I’m sure hundreds of other bloggers and people have written on how to do Paleo on a budget before…but whenever I Google Paleo on a budget I can’t find much that I don’t do! So I figure I must have enough experience in the topic to offer my own two-cents.
When you switch to a whole foods diet, inevitably your grocery bill will go up. It’s something you just have to accept. If you can spend $100+ on a cable bill you can spend at least that a week on groceries to keep you healthy. That’s my view on it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t maximize your budget to get the healthiest food possible within your budget. The cheap-ness in me comes out and I get creative when I try to save money at the grocery store. I already wrote a bit about what things I buy organic, so prioritizing that helps me. However here are a few new tips:
1. Buy the cheap cuts of grass fed/organic/pastured meat. Meat is really something I have stopped buying at the grocery store, unless there is the antibiotic/hormone free kind which in my area is a rarity. I can be really obvious here and tell you one way to save money is to buy a 1/2 of a cow (duh). Which I did. But when we call our farmer for meat, I usually get ground beef because it’s the cheapest. Shanks (above), neck and soup bones are even cheaper so I’ll get some of those and pressure cook/slow cook them until they’re tender. I even called a farmer the other day and asked about liver and organ meat. Eeek! I’ve never had it but I’m ready to jump on the offal bandwagon. Not only is is cheap because nobody wants it, it’s super good for you.
2. Get creative with your scraps. Don’t throw away your broccoli stalks! Little things like this seem like not that big of a deal but I shred the stalks and make broccoli hash. Also, the ends of celery, carrots and onions I save and throw in the pressure cooker or slow cooker with soup bones to make bone broth. I ALWAYS save the bones if I make a roast for bone broth.
3.Homemade EVERYTHING. I try to do homemade things like condiments and bone broth. When you’re committed to eating whole foods you pretty much have to make things home made because of the preservatives in everything. It’s cheaper too! I always do home made salsa. I am now trying to delve into homemade beauty and cleaning products. Like I said, any way I can save money is cool with me.
4.Plan, plan, plan. I brainstorm on the weekends and plan out every.single.meal for the week. I know exactly what I need and I go into the grocery store with my list and stick to it. This means at the end of the week my fridge and pantry are practically empty. I never waste food. I get extremely agitated when food is wasted. I have a plan for each and everything in the fridge and my husband will attest to the fact that I might have a break down if he eats something that was planned for another time. I joked last week at the end of the week if the apocalypse came and we had to rely on the food we had I’d be screwed because at the end of the week there was literally nothing left.
Obviously there are more obvious tips like only buy the Dirty Dozen for organic (I already covered that) and to shop seasonally, locally, and utilize coupons. However, I wanted to offer some suggestions for new ideas. Like I said before however, if you are truly committed to health you have to accept that fact you will be spending a little more on food. I don’t mind it! I am willing to cut corners elsewhere.
And I’m not just saying this to be cliche, literally ever since I started eating healthy the amount of money I spend on doctors and medicines has been obliterated. I used to be in and out of doctors’ offices, own stock in NyQuil, and had a list of prescriptions. I can’t believe I am actually typing this out because I feel it will jinx me, however I DID NOT GET SICK FOR THE ENTIRETY OF 2013. Yes, you read that right. I literally used to get sick when I walked into a room with someone who had a cold.
So you will be spending a bit more on food, but isn’t it worth it?
What things do you do to save money yet still get quality ingredients?