Organic vegetables, grass feed beef, and mayo made with avocado oil….oh, my! If you’ve been considering, or have just started eating paleo, looking at the approved foods list can be as scary as walking through the haunted forest in The Wizard of Oz.
Let’s face it folks, grass fed beef ain’t cheap. Plus, if you follow any of the paleo or AIP bloggers on social media, you’re constantly getting the latest and greatest paleo flour, mayo, snack, olive oil, cookbook, etc. to hit the market, right in your daily feed. Do you really need to have all of this stuff just to eat paleo?
As a paleo and AIP blogger, I’m telling you “NO”. There are lots of ways to keep from going broke eating paleo. Even I don’t jump on every paleo product that hits the market. When I first started paleo and the AIP, I didn’t have the money to keep up with the paleo Joneses. I love saving money; so, I looked high and low to find the best paleo bargains. It is possible to make eating paleo affordable!
- Look for sales at your local grocery store. Local stores are starting to carry more organic foods and paleo staples, like coconut flour and grass fed meats. Each week, stores host sales on organic fruits and veggies. Some could be bought in bulk and frozen for later. Most often, it’s cheaper to freeze your own, rather than buy it already frozen. Stores like Target, typically have one day a week, when they put meat that hasn’t sold on sale. The savings is $2 to $3 off regular price! Ask the salesperson in the meat section which day they do this to get there early that day. I often buy grass fed ground beef for $4 to $5 a pound.
- Shop big retailers or bulk stores. Walmart now carries tons of paleo foods. They have everything from organic fruits and veggies, to coconut oil, to grass fed beef, all at very reasonable prices. And, let me tell you, Costco is well worth the membership fee for picking up lots of paleo goodies. I buy coconut oil, avocado oil, sardines, avocados, veggies, organic chicken, organic ground beef, coconut water, tuna, sea salt, olive oil, and more. Seriously, this list could go on and on.
- Shop on Amazon. There are so many paleo staples on Amazon, there is no way I could list them all. Just type paleo foods in the search bar, and tons of foods will pop up. And, if you have Prime, most of it ships for free. You will also be able to find many items that are hard to source locally. I order most of my flours, gelatin, and cooking supplies from Amazon.
- Don’t always buy grass fed, organic or pastured meats, veggies and fruits. I always buy organic beef and chicken because of my food allergies to soy and GMO corn. If buying standard meats, be sure to stick with the leaner cuts of meat. Most of the stuff you don’t want is stored in the fat. Also, fruits such as bananas, avocados, and melons don’t have to be organic. These fruits have a rind or peel that is harder to penetrate by the pesticides used. Most squash can also be purchased non-organic for the same reason.
- Shop at discount stores. TJ Maxx often has a great assortment of olive oil, coconut butter, plantain chips, dried fruit snacks, coconut oil and water, herbal teas, and more. They also sell awesome kitchen gadgets and cookware, at a fraction of the price. On a side note, I always find great deals on natural haircare and skincare products too.
- Plan your menus. When you plan your menu for the week, you ensure that you’re not over or under buying foods for the week. You can also use up foods that you have previously frozen, and use up leftovers more efficiently. Then, you formulate your shopping list from your planned menu. You will find this saves you lots of time and money. I will be posting more about menu planning next week.
- Invest in an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker. One of these two items will save you lots of time and money. By cooking big meals, you can refrigerate or freeze leftovers to eat later. If you find yourself with produce that is about to go bad, or just have too much of, you can just toss it in your pot, and make a nice soup.
- Enter contests and giveaways on paleo bloggers’ sites or social media pages. Someone is always holding a giveaway! The more giveaways you enter, the best chance you have to win something. When you see a post announcing a new product or cookbook, I can guarantee someone somewhere is doing a giveaway for it. If you win, you could end up enjoying something for free. You don’t get cheaper than that! Plus, most of those hosting the giveaway, have a great discount code for those who didn’t win.
- Take advantage of discount codes and internet specials. The holidays are coming up; and, that is the best time for discounts and specials for all of your sought after paleo goodies. Start saving your pennies now so you can take advantage of all the bargains coming your way. If there is a certain product you’ve been wanting, keep an eye out for posts announcing holiday discounts and coupon codes. Every year Amazon does a big book sale for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. You could get all those awesome paleo and AIP cookbooks you’ve had your eye on.
- Don’t keep up with the paleo Joneses. Look, it would be awesome if you could own every cookbook, product or food that everyone is talking about. But, that’s just not possible for most of us. Just because so and so, who you admire, has grass fed beef meatballs dipped in gold, doesn’t mean you have to have them too. I get new products all the time; and, I can honestly say that very few of them live up to my expectations. When they do, you can tell because I use them a lot. When I have a so-so product that costs $25 and is the rage in paleo, but could replace it easily with a product half the price that is not the rage, I will always choose the cheaper one. I don’t care who’s using it! When I first started paleo, everyone was talking about this one brand of coconut milk that was over $2 a can, on Amazon. Now, I use coconut milk like nobody’s business. I started checking the backs of cans of coconut milk at my local Walmart. I found Golden Star coconut milk, with only coconut and water as ingredients, for $1.48 a can. Of course, I started buying that one; and, saving almost .60 a can. No, it wasn’t as glamorous as their fancy shmancy one; but, who cares. I was saving me some money!
Hopefully, these easy tips can help you not to go broke eating paleo. I know it’s fun to be one of the paleo cool crowd. However, it’s much better to get the great healing from eating paleo. When you tailor paleo to your specific finances, you’re much cooler than you know.
As always, I wish you good health……and, good food!