinterest page. 1 thing I’m having trouble with is when reading the ingredient list I’m not sure if there are certain ingredients that sound scary to me but may actually be clean. I was hoping you would know of a resource that would help clarify what to have and what not to. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  44. This comment is for LIS that used to live in Raleigh.

    I live near Raleigh and was wondering what whole sale building you are talking about?? I would love to start clean eating and feel like Im lost but would love to shop somewhere not so expensive for certain things. Thank you for your help!!!

  45. My Mom’s favorite technique for saving money on clean food is to visit the produce clearance rack. Most grocery stores have them, but they are not always easy to find. She usually uses whatever she finds for that night’s dinner, but if she finds bell peppers, she’ll slice them and freeze them for up to a week. (If they last that long – frozen bell pepper strips are one of my favorite summertime snacks!)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Fal – Interesting. I’ve never seen anything like that in the stores here. Wish we had them!

  46. For all of you looking to save freezer space I use a foodsaver type system. It removes all the extra air and I get more in the freezer then when I used freezer bags. Also I used to work in a food store if your looking for the clearance or marked down produce or other fresh date sensitive food usually the day before a products sell by date we would print out manager special stickers on to the items our tags are yellow. Also ask your store if they use this practice so you know what to look for. hope this helps those on a budget.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Liz – Nice tips! Thanks!

  47. I love eating clean!! Lots of people don’t realize that cutting out all the C.R.A.P.
    Carbonated beverages
    Refined sugar
    Artificial sweeteners
    Processed foods
    Can stop joint inflammation from arthritis as well as reduce diabetes and heart medicine improve fibromyalgia improve thyroid function and improve moods by reducing the amount of blood glucose fluctuations that can cause mood swings…. And The list goes on. I am taking my grandmother to the store tomorrow to show her it’s possible to eat clean on a small budget! My two year old do it, it can be a pain some days cooking but it’s totally worth it. 🙂 love your website I’ve been following you for a year now 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jessica – Thanks so much! And yes, what we put in out mouths has the potential to harm us or heal us. Food is powerful stuff!!

  48. Thinking of embarking on this journey…I have never been good nutritionally…Hoping to get my family eating healthier.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Carol – I’m sure you’ll do great!

  49. I am just looking into how to start clean eating. I love to bake! Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, everything from scratch. Is it possible to do this clean? Can you recommend recipes or baking blogs? Thank you.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Casie – I think I have more dessert recipes on my blog than anything else. If you click the Recipe Index at the top of the page, you can look under the Desserts section. Lots of stuff there. Enjoy! 😀

  50. Thank you for this information. I am very new to the idea of eating clean and although I find the benefits worth it. The idea is some what overwhelming. I have two kids and one income in the home. We are on a very strict budget. Can you recommend some good reading materials to me? Thank you in advance.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Candis – The only reading materials I can recommend are this blog, My Whole Food Life, Elana’s Pantry and for printed materials, I would say Clean Eating Magazine. I’m not sure if that’s what you’re looking for though…

  51. Hello, I have started clean eating back in March. I had read a couple of Tosca Reno books about clean eating and I have looked over your site as well. I was sold on the idea of cutting out sugar and this would help me loose weight. You see i am 42 ( close to 43) and i weigh 334 pounds. I finally came to the reizarion back in March, that i really need to do something. But the sad part about it is, i have been working out at a gym for the last two yrs. I had lost y 0 pounds and gained it ba k cause i just did not care, then one day i had my “ah, ha” moment. So, I pulled out my CE books and got started. But I belive I am making some mistakes. In a months time, I had only lost 10 pounds, this was working out as well at leaat 3 to 4 times a week. This is what I ate in one day: B: Oatmeal (not instant) w/flax seed and wheat germ, 3 hard boiled eggs whites and one yoke. S: missed was working out, L: Tuna salad sandwich ( olive oil mayo, sweet relish ( what I had on hand, and sm amount & chia seeds) 9 whole grain’s bread and a cheese stick. S: apple w/Almond butter, D: whole wheat pasta, natural spagetti sauce added black beans and grd turkey, S:banana and walnuts, (up late, stay at home mom, usually up late) another snack, clean eat pumkin/walnut muffin. So what do you think with this one meal? Also another question, my 9 yr old is eating clean with me, but he is a little over weight, but he is complaining he is still hungry, I would not let him eat anymore, then all of a sudden I noticed he is going thru a growing spirt. How shld I handle this? I hope you can help, jt wld be greatly appreciated. Thx

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jill B. – In regards to your son, be very careful. I don’t know how old he is, but you don’t want to interfere with healthy growth. As long as he’s eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise, I wouldn’t deny him a healthy snack. If he’s hungry enough to eat a salad or a bag of veggies, then he’s honestly hungry. If he’s saying he’s hungry but only a muffin will do, than you can probably feel safe saying no because it’s more likely just a craving. I think your best course of action is to talk to a dietitian where your son is concerned. They can help you determine how many calories he should be getting every day, especially while growing. I know when I was young, I ate like a bird until a growth spurt hit. Then I ate everything in sight. But every kid is different, so please consult a dietitian. It’s well worth it.

