The paleo diet has been trending in the weight loss community for a while, and for good reason. It isn’t just another fad diet, but is a healthy lifestyle based on the food that was available to cavemen and women. You rely mostly on grass-fed and antibiotic-free protein, fresh produce, nuts and seeds, and basically anything you can hunt or forage for. Unfortunately, it might end up being a little pricier than what you are used to. These budgeting tips can help you follow the paleo diet without going over your weekly food budget.
Don’t Always Buy Organic
While there are some fruits and vegetables that should be organic, not all of them have to be. If you are constantly buying everything organic or all your meat grass-fed, it might get pricey. For your meat, try to be as conscientious as possible, but not if you won’t be able to get enough groceries for the week. Make smart choices and shop around to get the best price. Cage-free eggs are often not much more than other eggs, so that usually isn’t an issue. If the only fruit you can buy is non-organic, it is certainly better than a cookie or bag of chips.
Try to Buy in Bulk Whenever Possible
As with anything, you save money by buying in bulk. With the paleo diet, one good way to buy in bulk is by getting large containers of olive oil. This is going to be used quite a bit whenever cooking meat or vegetables on the stove, so you will go through it quickly. You can save just by getting the bigger bottles. Another good idea is to buy more meat at one time and compare the per-ounce costs to if you were to buy just two chicken breasts at the meat counter. This actually makes a huge difference and can save you a lot. You might need to make room in your freezer, but then you always have meat on hand.
Fill Up On the Cheap Ingredients
Some paleo ingredients and foods are undoubtedly cheaper than others, making those priority. Eggs are usually cheap, even those fancy cage-free ones, so try to create more meals with eggs. They are perfect as snacks, breakfast, or for adding hard-boiled eggs to salads. Topping off your steak or burger with a fried egg is delicious and paleo-friendly as well. Product also tends to be on the cheaper side, especially if you can get it while it is in season. For example, buy more apples in the fall and strawberries in the summer. Buy your squash in the fall or winter.
Shop the Perimeter of the Store
To simplify the grocery shopping process, always start at the perimeter of the store and only go to the middle sections when there is something you absolutely need. This makes it to where you only buy what you need for meals, and don’t end up with packaged or frozen foods that is purely extra, adding to your budget unnecessarily. The perimeter of the store should have all the staples you need, including meat and seafood, produce, seasonings and herbs, and the deli counter. The middle aisles are mostly processed food, though you might need to venture in for oil or grains.
Follow these easy tips to start cutting costs off your weekly paleo diet food budget.
How to Follow the Keto Diet On a Budget
If you are interested in a low-carb diet, you might want to consider the keto diet. Also called the ketogenic diet, the keto diet is an extremely low carbohydrate and high fat diet that helps you reach a ketogenic state. It can do wonders for increasing your energy levels and helping you to lose weight since the ketones in your liver can be used as energy to burn fat and calories. Unfortunately, many of the foods can be a little pricey. Here are some tips for reducing your budget while still sticking to a keto diet.
Prep Everything Beforehand
When you try to leave everything to the last minute, you are not only tempted to eat stuff not approved by the keto diet, but it makes it easier to spend too much at the supermarket. To avoid both of these common mistakes, take the time to really focus on your prep work. This starts with making a list of meals you want to eat, instead of just a list of foods you are picking up. Be deliberate with your grocery list by knowing exactly what meals and snacks everything goes with, including what members of your family eat what. There is some room for flexibility, but for the most part, the more planning, the better off you will be. This avoids unnecessary spending on items you never end up using. It also helps you buy things in bulk when necessary and use coupons for items you need, not just items you want.
Start Cooking Everything at Home
A major way to save money while on the keto diet or any low-carb diet is to try and cook every single meal and snack at home. This is important to stick to the diet and know what ingredients are being used, but to also avoid those costly packaged food items and specialty convenience items at the store. You might be able to find ketogenic foods at your local health food store, but is it really worth the cost just to save a few minutes on something you could have done yourself? When you really care about sticking to a budget, cooking and prepping everything on your own is one of the best ways to do it. To get this done more quickly, consider using a food processor. It slices, dices, chipops, and does about a dozen other things as well. It will be your new best friend.
Buy Low-Cost Foods
There are certain low or no-carb foods that fit well within your keto plan, while also not costing too much. Here are some low-cost foods to always stock up on every time you visit the supermarket:
Eggs – Eggs are an excellent source of protein, extremely low in cabs, and perfect for the keto diet. They are also very versatile, whether you add them to salads or have them for breakfast. They also happen to be extremely budget-friendly.
Produce – You can have some fruit and lots of vegetables when you are on the ketogenic diet. If you shop smart, such as going to farmer’s markets and local farms as opposed to the regular supermarket, you can save a lot of money on your produce!
Lean cuts of meat – Even meat can be inexpensive if you shop well. Bring coupons with you, shop sales, and choose the less expensive cuts to keep your keto diet budget-friendly.
Cost-Saving Reasons to Buy a Rotisserie Chicken From the Store
When you are on the path to being healthy, you might miss the convenience of driving through your favorite fast food joint or gabbing some frozen meals to toss in the microwave. However, just because you aren’t loading up on sodium from your microwave mac ‘n cheese, doesn’t mean eating healthy can’t be convenient. One thing to do is buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, which will be fully cooked and give you a lot of options for turning it into meals. Consider some of these reasons to buy a rotisserie chicken.
They Are Ready to Eat Immediately
Rotisserie chickens are made fresh every day in the grocery store’s deli, which means they are hot and ready to serve right away. Most grocery stores keep them in a heated contraption so that you can serve it right away. If you are running late and in need of a quick dinner, skip the unhealthy fast food joint, and instead grab a rotisserie chicken and bag of salad. Now you have a well-balanced and healthy dinner for the family.
You Can Feed an Entire Family For Cheap
Another benefit of rotisserie chickens is that they are usually sold as the whole chicken. This means you have more than enough to feed a family of 4-6 people, or more if some don’t eat a lot of chicken but more of the side dishes. Perhaps you have a bag of frozen vegetables and rolls that are still fresh from baking them the night before, but you need the main course. You spend just a few dollars on a whole chicken and you have a meal for the entire family by spending less than a single meal at a restaurant.
The Leftovers Can Be Used For Multiple Meals
Chicken is one of those foods that seems to have endless amounts of meal options. You might not be able to finish the whole chicken during one meal, so you can pull the meat off the bone and place it in a freezer bag. Put this in the refrigerator if you will eat it within a couple days, or the freezer to keep it fresh for a little longer. Chicken be used for just about anything, from soup or chili to salads, sandwiches, wraps, main courses, casseroles, or enchiladas.
Chicken is Nutritious and Low-Fat
Chicken also happens to be very good for you! The rotisserie chicken will be mildly seasoned, so the sodium content might be a little higher than chicken alone, but it is still very nutritious. A single serving of chicken, which is about three ounces, only has 3 grams of fat and 122 calories. It has lots of protein at 22.3 grams per serving. Keep in mind these amounts are for the breast meat, which is going to be the least fattening. It is a little higher for thigh meat, though not by much. Chicken is also a good source of vitamin B6, iron, and vitamin A.
These benefits show just how convenient it is to buy a rotisserie chicken, especially if you are trying to eat healthier.