One of the most frequent questions we’re asked is how to make Paleo affordable. The question comes in a variety of ways, but ultimately people want to know how to minimize their wallet by optimizing their health. Truth be told, if you – like us – get immersed in this super elite Paleo underground, the more evolved your food choices will be and of course Polyface meat costs more than the super market.
However, there are tips & tricks the average family can use to minimize impact to their monthly budget. The good news is, without chips, cookies and crackers to buy you’ll save a lot more money than you imagine. From there, we shop around town. We know that Costco has the best price on almond butter, raw nuts and frozen wild blueberries. We know the farmer’s market offers discount fruits & veggies if your kids blink their lashes and ask for a big box of their “favorite tomatoes.” And then we make alternating trips from the Asian food market and Trader Joe’s for the remaining staples we need. Almost all of our meat is purchased in bulk and on-sale at either a local farm or a trusted butcher’s shop. But it took us a while to figure it all out.
But what you might not have realized or started doing yet, is using Amazon’s Subscribe and Save (S&S) program. We’ve found that the following products are offered the cheapest on Amazon, plus by using S&S we get an extra 15% off – not to mention it’s delivered to your door free of charge! We’ve written about our earlier choices for Amazon S&S before (it’s an evolving journey) so you can look at those posts here, but here’s an update to our Amazon S&S list. You can also always check our Amazon Store for all of the items we recommend.
The previous coconut milk we were getting had a serious problem with oil rising to the top of the can making it really difficult to cook or bake with. This brand is migrating to BPA-free lining, although it hasn’t happened yet. It is guar-gum free and the quality is fantastic and highly recommended.
We’ve switched from KIND bars to LaraBars because, first, LaraBars are much more delicious and, second, KIND bars have added soy, sugar and grains. LaraBars just have dates, nuts and fruit. Every month we let the boys pick out which flavor of LaraBar they’d like for the month and they get SO excited when it shows up the in the pantry. Some of our favorites are Cashew Cookie, Coconut Cream, Lemon, Cherry & Apple pie, Cinnamon and Ginger Snap. Do NOT ever bring home the chocolate LaraBars – they’re the only flavors with sugar and once your kids have chocolate brownie they’re not going to then think of the other flavors as the “treats” that they are.
We still recommend seaweed as a snack. The boys love to take this for their lunches. SeaSnax is a seed oil free brand, the only we’ve found so far. It is more expensive though, than the Sea’s Gift brand we used to purchase. Either way, just make sure you don’t choose a brand with soy sauce.
Applesauce squeezers! Wesley has now taken to devouring these; he crawls into the kitchen, pulls himself up on the pantry shelf and then tries to open them himself. We all pity the itty bitty baby (this is why he’s not walking, people – the great manipulator!) and immediately open it for him. They’re also great for picnics, purses, glove boxes and emergency fillers if you’ve run out of our applesauce and are making apple pie cupcakes.
When we bake these days, we’ve often using palm sugar instead of agave. Palm sugar is low glycemic index, but is granulated and replaces white sugar better. It’s also not such a concentration of fructose. Matt does an excellent job of adapting recipes by simply grinding it up in a coffee grinder to use it as powdered sugar.
For times in which we run out of our cinnamon dried apple rings, we often use freeze dried fruits. The texture is crunchy, so the fruit never becomes sticky. Not as good as Matt’s dehydrated fruit, but in a pinch these are a good choice.
We also use the service for several household items as well (such as laundry detergent and dishwashing soap).
We also are a part of a Tropical Traditions Co-Op where we procure many of our more unusual ingredients. If you can, try to join a co-op so that you can get the wholesale prices on those items. We really love their Coconut Cream Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Coconut Flour, and Palm Shortening.
You can see our previous post here.