You’ve probably read 50 posts about why the Paleo Diet truly isn’t an expensive diet (processed foods are so much more expensive/your long term health will be better on the Paleo diet and you won’t have hospital bills to worry about as you get older/ you don’t have to buy makeup because your skin will clear up amazingly blah, blah) but let’s get the truth of the matter.
The Paleo Diet is expensive.
Yep, no ifs ands or buts about it. If you’re coming to the Paleo Diet from a SAD diet, you’re going to bust the bank buying groceries and wonder how anyone affords this diet. Now before I get into ways you can stretch your buck on the diet, you need to take a hard look at what you’re spending money on . Are you going to Starbucks everyday ? Do you love to download 20 apps a week? You need to start to whittling that back so you can put your money where it counts, in your nutrient dense mouth.
Considering my middle name is tightwad, I’ve discovered a couple of tips to help you stick to your budget.
1. Eat less meat. Yes, we all know that pastured animals are better for the environment and better for your health but if you have a hard time affording chicken when it’s 2.00/lb, having to pay for pastured chicken that is soy-free and corn-free and costs $6.00/lb is not a stretch, it’s an impossibility. Now, simply eat less chicken and stretch a chicken the way a person should (make stock, use organs, etc) you’ll get a lot of meals from that one chicken.
2. Eat offal and the less popular cuts of meat.
4. Eat more eggs. Pastured eggs are going to give you the best bang for your buck protein-wise.
5. Start shopping at discount grocery stores – Big Lots, Grocery Outlet. You’ll be shocked at the food items you can get here for a steal. Now I don’t eat grains but I was just at the Grocery Outlet and they had sprouted organic brown rice for $3/lb. That stuff is $12/lb everywhere else.
6. Eat more healthy fat. Start cooking your food with more fat and you’ll fill up much quicker. It always seems like Tropical Traditions has a sale of some sort going on. I buy their Non-certified expeller-pressed coconut oil and it’s $49 for a gallon – which is .38 cents an ounce. Right now they have free shipping too.
7. Start canning and freezing fresh produce when it’s ripe and in season.
8. Join or create a food buying club. I’ve saved thousands of dollars by being part of these clubs.
9. Eat conventional meat – yep, I’m saying if your budget only allows for conventional meat – than eat it. You will want to get the leanest cuts possible and supplement the lost fat with a high quality fat.
10. Eat in season. There is no reason you should be eating Cherries during the winter unless you froze/canned them from the summer.
11. Join a CSA
12. Make as much from scratch as possible. Coconut milk costs $3.00 per can organic and yet you only need 1 cup of coconut shreds to make milk from scratch which costs roughly .65 cents. Make your own salad dressings and condiments. Make your own tallow and ghee.
13. Grow your own food and then freeze, preserve or ferment it.
14. Seek out local farmers and learn more about how they grow their food. They might not be a certified organic farm but they might be following organic practices. Again, buy in bulk and see number 13.
15. Skip fresh fish and buy frozen, you’ll get a better deal.
16. Eat more carbs – sweet potatoes and carrots are a bargain compared to asparagus.
17. Eat more broth. Not only is it extremely nutritious, it’s so inexpensive to make.
18. Search online for foods you eat a lot of. We pretty much only use maple syrup as our sugar. I found a farmer in Vermont who sells organic B-grade for $65 a gallon, shipping included. This was cheaper than from my buying club.
19. Eat more seeds versus nuts as they’re much cheaper.
20. Pay attention to when the meat is marked down in your store (as well as other items). I scored a bunch of expensive goat milk yogurt for .25 cents an 8 oz container versus $3.00 recently.