10 Tips for The Budget Conscious Paleo Dieter.

Paleo Diet on a BudgetHey, nobody ever said that eating healthy is cheap..

In fact, eating Paleo can get expensive real quick-like!

Due to the prevalence of lesser quality foods in your local super market, all-natural, healthy foods are somewhat of a rarity.

And just as with any other resource, it’s rarity means it’s quite a bit more expensive. For example, it’s common to see grass fed beef go for almost double, or more, what the more common corn fed variety sells for.

Same goes for wild caught salmon when compared to corn fed salmon. ( Those last three words just don’t belong together )

It’s a huge price disparity that puts THE most healthy foods out of reach for many families.

Especially in an economy where food prices are on the rise across the board. A devastating drought combined with an inflationary economy means that one of your main monthly bills is going up. Sorry.

BUT – No doomsday prophecies here, quite the opposite actually –

With a bit of effort, and the right strategy, you can actually save money while nourishing you and your family with the healthiest foods possible.

 

Stop buying Organic.

Wait, isn’t this the Paleo diet?.. All about eating the most natural and organic foods possible?

Yeah – it is, but here’s the thing.. The term “organic” has become nothing more than the latest addition to the marketing and advertising’s  arsenal of tools they use to convince us to buy their products.

Not to say that there aren’t quality organic foods available, because there are. It’s just that it’s getting to be almost impossible to tell what you’re actually paying that extra 20-50% mark-up that organic foods usually sell for.

Combine that with the fact that more and more small organic companies are selling out to bigger corporations, and for the average person, the best solution is to purchase most of your produce locally from small farms, and the produce that you do but at the supermarket – just save your cash and buy the non-organic variety.

The advantages are outweighed by the cost increase.

Eat Eggs.

Not only are eggs one of the highest quality proteins that you can eat, but they’re also one of the easiest to obtain protein sources when you’re making an effort to get you foods locally.

It turns out that chickens are pretty adaptive and thrive just about anywhere, so no matter where you are, it’s likely that someone is selling some chicken eggs fairly close by.

Eggs are also one of the more cost effective forms of protein included in the Paleo diet. Many times, you can buy eggs from healthy chickens that have been fed their natural diet and have been free to absorb lots of Vitamin D producing sun light, for cheaper than you can buy commercial eggs.

Eggs are an ideal food to incorporate into your diet regularly. They’re healthy, cheap, available, and there’s about a million different ways you can eat them.

Start a Garden.

If you have the space and the time, why not start a small vegetable garden?

It’s a great way to not only get fresh, healthy foods on a budget, but it’s also a great hobby and there’s just something satisfying about actually growing the food you put on the table.

It isn’t for everybody though. Obviously, if you live in a high-rise apartment you’re somewhat limited. Even if you do have the perfect spot for your own vegetable garden, don’t underestimate the time investment that’s required. This will, of course, vary greatly depending on the size of your garden, but even the smallest gardens require a good amount of work.

If you do have the time though, don’t hesitate on the account of dreading the work that may be involved, many people find it an enjoyable and stress-relieving hobby – Maybe you will too?

Buy a Rifle and a Fishing Pole.

Well, there’s nothing more Paleo than going out and killing your own prey!

Just like with gardening, this may not be for everyone, but it’s also a hobby that many people enjoy and benefit for more reasons then just getting cost-efficient fresh game meat.

It takes a bit of planning, and initial investment, but after that.. You’ll be able to stock your freezer with enough meat to last you an entire year. All for a fraction of the cost of what it would’ve cost you to buy that meat at your local  supermarket.

Many have moral issues with hunting, and that’s understandable.. but consider this, and then we’ll move on:

Is it more humane to go into the wilderness and kill an animal where it’s at least had a chance to live in the wild, or to raise an animal in a commercial farm, in miserable and unhealthy conditions, as it’s shot up full of hormones and fed foods that it isn’t even capable of digesting?

Coupons!

We’ve all seen the shows where the stay at home mom saves tons of cash and gets 17 packs of AA batteries for $3.00..

