Wait, let me clarify - mom of three boys that never stop eating.
Shop the Sales
If you watch the same ads often enough, you'll also find patterns. Don't get stuck in a rut looking for that item you love to go on sale - try something new! Sprouts rotates their bulk goods, price-wise. One week, raw almonds are on sale. The next week, it's cashews or pepitas, etc. Watch long enough and your favorites will come back around.
Plan your mealsAnother "no-brainer," right?
Buy in bulkGranted, not everyone can do this, but sometimes it's worth it. If your family loves strawberries and you find them on sale for a ridiculously low price, buy as much as you can afford. Most veggies and many fruits can be frozen and eaten later.
In fact, don't forget to check your grocer's frozen aisles for savings, too. We often buy organic frozen broccoli from Costco. You can get 5lbs for under $6! If you have a deep freezer, fill it up bit by bit - it can be a life saver later on.
Eat local & seasonalBreak out of the mold. Don't spend your hard earned money buying produce that's not in season. First off, it's more expensive. Secondly, the quality will be lacking.
produce co-op or CSA in your area. We participate in Bountiful Baskets. Granted, I have no idea what produce we'll receive each week, but that's part of the fun! In the past few months, we've tried red corn, leeks, pluots, asian pears - and a dozen other items I would likely never have thought to purchase on my own. A "basket" (which is two round laundry baskets' worth of food) is $15 and just about a weeks' worth of produce for our family of five. (The more we get the kids into eating produce, the more I think we might need to get two baskets!)
For $25, you can upgrade to an all-organic basket.
Do the mathFinally, do the math. Seriously. Figure out how much you're spending on groceries and divide it by the number of people in your household and then divide that number by the 21 meals you're feeding them (or less if you are eating out, buying school lunches, etc).
My family only eats out maybe once a week now. I make the kids' lunches, my husband and I eat leftovers for our lunches. Our grocery bill has sky rocketed! Oh my gosh, I thought, what am I doing? I know we're eating better, but am I really saving us any money? Or am I putting us into the poor house with my quest for grass fed beef and nitrate free bacon?
$180 divided by 5 people = $36.
As I mentioned, we rarely eat out. Still, let's say we each eat out for lunch one day/week and go out for dinner one night/week. So that means we're each eating roughly 19 meals/week from the groceries I buy.
$36 divided by 19 meals = $1.89 per meal.
$1.89 PER MEAL. I was shocked when I realized that.
A school lunch costs $2.75!
And let's not even think about what $1.89 would buy you at a fast food restaurant.
Try this yourself. Compare what you were spending to what you spend eating Paleo. No, you may not be able to afford all grass fed, organic, etc, etc, etc. You do what you can. You make the good stuff stretch, when necessary. Add more veggies. Add more fruit! Don't give up on the idea just because you can't go full monty.
Don't just dismiss it as "too expensive."
Reach outside your comfort zone and try something seasonal and local.
Stop buying sodas and pasta and bread. Stop eating convenience foods. Plan ahead.
Please share your own ideas for saving money while eating Paleo!
I know we can all use the help!