Three Tips For Eating AIP on a Budget (Part I)

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So you are convinced to change your diet in an effort to achieve better health. But what if you can’t afford it? While I’ve written about this before, I decided to do another series on how to save on your food budget while embarking on an elimination diet such as the Autoimmune Protocol.

#1 Prioritize

The quickest way to revolutionize your food budget is to prioritize—you want to be purchasing the most affordable foods that provide the maximum amount of nutrition. When I hear people complain about their food budget and then find out they are purchasing T-bone steaks from Whole Foods and baking AIP-compliant treats every few days, I wonder if they have really taken a good look at their priorities as far as their food budget is concerned. While you can certainly run out and buy everything you need from an organic grocer, you are likely to pay top dollar for everything and blow your budget!

Here are some tips in three important areas:

  1. Meat
    • Often the cuts of meat that are tougher and fattier are much more affordable at the butcher counter. Don’t worry, with the right recipe (like this one, or this one) you can transform that “cheap” pot roast into a mouth-watering, succulent treat for you and your family. Not surprisingly, these cuts contain more connective tissue, collagen, and gelatin, which are of a specific importance for those of us trying to heal our guts. If you can’t afford much grass-fed or organic meat, you may be able to incorporate some into your routine by purchasing these cheaper cuts and learning how to cook them!
    • There is more than one reason to incorporate offal like liver, kidney, and bones into your cooking—these cuts are most often the most affordable meat products you can buy, even organic and grass-fed. Not to mention they are the most nutrient-dense, healing foods you can include in your diet.
    • Red meat like beef and lamb has more nutrition per ounce and is much more affordable per pound to purchase organic and grass-fed.
    • For efficient and economical meat sourcing, the online service, Butcher Box, will deliver your desired quantity of high-quality chicken, beef and/or pork each month for free.
  2. Fats/Oils
    • You want to make sure to invest in at least one high-quality fat for cooking as well as one for dressing salads, minimum. See this article for a discussion on fats, and this one for a guide on which to purchase.
    • If you are going to use animal fats like lard or tallow, purchasing the raw fat and rendering at home can save you a ton of money over purchasing ready-made. You can (and should!) also save leftover saturated fat from cooking high-quality meats to use for cooking.
  3. Fruits/Vegetables:
    • If you can’t afford all organic produce, use the Environmental Working Group’s list of the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen. This list will help you decide which fruits and vegetables you should always purchase organic, and which you can purchase conventional.
    • Vegetables are likely to be the most affordable component of your meals, and they carry with them tons of great nutrition! Instead of overdoing it on expensive meats, eat them moderately and load your plate up with vegetables. While we don’t advise doing the Autoimmune Protocol without meat, we are huge advocates of eating lots of plant matter for optimal health!

Beyond food, a lot of us can stand to do some prioritizing in other areas of our budgets. Yes, this gets tricky, because everyone’s financial situation is unique, and our culture tells us we need to live in a certain size house, have multiple vehicles, and the like. While its really hard to get this point when you aren’t healthy and are spending lots of money on doctors and treatments, for a lot of us, eating better is one way we have to minimize medical expenses in the future.

Instead of giving you specific recommendations here, I’ll share a little bit about what I did when I realized I needed to eat differently and didn’t have room in my budget. I had just lost my job due to illness, was in the hospital three times in two months without health insurance, and was still undergoing the diagnosis and early treatment for my two autoimmune diseases. I definitely didn’t have extra money to blow on food; in fact, my husband and I were going more into debt every minute. We sold our second car, went without cable TV, movies, eating out, travel, or holiday gifts, and rented out a room in our house on Craigslist, in addition to implementing a lot of the food budgeting tips in this series through that situation. There was a point where our expenditures were higher than our income, due to me not working—but we took a leap of faith that it was the right move. In the end, it did work out; changing what was on my plate enabled me to heal enough to go back to work, which started to relieve the immense financial strain we were under. However, at this point, keeping the food budget in check was still a very important part of the process as we had to begin the long process of paying off all of the debt we incurred from medical expenses and those months where we couldn’t make ends meet.

#2 Get Nutrition From Food Over Supplements

It can be really tempting to want to add a bunch of supplements to enhance the effects of the Autoimmune Protocol. Most of the time, they aren’t necessary, and because of all of the filler and ingredient possibilities, they can actually be a problem for a lot of people (check out this article and this article for more information here).

