Paleo Grocery Shopping on a Budget
One of the first things people ask me when they talk to me about switching to a paleo style diet is - "Isn't it expensive?!". The short answer - kind of but it's complicated and it definitely doesn't have to be. In fact, I have a friend who is doing her first Whole30/attempt at paleo who said it was WAY cheaper for her to grocery shop paleo than it was before.
[The cutest/best Relay bags ever!]
My husband and I spend about $120-$150 on food a week. Yes, that's alot of our budget - I work for myself essentially and he is in the food industry, so it's not like we are jumping into piles of $100 bills (although that would be nice). Good food is a priority for us, so we budget accordingly. Also, we eat ALOT of food. Well, correction I eat a lot of food - my husband doesn't eat breakfast during the week at home (unless I make him a protein shake with his Neocell Collagen Sport) so he eats 1-2 meals at work and then usually a large snack/meal at home after work and dinner. Also, I get paid to grocery shop through work and most of the things I make, I don't eat - but he does. We usually go out to eat once a week as well. So, what I'm trying to say is that some of our food comes from other places/budget streams and I eat a massive amount.
Since food is such a big part of budget, we try to make sure we don't waste anything and get the highest quality we can afford. I've recently gone back to using Relay Foods as opposed to shopping in stores because it's so convenient, I can get local meats for a good price, it saves us money, and I can order groceries from my couch - it doesn't get much better than that. So, let's take a look at my grocery order this week and see how I save a little bit of cash on a whole lot of food.
[from instagram (@gabbysgfree) - part of my meat haul a few weeks ago]
2 dozen local, free-range eggs
2 lb. local chicken breasts
2.5lbs local beef chuck pot roast
1 lb. deli turkey
12 oz. bacon
*this week we are also making a giant turkey we’ve had in the freezer since Christmas so my meat order this week was a little limited*
Money saving tip: Think big and buy 1 bigger, cheaper cut of meat for maximum pay off. I like to buy something like a chuck roast or pork shoulder that is a cheaper cut of meat but that produces a lot of food. We also usually have one dinner where eggs are the main protein since they are such a great, cheap source of protein and well, I just love eggs. I eat meat at least 2-3 a day as does my husband, so this is usually where the bulk of our budget goes.
[I'm a creature of habit and eat the same thing almost every morning]
1 bunch organic kale
20 oz. fresh spinach
1 lb. organic sweet potatoes
2 lb. organic carrots
1 lb. crimini mushrooms
1 lb. organic beets
1 lb. organic apples
Money saving tip: Plan out your meal template and figure out approximately how much produce you will need. Planning out your dinners in a protein + veggie side format for the week is also helpful to ensure you get a variety of veggies and only buy what you need. I've gotten a good sense of how much produce we eat on a weekly basis so it's rare that we run out of veggies or waste them.
[Healthy fats and veggies make me happy]
2 cans canned coconut milk
7 oz. organic unsweetened coconut flakes
16 oz. unsweetened almond butter
16 oz. pistachios
*we just bought more coconut oil & olive oil so those didn’t make it on the list this week. Also, I will probably pick up 2-3 avocados during the week - I just like to pick those myself*
Money saving tip: Figure out your favorites and stick with them. I love to try new things and so I will occasionally buy a new type of nut butter, coconut thing, etc. but I always have these items on hand to get my fats in. I've found that these items are the ones I want, the most versatile for our tastebuds/cooking style, and they fit in our budget. Experiment to find your favorites and what works for you, then stick with it.
1 lb. cauliflower florets
16 oz. blueberries
16 oz. green beans
16 oz. broccoli florets
Money saving tip: Embrace the frozen stuff! I eat A LOT of veggies every week so it doesn't make sense for me to spend more money buying them fresh when the frozen version can be just as good. Having a stocked freezer definitely saves you money and allows you to eat quality fruits and veggies without having to worry about them going bad too soon or going to waste.
[Easy way out eat out when you're paleo - Chipotle! Yes, I ate this entire double carnitas salad with guac.]
The total cost of groceries this week was $104.23. This is a pretty average week, with the exception that I usually order more meat. We will usually spend another $20-$50 on other items such as coffee, fresh fish, or miscellaneous things I forgot or that we run out of in the middle of week. Some weeks are more, some weeks are less but they all average out to around $120-$150/week. Overall, I think the biggest tip is planning your meals - if you have a plan, it's easier to judge how much food you need for the week so you can spend the least amount of money for the most amount of food.
What are some of your money saving tips for the grocery store?