First of all, if you’re new to Paleo and wondering what the heck a Paleo plate might look like please read this post about what is paleo.
So… where do you buy paleo food?
Here is where we’ve been buying paleo food lately. Some of this is specific to the Los Angeles area, some of it shippable within the US. Every month we seem to find a new tip to cut costs and/or make life easier by cutting back on number of stores we shop at.
As you’ve probably guessed, meat is the biggest part of our food budget by far. We aim for pastured and local as much as possible but make some compromises due to budget. We bought a freezer on Craigslist for $200 (brand new, someone had ordered and changed their mind-score!) so that we can save by buying in bulk.
Grass fed beef:
We get our grassfed ground beef about once a month from Novy Ranch at the Culver City farmer’s market on Tuesdays. $5/lb
Bacon! Lamb, and some grass fed beef:
US Wellness Meats! They run 15% every few weeks so we stock up. Their bacon is nitrate free and they have a sugar free option and all their meat is pastured and delicious. I get our organ meats from them (yes, that means liver, etc). They also have clean lunch meats and snacks. Love this company!
Pastured chicken and eggs:
We buy whole chickens for $14/ea and free range eggs $6/doz from from Lily’s Eggs also at the farmer’s market. When we don’t make it to the farmer’s market, we buy chicken at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods but its very likely grain or soy fed, even if it says organic. Chickens are NOT meant to be vegetarian, FYI. We then use the carcass to make gelatin rich bone broth.
We’re growing our own greens right now (3 types of chard, 2 types of kale, and lettuce) but the rest of our veg we get each week at the farmer’s market, and when life gets crazy and we can’t make it there, we use Trader Joe’s frozen vegetables. If I’m buying veg at the grocery store I’d rather buy frozen because they are frozen at the peak of ripeness whereas their “fresh” produce is picked while still green and ripens on the truck on its way to the store which could be quite a long way/time. Eventually I’d love to grow all of our produce. It doesn’t get more local than your backyard and gardening can serve as a de-stresser and a chance to get your vitamin D fix as well.
These are a few veggies we’ve managed to grow this past year:
We also buy our fruit at the farmer’s market when possible. The kids love any kind of berries. We get our dates for baking and special treats (read: bribes) there. We’ve also accumulated 5 very young fruit trees for free at the yearly fruit giveaway thru the Social Justice Learning Institute. It’ll be a few years before this little orchard will feed us but in themeantime the kids are cultivating their green thumbs.
Coconut oil, flour, and flakes:
Tropical Traditions! I’ve tried both the gold label and green label and we love both. The green label has less of a coconutty flavor. Their flour, shredded coconut and coconut flakes are all great and the best price I’ve found. They often run free shipping and BOGO sales. Coconut oil is not cheap but so worth it I’ll have to devote a whole post to it. We buy it by 5 gallon buckets. I’ve also seen coconut oil at Trader Joe’s and Costco if you want to try it out in small quantities.
Baking products, etc:
Azure Standard: Meeting the truck drop every month can take some juggling but they really do have the best prices on several things and in the past few months I’ve noticed they’ve included a few more paleo-friendly products. We buy coconut milk from them for $27 compared to $30 on Amazon (it IS the BPA free can even though the stock photo is different. We buy almond flour, nuts, raisins, sauerkraut and kombucha (although we now make our own), tea and spices if Mountain Rose Herbs is out. We also buy organic apple cider vinegar for $8/gallon, maple syrup, coconut aminos for $50/gallon, sea salt, Epsom salt, Pure Indian Foods Ghee for $127 for 12 compared to $155 on Amazon (I plan to experiment with making my own soon!), cleaning products if you don’t want to make them are great to buy in bulk as well. We buy a gallon of Bac-Out for $16 compared to $24 on Amazon. Oh, and honey (although I think I will start buying it locally at the farmer’s market from now on for a few more bucks). They have some paleo friendly snacks like jerky (look for the gluten free one), apple chips etc but since we’ve bought the dehydrator I’ve stopped paying attention.
Costco:>If your budget is tight, Costco has meat, eggs and produce that is more affordable in bulk. However, their meat is not pastured, their eggs are not free range and the produce is most likely not local (at least that’s the case at our local costco). The Paleo Mama has a great list of her budget friendly paleo purchasing on her $200/week budget for her family of 4 here. I did buy Kerrygold grass-fed butter there and will experiment making ghee with it this week. The Paleo Mama has done a series of posts on paleo on a budget and specifically on paleo Costco finds. The Paleo Mom and Stacy of Paleo Parents have also discussed it on their podcast, The Paleo View.
Where do you buy food? Would love to hear any other ideas I have not yet stumbled upon!
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