The Budget Series - Eliminate
In my last post, I introduced my newest series, Eating Optimally on a Budget - a topic that I feel well-versed and experienced in discussing.
After years of functioning on a tight budget while having fairly high food standards, I HAD to figure out a way to get my food and save money too!
In this post, I want to share Step 1 - Eliminate. This topic will help you start this process of eating optimal foods on a budget.
Step 1: Eliminate the Unnecessary
One of the many reasons I love starting with an Ancestral or Paleo-type framework is because it all but eliminates the vast majority of high-cost (high-profit) and low nutritional value products in the store.
In particular, the highly-processed carbohydrates, vegetable oils, and most of the common food allergens (dairy, gluten, soy, & food additives) are the first to go.
If you start adding up how much money you are spending on these unnecessary, processed & packaged items (and I challenge you to do this), you just might be amazed how much you save!
For example, how much money do you spend weekly or monthly on crackers, chips, cookies, other baked goods & sweets, processed meats & cheeses, breads, sweetened beverages (including $4-5 fancy coffees loaded with sugar), caffeinated “energy” drinks (also full of stuff you don’t need), sugary sports drinks, juices & smoothies, milk products, fast food, fast healthy food, pre-made food, meals in a box, protein bars, nut bars (any other kind of bar you can think of), protein cookies, protein shakes, individual yogurt or pudding cups, snacks and treats for your kids (& you), and so on and so forth?
Trust me, you’d be surprised how quickly it all adds up!
Once I started leaving these “extras” on the shelf and re-directed my money towards wholesome real foods, I found I wasn’t spending excessively and sometimes I even underspent.
Instead of buying bottled waters, buy a good water filtration system for your home. This is a one-time investment that can save money and vastly improve dietary quality. Aquasana & Berkey are two fabulous brands.
Shift from designer foods such as synthetic energy bars and meals to basics as trail mix, jerky, crispy veggies with guacamole, nut butters & dark chocolate.
Consider growing your own fruits and vegetables in a backyard garden or rent a patch in a community garden. This is becoming more and more common.
There are a ton of ways you can eliminate unnecessary items and shift to ones that will improve your health AND provide a pleasurable culinary experience.
Simply REDIRECT your money. Cut out the processed, packaged foods and spend the money you save on REAL FOOD - meats, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, veggies, and fruit.
But if you're still not convinced or if you're worried you're going to miss all those foods I"ve suggested you eliminate, stay tuned for the rest of my Budget Series. I will walk you through a few other steps that will make this process doable AND enjoyable!
Next, we're going to SIMPLIFY!