One of the biggest objections I hear from people when it comes to making healthy lifestyle changes is that is costs too much. “I can’t afford to eat healthy”.
Yes, it is more expensive to buy healthy groceries, but there are ways to do it without going broke. Here are some tips to help you.
1.) Don’t go out to eat as much – We have a budget for everything. That’s just how we roll…Before our switch to paleo we were spending about $500 a month on groceries…and we were spending at least $200-$250 on going out to eat. The reality is that it can be difficult to go out to eat and keep to your paleo lifestyle. It can be done, and we have found restaurants that are easier than others, but by not going out to eat as much we were able to add a lot of money back into our grocery budget.
2.) Plan ahead – I go grocery shopping once a week. Sundays is when I sit down and figure out exactly what we are having for each meal. I also have a list of weekly items that I know I will just always need…ie…almond milk, ham for lunches, eggs.
3.) Buy a cow - Tax season is coming up…what are you doing with your return? How about buy a cow? Or a half a cow? It is expensive to buy grass fed beef. Do some research in your area and find a farm that raises cows for selling. You can find a half a cow for aboutt $600. That sounds like a lot, but when you have an entire freezer full of meat that will last you the year, you will realize how much of a savings it is. Make sure to do your research. A lot of farms market themselves as being grass fed, but most of them will feed their cows grains for the last months to bulk them up before slaughter. Find one that does not do that. FYI – all the grass fed beef that grocery stores carry are all grain fed before slaughter.
4.) Go Berry Picking – Organic berries are very expensive. Find an organic farm and go berry picking when in season. Pick a lot and freeze them. This will save you a ton of money in the winter when you can’t find even frozen berries in the grocery store for less than $5 a pound.
5.) Buy all organic if you can, but at least the “dirty dozen”. Organic is important, but if it is going to make you have to choose between that and paying your mortgage, scale it back and get the ones that are the most importand. Here is the list of food items that are the most importand to buy organic…
sweet bell peppers
6.) Farmers markets – you can find fantastic prices on produce. go towards the end of the day and get even better savings…many times they are looking to sell most of what they have so they don’t have to take it back.
7.) Make your own stuff – mayonaisse, stocks, dressings…these can all be expensive if you are buying quality paleo friendly items. All of these are easy and cheap to make.
8.) Stick to simple meals – This makes life easier as well. My go to dinner when we are busy is…
Meat – whatever we have on hand. Either chicken, pork chops or steaks usually.
Raw veggies. We always have a big bowl of cut up broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumber and radishes in our refrigerator.
Cut up fruit – Pears, apples, peaches, oranges…whatever we have on hand
9.) Plant a garden – You don’t need a lot of land. We have a pretty small lot, but we have 2 raised beds on the side of our house (where we get the most sun) for growing all kinds of organic veggies. This will save you a ton of money and doesn’t take as much work as it sounds. It does take some prep, but once its planted…all it takes is water.
10.) Go hunting or fishing – stock up your freezer with meat and fish that you worked for.