Friday, September 5, 2014

No grains, no gains - Is eating Paleo more expensive?

A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be wanting to lose weight, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This month's topic is about whether eating grain free, low carb, high protein is expensive. That is a fair question and an easy assumption to make. Following the Paleo lifestyle means that my food expenses are taken up mostly by produce and protein. The most expensive things on any shopping list. I have had to live on a very tight budget through the years. My son is still quite young (6 yrs old) and we're currently a one income household and have been since he was a year old. So how do I afford to eat the way I do? Savvy shopping!

First off, I do not eat organic. I know there are laws around selling organic, but unless I grow it my own garden, how do I really know? Horrible attitude I know. And the other reason I don't eat organic? I can't afford it! Lets face it, processed carbs, refined sugar and prepared foods are easy and cheaper. The foods I buy are made up of one ingredient. Chicken, cabbage, beets, tomatoes, onions, get the gist. It's up to me to make it into something. 

Prior to my lifestyle change, I wanted meals to be quick and easy. Anything that required prep before hand was considered too much work. I also ate crappy,processed prepared food. Eating the way I do takes little planning. Throw some protein in a marinade (olive oil, garlic and lemon juice go a long way), grill it with a couple of veggie sides and I've got myself a meal! Easy...but back to food costs.

Since I'm not made of money, and meat and produce can be pricey, I have become quite the frugal shopper. I live in Southern Ontario, Canada. There are several grocery stores that do something called price matching. Every Wednesday night in my neighborhood is flyer night. A roll of store flyers are delivered door to door. I love flyer night. I get a glass of wine, pull out all the grocery flyers and a black marker and get to work. I circle all the advertised specials of the week for meat/fish and produce. Doesn't matter where the deal is, if it's in a flyer, it's fair game. 

After completing this task, I make my grocery list. Whatever is on sale for the week, makes my list. Then I take the list, and the circled flyers (you have to show the advertised price) to the grocery store that does price matching and they will give me the sale items for the prices advertised regardless of whether or not they have the item on sale or not. I have been doing this for years now. Since I started on Dr. Poon 3 years ago. On meat alone, I can save upwards of $30 per week. But on average my food bill for a family of 3 is around $100 per week. This past week it was only $75. That's pretty decent since our staple is meat.

I've become quite efficient at price matching and have a pretty smooth system worked out. And I price match non food items too. Even if I'm saving just a little per item, it all adds up! We also keep eating out to a minimum. Once every other week. One restaurant bill is a half week's worth of groceries. But it's fun to have a family meal out once in a while as a treat. I hear the excuse that eating healthy is expensive. It doesn't have to be. All it takes is some planning and a bit of time. It's so worth it though. The changes in your health are worth it. You're worth it. 

Check out my blogging buddies. They're gonna share their opinions on whether or not eating grain free is expensive. I'm sure they have tips on keeping the costs down as well. 

Garden Girl
The Sunny Coconut

What eating grain free has done for me. Just got my new health card. I have a neck again:-)