Eating Well on a Budget: Part 1 – Introduction
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Eating Well on a Budget: Part 1 – Introduction

Posted on Thursday, November 29th, 2012 at 2:51 pm
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We understand that eating well can be quite the task when you have to have to consider doing so on a budget. Not to mention that natural and organic foods aren’t packed with preservatives like many of the processed foods you find on grocery store shelves. As a result, you’re left looking for ways to ensure nothing goes to waste. Add in the need to decide between organic or conventional produce and pleasing the picky eaters in your family, and you might feel overwhelmed.

Luckily, you aren’t alone. Recently, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a guide called “Good Food on a Tight Budget”. For years, the EWG has been well known for their “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists, which rank fruits and vegetables based on the amount of pesticides conventionally needed for production. They took the knowledge they have acquired to compile these lists and paired it with average prices for several foods to determine how you can get the most “bang for your buck” when shopping for healthy foods.

This unique guide breaks foods down into seven categories: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy, cooking fats and oils, and staples and spices. In addition to telling you which foods are the most affordable and nutritious, the Environmental Working Group also provides tips and tricks for shopping, preserving, and enjoying these healthy foods. Using this guide along with their “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists can help you feed your family the most balanced, chemical-free diet possible without breaking the bank.

Here at, we believe that eating well should be easy and affordable. That’s why we’ll break down the food categories found in the “Good Food on a Tight Budget” booklet into individual posts to not only teach you how to save some money, but to inform you about the health and nutritional benefits you’ll get from your favorite foods.

For complete details about the Environmental Working Group, the “Good Food on a Tight Budget” study, or the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists check out the official Environmental Working Group’s website.

Now onto Part 1: Fruits

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.