Paleo in College- How Do I Stay Paleo on a Tight Budget?
“What are some tips to stay paleo in college?”
This is a great topic as Paleo is often thought of as an ‘expensive way of eating’.
Yes, it can be, and of course, in an ideal world it would be fantastic if everyone had the means to buy all organic, all the time. Obviously, this is not the case for many people, whether someone is a college student working on a stipend, has a tight budget or has got a large family to feed.
However, Paleo does not need to be an ‘all or nothing’ deal.
For example, a client I recently worked with has just graduated from college and was doing her best to make her large monthly payments to her student loans. In addition to earning a college diploma, her last four years had also earned her…an extra twenty pounds. Determined to shed the weight despite not having much money to spare, she wanted to do whatever she could to go Paleo in order to lose the weight, but also help with her chronic asthma.
In her Paleo trifecta session (one of the services I offer to clients in the LA Area), we began with the kitchen makeover, and then headed to her local grocery store which, by the way, was not a Whole Foods; rather it was a large franchise store known for its ‘value’ pricing.
We focused on:
- buying in bulk where possible (grass fed meats, free range poultry and wild fish, all of which can be frozen to last, as well as olive oil and some spices and herbs
- being flexible with shopping list plans (what was going to be a wild king salmon dinner turned into a wild coho salmon dinner because the latter was $10/pound less
- learning which foods must be organic and which you can get away with convention growing methods (for example, strawberries are a must-do for always organic, while conventional broccoli is acceptable)
being creative with remaking one meal into another, rather than just eating boring old ‘leftovers’
Because this is such a commonly asked question, I wrote about this in my book….so check it out to learn more!
I do feel the need to mention that even if the bill at the grocery store feels high, in particular if you’re coming from a background of mostly eating out and hardly ever shopping, here’s a good comparison. I took the amount I typically spend at Whole Foods and divided in half (for myself and my husband) and then by seven days in the week, and then again by the number of meals/day and it came to a whopping total of $7.11/meal.
The student I mentioned above, who shops at a more traditional grocer, had a total of $5.22/meal.
It can go lower as well, the more creative you get and the more flexible you are with your meal ideas.
Not sure where you’re going to find an organic, Paleo meal at those prices!