Instead of spending a ton of money on supplements, it may be wiser to be very choosy about those that you decide to incorporate if you are on a tight budget. Some questions to ask to evaluate a supplement:

  • Was this supplement recommended by your trusted doctor or practitioner? Some doctors, especially those in the natural field (like Naturopaths or Functional Medicine Practitioners) can be very heavy-handed in recommending supplements. Look for a doctor to work with who is open-minded in their approach and willing to give you explanations why they want you to try a certain supplement, or one who can help you prioritize according to how you are eating and your budget. Supplements can be very effective and a part of good complimentary care, but often times deciding what is truly necessary especially with budget concerns takes careful collaboration with your practitioner.
  • Did you find out about this supplement online? It is very easy to get sent down the supplement marketing rabbit-hole learning about what has helped other people through forums and websites online. I like to consider these hyped-up, trendy supplements something that maybe those with extra money can spend on trying if they’d like to, but not at the expense of the regular food budget. It is unlikely that these expensive supplements will be the “missing link” and replace good nutrition.
  • Is this something you can get from food? Many nutrients can be better obtained by food. For instance, if you’ve got an issue with iron-deficiency anemia, you would be better off prioritizing high-quality red meats, especially organ meats (which you saw above, can be some of the most affordable foods on your plate!). Here are some common supplements those with chronic illness might take, and some alternative foods that can offer them:
    • Gelatin: Broth made from bones (check out my recipe here), tough, slow-cooked meats and stews
    • Probiotics: Fermented foods like sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, kombucha, kefir, kvass (If you’d like to save money, make them at home!)
    • Fish Oil/Omega 3 Fats: Cold-water, fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring (BPA-free canned varieties can be very affordable!)
    • Iron: Organ meats, red meat, and shellfish
    • Calcium/Magnesium: Bone broth, green leafy vegetables
  • Do you feel a measurable improvement when I take this supplement? Sometimes an expensive supplement is recommended by a healthcare practitioner, but you may not notice the effects. You might want to forgo those additions to your routine that don’t produce any desirable effects and use those dollars to buy food. Talk to your practitioner about the window of time to notice effects before deciding not to buy another bottle.

#3 Plan and Shop Smart!

Although the Autoimmune Protocol allowed foods are pretty specific, how you choose to interpret that based on the foods you have available to you and which specialty ingredients you’d like to purchase can make a food budget vary a lot.

  • Avoid elaborate recipes and treats. The Autoimmune Protocol community is alive with incredible recipes for many recreations of what we ate in our former lives. To be honest, cooking from elaborate recipes and making treats often is a sure way to blow your grocery budget. Alternative baking ingredients like cassava flour, maple syrup, honey, dried fruit, and arrowroot are some of the most expensive on the market. Even if you aren’t making treats, specialty ingredients found in a lot of recipes can set you back a lot of money. The solution is simple—cook simple recipes using the highest quality ingredients that you can find for the best price in your area. This may mean that following recipes exactly as-written, or using a meal plan in a book isn’t right for you.
  • Make as many “specialty foods” at home as you can. While yes, you can buy your lard pre-rendered or bone broth ready-made from an online vendor, this is not ideal for your wallet. Even staples like coconut milk can be made for pennies compared to purchasing at the store. Here are some ideas of foods that you can make at home:
  • Waste nothing. As Dr. Terry Wahls described to us on our webinar, use all of the peels and scraps in your meals to maximize your food budget. In a country where 40% of our food goes to waste, we have no excuse for not ensuring that every bit of food we purchase ends up on our plates.
    • Buy bone-in meats (which is usually cheaper by the pound) and then repurpose the bones to make bone broth
    • Save any animal fat rendered during cooking for further use (like bacon grease or duck fat)
    • Save “cooked” bones after making broth to add to subsequent broth batches (I keep a bag in my freezer!)
    • Save vegetable tops for flavoring broth and to add to soups
    • Don’t peel organic vegetables and use them in your cooking
    • Find ways to use commonly thrown away things like carrot tops and beet greens
    • Make “garbage soup” utilizing any leftover vegetables in your refrigerator that need cooking
  • Shop with the seasons. Eating and shopping seasonally is more than a locavore, hippy dream—it can help you save a huge chunk off your food budget. While some meat and produce can be found for a high price at the markets (especially organic fruits in the bigger cities), if you keep your eyes out for a deal, you can do incredibly well. Often farmers will have a surplus when vegetables are in peak season, and you can take advantage by stocking up and making the most of that harvest. In addition, produce has its highest vitamin and mineral content in season, so this timing is ideal from a nutrient density perspective too!
  • Pick your own. Check this listing for farms in your area that offer pick-your-own, where you travel to the farm and harvest yourself. This is especially popular with fruit, and you can save a bundle of money. In my area, organic raspberries cost upwards of $10 a pound even in high season. In July, my family goes to pick them ourselves and pay around $2 a pound. In the same vein, in November, my favorite fruit persimmons are $2 each at my local grocer while we can pick our own for $1.50 a pound. In the summer and fall, we try and go fruit picking every weekend and both enjoy while the fruit is fresh as well as save for later. Use Pick Your Own as a resource to find farms near you.
  • Don’t shop at the same store for everything. Grocery stores will usually run good deals on certain foods but then offer others at a higher markup. A big misconception is that you can only find organic or specialty ingredients at natural grocery stores. In my town, the store with the highest quality and best price for organic produce is Fred Meyer (which is kind of like a Wal-Mart), not Whole Foods. In contrast, they do have some specialty ingredients, but they are very overpriced even compared to Whole Foods. Knowing what to purchase where can be revolutionary!

