One of the biggest paleo or AIP diet deterrents I hear people talk about is the cost. There is no denying that eating junk food or processed foods is usually cheaper than eating organic, paleo, gluten free, or AIP. That being said, it is not at all impossible to eat a healthy diet on a budget. I have been doing it for years. My trick is that I shop at multiple stores and buy each ingredient at the place where it is cheapest. You can read more about this in my post about creating a grocery price binder. That may sound daunting, but in reality it means that I go to 2-4 stores throughout the week and I buy the occasional item in bulk online. I buy my plantain chips at Big Lots because they are only $1, I buy any specific health food stuff like my raw sauerkraut or broth bones at Earth Fare or Whole Foods, and then everything else I buy from Walmart or Aldi. Now you are probably thinking “What?! Stop right there! A health food blogger shops at Big Box and Discount Grocery stores?! She’s a fraud, run away!!!” Well just hang on. I realize that not all of the practices of big chains like Walmart are good and trust me when I say that if I could afford to get everything from local farmers, the farmers market and small businesses I would, but in reality I am human. I am a human who works in human service type jobs married to another human who works in a church… suffice it to say we have a limited (read: very tiny) budget. However, we place a big importance on our health so we cut back in other areas to give ourselves some more room in our grocery budget and then we shop as smart as possible and one of the smartest choices I ever made was shopping at Aldi.
Aldi is a discount grocery store that is owned by the same people who own Trader Joes. They have deeply discounted prices because they are super bear bones. They only carry the most popular grocery items and there is less of a selection among items so instead of 15 kinds of pasta sauce to choose from there are usually about 2. They also don’t have fancy amenities and they look a little more wharehouse-ish than most grocery stores. They also have a small number of employees who primarily just check you out. You bag your own groceries (in bags you bring yourself) and put your own cart away. So, its not a luxurious experience, but if you’re like me you would gladly forgo the hot bar, coffee counter, free samples and endless plastic bags in order to save a ton of money. And trust me you will save money! We are not talking a few cents here, we are talking dollars. I get the majority of my grocery staples at Aldi and I usually end up paying less than $60 a week for them all. So, that being said I have decided to put together a little shopping list of the groceries I buy at Aldi to help encourage you to check it out if you’re lucky enough to have one in your neighborhood. As you go through the list you will see that some of the items are labeled (Not AIP), these are the items I buy for my hubby to eat. He is paleo/whole 30 but not AIP. If you are not fully Paleo or AIP they also have good deals on rice, corn chips, and gluten free products as well.
Shopping AIP or Paleo at Aldi:
Nuts (Not AIP)
Salsa (Not AIP)
Sweet Potato Chips (Not AIP)
Unsweetened Natural Applesauce
Vanilla Extract (Contains Alcohol, Omit or Follow Cooking Guidelines for Alcohol if on Intro AIP)
Organic Greens (Spinach, Kale…)
Local Sweet Potatoes
Local Seasonal Items (Pumpkins, Watermelon, Squash)
Plenty of other conventionally grown produce (onions, carrots, celery, mangos, berries, lettuce, pineapple…)
Canned Tomatoes and Tomato Paste (Not AIP)
Wild Caught Salmon
Grass-Fed Ground Beef
Antibiotic Free Chicken
Standard Chicken (whole and in parts)
Standard Pork Loins and Pork Chops
Standard Eggs (Not AIP)
Fresh Orange Juice
Almond Milk (Not AIP)
Note: The information in this post is solely my opinion based on my own experiences. I am in no way affiliated with Aldi or any of the stores named.