The Frugal Husband and I have decided to finally get in shape – and we really mean it this time! We’ve been going to a CrossFit gym (also known as a “Box”) for a few months now. And a lot of CrossFitters do what is called the “Paleo Diet.” My hubby and I have on the Paleo diet as well, and it’s awesome. We’ve been steadily losing weight, and should be hitting our target weights (called “TW” on Reddit) soon.
The Paleo diet is awesome, but it also presents a few challenges when doing groceries. Of course, a high-fat, low-carb diet might not be applicable for kids. So we have to create a different menu for our two kids.
A lot of friends and readers have been asking me about our budget Paleo diet plan. And is it even possible to do Paleo on a shoestring. It absolutely us! This article will be covering how to eat Paleo on a budget. Eating Paleo on a budget isn’t just possible. I would argue that it’s even better than not having a budget. Because when you eat Paleo on a budget, you’re forced to be resourceful and maximize the foods and ingredients that you have. And being resourceful, in my opinion, is one of the most important things about the Paleo diet. If you’re like us and want to go on a cheap Paleo diet, read on!
What is the Paleo Diet?
Before we get to my top ways to eat Paleo on a budget, I figured I should take the time to explain what the Paleo diet exactly is. Some of you are probably wondering if this is a diet based around the way cavemen ate. Well, that is exactly what the Paleo diet is! The Paleo diet is comprised of foods from back when humans were hunter-gatherers, instead of agricultural, which is the way we are now.
The theory here is that when you eat Paleo, you’re eating the way humans were “meant” to eat. Evolution happens extremely slowly. According to the Paleo diet, or digestive systems have not yet evolved to properly process the heavy carbs and heavy sugars found in modern foods. And since we’re not eating food that is fit for us, diseases such as obesity and heart problems become commonplace. The Paleo diet is supposed to be a return to eating foods that our digestive systems are capable of processing.
So the Paleo diet is full of stuff like meats, dairy, and fruit. Basically, stuff our ancestors would have hunted or foraged for. Foods like grains are agricultural, and as a result, are not considered Paleo. Of course, there’s a degree of branding and marketing involved here. I’m not one hundred percent sure how cavemen really ate.
Before I give you my tips for budget Paleo, I should also mention that you should always consult your doctor or dietician about any diet you plan on doing. Every person is built differently, and we all have different nutritional needs. When you consult with a doctor, you can be assured whether the diet you want to try is indeed a good fit for you, your lifestyle, and your fitness goals.
Okay, without further ado, here are my top tips for doing budget Paleo!
One of the biggest appeals of the Paleo diet is that people who use it to lose weight quickly. This is especially useful if swimsuit season is coming. But going all-in immediately, especially if you’re used to a conventional diet, could be setting you up for failure. The Paleo diet is pretty different from the usual diets, and people sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to it. True, it’s fun to eat copious amounts of bacon, but even that can get old after a point.
So instead of going all-in right away, gradually introduce more Paleo-friendly foods as you go along. This will help both you and your budget adjust to the new diet.
Use an Ingredient in Multiple Dishes
Some Paleo stables – like Avocado – can be pretty pricey. Using those ingredients for only one dish isn’t a very economical way of using it. For starters, you end up throwing away what you don’t end up in the dish – and that’s a big waste. And then you also increase the risk of spoilage.
To save money while on the Paleo diet, try spreading those ingredients across several dishes. For example, when I use avocados, I would use it for salads, sandwiches, and as a side dish. Anything left over is crushed and turned into guacamole. And maximized ingredients means a maximized budget!
Plan Your Menu Around Seasonal Foods
Avocados are usually available most of the time, but they’re most plentiful during the summer. I like to plan my menus around which foods are in season. Now that it’s nice and sunny outside, I know that avocados will be plentiful in the grocery. And that also means prices will be slightly lower. When you buy something that is in season, you will be saving more money than if you hunt around for foods that are out of season.
This is also a good way to help you decide what to cook if you’re in a meal-prepping rut.
Avoid Fancy Organic Stores
I like to get my food from the regular grocery. It’s definitely cheaper, and as long as I pick the freshest foods, there isn’t really a big difference in quality from food found in the trendy organic store. I won’t get into the science of organic foods here, but I don’t feel the need to get organic foods all the time. Mainly due to their high costs. If you’re on a Paleo budget, you can always get ingredients from the everyday grocery.
Cook Enough for Multiple Servings
Cooking is like shopping: it’s cheaper if you do it in bulk. Cooking multiple servings in one go is cheaper in terms of both money and time. So what I like to do is cook a week’s worth of food, then freeze what I don’t eat right away. As long as you finish the food in a reasonable amount of time (usually a week or two) you won’t notice any difference in taste and quality.