31 Days – Saving Money & Time When Eating Clean


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I’ve already prepared you that to eat clean will some take extra time out of your day. Depending on how much time you already spent in the kitchen, you may be spending a bit more or a lot more time than you’re used to, preparing meals from scratch. But it doesn’t have to take the life out of you, and if you learn to be resourceful, it doesn’t have to drain you of your savings either.

I recently started reading An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler, and in her introduction she describes the book as one about eating affordably, responsibly and well, and because doing so relies on cooking, it is mostly about that. In one of her very first chapters, she writes about boiling water, and how you can boil many items one right after each other while cooking, with little to no extra effort. It was a concept that I had never thought about, but makes perfect sense.

So I present to you, the concept of “catching your tails” to save some time and money.

During your cooking sessions, start saving trimmings of veggies in a ziploc bag or a container of some sort, whichever will easily fit in the fridge for 1-2 days, as long as it takes you to build up a storage of scrap ends. This scrap pile believe it or not, only took me 1 day to build on. Between kale stems from the morning’s juice session, asparagus ends that were a bit too tough, and some carrots and mushroom caps, it made a nice potpourri of veggies for my broth to cook in. vegetable-scraps-for-stock

The next time you’re going to boil a pot of water to make some pasta or veggies, keep the water boiling and once you’re done cooking your first round of food, throw in your veggie scraps, along with some salt and pepper, and let them simmer on the stove for an hour or so. Depending on the size of your pot and how much water evaporated during your initial cooking session, you may have to add some extra water but that ain’t no thing. Once done, strain out the scraps and behold the sight of homemade vegetable broth.

Let cool, and place in quart size freezer bags, in 2-3 cup increments, and freeze for up to 4-6 months. Make sure to label your bags! Or store in the fridge in mason jars or tupperware for a couple of weeks.

The same thing can be achieved in the crock pot and let it cook over night, but by doing it the former way, you save yourself an extra pot to wash.

What does this have to do with clean eating? Well, eating clean is as much about a way of thinking as it is about a way of eating. By making my own broth, I got to see exactly what was put into it, eliminating preservatives and excess salt. I made use out of my nice organic scraps that I paid good money for, which would have otherwise gone to waste. And I reduced my carbon footprint by buying one less package of food stuff at the grocery store. Oh, and I saved water too by reusing the same pot of boiling water I used for cooking. Not to mention I saved money while doing it. The last time I checked, a quart of organic vegetable broth would run me about $3.99.

With little tweaks and nips here and there, I put in minimal extra effort, and save myself small bits of cash here and there, which frees up money for other more expensive items like pastured eggs or grass fed meats.

Whether your goal is to just switch over some of your produce purchases from non-organic to organic, or to start buying pastured eggs, or if you have loftier goals of eliminating all factor farmed meats, these small steps you can take to save money will help get you to your goal, with a bit less heartache at the checkout line.

Andrea is the founder of For The Love Of, a lifestyle blog dedicated to approachable, modern living. She writes about style, her love of DIY, and living a healthier life through wholesome, nutritious cooking. She is also a regular contributor at Babble. Get in touch: Facebook, Twitter You can find Andrea on Instagram @andreavhowe and @gwynethmademedoit

  • Nicole L says:

    Love this idea! I already store up my scraps but it never occurred to me to re-use my boiled water to make broth, so much water wasted for no reason. Thanks for sharing!

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