13 tips to eat clean on a budget

I get asked all the time for tips on how to feed a family healthy within a budget. It’s probably one of my most frequently asked questions! It can feel overwhelming and for some people, almost impossible to feed a whole family healthy on a budget. Especially if that budget has no wiggle room or is fairly tight.

There are several ways you can save money on groceries, but we do prioritize our food budget over anything else. However, I understand that some families simply cannot o that, so I am going to divide these tips into two categories: the first are tips I personally use for my own family, and the second are tips I suggest to people who really want to find a way to make clean eating fit within their current budget. This is great for anyone who is switching to eating clean and organic.

1. MEAL PLAN & USE INGREDIENTS YOU ALREADY HAVE ON HAND

This will also help you waste less food, which is something I love as I hate food waste! Every week when I meal plan and prep, I am sure to use the items we already have. Especially produce, so it doesn’t go bad. If there is ever something I know I am not going to use, I will cook and freeze it for another time, or to use for smoothies.

2. PURCHASE DRIED BEANS

Buying organic dry beans is so much cheaper (and healthier!) than canned or boxed. This way you can also sprout or soak them, making them easier to digest. You can even find organic beans and lentils in bulk!

3. BUY PRODUCE IN SEASON- OR FROZEN

I stick to what is in season almost always. That means I don’t typically buy fresh berries in the winter, so I opt to buy them frozen!

4. BUY IN BULK

Buying organic goods in bulk is a huge money saver! I also do a large portion of my shopping at Costco because they have great prices on bulk organic items and produce.

5. Make a list

Don’t head to the store without a plan! That can lead to you buying things you don’t actually need, or forgetting items an having to make extra small trips to the store, which will often mean you go outside of your budget.

6. Set a budget and stick to it

Figure out what kind of budget works for your family. I always hear people talking about how much they spend a month, but I suggest setting a weekly grocery budget. I find it easier and more realistic.

7. Make some things yourself

If you have the time, making some things homemade can safe a lot of money. Plus, homemade anything is way yummier than store bought, right?!

8. Shop once a week

Shopping and budgeting for one week at a time is a system that works great for me, and I highly suggest it!

PART TWO

1. Cut back on packaged goods

you can buy a lot of that stuff in bulk, too.

2. Don’t shop hungry

I will be honest and say I do this WAY too often and end up leaving with packaged bars or things like that.

3. Use the dirty dozen list, if you need to

The dirty dozen is great for people just switching to organic, or for people who can’t afford to shop 100% organic, because let’s face it, it’s expensive af.

4. Buy items that are on sale, and plan a few meals around that

If you planned to eat brussels sprouts, but get to the store and see the broccoli is a better price, switch to the cheaper priced veggie. Things like that.

5. Track as you go

Keep track of your spending as you shop so you keep yourself accountable on where you are at! I have seen people tracking on a notepad as they go, which I think is a great idea!

 

I would love to hear what your tips for eating healthy on a budget are. What things do you do that works for you and your family? Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram!

3 GREAT KOMBUCHA SECOND BREW RECIPES AND TIPS

so you’ve brewed your batch of kombucha, but now it’s time for the second fermentation. this is the fun part of brewing kombucha. this is when you take your brew and make it delicious, customize it to be whatever you want. there are so many flavor options, and I love getting creative here. you can also use the second brew to make it more or less effervescent, something I love to get to control because I prefer mine a little mild in that area (otherwise it will give me a stomach ache!).

so I am here to share my personal favorite recipes for kombucha, my go to’s! along with some tips on the process of the second brew.

how to second brew:

once your brew passes the taste test, take out the SCOBY and about a cup or so of the kombucha to use for your next batch. using a metal funnel (I use mine form the kombucha shop that has a strainer inside it) pour into long neck glass bottles.  you can also reuse store bought kombucha bottles.

now they are ready to be flavored and stored for the second brew.

recipe #1 adaptogenic berry booch

mix the following into each individual bottle of kombucha

1/2 t maca powder

2 T mixed berries (my favorite combo is blackberries and blueberries or raspberries)

*best used with the raspberry tea!

recipe #2 super-food booch

mix the following into each individual bottle of kombucha

1 t spirulina

1/2 t wheatgrass

1/4 t chaga mushroom powder

*best made with black tea or a combination of black and green teas

recipe #3 lemon ginger berry booch

1 t fresh sliced ginger

1 t fresh lemon juice

2 T blueberries

*best made with black tea r a blend of black and green teas

tips on second brew

  • use long neck, swing top bottles for more carbonation
  • store flavored booch bottles in a warm dark place for 2-3 days before moving to the fridge
  • test the pH and flavor by a taste test to know when the booch is good!
  • clean your bottles with a bottle brush warm water and vinegar
  • do not leave your bottles too long or in heat higher than 78 degrees- it is uncommon, but they could explode!
  • use 2-3 T of fruit, herbs, and veggies

the second ferment is pretty simple and fun! get creative with herbs, veggies and fruits! use #naturallychelsrecipe on Instagram if you try these recipes, tips, or if you have any more questions for me!

SOAKING & SPROUTING

beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds (also grains!) can be hard on your digestive system. this is why I love to soak and sprout mine before cooking and consuming. I have been doing this since last year, and notice a huge difference in how my body as well as my kids bodies handle these foods.

I have talked before on my Instagram about sprouting, and I got so many questions about the topic. many of you were also concerned with how difficult the process might be. and I am here to tell you, it is not as hard as it may initially seem. I hope that this simple guide will help! but first I want to take some time to answer the most asked questions I got regarding soaking and sprouting.

Q: can you sprout any bean, lentil, seed or grain?

A: you can soak any of them, and by doing this you will “unlock” nutrients making them easier to digest and nutrient dense. af. some will not sprout because they aren’t truly raw all the time when we buy them, making it so they won’t sprout. but soaking will still be beneficial. also, some types just don’t sprout, see the form below to see what foods are better for soaking only and not sprouting (a lot of seeds and nuts)!

Q: do I need a bunch of equipment or products?

A: not at all! there are bean sprouter’s  that make sprouting really simple, but you can also use a mason jar with cheese cloth, or a colander.

Q: what are the benefits of sprouting?

A: soaking and sprouting increases the nutrients, makes them easier to digest, decreases anti-nutrients, increases protein and fiber, and breaks down gluten. all of these things make the food easier on your digestive system and makes them more nutrient dense.

how to soak and sprout

soak dry, raw item for the necessary time.

drain and rinse with filtered water until water runs clear.

place soaked food in bean sprouter, colander, or jar. if using a colander, place a towel under it and cover top with cheesecloth. if using a mason jar, cover with cheesecloth and prop it inside a bowl so that it can be upside down at an angle.

give allotted time to sprout. if your food does not sprout in the time given, that is okay. as mentioned above some items won’t truly be raw and will not sprout. still use them! the soaking will still be helpful.

trufflecheesecake

make sure you keep your stuff in the fridge, especially after sprouting. I also want to mention this article about sprouts and food safety. my family eats sprouted beans and nuts all the time, and I feel safe with my process. if you do not feel like sprouts are safe, that is okay too!