How to keep paleo lifestyle cost effective

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

This is the 3rd article in a 4 part series about eating paleo and exploring the #Whole30.  The first 2 articles can be seen on Paleo Foodies.

Money is often a factor in preventing people from being healthy.  There is a stereotype that eating healthy is expensive and while this can be true at times, there are ways to work around it.  Paleo eating embraces eating local and buying meat from happy animals.  Supporting your local economy will make you feel good about yourself and the ‘happiness’ from the animals will come through in your cooking.

If you are considering trying a paleo lifestyle, don’t let the cost hold you back.  Here are a few tips and tricks to ease your budget into the change while filling up your pantry. 

1.       Plant a garden- If you can, grow your own fruit and vegetables.  You can’t get more local than your back yard.  Keep in in mind the planting season as some types of seeds can be started indoors before the weather changes outside.  Or look for local nursery that sells starter plants (such as tomatoes) that are about to flower.  Coordinate with your friends and neighbours so you can each grow something different and then share to keep the recipes interesting and tasty.

2.       Try the discount shops but be sure to read all the labels- In the UK, we have a shop called Iceland that is mostly frozen foods, tinned goods and a few fresh fruit and vegetables.  I was able to buy my coconut milk there for a fraction of the price of the grocery store.  They also have  plain frozen salmon fillets, frozen vegetables (which are always good to have on hand) and tins of beans Before you place anything in your basket, read the list of ingredients because you might not realize from the packaging if an off-limits preservative or seasoning was added.  If there are more than 5 ingredients or you can’t pronounce one, you should ut it back on the shelf.  You might have to compromise the shopping local with this tip, however once you are more accustomed to eating and shopping paleo, you can begin to fine tune your shopping.

3.       Make a lot. Then freeze it- Personally, I don’t mind eating the same thing every day for a week.  But that doesn’t go down well in my house.  To keep everyone happy , we tend to make a big batch of something (soup, chili, lemon garlic chicken) then divide up portions to put in the freezer. Label each container with the date and what is inside.  Remember when placing your food order you can’t freeze meat twice.

4.       Visit the local farmers’ or street market- These stands can be a treasure trove of affordable finds.  Often times you will need to use the ingredients right away as they will not have been treated with nasty chemicals (either while growing or for shipment) and won’t last as long as something from the shop.  Practice your bartering as some merchants will be willing to make a deal if you are buying a few things.  One additional tip would be to bring canvas bags or a shopping trolley to make transporting your buys a bit easier.


If you have any other tips on making paleo lifestyle affordable, let me know in the comments  below.

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