Going back to last weeks theme of excuses, I left out a very common one so I could address it fully this week. That excuse is: 'I would love to eat paleo, but it's too expensive'. You know what else is expensive? Cancer. While it is true that eating a cleaner diet is more expensive up front, your medical bills and medication costs are also expensive in the future if you don't take care of yourself now. We're just starting our 4th week of our Paleo Primer and I imagine some of you are feeling it in your wallet. Throughout this post are tips so you all can get the most out of your food budget and still maintain a paleo lifestyle.
Make friends with your local farmers:
Until recently, I had a great connection at the Mar Vista farmers market. He was my go to guy for beef, goat, and lamb. All grass fed. He always was willing to give me great deals (especially if I had cash) and talk food. Sadly, he moved away and now I have to start all over again with a different meat source. But I imagine that I've saved hundreds of dollars just from him giving me little discounts here and there.
If you don't already have one, get a Costco membership:
This is a great place to stock up on frozen meats and fish. Many of them grass fed or wild caught. From wild alaskan salmon fillets in the frozen section (10 6oz fillets for $20 is hard to beat) to bison burgers and steaks and even cage free eggs. They even have some great chicken apple sausages in packs of 15 for $15. Great stuff for post workout meals, breakfast or even quick snacks. If done right, you can easily get 2 or 3 weeks worth of your protein for 100 bucks or less.
If you can, get extra freezer space:
It will pay for itself in no time since you'll be able to take advantage of sales on quality meat and fish when they come along. I finally got a freezer chest after wanting one and when a sale consisting of grass fed ground beef for $2/lb came along, I was happy I had the space. I ended up getting about 45lbs all said and done. Which is a lot I know, but it will last about 6 months and all I spent was $90 for the sale price as opposed to about $450 of the same weight at regular price. In that single purchase, my freezer paid for itself. Don't forget that we now have a bulk grassfed beef program running along with Estancia Beef. Freezer space will allow you to capitalize on buying in bulk.
It's definitely important to get a variety of vegetables so you don't get bored (unless you are perfectly content to eat spinach and broccoli all the time). In order to get the most nutritional bang for your buck, do your best to stay in season, and get as dense a source of vitamins and minerals as possible. Go for kale, spinach, broccoli instead of iceberg, romaine or cucumbers. Produce will be much more affordable (not too mention taste better) if they're in season and didn't travel half a world away to get to your plate. The folks over at Whole9 have an excellent guide as to what produce is in season when. As well as what you should or shouldn't worry about buying organic. I highly reccomend that you check that out here: Whole9 Produce Guide
Don't forget to check the frozen foods section for some veggies. These can be great sources of vitamins and minerals for the money. They're great for stir fry's or even cooking them up with your eggs in the morning. Remember, you're going to want at least half your plate covered with veggies so get them as inexpensively as you can.
Stop Eating Out So Much:
This one can be killer for a lot of people. Some of you don't like or know how to cook really and others just happen to eat out a lot. I get it, sometimes the last thing I want to do after a long day at work is cook myself dinner. But in order to maximize success, I have to plan things out a little and cook for myself. Sometimes it's an easy breakfast for dinner type of scramble and other times it's leftovers from a big thing of shredded beef I've made. Either way, it ends up being much cheaper in the long run, even if I use the most expensive ingredients, to prepare my own meals most ot the time.
Hopefully this helps eliminate some of the worry that eating paleo is 'too expensive'. With a little practice, you will be able to find ways to make your food budget work as hard as possible, ensuring you eat as healthy as possible. Remember: "Pay now, live later".
As always, if you want to explore paleo further and help with getting you to your goals with nutrition, hit me up for a consult and we can get you dialed in. email@example.com
Also, as many of you saw earlier this week, we posted about DogTown participating in the Whole LIfe Challenge starting Feb 16th. Make sure you check out the how to videos and get ready for this. It's a full 8 week challenge with all kinds of great prizes along with excellent ways to stay motivated through it's own self contained social media platform. Keep an eye out later this week for a full post from me on this upcoming challenge.
Recipe of the week: Thai Shrimp Coconut Curry
~ Coach Sean (Seamus McMuffin)