The Paleo diet is gaining popularity, and it can be a good choice for people who have to avoid gluten whether because of a gluten intolerance or Celiac disease.
Sure, if you’re gluten free there are many great options available like gluten free pasta and breads, but those can be very pricy. Sometimes it’s cheaper to just avoid those kinds of substitutes.
Long Term Savings from Following the Paleo Diet
If you’d like to follow a Paleo diet but think you can’t afford it, keep in mind a few things:
1. A Paleo diet can lead to weight loss.
The savings here won’t be immediate, but over your lifetime, the savings is significant. I began following a Paleo diet last September, and in the 9 months since, I’ve lost 75 pounds. All of my numbers for cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar count have improved. I know I’ve saved myself on medical expenses in upcoming years than if I hadn’t taken the weight off.
As another point, I don’t know how many hundreds of dollars I spent on Weight Watchers over my lifetime. With a Paleo diet, I eat until I’m full, and I don’t get hungry again for several more hours. There’s no struggle, so weight loss is easy, and I don’t have to count calories or points or pay for the latest weight loss fad.
Of course, you can eat out on the Paleo diet, but we just don’t eat out as much. We’re easily saving at least $200 a month on meals out. Now we go out to eat only when we’re traveling or for birthdays.
3. You won’t spend money on processed foods.
You might think chips and candy and other processed foods are cheap, but when you buy them in quantities that most Americans do, they add up quickly.
So, keep in mind these initial savings once you switch over to a Paleo diet.
How to Save Money When Buying Paleo Groceries
If you do decide to follow a Paleo diet, here are some ways you can cut costs on groceries:
1. Buy your meat directly from the farmer.
Ideally, you’ll want to buy grass fed and pastured meat. We buy 1/2 side of grass fed beef from my cousin’s husband. We get ground beef, steaks, roasts, etc. The meat averages about $5 a pound. There are also several grass fed and pastured suppliers near us, and we stock up whenever they have meat on sale. We have a deep freezer to keep all the meat.
2. Subscribe to a CSA.
A CSA (community supported agriculture) allows you to buy organic produce straight from the farmer. This year, for $850 we subscribed to one that gives us 1 and 1/9 bushel of vegetables a week for 19 weeks. There are enough vegetables each week to feed our family of 5 copious amounts of vegetables and some extra for us to freeze and use in the winter.
3. Grow a garden.
I like to grow things that are expensive to buy in the winter like collard greens and kale. We blanch them and freeze them to add to soups in the winter for an extra nutritional punch. However, grow anything you like to eat that grows well in your area.
4. Buy produce on sale and stock up.
If you live near a farm, consider going to the farm and picking the produce yourself. Last year we bought 50 pounds of organic blueberries. We froze 30 pounds and made jam and jelly with the other 20 pounds. It only cost us $130. However, within 8 months we ran out, so this year we plan to buy about 80 pounds to last us through the year.
Likewise, Whole Foods recently had organic grapes on sale for .99 a pound. I bought 25 pounds and froze them so we’ll have grapes and grape smoothies in the winter.
Initially, buying Paleo food can seem more expensive. However, there are many future costs you are eliminating by eating a healthier diet. In addition, there are ways to save, especially if you’re willing to buy in bulk and preserve your food.
If you’re following a Paleo diet, how do you save money on groceries?
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York, where she loves the natural beauty of the area.