As if this wasn’t enough, I’ve got another equally advice-packed post for you as the next installment of this series. We’ll talk the advantages of investing up-front, joining a buying club, growing your own food, meal planning, flexibility, and other creative ways you can save money on food.

What are your favorite ways of sticking to your budget while embarking on a healing diet?

About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a cook and one of the bloggers behind Autoimmune Paleo. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner by the Nutritional Therapy Association, and is the author of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, a guide and recipe book for the autoimmune protocol, and AIP Batch Cook, a video-based batch cooking program. You also can find her on Instagram.

53 comments

  • Sophie says

    Lots of great tips in this post Mickey! Something I have worked on a lot since going AIP was to throw nothing away. Use the scraps to make something with them, like a broth, a soup, a vegetable scramble. And of course use leftovers for breakfast!!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Sophie,
      Yes, scraps work so well for broth, especially the ends of celery, onion skins, and carrot bits! Thanks for chiming in!

      • Mel H says

        Coming from an Asian family, nothing goes to waste! But then again I was throwing away all my celery tops, onions skins and carrot bits! Aiya! I’ll be keeping those from now on and using them as broth-enhancers + extra fiber. 😉

        Thank you so much for pouring your energies into this post. As a penny-pincher myself (we’re a family of 4 with 0 income as hubby is pursuing his doctorate), I think about ways to save all the time. There is a great responsibility for all of us to be as resourceful as we can with the things that we buy and then eat! I feel so much conviction in this area.

        Looking forward to your next post!

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Thanks for chiming in Mel! Wishing you and your family luck 🙂

    • Heather says

      Many foods such as scallions, lettuce and celery can be placed in water and new produce will grow. It is especially effective with scallions/green onions, just change the water every few days. I looked this up moments ago and there are many sites listing a bunch of vegetables that will do well like bok choy, leeks, lemongrass, carrot tops, etc.

      • Mickey Trescott says

        Heather,
        What a great tip! I am going to try this at home and report back 🙂

  • Aleah says

    There were so many great points in this post! I resonated with the part about “avoiding elaborate recipes or meals”. I LOVE to cook and try new recipes and make food my husband will love that’s also healthy. We’re on a tight budget right now so I try to keep fun new meals to once a week 🙂 Thanks for the reminder too that a little more upfront now= long term health and wellness later!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Aleah,
      So happy you found it helpful. I think it is more difficult to follow this concept now, because there are so many amazing recipes being presented to the community, but hopefully the reminder that simple, affordable, and easy is how we make these changes stick for the long-term. Wishing you the best!

  • celia says

    I have tried to attempt aip, but with so much fatigue, work etc, I cant seem to start it. Is your book simple, easy to follow , and have quick short recipes? I don’t have to stamina to prepare much, nor an exorbitant amount of money to spend. I am the only one doing aip, and I’d like to keep the budget to likely 30 per week for me only. My family is another story, lol.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Celia,
      Yes, the book is full of simple recipes, but some do take some time to prepare. I’d suggest The Healing Kitchen, which has a quick meal plan for people who don’t have a lot of time. Unfortunately I don’t think you would be able to do AIP for 30 dollars a week, unless you were willing to grow/raise some of your own food. Real food costs more to produce, and although it can be obtained for a good price, its ingredients aren’t manufactured and subsidized the way processed ingredients are and will never be as cheap. Hope it helps!

      • Celia says

        Thanks for the help Mickey! so, not all meats need to grass fed? I am cooking for myself, so maybe halving the recipes would be an idea. I was in an Asian market ( not upscale) the other day, and I saw chicken feet, liver and kidney. I am pretty sure nothing is grass fed. Do think buying stuff like this in the Asian market is ok, or should I know where the meat is coming from?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Celia,
          It is always preferable to know where your meat comes from, and the best combination between sourcing and affordability I’ve found to be my local farmers market, especially for offal. Usually farmers can’t sell these bits so they will practically give them to you! Since offal tends to be cheap even grass-fed/pastured, I’d try to find a good source for that, but you can certainly incorporate some lower quality muscle meat (like steaks etc.) since those tend to be pricier. Its all a balance!

