Summertime is a great time to reassess your eating plan. The days are longer, so you can get to the grocery store, make a simple seasonal dinner and still have enough time to get outside for an evening stroll. To get you through those extended days with energy and health, our Clean Eating meal plan includes five mini meals, at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, a multitude of fiber-rich whole grains, plenty of lean animal and plant proteins, and the absolute easiest preparation methods. Eating in such a way helps to stabilize hunger and can reduce the total number of calories you consume throughout the course of your day by helping you avoid the tummy rumblings that often lead to overeating and poor food choices.
Another summer bonus is that produce is more colorful, plentiful and ripe and less expensive (buying seasonally and locally means less frequent-flier miles for your food), especially when it comes to anticipated and antioxidant-dense fruits and vegetables like berries, mel-ons, peaches and peppers. Our clean, colorful and quick recipes and meal options will have you eating seasonally with ease, while the provided grocery lists will map out your action plan at the market. Longer days, simpler recipes and an abundance of good-for-you food at its peak will make living clean this season a cinch!
10 Ways to Slash Your Grocery Bill (without sacrificing nutrition)
1. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT: Planning ahead and penning a grocery list helps avoid pricey (and often calorie-laden!) impulse buys. But remember, sticking to your list is just as vital and cost effective as drafting it in the first place!
2. SURF TO SAVE: Plan your weekly menu around your market’s regular online ad. You’ll save while injecting variety into your meal plan, too. Fliers are usually posted Tuesdays.
3. PICK YOUR PRODUCE WISELY: In-season fruits and vegetables usually cost less and last longer. Visit sustainabletable.org to find out what’s at its peak right now in your area.
4. CUT SPENDING WITH THE RIGHT CUT OF MEAT: A rack of lamb can rack up the dollars. Opt for cheaper meats like extra-lean ground beef and bone-in chicken breast.
5. SKIP THE SNACK PACKS: One-hundred-calorie packs can cost two and a half times more than regular boxes, not to mention the fact that they’re usually laced with sugar, sodium, chemicals and preservatives. Pre-portion your own CE-approved snacks, such as nuts and seeds, into resealable bags and save.
6. CHECK THE EXPIRY DATE: Skim milk may be cheap, but not if turns sour before you finish the carton. Check the best-before date to avoid pouring your money down the drain.
7. LOOK BEYOND EYE LEVEL: Higher-priced name brands are usually stocked right in your line of sight. Simply reach up or down for discounts and do a little math by comparing the unit prices of products for the best buy. (Put that calculator on your cell phone to good use!)
8. PICK LESS PRICEY PROTEIN: Once in a while, skip the meat section and go straight to inexpensive eggs and bargain-priced beans.
9. USE COUPON COMMON SENSE: Coupons can help with the bottom line, but getting $1 off an item that’s only going to sit in your fridge won’t do your finances any favors. So, keep your menu on hand when clipping coupons to put savings to better use.
10. BRING YOUR OWN BAGS: Some stores give you a discount for each grocery bag you bring along. Save pennies and the planet.
Light and Lean Summer Eats