The essence of paleo diet is to simply eat like how our hunter-gatherer ancestors did. This indicates to steer clear of processed foods, refined foods, junk foods, sugary drinks, sodas etc. In reality, all the above mentioned food items occupy a huge percentage of the grocery expenses. While following a paleo diet an individual automatically saves money by avoiding expenditure on these costly and unhealthy foods.
How to save money on groceries
Following are the tips that will help you save on the groceries for a paleo diet.
Plan ahead for grocery trip: Before starting out to shop for groceries, simple measures such as inventory of the items in the pantry, budgeting, planning a week’s meal and creating a shopping list helps to save money on groceries as well as gas.
Choose your organic produce: Studies reveal that certain fruits and vegetables need not be bought organic owing to very low pesticide and toxic residues in them. While certain other produce are grouped under organic buy because of their chemical residues. Certain produce such as onions, egg plant, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados, pineapple, mango, kiwi fruit, papaya, bananas, watermelon etc are some of the produce that need not be bought organic. However, it is essential to wash the produce well, before consuming to remove traces of residues. Some of the foods that you need to choose organic include sweet potatoes, spinach, bell peppers, cilantro, nectarines, strawberries, pears, peaches, apples, red raspberries, cherries.
Grow organic garden: Starting an organic garden is the most inexpensive way to consume organic produce. This not only ensures fresh and pesticide free residue, it also involves plenty of physical activity, which positively influences health. For those, with a bigger yard, farm animals such as chickens can be raised that not only provide manure for the garden, but can also yield organic eggs.
Farmer’s market: Farmer’s market could be a good place to buy grass-fed meat and organic eggs at a lower price. Visiting the farmer’s market in the end of the day would definitely prove beneficial as farmers tend to sell out their produce in order to avoid taking produce back. This will result in great deals and good bargain for meats as well.
Choose seasonal foods: Consuming foods that are seasonal is cost-effective. They can also be bought in bulk and frozen to be consumed later.
Fishing / Hunting: Individuals who do fishing and hunting for hobby can greatly benefit for being able to find fresh food and grass fed meat. Such activities either done individually or with a friend is rewarding both in financial aspect as well as health wise.
Visits to farms /orchards: During fruit picking seasons, a visit to the orchard or farms that let you on berry picking, apple picking etc. It is a great buy where one gets to take home freshly picked fruits and vegetables at a lower cost than in stores. Since the produce are specifically handpicked, the keeping quality, taste and nutrition of the produce is intact for a long period of time unlike the store bought produce.
Avoid food wasting: Learning to use and cook with the ingredients available in hand, makes us less wasteful and more resourceful. This requires prior planning, inventory checking, and using the produce and ingredients wisely.
Paleo diet may appear expensive, but on thorough research it will be evident that the expenses incurred on following a paleo diet would be more or less the same. Paleo diet replaces a shopping cart that was earlier filled with junk foods, pre-cooked and processed foods with healthy foods such as nuts and fruits. It should also be remembered following a paleolithic lifestyle calls for more physical activity and less sedentary living. This in turn should be viewed as a means to save money, by skipping the car to near by destinations and instead choosing to walk or cycle. Although embarking on paleolithic journey may initially seem like an expensive decision, there is no doubt it will prove otherwise on a long run.