Personally, I was somewhat skeptical about spending my time “clipping” coupons to save a few cents here and there, as I assume the television shows were slightly exaggerated.

And while it is somewhat difficult to come close to the kind of savings seen on said shows, you can actually save quite a bit of money without too much effort.

“Clipping” coupons is a bit of a misnomer in that most coupons are digital, and are actually pretty easy and time effective to collect and use. So any worries of toting around a coupon purse, or a massive photo album over-flowing with newspaper coupons, can be put to rest.

Make A Budget.

This may be one of the more obvious suggestions, but it’s also one of the least used and most effective.

Implementing a simple budget can make all the difference in the world when you’re trying to make each dollar without skimping on food quality. Whether you go with the tried and true envelope budgeting system, or a more modern online solution is up to you – but if you haven’t yet..

Configuring a reasonable budget will be a huge help in achieving not only your nutritional and health goals, but also any other goals that may currently be on  “the back burner”.

When You Shop.. Go BIG.

That’s right.. whenever you can, buy your supplies in bulk.

The more you buy the more you save, no secret there, but sometimes people forget just exactly how much money can be saved when purchasing in bulk.

This works especially well for items that have a very long shelf life and items that you know you will use in the future, no matter what.

Things like toilet paper, paper towels, ketchup, spices, etc, are ideal items to purchase in bulk for reasons stated above. If you have a deep freezer that opens up a host of other things than you can purchase in quantity and save serious money in the long run.

Join a Farm Share.

Here’s a great way to save money, get tons of fresh meats and produce, all while supporting your local small farm community. If you don’t know what a farm share is, also called a “CSA”, then just think of it as a sort of Groupon for local farming products.

Basically, a certain number of people buy in and purchase pre determined amounts of goods and in return, the entire group benefits from a cost savings. There are other variations of a CSA, and you should check the specifications of your’s locally, but that’s the basic gist of it.

For more information on farm shares, including which ones that may be available in your neck of the woods, check out this site.

Buy Beef in Quarters and Halves.

This goes along with the buying in bulk suggestion, but requires a bit more effort than simply joining your nearest Sam’s Club.

If you decide to look into joining a farm share, you’ll then be in perfect position to find the best, most cost-effective places to but beef or bison in quarters or halves.

This not only means you’ll get the healthiest grass-fed beef for the absolute best price.. but it also means that you’ll have a chance to discover that there’s far more nutrition to be gotten from a cow than just what lies in the ribeye.

Which leads us to our final budget tip for the financially savvy Paleo dieters among you..

Stop Being So Wasteful.

It wasn’t all too long ago that it was commonplace to utilize everything possible from the animal meats that we eat.

Nowadays, we’re not exactly concerned with such things in a society where many consumer goods are marketed as disposable. In fact, it seems like the line has become considerably blurred in regards to what isn’t disposable sometimes.

We typically discard a huge amount of the nutritional value found in our meats, especially beef.  Not only is this a huge waste of money, but it’s also a huge waste of nutrition!

By throwing out the bones, organs, and other tissue meats of the cow, we’re missing out on lots of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and tons of other health supporting nutrients.

The bones are great for making stock and are full of essential minerals, while the organ meats are some of the most nutritionally valuable parts of the cow. Livers, hearts, and bone marrow, for example, are some of the most under appreciated sources of nutrition, and most definitely should never be thrown away!

This goes for your produce a s well.. Learn how long different kinds of produce stay fresh and plan accordingly. Fruits and vegetables aren’t one of the “buy in bulk” items and the last thing you want is all of that wonderful nutrition going to waste.

Put these tips to good use..

And you’ll see for yourself that eating healthy, nutritious, Paleo friendly foods doesn’t have to be expensive.

In fact, if you do it right, you’ll be reaping all of the benefits that come with eating Paleo healthy, and spend less than you normally would on food.

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Comments

  1. Bradley says:

    I so agree with tip #1 because most of these big supermarket food chains have some of their stuff marked as ‘organic’ and then mark it up sky high.

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