How Do You Afford to Eat Paleo?


Most importantly, if you have not seen the best television series of ALL time (aka The Wire), order it from Netflix or Amazon, pronto.

Ok, now on to petty things.

Most people think a paleo lifestyle is really, really expensive. I think it really depends on how much you are spending on groceries and food now. If you are eating out all the time, eating paleo will probably save you money since it will force you to cook at home more. If you are spending Sunday’s cutting coupons and then matching the coupons to sales at all the major supermarkets, Paleo will cost more. But it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Also, keep in mind that you are investing in your health- no one will tell you that Lucky Charms are worth consuming, even if the box only cost you $0.49. In fact you should wonder why a “food” only cost you that much. Lastly, a lot of people suffer from “all or nothing” thinking. I do too, so no worries. But eating paleo does not mean that everything you buy has to be harvested in a beyond-organic commune and your beef should be meditating daily. If you can afford that quality of food, by all means go for it. But, if you can’t, you can still eat a paleo lifestyle and reap a lot of benefits from it.

At this point in our lives, my husband and I can’t afford to buy everything organic and/or local. We try to save where we can (with cable and fancy clothes, for example) but we’re still not at the point where everything we buy is “ideal.” That said, we do prioritize and invest in certain foods. Our dairy products and eggs are at the very least organic. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. Sometimes we buy dairy and eggs from a local farm where we know the cows are grazing on fresh grass and not getting growth hormones or antibiotics. For meat, we buy grass-raised and grass-finished meat in bulk, from local Virginia farmers. This has saved us a ton of money. We bought a chest freezer for less than $200 at Sears and now we buy meat in bulk and keep it in the chest freezer. We do our best for the rest of our food. Here are suggestions:

1) Costco

We are no longer members at Costco (see cutting back in previous post) but we would totally we willing to accompany you on your next Costco trip! You can buy Practical Paleo, Paleo Comfort Foods and Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook at Costco. Also,

  • kerrygold butter *When I used to eat dairy
  • dubliner cheese *When I used to eat dairy
  • 2 dozen organic eggs
  • wild-caught, sugar free, smoked sock-eye salmon
  • various fresh fruit and veggies
  • frozen wild blueberries
  • frozen shrimp
  • frozen wild sockeye salmon
  • nuts (macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans) *When I used to eat nuts
  • Bear & Wolf Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon (6 cans)
  • Wild Planet Tuna (6 cans)
  • Spices (garlic powder, black pepper, etc.)

2) Trader Joes

Since we don’t have Costco memberships, I end up buying a lot at Trader Joe’s.

  • frozen organic broccoli, frozen organic spinach, frozen brussel sprouts, frozen artichoke hearts, etc.
  • frozen wild blueberries, frozen organic strawberries and frozen organic raspberries
  • kerrygold butter  *When I used to eat dairy
  • nuts and dried fruits (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc and raisins, dried sulfur-free apricots, etc.) *When I used to eat nuts
  • Spices (garlic powder, black pepper, rosemary, etc.)
  • Light Coconut Milk (it’s just watered down coconut milk)
  • fresh avocados
  • some fresh produce

3) H-Mart

This Korean grocery store chain has an amazing produce department, filled with fresh fruits and veggies at a really good price. I have filled up my entire chart full of fruits and vegetables and paid only $30 for all of it!

  • sweet potatoes
  • organic baby carrots
  • plantains
  • citrus fruit (oranges, grapefruit, etc.)
  • bananas
  • turnips
  • radish
  • etc etc

5) Amazon/ Tropical Traditions/ Wilderness Family Naturals

A lot of the specialty products like coconut oil, coconut cream and herbal tea I buy online because the quality is often higher and the the product is cheaper. Plus Amazon doesn’t charge taxes, yet!

6) Wegman’s

It does depress me that Wegman’s is so huge, yet the produce department is a small fraction of the store, but Wegman’s has the best prices in their natural department (sometimes the same or even better than online prices, plus you get the product right away). In a pinch I’ve bought,

  • manuka honey
  • shredded “Let’s Do Organic” coconut
  • herbal tea
  • coconut water
  • kombucha
  • bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar

7) Whole Food’s

While I do think that Whole Food’s is over-priced, I am really glad that it exists. If I run out of pasture-raised meat, bacon or if I need coconut cream immediately, I will drop by Whole Foods. Also, their fish is usually read good and they often have sales on the fish which makes the price reasonable.

  • fresh fish
  • bacon
  • grass-fed meat
  • coconut cream

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