Ok. I did it….well sort of. I have had many questions related to how much I spend on groceries for my family of 5 since making the paleo inspired, whole foods eating transition about two years ago. There are many arguments that this lifestyle is expensive. Well, it may or may not be depending on how you look at it.
First, we eat out much less, so we actually save money in that regard.
Second, we eat just about EVERYTHING I buy, so there is much less wasted food. So we save again.
Third, we buy our meat in bulk whenever possible from local farms, so that saves us cash on shipping also. Not to mention it is better for the environment.
Fourth, we are more healthy than we used to be and visit the doctor much less, so we save on co-pays.
So, I don’t really keep track specifically, and I am fortunate that I do not have to. Not to mention, I hesitate to share such personal information because the choices I make on how to spend our money are just that….personal choices.
However, I am willing to share some of the items I commonly purchase and have on hand and where the best prices actually are. Because, I am not frivolous with our money, but the quality of the product does matter and it’s awesome to get the best deal. So with the help from my assistant for the day Cherise, we gathered some information for you all, local residents and otherwise.
We collected prices of certain items from Wholefoods, Natural Grocer, Trader Joes (if available), and three online merchants Thrive Market, Amazon and Vitacost.com. We attempted to compare “like with like” but sometimes it meant only comparing something similar. Highlighted in yellow are the best prices for that item. I am not promoting any of these items specifically or claiming that there aren’t other good brands out there. And, I am not saying that other stores do not carry these brands nor have even better prices. But generally, for myself personally, these are the places that I can tend to find most of the items I am looking for over other stores.
As a quick summary, locally Natural Grocers (https://www.naturalgrocers.com/store-location/reno/) had the best prices for a majority of the products, produce and meat listed. Online store Thrive market (www.thrivemarket.com) had the best prices for non-perishable items, but they do require a monthly fee. The best price per pound on grass-fed, organic meat was to purchase in bulk from local Alpine Ranch (www.alpine-ranch.com). I did not compare with other local ranches, but it does save on shipping and waste ordering from out of town ranches like US wellness (www.grasslandbeef.com) meats. You will get some other cuts of meat too, that you have to learn how to cook, but it’s all worth it in my opinion.
I would also like to add another cost savings to locals. I sometimes recommend getting pre-made meals for the busy times or when you are early in your transition to whole foods-paleo inspired. Pete’s Paleo (www.petespaleo.com) is a great start with lots of variety and even special eating plans like autoimmune protocol or 21-Day sugar detox. And they have been great meals. BUT they are more expensive for the shipping and for a family of five ($269 5 meals 4 servings each shipping NOT included, $13.45/person).
A new local pre-prepared meal service in town is a strong competitor (www.nutritionkitchennv.com). I recently ordered 4 servings of 4 meals for $164 for $10.25/person. WOW. And that included 2 paleo inspired desserts! She also has the option of not only dinner or lunch, but breakfast as well. Pete’s Paleo does not include breakfast. Owner, Amber Hill, takes pride in her cooking and uses the best ingredients whenever possible, including local ingredients. Since there is no shipping, there is less waste too!
I haven’t specifically compared organic versus standard food items, but for me personally, the cost is worth it. I almost don’t want to know the difference, because I feel so good eating wholesome food. Overall, eating a whole food, whether it is organic or not is still optimal over processed food (which is cheap, and often comes with coupons).
My friend and I have often discussed that healthy food should be available for everyone, no matter his or her financial status. And I wholeheartedly agree. Where we spend our money as consumers however, is where change is driven.
How you choose to spend your money is a personal choice. I hope this exercise helps you make your own decisions.
But I assure you, buying whole, organic, non-GMO food will NEVER be a waste of your money or resources.
Remove. Replace. Restore.
Remove processed foods. Refined grains. Refined sugar. Refined vegetable oils.
Replace with organic whole nutrient-rich produce, organic grass-fed meats whenever possible. Shop for local brands and produce whenever possible. The less you burden your body with toxic loads (like pesticides) the greater the gains in your health.
Restore health AND community. Getting to know the people that grow or raise your food helps build community.
Special thank you to Cherise Rasmussen for collecting prices and driving all around town. This would not have been completed without your help.
****We received NO monetary compensation for any of the recommendations above****
Dr Carolyn Dolan DPT, Cert MDT, MSHN
Where physical therapy, nutrition and lifestyle meet, because how you live your life determines whether or not you soar. Inspiring action with information so you can reduce pain, optimize healing and improve function naturally during recovery from injury, surgery or painful condition. This is a website for the open-minded; obstinate need not apply.