FOOD

Paleo on a Budget: Top Products for Saving Money and Eating Healthy

March 6th, 2020

If you’re excited to embrace your inner caveman—but wondering how it’ll impact your monthly food budget—we’re here to help. Paleo diet rules keep you focused on eating whole foods, less sugar, low carbs, and the right amount of protein. We have a few rules of our own to add—specifically when it comes to shopping. With a few smart strategies, cooking tips, and product recommendations, you’ll be affordably living your paleo lifestyle in no time!

Tips for Paleo Meal Planning On a Budget

Before you start meal planning, review these tips for saving money on paleo diet foods.

  • Cook from scratch: Remember this equation: more packaging = more money. Instead of stocking up on premade or packaged foods, buy raw ingredients in bulk and cook them yourself.
  • Reach for seasonings: Keep your kitchen stocked with versatile spices and spice mixes that can work for a variety of dishes. Try garlic powder, cumin, and curry powder.
  • Low and slow: To stick with paleo on a budget, buy tougher cuts of meat (like beef chuck, for instance) that tend to be less expensive than flashier cuts like prime rib. A slow cooker or Instant Pot makes it easy to tenderize these meats for hearty meals like stew or roast.
  • Portion control: Animal proteins are all-star paleo ingredients, but you don’t have to fill half your plate with a slab of steak. Instead, enjoy a smaller portion of beef or chicken, which can stretch for a family or over several meals, and load up beans, legumes, and favorite vegetables.
  • Eat seasonally: Here’s a solid strategy for any diet—become a regular at farmers markets to shop for in-season produce, and you’ll save more money. Check out our seasonal vegetable guide on the blog!
    Embrace frozen: When fresh produce isn’t in season, head to the frozen aisle and pick up cubed squash, corn, mushrooms, and other veggies to use in your regular rotation.

7 Affordable Paleo-Friendly Products (Plus Paleo Dinner Recipes)

Bookmark these recipes to create easy paleo meals on a budget. Not only are these affordable products perfect for your paleo diet, but they’re member-approved and some of the most popular ingredients on ThriveMarket.com!

1. Thrive Market Organic Dijon Mustard

Condiments like tangy mustard can liven up marinades, sauces, spreads, and dips. This version is made with organic mustard seeds, vinegar, and turmeric.

Try it in: Homemade Immersion Blender Mayo

Making your own mayonnaise is surprisingly easy, especially when an immersion blender is involved. Once you get the basics down, experiment with adding herbs or spices.

2. Thrive Market Organic Tomato Paste

This small can packs a big flavor punch. Made with organic tomatoes that have been washed, hand sorted, strained, and concentrated, tomato paste delivers potassium and vitamin A. It easily enhances sauces, beans, and marinades.

Try it in: Paleo-Friendly Breakfast Sausage With Braised Greens

Here’s a paleo ground turkey recipe featuring homemade turkey sausage that’s seasoned with thyme, sage, garlic, and fennel. Plus, hearty braised greens are cooked down with tomato paste, avocado oil, and onion to make a healthful side. (Try this dish for breakfast or lunch, too!)

3. Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk

Rich, creamy, and totally dairy-free, organic coconut milk works for everything from vegetable curry to ice cream.

Try it in: Coconut Creamed Spinach

Here’s a perfect paleo sidekick for roasted chicken, grilled steak, or fried eggs. Coconut creamed spinach only takes about 20 minutes to prepare, and combines plenty of fresh spinach with food staples like coconut milk, nutritional yeast, garlic, and nutmeg.

Coconut-creamed spinach

4. Thrive Market Wonder Noodles, Shirataki Spaghetti

If you’re looking to limit your carbs, shirataki noodles are a pantry lifesaver. Clocking in at just 10 calories per serving, this ingredient is paleo, keto, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and perfect for nights when you need easy paleo recipes on the table fast.

Try it in: Kale-Hemp Pesto

Lots of goodness goes into this easy pesto—including curly kale, hemp seeds, garlic, lemon, and EVOO. For a paleo-inspired Italian dinner, swap regular spaghetti for ready-to-eat shirataki noodles.

Kale-hemp pesto recipe

5. Thrive Market Organic Free-Range Chicken Thighs

Our free-range chickens are raised on family farms in Virginia and spend most of their lives outdoors. This box features both chicken thighs and breasts and offers more than 11 pounds and 30 servings total. Stock your freezer to make your favorite paleo chicken recipes on repeat.

Try it in: Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

You’ll love this must-have paleo instant pot recipe. Surprisingly flavorful thanks to coconut aminos sauce, apple cider vinegar, and an entire head of garlic, affordable chicken thighs cook right in the Instant Pot and are ready to plate as soon as the timer goes off.

6. Thrive Market Non-GMO Sardines

A tin of sustainably caught sardines offers 15g of protein per serving, plus vitamin D, potassium, and calcium. These tiny fish are perfect for your paleo-friendly pantry!

Try it in: Thomas DeLauer’s Pan-Seared Sardines

With only four ingredients, this 10-minute meal is a no-brainer for lunch. It’s the exact recipe that convinced keto expert Thomas DeLauer that he loved sardines. “Eating sardines warm literally tastes like trout—it’s a whole different ball game,” he shares.

7. Thrive Market Organic Garlic Powder

When stocking your spice cabinet, be sure to make room for organic garlic powder. This packet is made from fresh premium garlic bulbs, and leaves no trace of bitterness. A sprinkle is the perfect addition to meatballs, dry rubs, stews, and more.

Try it in: Tsukune Chicken Meatballs

With Asian-inspired ingredients (such as coconut aminos sauce and ginger) plus garlic powder and crushed red pepper, these paleo-friendly chicken meatballs are guaranteed to be full of flavor.

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Nicole GulottaNicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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