Every couple weeks I get an email from a reader about how much money they’re saving by using my meal plans. But for every family who emails me to say that they’re saving money by having a plan, there is another emailing me to ask how they can save money on eating the GAPS diet or grain free in general.

More veggies and fat

The reply is always the same to their question about saving money on GAPS.

A family with good intentions, but no plan, may purchase loads of fresh food only to have it go bad in the fridge while they go out to eat at the local health food store because they didn’t have the plan to cook the ingredients.

A family who is experienced with meal planning, eating at home, and cooking, but switching from a diet based on grains like rice, oats, and wheat will see their grocery cost go up if they try to replicate these grain-based foods with grain-free options.

Healing Fats

Shelf stable, inexpensive per calorie, and easy to add to meals, healing fats are fantastic for diets and budgets alike.

Most families can benefit from increasing the amount of healing fats in their diet.  To do this, I like to use coconut oil.

I buy expeller pressed coconut oil, one or two gallons at a time (see the kind that I purchase here).  Adding a teaspoon to the top of meals fills up growing children.  Use coconut oil to cook your eggs in, vegetables, and to add to smoothies.

When looking to save money, choose inexpensive vegetables to fill most of your plate, and use loads of healthy fat to cook them in.

Three other money-saving tips for switching to a grain-free or whole food diet

1.  Pay attention to the dirty dozen and clean 15

We eat a LOT of bananas, carrots, and onions. Not only are these inexpensive when compared at price per pound, but they aren’t on the ‘dirty dozen’- a list of the 12 most heavily sprayed crops in the US.  When produce isn’t heavily sprayed, I am fine purchasing conventional rather than organic when needed.

What are the dirty dozen? The vary specifically from year to year but they are usually these items:

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Cherry Tomatoes
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Grapes
  6. Nectarines
  7. Peaches
  8. Potatoes
  9. Snap Peas
  10. Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens
  11. Strawberries
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers and Hot Peppers

2.  Use less sweeteners:

Sweeteners (honey on the GAPS diet, maple syrup if you’re just grain free without following the GAPS protocol) are low in nutrient density and expensive per ounce.  In their place, try to acclimate yourself to have less of a sweet tooth, or make fruit-based chia jam or date paste.

3.  Unless you have an allergy or sensitivity, embrace peanutbutter:

This protein-rich spread is a favorite among young and old, and is inexpensive.  I purchase Adam’s brand, or organic from Costco. Peanuts are also an inexpensive filling snack for growing children, both lower in cost and higher in protein than other nuts.


If you’re still struggling

Maybe your struggle is in a different area, the planning! If you’re finding food go bad before you can use it up, see how freezer cooking can save the average family $225/month!

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