This post marks the first of an ongoing series I plan to write about my adventures in reforming my diet and trying to eat paleo.
One (of many!) reservations of starting a restricted diet is the uncertainty of costs.
This was of particular concern to me, what with making a limited income, living with my brother (who doesn’t eat a healthy diet), and previously not having to pay for many groceries myself. Since I would be alone in starting this diet (which I started January 3 of this year), it would be all up to me to start doing my own grocery shopping.
So, what are the actual costs of eating mostly fruits, vegetables, and meats?
Unfortunately I can’t compare my costs now to what eating a regular, unrestricted diet would be like, since in the past I did not take responsibility over what I ate prior to 2018 (I’m a bit ashamed to admit so, but that is a topic for another time). However, surprise surprise, I CAN say that there is HUGE variance in what you’ll pay for the same produce or meat items depending on the source.
I’ve been tracking my grocery costs and hope to do a more comprehensive look at the costs of eating paleo in the future by sharing more food hauls. But for now, here’s a breakdown of 3 hauls I’ve done this year:
Now I admit this is a very haphazard (and perhaps unfair) comparison, as the items are different, amounts aren’t taken into account, some things were on sale, etc. But I like seeing things visually, and I’m hoping that by seeing the photos and the overall costs broken down side-by-side, you as a reader will start to get a feel for what costs what. If you’ve already been cooking real, unprocessed food for yourself then congratulations, you probably know more than I do; but this is for those people who are lost and need to gain their bearings.
Some personal takeaways (based on these 3 hauls only. Your mileage may vary.):
- You can find some really high quality items at the farmers’ market, but if you aren’t careful, you’ll spend a lot. Those handful of items did not last me very long.
- Costco isn’t a good place to buy produce if you’re on a budget, or if you need to purchase low quantities. On the brightside, their products are consistently high quality.
- Different stores can have drastically different price points. In my case, my locally-owned produce market (H&W Produce which has 6 locations in Edmonton/Calgary, AB Canada) is worth a stop in itself, as the prices there are much lower across the board than what I can find elsewhere. Both the Costco haul and the H&W Produce haul lasted me a similar amount of time (about 1.5 weeks), but one was a fraction of the cost of the other!
And that’s your slice of some of the costs I’ve incurred this year while eating paleo. What are your experiences with managing your paleo bill? And are there any topics relating to diet that you’d like to see me write about? Let me know in the comments below!