A little while back, I asked both facebook aaaaaaaand twitter how they managed to save money while eating clean… and there were some really awesome and unique answers out there that I thought a few of us could definitely stand to benefit from. Here’s what they had to say:

Great question! 1. I am blessed to work somewhere with a nice spacious, clean refrigerator and freezer. I bring my lunch and breakfast instead of buying lunch out. 2. I buy in bulk. I eat grass fed beef which can be pricey BUT I buy at least 3 lbs at a time and get discounts. 3. I buy frozen veggies which can get pricey but is cheaper than wasting and tossing out fresh ones I did not use. 4. I don’t by box/shelf items and frozen prepared foods which saves me the most money. – Rebecca

  • Take advantage of BOGO sales, even if you don’t need both items you can get one item half off (at least at Publix you can) [Erika’s note: this is important – sometimes, to enter an item as buy-one-get-one, the price of the item is simply marked down to half so that both items together equal “one item.” Stores that have that “10 items for $10” deal also do this by simply marking the item down to a dollar instead of you needing to spend $10 to get the full deal!]
  • Negotiate at Farmers Markets and continue to patron those who are willing to compromise-trust me they remember you …and appreciate your business
  • Buy in bulk where feasible (I have a kilo of oatmeal in my pantry, lololol)
  • plan your dinners on Sunday and buy only the items needed for the recipes for the entire week; take the leftovers to work for lunch
  • I got a carry along cup for xmas, lol. simple but it’s my favorite thing right now. I refill it with water all day, I think I’m at 10 glasses a day. I have not bought any OJ since getting this cup. Strictly water now -Pretty Keish

I signed up for a local CSA which made organic produce affordable. I plan my meals and shop accordingly. I also only cook what I will eat. I only buy things that I know I will use in a timely manner. – Reneschia

I save money several ways.1) Buy in bulk when I find a good deal.2) plan my meals weekly and use the grocery store info to determine what the specials are for the week so I can have meals with those items. 3) this year I’m going to try cowpooling which is when you and 1 or more other ppl buy a whole cow and then split up the meat.(u don’t literally split the meat. It is cut up for you) it is an inexpensive way to get quality beef. – Tamara

Firstly, my CSA and the Farmer’s market. Discount Fresh foods stores like Aldi and Easy Way. Definitely coupons and sales papers online have been my savings guardian angel. Now that Kroger’s let you load coupons on the plus card online ( no… coupon clipping), I’ve been saving. – Cassie

I buy in bulk, cook in mass and freeze everything possible. Farmers markets are awesome. You can freeze summer fruits to use in sauces, smoothies and desserts. I shop ethnic grocery stores where the veggies have dirt on the roots. I cow-pool also. It saves lots of money. The local farmers like knowing they have a buyer so they make great deals with you on eggs and fresh crops. Old school baby! – Michalet

Well I pretty much buy all my Veggies Frozen, Fruit as well esp when making Oatmeal. I love making a Home Made Peaches and Cream Oatmeal. With that money I save I buy Organic Meats on sale and freeze them. – Michelle

While I’ve written on Farmer’s Markets… CSAs (co-ops/community supported agriculture) and cowpooling haven’t been covered here, yet.

Cowpooling is basically a collective of people coming together to share… a healthily grown, properly raised cow. It’s one of those situations where if you save up the money to plunk down at once (can start around $150 for an eighth of a cow up to $900 for half a cow and beyond), you can easily freeze the rest of the cow and save money on your beef purchases throughout the year. EatWild is an amazing resource for finding farms that might participate in your area.

CSAs (community supported agriculture) are actually kinda awesome. Ask LocalHarvest:

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer. In brief…

Advantages for farmers:

* Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
* Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
* Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Advantages for consumers:

* Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
* Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
* Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
* Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
* Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

It’s a simple enough idea, but its impact has been profound.

My CSA? $390 for 20 weeks… a little over $19/wk for a nice sized half-box of vegetables (pictured above.) Gotta love a good deal.

If you have specialty stores nearby – a store that makes its own pasta, a kosher deli, a bakery that makes long, fresh loaves of bread, a restaurant that sells its tortillas/tortilla chips for cheaper than available in stores – then you need to take advantage of that!

That being said… these were their tips. What are yours?

Other posts in the series: