That’s unfortunate, because there’s no question that food in its most natural form—free of additives like refined sugars and synthetic preservatives—is better for your body. And it can also be healthier for your wallet, argues Ian K. Smith, MD, author of The Clean 20.
“Clean eating is affordable and accessible across all socioeconomic strata,” he insists. “The reason people think it’s expensive is because they think you can only eat organic foods. Also, when clean eating became popular, it began as a trend of those in the upper echelons.” (Remember Gwyneth Paltrow’s infamous $200 smoothie?)
But with a few smart strategies and some prep work, it’s possible to eat clean for under $100 per week, Dr. Smith says. First, make sure you’re sticking to the perimeter of the store when you shop—typically home of the fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, and eggs. Also, he recommends only shopping once a week and buying in bulk. This helps keep costs down, while allowing you to meal-prep healthy food to keep on hand all week long.
Yet, one big question still remains—what should you put on your grocery list? According to Dr. Smith, it’s important to choose bang-for-your-buck foods that’ll stay fresh throughout the week. Because what’s worse than realizing your hard-earned Trader Joe’s haul has gone bad just days after you brought it home?