Many people think that Paleo is expensive and the "normal" person can't afford it. We're here to tell you today that affordable Paleo IS possible and you can definitely follow Paleo on a budget. Here are some simple ways to save your hard-earned money, but still eat the healthiest and most delicious foods that Paleo offers.
Avoid the middle of the grocery store like the plague. Most grocery stores are set up very similarly. The produce, deli, meat/seafood/butcher and freezer areas are all on the outside walls of the store. I spend most of my time in produce, picking up my veggies and fruits, then hit up the meat area, followed by the organic or natural section of my store.
Then I grab some eggs, maybe some canned tomatoes (hey, I make tomato sauce from scratch when I can, but I'm a working mom - cut me some slack), and then hit up the bulk section for some almonds, sunflower seeds or dates.
To the checkout I go! I'm in and out quickly, which is important since I may have a toddler with me, or still be in sweaty gym clothes.
No, not every meal, but plan on eating the same thing for breakfast and/or lunch during the work week and you’ll save yourself tons of money because you’ll have to buy less ingredients.
Even better? Use your leftovers for lunch or re- purpose for breakfast. My favorite breakfasts are the ones where I scramble up a few eggs and heat up leftover veggies and sweet potatoes. Balanced, filling and healthy.
Buy peppers in bulk and use for egg scrambles, sausage with peppers and onions, stir-fry and paleo chili. This is when meal planning comes in handy.
I’m not the type of person to plan the meals for specific nights of the week. I just cannot get into that. Some people can just eat what’s on the menu, but I have to be “in the mood” for a meal.
I plan several meals for the week, but I make them as they fit into the week as the week is happening.
Meat and veggies. Add in a healthy fat. DONE.
Things like seeds, coconut oil, nuts are all shelf stable foods that can keep for a little while. Buying onions in bulk will help to keep them on hand when you need ONE onion for a recipe. Even meat can be purchased in bulk if you have the freezer space.
Whether you decide to get the "family pack" of ground beef from your grocery store (a must in our house - quick and easy dinners!), or join a wholesale club, there are more and more options available for buying items in bulk.
Sure, you may spend a little more in one trip, but if you are good about remembering what you have in your freezer, or at the very least, checking it before you hit the grocery store, subsequent visits can be less expensive.
One way I save on my weekly grocery bill is to choose one type of meat per week to purchase in bulk. That doesn't mean we EAT the same meat all week, but rather I hit up my freezer for the other meats/fish that I'll want to incorporate into the weekly menu.
By not buying pork, chicken, salmon, and beef every week, I'm able to keep my grocery bill down considerably.
Nothing says Paleo like buying local. Go with some cash, for a couple of reasons. Vendors prefer cash, AND you'll have to stop buying when you run out of money. One of my favorite things to do is hit up the market with a $20 bill and fill up my trunk with fresh, local produce.
Look into getting a farm share, cow or pig share. If you have the freezer space, a cow or pig share can save you lots. If CSAs are available in your area, look into joining one. It's a great way to reduce the amount of produce you have to buy from the grocery store AND you may find yourself trying fruits and veggies that you've never tried before.
Take a day and do some food prep instead of buying “ready to cook” ingredients. Sure they are handy, but at a premium price. Chopping your own veggies can be therapeutic. Every week I buy a 5 lb bag of organic carrots. For years we ate baby carrots, but the whole carrots are so much sweeter and crunchier than baby carrots. Try them - I promise you’ll taste a difference.
Stop going out to eat, stop paying for cable, walk instead of drive – all of these things are a big part of the Paleo lifestyle. Save yourself some money, save some calories, improve your health and spend more quality time with your friends and family. Instead of going out to eat, plan to cook together. Nothing says friendship like cooking together. Grab a bottle of organic wine to drink while cooking, teach your friends about Paleo, and spend some quality time together, while saving money.
Leave the baking to us – at Paleo Treats®. Face it, you don’t really want to buy all of the “flours” you need to make that recipe anyway, and you really shouldn’t eat a whole loaf of bread, a whole pan of brownies, or 20 cookies. Save yourself some time, money and wasted ingredients and get yourself some Paleo Treats® for when that sweet tooth needs to be fed.
Nik Hawks helps run the show at Paleo Treats. Fascinated by humans in all their strange glory, Nik is harnessed in and pulling hard in pursuit of excellence with the rest of the PT Crew. Enjoy!
Too much reading...
How about dessert?