Monday, January 4, 2016

Eat Clean On A Budget with Shopping Lists, Recipes, and a Guide

We've got a lot of ground to cover today, my friends. You wanted more clean eating meals, but you didn't stop there... You wanted them easier, cheaper, and quicker! More kid friendly, more authentic, more variety, more flavor. Y'all have demanded more. I hear you! And I am going to help you.

You have to remember that I am still learning here with you. I am experimenting and failing right along with you. When I released my first clean eating posts in 2013, I experienced more judgement and ugliness over not being technically "clean" on everything in my post. Y'all wouldn't believe. I have learned so much along the way.

When I lose weight I look for grace, not perfection! And guess how I lost over 90 pounds??? Guess what works every single time? Grace! Baby steps! You work with what you have and you don't stress. If you can afford organic one hundred percent of the time and can grow all of your vegetables, I am so very happy for you. I cannot and I am unashamed to admit that. I have to work within a budget and I make my money stretch. We can still lose weight and make it work! Let me show you how.

#eatclean, #weightloss, #cleaneating, eat clean, weight loss, clean eating, #fitfluential, #sweatpink

I shop at ALDI. I find the best prices there, I don't have to coupon and look for sales, and the layout of the store is familiar every time. I personally think their produce stays fresher longer and when I am prepping food for the whole week, that is the key to my success.

Let's talk canned goods... ALDI has a great selection of organic canned goods now. I suggest those. If you cannot find them at your local store, you can always rinse yours beans like I did. I just rinsed my black eye peas and add organic beef broth or water instead. If you buy canned fruit, use the kind in 100% juice with no added sugar. I went to the store on New Year's Eve and the stock was low. I made it work for the week and didn't stress.No biggie!

Make sure to read labels and buy all natural ingredients if you are going to eat clean. No additives, no preservatives. If you cannot pronounce something on the label, you aren't going to want to eat it!

I purchased gallon sized freezer bags that were BPA free to assemble my meals. This makes everything go so much easier and you're not tying up all of your Tupperware (save it for leftovers for lunches).

I assembled all of my meals once I got home. I keep two meals in the fridge and freeze the rest. Once you cook a meal, grab one from the freezer to defrost in the fridge.

These meals are quick and easy. You can season them any way you choose or you can leave them plain for picky eaters. Pair them with a salad or steamed veggies. My guys are big salad eaters, so I assembled salads in big batches. We just grab and go!

My meals go in the crockpot with little fuss. I also use my pressure cooker if I forget to throw it in the crockpot before I leave for work in the mornings. I just make this work for me.

Day 1 

Sausage   $2.19
Black Eye Peas $.65
Collard Greens $1.49

Throw the peas and sausage in the crockpot. Cook on low all day. Serve with a side of greens. This is great with a salad. You can also throw in some chopped onion with the peas for flavor. 

Day 2

Pot Roast $11.14
Carrots  $.69

I add in a little water or organic beef stock with this in the crockpot. 

Day 3

Pork Chops  $5.39
Pineapple Slices $.99

I cook in the crockpot in the pineapple juices. Sometimes I will add a little water. Serve with a salad or steamed veggies. I keep my freezer and pantry stocked with veggies.

Day 4

Ham Steak  $4.36
Great Northern Beans (x 2) $1.18
Tomato Sauce  $.25
Crushed Tomatoes $.95 (large can)

This is one of my favorite soups. It is so delicious on a cold winter day! Just throw it all in the crockpot on low. 

Day 5

Turkey Sausage $3.69
Mini Sweet Peppers $2.49
Onion  $.32
Crushed Tomatoes $.95

Again... crockpot meal! Low. I serve with a salad. There are so many different steamed veggies you can use. Try squash, roasted asparagus, roasted broccoli. This doesn't have to get boring. We literally just grab whatever we are in the mood for and go.

Day 6 

Chicken Breasts $3.35
Pineapple Chunks  $.99
Brown Rice  $1.75
Soy Sauce to taste (I keep this stocked in the fridge)
I just cook this up like pineapple fried rice with some eggs too.

Day 7 

Chicken Breasts  $3.35
Vine Tomatoes $2.49
Onion $.32
Jalapeno  $.20
Serve with brown rice and salad. 

Dinner Cost: $49.18

Lunch and Breakfast

We used leftovers from the pot roast. I also cooked more chicken. I bought another bag for $6.69. We bought up several bags of lettuce and spinach for salads as well. I added avocados for healthy fats. Shred the chicken for the salads or hard boil eggs. We eat eggs for breakfast along with bananas and apples. Our breakfasts and lunches are very simple. We are very busy and always on the go. You can do plain regular oatmeal (the kind you have to cook, not instant, no sugar) with fruit added in too. It's cheap and it's clean.

Total Spent Before Tax : $74.80

You all want a shopping list, so I am going to help you with that too! Just right click {HERE} for a spreadsheet and print that bad boy out! Take it to the store and just cross it off as you go. Prices may vary from store to store, but you should be able to get fairly close. Heck, I hope you can beat my prices! When I calculated my onion, chicken, and jalapeno prices I divided them up by what I used. If you buy a pack of onions, you will get about six. I used one. That's how I got my price. Just chop the rest up and freeze them individually in baggies for other meals. Problem solved.

I have a family of three. I have one very hungry husband, one active and growing 6-year old boy, and me (a Zumba® fitness teaching 153 pound woman). Adjust to your own family!

Okay, I spent a ton of time putting this together. You know I did it cause I love you guys. If you don't mind, spread the love and share this post! Can you pin it, Facebook it, tweet it, email it, whatever it is you all wanna actually do to share it? Just spread the word and help others live healthier, happier, fitter lives!

I even made you easy share buttons! Look at me being productive in this new year!

Shared at:
Stringtown Home
Coastal Charm
DIY by Design
Savvy Southern Style
Simply Designing
Domestically Speaking
Ginger Snap Crafts
The NY Melrose Family
My Girlish Whims
Buns In My Oven
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Rattlebridge Farm
Tidy Mom
My Romantic Home
Life in Leggings
That DIY Party
Tatertots & Jello


  1. This is great Wendy! Thank you, and keep up the good work!

  2. Aldi is awesome! It's the first store I hit every week before venturing to another local owner grocery store for other items I couldn't get there. It really helps to save us so much money!

    I also suggest using You can type in an item you are looking for and it will show you any local sales on it. It's great for building my shopping list.

  3. Awesome, as always! Keep up the good work! You're doing great 💕

  4. I love this post. First time reader and I have pinned and shared this for you. Your honesty is refreshing. Keep it up and thanks a ton for this post, I plan on using it!

  5. Do you use canned black eye peas and great northern beans when you use the crockpot? I was wondering if that would make them mushy if they cooked in the crockpot all day?

    1. I do use them and they have never been mushy. I have never even thought about it, but nope. Never mushy!

  6. Do you use canned black eye peas and great northern beans in the crockpot meals? I was wondering if that would make them mushy after cooking all day in the crockpot since they are already cooked.

  7. I'm confused. Is that $75 for your family of three or is that just for you?

    Thanks for sharing with us at the Tips & Tricks party. That's how I found you. We hope you'll come back and join us on Monday!

  8. Frozen beans/veggies - even more healthy???

    1. You certainly could! My store was hit pretty hard that particular day!

  9. Is it only one can of black eyed peas with the sausage? The pic looks like more.

    1. I used just one in this meal and recipe. I bought two on this trip, but it is not included in this price. I am using it in a future post and in a different recipe. I stock up when I go to ALDI because my closest store is 20 minutes away. I bought a bunch and then I started putting things together. There is a second post coming soon!

  10. Great Post with lots of great ideas! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and have a great day!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  11. Was all of that food in the picture really under $75? Asking as a broke college student.



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