Whenever you think about starting a new healthy lifestyle, price is always on your mind. Sure, they might make it sound like it’s an easy thing to go the store for fresh produce twice a day, but when you are a working mom dealing with a family and a budget it just isn’t that simple. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can get around this predicament while keeping your budget, and your sanity, intact.
You don’t just want to plan your meals, but you also want to plan your budget. If your family is still eating processed foods, then you need to consider their grocery expenses on top of your own. If you are planning to eat out at all during your budget cycle, you want to set that money aside as well so that you’ll have it when you need it.
Planning your meals is also going to help you to cut costs. Figure out ahead of time all of the meals that you are going to eat and which ingredients you are going to need for those meals. Also, you want to plan the meals that your family will be eating as well. When you know what everyone is going to eat, and when they are going to eat it, it will cut down on those spur-of-the-moment pizza delivery calls because you don’t have anything in the house.
Go to the Farmers Market Whenever You Can
A great way to get fresh foods is to shop at your local farmers market. Not only will you have a better idea of where your food is coming from, but you can also find a lot of organic foods at great prices. Just remember that even though it seems like a farmers market would naturally have all organic fruits and vegetables, you still want to be safe and ask them before you buy. You might be surprised to find that not all vendors at the market are selling organic.
Another good idea is to carry a notebook with you when you go to the store and when you go to the farmers market. Write down the cost of the store-bought organic product and how much you will get for that price and then do the same thing with the farmers market organic products. Even though you can usually get more for your money at the market there are times when going the store route might be the best option, like if they are having a sale, and you want to be prepared for that.
Grow Your Own
Another option is to grow your own paleo vegetables. If you have a bit of a green thumb, you can grow them in your garden, or inside in containers. You’ll know for sure that they are organic and that there have been no pesticides used on them. Plus, they will save you at least a few trips to the store.
Freeze, Freeze, Freeze
When you plan your meals, try to look for at least two or three options a week that you can freeze. Then when you make that dish you can make extra to freeze so that you have a dinner ready in a pinch. One of the great things about freezing things is that you will be able to make use of all of your ingredients and nothing will go to waste.
For example, the only way to buy green onions is in a bunch. But if you don’t need to make the whole bunch for your recipe then you risk the unused onions going bad before you make that recipe again. Instead, you can make a double batch of that recipe, use all of your green onions, and waste nothing.
Buy In Bulk When Possible
While it might not be a good idea to get fruits or vegetables in bulk you can still save a bundle when you stock up on your other ingredients. Things like oils, nuts, and flour can be stored safely for months without going bad. Instead of buying these items every week at your health food store, do some comparison shopping. You might be surprised to find that a store like Amazon or Walmart can offer you more of the same product for a much lower price. Also, you can have it shipped directly to your door, how cool is that?
One of the great things about eating Paleo is that you can do it on any budget. Most of the foods are things that you can easily find in a grocery store or buy online. As long as you plan your meals and make smart choices for your wallet you can be a Paleo superstar, even on the smallest budget.