Luckily I learned some tips along my journey that have helped me make this lifestyle more affordable, and I have listed those below. If you have any other tips please share those in the comments (sharing is caring you know)!!!
2. Grow your own - Start with the easier items first (carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, peppers. etc.) or even just plant an herb garden. Growing your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs can add up to hundreds of dollars in savings over the course of a year. If you don't have a lot of room in your yard you can purchase a reasonable priced garden bed kit and create a small garden space.
3. Buy local - If you have access to local butchers, ranchers and/or farmers then you are in luck. You can usually negotiate a deal if you buy from them frequently, and especially if you buy in bulk. You can freeze, can,dehydrate, etc. any extra items that you want to store for future use. If you can't find grass-fed and pastured meats or eggs locally, there are a few websites that will ship to you and will also allow you to buy in bulk.
4. Buy what is in season - There are plenty of charts floating around on pinterest that show you which fruits and vegetables are in season during certain months. This will vary based on where you live, but the prices of the fruits and vegetables are always a good indicator of what is in season. Look for what is on sale and plan meals around that. Also check out your local Farmer's Markets for great deals on fresh produce and meats.
5. Buy pantry items in bulk - There are many stores and websites that sell fats, flours, oils, honeys, etc. in bulk. Buying in bulk is another great way to see the savings add up quickly. For example, a 1 lb. bag of almond flour can cost you close to $10 USD in stores, while a 5 lb. bag will cost you $35 USD. That is a $15 savings just on almond flour, and that will keep adding up over time.
6. Buy cheaper cuts of meat and slow cook them - Cheaper cuts of meat are often the toughest, but they can turn tender if cooked slow and low for a longer period of time (slow cooker time!!!). The cheaper cuts of meat are also frequently on sale, which is a great time to buy in bulk and stock them in your freezer. You can purchase a great slow cooker for anywhere from $20-$50 USD.
7. Incorporate Eggs - Eggs are an affordable, easy and nutritious way to add protein to your diet and you can eat them any time of day. Eat them scrambled, hard boiled, poached or sunny side up...mix them with vegetables, seasoning, herbs...turn them into frittatas....you get the idea.
8. Drink mostly water - Water is free if you live in an area where it is safe to drink, or is pretty darn cheap even if you use a water filter. Don't waste money on fancy drinks every day when what your body really wants is some high quality H2O! Save the fancy drinks for special treats.
9. Coupons and sales - Some people think that there are only coupons and sales for processed foods, but that's not true. Many natural food stores offer coupons through their circulars, and I frequently see coupons in the Sunday paper for things like olive oils, LARAbars, eggs and almond milk. Do I save as much as I used to when I ate processed foods? No, but I still save, and every little bit helps!
10. Plan ahead and be realistic - Meal planning will help you stick to your diet and to your budget. Scan the circulars to see what is on sale and plan your meals around that. If you can't afford grass-fed or organic, purchase the real food that you can afford. Is that ideal? No, but that is just the reality for some people, and a non-organic apple is a much better option than a bag of Doritos.
What tips do you have for saving money while eating Real Food?