Eating a healthy diet or losing a few extra pounds is at the top of just about everyone’s list of priorities come the New Year, but thinning out around your midsection without thinning out your bank account can be difficult. The Paleo Diet has gained a reputation for being more expensive than other diets based on its emphasis on high quality meat and loads of produce. However, with just a few simple tricks and tweaks you can be eating a healthy paleo diet in no time without breaking the bank. Let these 4 simple tricks lead the way!
- BUY IN BULK
Most grocery stores have bulk sections where you can buy as much or as little of some items that you need. If a recipe calls for a handful of expensive nuts or a teaspoon of some obscure spice just grab what you need from the bulk section. On the flip side, you can save money by buying large quantities of meat at one time, batch cook several days worth and put the rest in the freezer for later. Check the meat selection from our shop page or see if there is a local farm near you that utilizes sustainable and ethical farming practices through eatwild.com.
- CHOOSE YOUR PROTEIN WISELY
The next time you are in the grocery store take note of the different prices among the same types of meat based on how much trimming and prep work the butcher has had to put into it. For example, a skin-on bone-in chicken thigh will always be a significantly cheaper option than the boneless skinless breast neatly packaged beside it. Also, buy what’s on sale, if grass-fed ground beef is $4.99 a pound but a grass-fed ribeye is $16.99 a pound go for the ground beef. The same applies to seafood and poultry as well. Most stores always have a few proteins on sale each week so doing a little bit of research before doing your weekly menu planning can save you a lot of money.
You can also go super inexpensive and choose nutrient dense canned items like tuna, oysters, and sardines. These choices are packing nutrients like omega 3’s, zinc, potassium, B vitamins, and many more micronutrients. There’s tons of recipes out there that jazz up canned seafood so scroll through Pinterest for some inspiration.
- EAT MORE VEGGIES
Quality meat and seafood is expensive, sure there are some filets or cuts of meat that are cheaper than others, but one surefire way to reduce your budget is to cut back a little on your meat consumption. Our paleolithic ancestors had to go out and hunt to get their meat and if they were unsuccessful, they still needed sustenance so they relied on vegetables. You can buy a pound of any leafy green veggie much cheaper than you can buy a pound of just about any cut of quality meat. So mix things up a little and treat veggies as the entree and meat as the side dish a few times per week.
- DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE FROZEN AISLE
Raise your hand if the prices of organic berries gives you a slight heart attack each week. Berries boast so many nutrients and are packed with fiber without overdoing it on sugar like other fruits such as bananas and grapes. They are the perfect paleo fruit, but instead of selling your first born so you can afford a handful of blackberries with your breakfast take a look in the frozen section. Frozen berries are a fraction of the cost as fresh berries, and if they have been flash frozen right after harvesting contain more nutrients than their fresh counterparts. I don’t know about you but I always have to check each carton of fresh berries for those ones that are covered in fuzzy white mold, not the case with frozen! Other frozen produce might not be as drastic a price difference as berries, but if you are planning to cook it check the frozen section first. Recipes such as soups, stir frys, and stew lend themselves well to frozen vegetables.
That’s it! Armed with these 4 tips you should be eating a healthy and wallet friendly diet without much trouble. We understand that if you’re switching from the Standard American Diet (SAD) the financial burden of a healthy diet can be quite daunting. Keep in mind that no matter what your diet looks like, when you are buying quality foods that nourish and fuel your body, you are also making an investment in your health. The long term effects of leading a healthy lifestyle do not have a monetary value.