      As for you, have you considered cutting back a bit on the carbs? It seems like you are getting a lot of them. With clean eating, you have to keep things balanced and from what you list here, it just looks heavy on the carbs. This is just a guess though. I’m not a dietitian. It’s very difficult for me to give out specific advice the way a dietitian can. I’m sorry, I wish I could be more help.

  52. I do apolgize for typing errors. I had lost 50 pounds

  53. Danielle C. says:

    Hi! I have been wanting to start eating clean for a long time but when I start looking into it I get overwhelmed. Also, Im on an extremely tight budget right now. Since I dont have the extra $ to stock up can I still eat clean until I can afford to buy in bulk?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Danielle – Bulk is typically cheaper than packaged goods. But you don’t have to buy bulk to eat clean.

  54. Thank you for your responses. I was wondering if I was having too many carbs. But I think this is confusing me a little ( I might be over thinking it ) From my understanding, you are to have a complex carb and protien at each meal? I just want to make sure Im doing this correctly, I hope you don’t mind If I disect this so I am understanding? So for the breakfast, oatmeal ( complex carb )w/flax seed ( healthy fat) and wheat germ (complex carb ); which I believe was too much carbs, right? Plus the 3 egg whites (protein ). Lunch, Tuna (protein )salad sandwhich ( bread was a 9 wholegrain, not 9 pieces of bread, which was a complex carb ) tuna was mixed w/ mixed with olive oil mayo & sweet relish and chia seed ( healthy fat ). Sweet relish bad, I know and a cheese stick ( protein). Snack: apple ( complex carb ) almond butter ( protein ). Dinner: whole grain pasta ( complex carbs ) natural spagetti sauce w/ black beans ( compkex carbs ) was this too many compkex carbs? And ground turkey ( protein ). Snack: banana ( complex carb ) walnuts ( protein and healthy fat ). Late snack: pumkin/walnut muffin, ( complex carb and protein and healthy fat ). So am I looking this coeectly? Again, I hope you dont mind me disecting this, as I stated before, I just want to make sure I am doing this right. Thank you bunches…..

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jill B – You definitely have the right idea! I simply meant that if you are not making the progress you would like to make, that maybe you need to look at adjusting your macros. Perhaps, even with this balance, it’s just too much for your body. A big part of clean eating is figuring out what works for you personally. Sometimes you have to tweak things a little. So maybe try having eggs and a turkey patty for breakfast and have a low carb dinner. I really don’t know anything about what will work for you, you just have to experiment to see what will get your body moving in the direction you want it to.

  55. Made this morning, not bad. I tried the “icing”, it made the oatmeal thicker, but that is ok. Have to try new things. But I have noticed that eating clean, some foods are bland in taste. Thank you for the recipe, otherwisee, not bad…..

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jill B – Icing?

  56. Ok, good. Thank you much….

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jill B – Sure!

  57. One of the comments from above, they took greek yogart and vanilla to make an icing.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jill B – Oh! Okay. 🙂

  58. Sorry , it was on cartot cake oatmeal comments.

  59. kyli atkinson says:

    I have been trying to find the whole recipe to the banana, pumpkin, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice recipe but i cant. Please help me, thanks.
    if you could send me any others and an easier way to understand your website id appreciate. As i have MS and i am a dork sometime.
    sincerwly
    kyli

  60. janet fazio says:

    Good ideas! I buy a lot of rotisserie chicken and make soup after cutting off all of the meat. You can’t beat homemade chicken soup.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Janet – Nope! It’s the best soup around! 😀

  61. I like to bulk cook and put stuff in mason jars! Put the food in hot (boiling if a sauce) and it seals itself! No need to freeze and only needs to be kept cool! Saves on defrosting time

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Abby – Interesting! Do you know a lot about canning? For some reason, I’m scared to do it!

  62. First off, please don’t can unless you know what you are doing. I only use recipes from the Ball Blue Canning Book. You do NOT want to just can something and hope it doesn’t go bad ( botulism is NOT worth it!!)

    Our ” health food store” in my area (sprouts) usually has 3 or 4 produce items as loss leaders each week in their ad. If it’s something I love, I’ll buy a ton and freeze it on a cookie sheet. Then put it in a freezer bag and have it on hand!

    I also have changed my mentality for grocery shopping. Instead of just buying what we need, when we need it, I try to stock up on the sales. I also realized that things go on sale every 4-6 weeks, so I don’t have to buy (and store) a years worth of a product.

    Once you’ve watched the sales for a few cycles, you can start a price points list. It’s a list of the lowest price of the products you buy most often in your area. It lets you know if the sale price is actually a good price, or if it will drop in a few weeks.

    Finally, multi-purpose items help save money. For instance, I can buy vinegar at Sams Club for $3 for 2 gallons. I can use that for cooking, canning, floor cleaner, ant deterrent, etc. same goes for coconut oil. Cooking, in smoothies, face wash, hair mask, etc.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Hales – I agree on the canning thing! That’s why I haven’t really started with it. I need to learn more. I know there are some botulism test strips in the works, but they are not available to the general public yet. Fingers crossed that happens soon! Thanks for sharing your tips!

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