Eating a real food, healing diet like autoimmune paleo isn’t cheap. After my mortgage payment, my biggest expense is food. Pasture raised meat, organic vegetables, wild caught fish, and the highest quality cooking oils. Those words all literally sound like money just flying out the window.
With Hashimoto’s disease and recovering from life long gut issues, I just can’t afford to not eat well. Eating cheap foods results in more and more medical bills. It’s the perfect pay me now or pay me later scenario.
However, that doesn’t make it any easier on my wallet. It’s expensive, and it’s rough. However, when you know how to navigate the farmers market, it can all be totally do-able to take your grocery budget down to a reasonable number.
To give you a little extra help, I created a Autoimmune Paleo & Healing Diet Budget Friendly Shopping List that you can sign up for, here. But I wanted to delve a little bit deeper into what are the top 10 foods that are both super budget friendly and super nutrient dense!
Top 10 Autoimmune Paleo Budget Friendly Foods…
1.Grass-fed Ground Beef
Beef gets a bad reputation in some circles for being inflammatory. However, beef from grass-fed cows is a balanced source of fats, and is full on healthy minerals.
I can get grass-fed ground beef for anywhere from $6.60 – $8.00 a lb near me. Keep in mind, that this will vary for wherever you live, and the $8 a lb tastes better. But for just $8 a lb, I can get through dinner for both me and my husband, and leftovers for at least one of us.
Some great AIP recipes for ground beef are…
- AIP Instant Pot Chili by Unbound Wellness
- Slow cooker squash and ground beef curry by Strictly Delicious
- Beef skillet supper by Sweet Treats
Kale is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables that there is. It’s an amazing source of fiber, and phytonutrients! I can snag organic kale for as cheap as $1-2 a lb and can use it for salads, throw it in soups or smoothies, or sauté it as a side.
Some great AIP recipes for kale are…
3. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a favorite for those of us who can’t have potatoes. To be fair, I like parsnips better, but they also cost twice as much as sweet potatoes which can range from anywhere between $1-3 a lb.
Find great AIP recipes for sweet potatoes on my post of 50+ AIP sweet potato recipes.
4. Pasture raised liver
This may sound like a tough one to swallow (and for many, it is at first), but I promise, pasture raised liver can be made delicious, and it’s a nutrient powerhouse! It’s satiating, and full of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, D, zinc, and more. Real food heals and liver is an incredibly nutrient dense, healing super food.
People tend to think that liver is probably expensive, but it’s actually the highest quality protein I can get at the lowest price. I’ve seen pasture raised liver for $4-5 a lb.
Some great AIP recipes for liver are…
- Avocado and Beef Liver Pate by Unbound Wellness
- Rosemary and Garlic Beef Liver Appetizer by Autoimmune Paleo
5. Coconut oil
Another AIP favorite, coconut oil goes a long way! From cooking with it, to topping sweet potatoes, and even using it on your skin, you get your monies worth out of a jar of coconut oil. Other cooking fats like avocado oil just aren’t as versatile and are a bit more pricey for what you get. I opt for always having coconut oil, and having the brand Tropical Traditions on hand. They often run sales, and it’s the best quality I can find for the price!
Here are some great AIP recipes with coconut oil…
- “Chocolate” collagen protein bites by Unbound Wellness
- Coconut oil “honey butter” by Eat Cake for Dinner
6. Frozen wild berries
Wild berries are full of phytonutirents and antioxidants, and are one of the lower sugar fruits. Wild berries can be hard to find, and expensive, which is why I love to have frozen wild berries on hand. They can vary in price, but are typically around $5-8 depending on the weight.
Some great AIP recipes that can be used with frozen berries are…
7. Grass-fed beef bones
Grass-fed beef bones seem expensive at around $6 a lb, but they can be reused multiple times (I use mine 3-4 times) to make nutrient dense, gut healing bone broth!
Some great AIP recipes with grass-fed beef bones are…
Cabbage has become a fast favorite of mine. It’s a sulfur rich vegetable that’s nutrient packed, it’s delicious, and super easy to prepare. I can get cabbage for $1 a lb, and it’s an amazing side!
My favorite AIP recipe with cabbage is my own baked red cabbage. I have this often as a side, with beef and sweet potatoes, and it’s perfect.
Some great AIP recipes for cabbage are…
9. Ginger powder
Ginger has been use in aryuvedic medicine as a powerful way to soothe digestion, tame nausea, and reduce muscle soreness. Having ginger power on hand that can cost $3-5 goes a long way!
Some great AIP recipes for cabbage are…
- Ginger Garlic Turmeric Stir-fry by Heal Your Kitchen
- Creamy Butternut Squash, Carrot and Ginger Soup by A Squirrel in the Kitchen
10. Canned sardines
Sardines are my absolute favorite foods to eat on the go that are full of nutrients! They’re low in mercury, and high in selenium. Wild caught sardines are typically $3-4 a can, which is a great value when compared to most convenience foods.
Some great AIP recipes with canned sardines are…
I hope this is a helpful list! Be sure to download the shopping list, here!