Welcome to Paleo when you’re poor.
There is this misconception that just because you don’t have a big budget on food that you can’t do Paleo and that Paleo is expensive.
Well I am one of those crazy frugal people that always wants to save money and grocery shopping is one of those areas that I am keen more than usual to cut the costs. And have found that since going Paleo I actually have a cheaper grocery shopping bill and here is why:
1 – Processed food is expensive
No matter how much we lie to ourselves and say that it isn’t it actually is! Take sauces as an example. We all spend a small fortune on tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, salad cream and such like. But we can make them ourselves for about 2% of the cost. The same can apply to frozen food such as fish fingers, chicken nuggets, pizza and ready made doner kebabs.
However each of these made from scratch and made in a frugal way are so cheap it is unbelievable.
You will also find that you will end up making a lot more of them and will have a lot of leftovers for future meals.
Looking back on what we used to spend, we halved our shopping bill by quitting our fizzy drinks habit along with all those branded processed foods we used to buy. Add to this the extra we now spend on meat and vegetables we are still a good 30% down on what we spent before.
2 – Meat doesn’t have to be expensive
There is also this opinion that meat is expensive but it is only expensive if you are trying to eat off beef everyday. However poultry (which is also very good for you) can be as cheap as chips compared to what you would have spent on processed foods.
We get whole chickens from the supermarket once a month and load them into our freezer for when we need them. We tend to go with chopping up a whole chicken and then using it for a variety of meals.
Our favourite ways is to chop up one £3 chicken and then using the breasts for a stir fry and then everything else for a roast dinner of chicken and vegetables. It does 2 big meals and every one is happy and well full. Compare this to going to the fish and chip shop on a Friday night and spending £15 and we feel like we are saving money not spending it.
3 – Shop for deals
I love a bargain just like everybody else does. As a family you never want to spend more than you have to on your grocery shopping and the same applies when you are eating a Paleo diet.
We have what they call “pink sticker deals” this means that there are big pink stickers on reduced items that need to be eating within a certain time frame. Every week we come back home with more and more meaty ones. We have lots of red meat, poultry and even some delicious ribs in a huge bag in our freezer.
The problem is though that we can’t say no to them so we keep adding more and more into our freezer and have more meat than we can eat. But it has also reduced our meat costs even further.
The same can be said for shopping for buy one get one free and half price produce. Plus if you want to buy expensive health foods such as coconut oil, only buy them when they are on offer and not just all the time.
4 – New habits vs old habits
I have noticed that through changing your lifestyle you will notice that your habits will to what you eat and drink changes a lot. For example I used to go out to McDonalds with the kids and it would end up costing us in excess of £20 and even though you ate loads it never filled you up and you were always wanting more soon after.
Compare this to going to a café serving food made from scratch you will often be eating for ½ of that. Especially if you have some soup or some meat and vegetables.
Once you do change your habits it will be like when you quit smoking and all of a sudden not only are you rid of that horrible cough but also that expensive outlay.
5 – You don’t have to buy just organic
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be about everything organic. We buy very little organic and can’t afford to shop at Waitrose and instead shop at Asda. It is cheaper and we know that as a family we are still eating more vegetables than anything else and that is what truly matters.
If you don’t shop organic it doesn’t mean that you’re not eating healthy. You are and compared to what you probably ate before you went paleo I am sure you have made a huge difference to your lifestyle.
Plus if you really want to go organic then look into what you can grow yourself, rather than paying a lot of money for things that are over priced for what they are.