Paleo on a Budget
As the cost of food rises, it can seem particularly daunting to start a paleo diet, after all, fresh meats, vegetables and fruits can often be the most expensive foods at the grocery store, and generally coupons are targeted at the non-paleo friendly foods that are processed and packaged and overall much cheaper.
However, with a little planning and some helpful tips it is actually possible to go Caveman while still maintaining a reasonable food budget. Below are a few tips to stretch your dollar and keep up a paleo lifestyle.
- Shop at Farmer’s markets, co-ops or even discount food chains. Farmer’s markets are a great place to buy food because you’re supporting your community by buying local, the food is often organic, you can speak directly with the person who is growing or raising your food, and you can find great options, like grass-fed meats. Farmer’s markets also offer budget-friendly deals. Too often, people who follow a natural-food based diet like the paleo diet feel they have to shop at expensive stores like Whole Foods to get the food they need, but really you can buy a lot of great organic foods at less expensive food stores.
- Use whole chickens, turkeys or other poultry, rather than buying specific parts, especially the boneless, skinless breasts. Cooking a whole bird is easy to do, much more inexpensive than buying more expensive cuts, and you get a lot more use out of it. In general, bone-in meat is less expensive than meat cuts that have the bones removed.
- Use lots of spices, onions, garlic and shallots when you’re cooking your paleo recipes. These are a great way to totally change the taste of a meal without spending a lot of money on expensive ingredients.
- Look for sales where you buy your food. We all love a good sale at the department store, so why not use the same mindset when you’re buying food? Food retailers offer great sales all the time. You can either go into the supermarket and pick out great sale items as you go, or you can scour your weekly paper for mailers from food stores, which will have all the specials for that week, so you can pre-plan your menu. You may not be able to find many coupons for paleo-friendly foods, but you can still find a great deal.
- Minimize wasted food as much as possible. Eating paleo means you will have to do some planning and preparation, especially in the beginning, but using all the food you buy is a great way to also help your wallet in the process. Prepare extras each time you make a meal, and then you’ll have great leftovers of your paleo recipes that are ready to bring for lunch the next day, and you won’t have to worry about throwing money away on food that goes uneaten. You can also minimize your food wastes by using bones and skins to make homemade stocks and soups.
- Make paleo –friendly recipes that are soups, stews and casseroles. When preparing recipes like these, you can often buy the ingredients in bulk and you can enjoy the meal several times over. These are also foods that are often very filling and nutrient-rich.