It is one of the most common complaints I see, hear and experience. It is too expensive to eat Paleo!!! I believe most of you come visit my blog because I am honest and quite blunt at times so I won't hold back here. That is stinky gmo cow crap. Eating paleo on a budget is not only possible, it's simple. Here are a few tips to help you get your bank account growing while still eating paleo.
Best place to shop Paleo on a budget, the new online Costco meets Whole Foods: Thrive Market!!!
So, let's just make one thing clear: yes, a Paleo lifestyle can be expensive. There, I said it. However, it does not have to be expensive, and the cost should never be a reason anyone decides against going Paleo. Carefully purchased real food does not have to be more expensive than having pizza delivered or going through a drive-thru for fast food.
Eating Paleo on a Budget
Here are a few tips that I have compiled to help you keep your food costs low while following a Paleo lifestyle. Please leave us a comment with your tips and tricks that we can add to our list.
- Keep it simple – Meals do not have to be wildly creative with huge list of ingredients. Pick a protein, a vegetable (or vegetables) with a few herbs/spices and cook it in a fat. You can throw in a piece of fruit for dessert as well. That is all you need to have a complete meal.
- Eat according to the seasons – Seasonal fruits and vegetables are typically cheaper than out-of-season produce. Click here to see which fruits and vegetables are in season.
- Not everything has to be organic – Follow the Clean 15/Dirty Dozen for guidelines about what should always be purchased organic and what does not need to be organic.
- Frozen is just as good as fresh fruits and vegetables – If you cannot afford fresh or it is out of season, frozen fruits and vegetables are a good alternative.
- Frozen and canned seafood is a good alternative to fresh seafood – Fresh wild-caught fish is expensive. However, frozen and canned wild-caught fish can be much cheaper and just as healthy. When you buy canned fish, just make sure that it is packed in olive oil or water and not soybean oil, cottonseed oil, etc. Or you could even buy yourself a rod and reel, make a weekend of it and have a go at catching some fresh fish for yourself!
- But if your new to fishing then look for a starter fishing pole that's right for you.
- Conventional meat is okay – If organic/grass-fed/pastured meat is too expensive, buy lean (without much fat) cuts of conventional meat instead. Toxins are stored in fat. Therefore, you should buy the leanest cuts of conventional meat as possible and trim any excess fat or skin before preparing.
- Conventional eggs are okay, too – If you cannot afford pastured eggs, buy cage-free or conventional eggs.
- Learn to love leftovers – Either eat them or freeze them but never waste them! Check out this past meal plan for tips about how to properly store and freeze leftovers.
- Buy meat on that is on sale and freeze it – If you buy meat that is marked down and do not plan to use it that day, freeze it immediately. It will last for months in the freezer.
- Learn to love undesirable cuts of meat – (Yes, that means organ meat.) They do need to be of the highest quality you can find. However, they are usually the cheapest cuts of meat since many people shy away from them. This week's meal plan includes an awesome recipe that will change your mind about chicken liver!
- Use a Crock Pot – You can buy cheaper cuts of meat and slow cook them for hours, and they will turn out delicious every time. I have many Crock Pot recipes on Civilized Caveman including a recipe Crock Pot Beef Tongue, which is also on this week's meal plan.
- Make your own staple foods – It is much cheaper to make your own ghee, almond milk, coconut milk, fermented vegetables, etc. than to buy them in a grocery store.
- Buy smart – Join a warehouse club (for food and non-food items), shop farmers’ markets and CSAs (community supported agriculture) and buy pig and cow shares. All of these are typically cheaper than grocery stores.
- Skip Paleo treats unless it is a special occasion – The ingredients to make paleo treats can be quite expensive. These should be once in awhile treats and not every day snacks.
I know that with these tips, eating paleo on a budget will be a cake walk. The best part about all of this, is it never has to be perfect. We get to learn everyday new methods or tricks that save us time and money. Some will work, some won't and no matter what you get to have fun trying.
Just in case you don't want to come back and reference this post, I compiled my favorite five tips for eating paleo on a budget in a simple infographic. You can click on the image to download your own copy.
Now of course, don't let all of this paleo on a budget talk get you distracted from the real reason you are here. This week's free Whole 30 meal plan and shopping list. Click on the image below to download your coffee.
Plantain Hash with Bacon, Kale, Raisins, and Tahini courtesy of Leaf Parade