Saturday, August 4, 2012

Building a Paleo Pantry on a Budget

And read your labels, for Pete's sake!
Photo by Ambro

While I'm sure there are some folks out there who wake up one day and decide "I'm going to eat paleo!" and then run to their nearest farmstead and buy themselves an entire grass-fed cow (plus grass-fed butter, free range eggs, coconut oil, almond meal, etc. etc.) for most of us this isn't exactly an option. This stuff can be pricey, and if I were to rush out and buy it all at once, I wouldn't be able to pay rent (ahh, if only I were joking...).

I've found that working slowly and adding in a few items on each grocery trip is the way to go.  For example, I've started making it a habit to stock up on eggs.  This week I hit a Trader Joe's and found a great deal on coconut oil and a killer raw organic honey (that it's taking all my willpower not to dig into).  These items are going to last me a while, so by staggering my purchases, I won't have to buy a bunch of high-end products all at once.

We also bought some tamari sauce to make a paleo beef jerky.  That jerky probably isn't going to last more than a day or so, but we'll still have the sauce, which will make the next batch cheaper.  When we run low, I think I'm going to look for it at the Asian market up the street -- I'm betting they have it cheaper than Safeway.

Basically, as we use up a "nonpaleo" item, I'm replacing it with a paleo item.  Stuff isn't going to waste, and we don't feel quite as much of a financial hit.  Our other trick is watching for sales on meat and then buying a bunch of it.  Our grocery bill was a little higher than normal this week, but that's because Safeway had sales on chicken, pork, AND beef.  So we bought the value packs.  Next week I'll have so much meat in the freezer, my grocery bill will be lower than normal. I also found a store-brand organic spaghetti sauce with no sugar in it!  It was only $2.49.  The other brand with no sugar in it was $5.99, so I felt like quite the savvy shopper.

A word about coupons:  Don't even bother.  The only items that coupons are good for are prepackaged sugary junk.  Seriously.  Watch for store sales (and coupons that are specific to the store can be helpful) and shop that way.  I like the Just For U program that Safeway started.  I can check the website before I go and it provides added discounts on stuff that I buy (because Big Brother is watching when I shop, of course).  Oh well -- they're giving me $1 off of almond milk... I'll take it!

What are your best paleo shopping tips? 


  1. I go early when the store opens and look for all the discounted butcher specials on the meat I want to buy- then I have a huge freezer especially for it, and load it up!

  2. Oh, thanks for the reminder to sign up for the Just For U program!