5 Sneaky Shopping Hacks To Eat Paleo On Less Than $100/week
I Could Never Afford To Eat Paleo on a Budget… Now I Have Money Left To Eat Out
One of the most common complaints about sticking to the paleo diet is…
“It’s too damn expensive!”
Especially if you’re feeding a family of 4 – or more.
Eating Paleo can definitely put strain on your wallet if you’re not mindful of how and where you shop.
But being on a tight budget is no reason to write off going – or staying – Paleo…
It just means you have to shop smarter, not harder 🙂
As a single mother of 3 wild – and always hungry – boys, I used to suffer from “oh my god syndrome” on a weekly basis… you know that uneasy feeling you get in your stomach when hand your credit card to the cashier to pay a bill that seems impossibly high.
Yeah, we’ve all been there my friend…
I couldn’t keep spending half my paycheck at the grocery store.
So I started paying more attention to what items were consuming the bulk of my weekly spend, and figuring out how to cut costs on those specific things.
Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be able to keep your weekly shopping bill to $100 or less.
And you’ll have enough left in your weekly budget to treat the kids to a meal at their favorite restaurant… it’s remarkable how much an 8 year old enjoys a meal when he’s allowed to drink soda and color while he eats.
Ok, so here’s my 5 best tips for how to eat Paleo on a budget.
1.) Pick Your Produce Wisely:
Find a farm stand near your local grocery store.
Vegetable stands (usually located near your local farm) tend to have cheaper prices because you’re buying straight from the source.
I found a roadside vegetable stand about a mile away from my regular grocery store, and I’ve made it habit to stop there on my way home from the store to get the bulk of my produce for the week.
2.) Shop on Wednesdays and ask for seconds:
Wednesday is a Paleo lover’s best friend… that’s when produce, fish and meat shipments usually arrive.
This means the older – but still good – meat and produce gets marked down.
And an extra pro tip… no matter what day it is if you ask the produce manager for “seconds” you can get fruits and vegetables that are perfectly good on the inside, but slightly blemished on the outside, making them unfit for the shelves.
With produce – just like with people – beauty is skin deep. So don’t be shallow!
3.) Check out the local farmers market:
This is nothing revolutionary, but it’s a great way to get good fresh food at a discount. (not to mention, nuts like almonds, pecans, and peanuts)
Farmer’s markets can definitely be hit or miss in terms of saving money… in my experience, you can usually get fruits and nuts/seeds for your smoothies for less than you would at the grocery store.
The two most important things with farmers markets are timing and tenacity. Get there either very early or very late. Vendors are more keen to move their product at the beginning and end of the day, so they’re willing to give better deals.
And be tenacious with bargaining.
Have a price limit in mind that you won’t exceed. Start by asking for 25% lower than your limit so you have some wiggle room, and don’t accept anything above your cap. You can always walk away and come back if you need to.
4.) Thematize and triple down:
I started thematizing my weekly meals.
I’ll choose one meat to base all the meals for the week around. Then I’ll go to Costco or wholesale grocer and buy it in bulk (cage-free chicken, grass fed beef, or fish that’s on sale that week).
Not only is it more cost effective, but it’s kinda fun too…
This way, I get to experiment with different flavor profiles, preparation methods, and spices in an attempt to keep meals interesting throughout the week.
5.) Meal Stacking:
This is one of my favorite tricks… I noticed I was wasting a lot of money – and “cheating” the most – on snack foods and lunches. So I came up with a way to kill unnecessary costs – and temptations – in my weekly trips to the grocery store. I did it by adopting a new motto: soups are your savior.
Now what I do is, instead of spending unnecessarily on snacks and lunch food, I’ll buy extra ingredients for the dinners I’m making that week.
I’ll take the extra cut vegetables, not-so-pretty-looking pieces of meat, and any leftovers from the fridge, and put it all into a delicious soup. Once a month or so I’ll stock up on a variety of different soup bases (chicken, beef, tomato, butternut etc.). Then I pair the leftovers from my weekly meals with whatever soup base it goes best with.
This gives me 4 or 5 extra servings of lunch and/or mid day snacks that I can eat myself or put in the kids’ lunchbox.
I’ve found there’s a few specific Paleo meals that work best for meal stacking.
They’re simple and fast to make and they taste sinfully good – you’ll feel like you’re eating gourmet meals 5 days a week!
Click the “next page” button below to get the full recipes for all my favorite Paleo dishes for meal-stacking.
These awesome creations satisfy my taste buds, slim my waist, and save me money… doesn’t get much better than that!