With a family of 5, and many of you having larger families, I can definitely understand the need to make our dollars stretch. We budget every penny and if we run out, that’s it, we’ve run out. I have to be prepared and focused and use every available resource to bring great food to my family table, without breaking the bank. I have found many ways to do this and, thanks to the wonderful support on our Whole Family Facebook page, we have even more now. Check out these 12 tips for pinching pennies while eating paleo and get ready to save!
1. Meal Plan. My biggest help for our “Whole Family” is having a meal plan. Check out our latest here. As Susan suggests,”Plan your week ahead. It’s ALWAYS cheaper to have a plan than it is to wing it.” The Preppy Paleo agrees,”I plan my meals based on what protein is on sale at Whole Foods.” Kali suggests,”I try to roast a chicken, or slow cook meat twice a week, and then use it throughout on salads and for snacks on the go. Then I just make vegetables as needed, and the meal is complete.”
2. Shop Farmers Markets and local providers of beef. As Alissa says,”It costs a lot up front but it way cheaper per pound than in the grocery plus you are supporting a local family and getting good quality!” Marie bought a 1/4 of a cow from a local farmer which is both economical and great for your family. To find your local farmers market check this out.
3. Eat SIMPLE. My motto is to keep everything SIMPLE. It makes life easier and keeps it cheaper too. Stephanie say,”We don’t make fancy meals with tons of ingredients. We bulk up on veggies and have smaller portions of meat. Overall, I find we eat less, so it kind of balances out. We’re a family of five, with three boys…and we can get away with $250 every two weeks on groceries.”
4. Buy in bulk and online. Maria says,”Almond flour is $11/lb at stores like Whole foods. Online at www.honeyville.com it comes out to $5/lb!.” The Preppy Paleo suggests,”Order staples like shredded coconut, stevia & almond flour in bulk from Nuts.com & Amazon. A lot of people don’t realize Amazon has A LOT of good things well priced, either through their Subscribe & Save or in the “Warehouse Deals” section.” I also suggest buying herbs online at places like Penzey’s where not only is the quality superb, you can buy in bulk for much cheaper than the grocery store.
5. Invest in a deep freezer. Yes! Yes! Yes! A lot of great foods freeze. When I make spaghetti I always make extra and freeze a bunch. Defrosts great and is great to have available in a pinch. Kali says,”We can get lots of organic/grain fed meat at Costco…then I package it and put in the deep freezer. I would say the best purchase I ever made was the deep freezer. It really has made eating healthy so much easier, and it has really helped the planing process knowing that I can cook in quantity and food won’t be wasted.”
6. Plant your own garden. We have not done this YET, but stay tuned. Jeremy has and says,”Turn as much of your yard as you can into a garden instead of grass. If you’re going to spend the money to water something and the time to take care of it, might as well get some food out of it.”
7. Freeze veggies. Freeze, freeze freeze as much as you can, including veggies. Alissa’s suggestion is to,”Shred those zucchini and freeze for yummy “pasta” all winter long!” Jennifer also says,”Buy seasonal produce in bulk and freeze!”
10. Consider having your own chickens. Here’s Jeremy’s suggestion: “If you have any sort of yard, you can have your own chickens. And then you know you’re getting quality eggs and in the long run, way cheaper. Ours eat all of our leftover food scraps that would normally be tossed out or composted, and they spend the rest of the day searching for stuff in the yard to eat. Our actual food bill for them is minimal at this point.”
12. Be willing to compromise. When you can’t do it all, figure out what areas are worth it, and what areas you can compromise on. A great word of advice is from Sarah who says,”Figure out where you are willing to compromise. We can’t eat GF & organic 100% of the time – so I focus on certain things - I ONLY buy bacon from the pastured pork folks because that has so much fat that can store toxins, we have a 1/4 gf cow – with chicken I try to shop organic on sale, but if conventional breasts (little fat) are a good deal I buy them sometimes. Same w/ produce – aim for organic or sustainable but for things I will peel like bananas I’m more flexible.”
Thank you everyone for contributing to this great list of how to be frugal while eating well. Of course, this list is not complete and will be ever growing. If you have any suggestions to add, please leave it in the comments and I will be sure to add it in. Thanks so much guys and I hope this helps you to feed your family well, with a few more pennies left in your pocket.
From our Whole Family to yours……