Have you been putting off giving paleo a try because you’ve heard it’s super expensive? I am often asked how I am able to stay paleo while also being on a budget. I’ll admit, it is not always easy but it’s definitely doable. It requires a lot of planning, a lot of list making, and quite honestly sometimes cutting out certain things so that you can put that needed money towards your grocery budget. Sit down and see what is necessary and what isn’t, what you can do without and what you can’t.
Eating real foods in this day in age is expensive. There is no getting around it. You have to consider the men and women who are farming, raising, and transporting the whole foods we eat when on a paleo style diet. I think it was probably always expensive we just have more material things to spend our money on these days compared to 100 years ago. If you think about what we pay for now (phone bill, electricity, cable, internet, cars, car insurance, gas, upkeep for the car, the list goes on and one) that could be going towards food it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Back then, people were putting a quarter or even half of their budget towards their food. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that cheaper processed foods were introduced and some of our current luxuries were brought about. Food started to become less like food and more like food like substances that severely lacked nutritional value. Money started being spent on other luxuries because not so much was needed for the cheap, processed groceries.
We, personally, spend about 1/6th of our budget on groceries for the two of us. I estimate this will go up once we start a family. I don’t actually think we’re spending that much on groceries but when I give people that number they’re baffled, “HOW are you able to do that?!”. But when you think about how much you may be spending on eating out, wasted food, or other frivolous items/habits. I’m not saying don’t have any more fun, I’m just suggesting that, if eating paleo on a budget is important to or necessary for you, you make a list of what you can get rid of and maybe make eating out more of a special occasion rather than an all-the-time kind of thing. We typically eat out once a month for a date night and I enjoy every second of it!
As far as lists go: making a list and keeping to it at the grocery store will help you not over-spend. It will also make sure you’re buying produce that you actually need and will use rather than buying it on an impulse and having it go bad in the fridge.Eating paleo means your food isn’t going to stay for weeks, it’s fresh and without additives so it’s going to spoil faster than you may be used to (like food is supposed to do). So, make a list and stick to it and then cook what you’ve planned. If you aren’t cooking all of your food at once, you’re worried about food spoiling, or you think you’ll get bored with your meal selections, make a second list mid week and go grocery shopping twice a week. Or freeze your food and defrost later in the week!
It may seem daunting at first but give it a few weeks and you’ll be a budget making, list making, meal prepping pro!