    • ethan says

      it depends on where we live…but my budget went from $50/mo to ~$100/mo when i stopped eating grains. and that was with a full garden. i didn’t try to optimize things much, though because I had the same problem of a vicious cycle: too tired from chronic fatigue to get anything done. so my first meals were really simple. instead of learning to cook complicated things, i just focused on learning to cook simple, quick things well, and make nutritional density feel and taste good. simple isn’t bad! to keep on the bright side and looking forward, i try to see it this way: the investment you give in yourself now will afford you the time, energy and even $$ (e.g., from being able to work more or plan more $ savings strategies) to enjoy more elaborate and diverse meals and cooking techniques later.

      many of my meals were just canned fish, fermented veggies (like a tuna salad) or steamed or stir-fried veggies and sweet potatoes or squash and/or a cold salad. even in that small area i found lots of ways to achieve variation. now my partner and i enjoy exploring some of the more interesting recipes in many of the wonderful cookbooks available. the energy and time to cook has become a treat in and of itself! we are so grateful for the hard work so many have done to provide so many fantastic, budget-friendly and mouthwatering delicious, nutritionally-dense AIP recipes!

      • Mickey Trescott says

        Thanks for your comment Ethan, great tips!

  • Heather says

    I save by eating a lot of ground meat (beef, turkey and chicken). In the summer I grill it in patties, in the winter I saute it, both instances with onion or garlic, and garden herbs. I batch cook chicken thighs in my dutch oven weekly, then use the broth in making white rice (or whatever you can tolerate). I grow my own veggies and have berry and citrus trees in my yard. By doing away with convenience foods I’ve more than halved my monthly grocery bill.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Heather,
      Thanks for chiming in! Ground meat is a staple in our home as well. I agree that convenience foods are a super quick way to blow the budget–congrats on getting yours down by half, as that is quite an accomplishment!

    • Mel H says

      Heather, so inspirational! Now I feel like I need to do-away with all our processed snacks too… I just need to be more creative since I’m also feeding a toddler + baby.

      I also never considered ground meats to be cheaper, either. We love Trader Joe’s’ organic chicken drumsticks for $3-4! That’s usually for 5 drumsticks. Yummy meal and the bones always get cooked for a broth.

      Would you mind sharing some of your favorite, quick AIP snacks? I need some new inspiration.

  • Elise Lin says

    Great tips 🙂 I’m looking forward to the next article as well. I wanted to add growing (some of) the vegetables if you have room, but I see you’ll be covering that soon. The most difficult part for me is all the cooking, which doesn’t necessarily is that much work but it can be when you’re not feeling well. Previous tips like batch cooking works, and I personally like soups a lot because you don’t need to stand at the stove much (and that goes for a lot of stews too, I do the peeling and cutting at my desk so I can do it sitting).

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Elise, thanks for your comment. Yes, cooking is hard especially if time or energy is an issue. When I was sick I had lots of people asking if there was anything they could do, and I wished I had asked for help in this area. Even having a friend come over once a week to help with a big batch cooking routine and dishes after would have been a godsend. Good luck!

  • Barb says

    Hi Mickey
    Thanks for yet another super practical article. I really enjoy reading STORIES OF RECOVERY and AIP KITCHEN TOURS for their practical advice too, but I have not seen them on your blog since October last year. What’s happened?
    Barb

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Barb! We take a blogging break for the holidays. We posted a recovery story 1/15 and have another kitchen tour coming up soon 🙂

  • Great tips! I now can’t fathom why anyone would pay for kombucha or coconut milk, knowing how easy those things are to make. Make your own stuff definitely = making your budget go further.

    Persimmons are my favorite fruit, too!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Elizabeth,
      Right? I only buy kombucha when I’m traveling, and coconut milk when I’m in a pinch. Persimmon lovers unite!

  • Analisa says

    Hi Mickey! What’s your take on Vons and Albertsons Open Nature Grass Fed meats? There label says: 100% natural, raised without antibiotics, no added hormones, all vegetarian fed, no artificial ingredients minimally processed. I struggle with whee to buy my meats from! Like on the daily.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Analisa,
      I think that meat is an OK choice, good that it is antibiotic free but it would be better to find grass-fed. I’ve seen grass-fed meats now in stores like Wal-Mart and Costco, so they can be found! I do believe in not feeling guilt about doing the best you can. Not everyone can afford to buy top-quality from the farmer’s market or whole foods, so if that is what you have access to it will have to be good enough!

  • Kathryn says

    I echo Mickey statement “Plan + Shop Smart” and “Buy with the Season.” I have been doing AIP for seven months. This comment is long but I wanted to let folks know AIP is doable, it’s a learning experience, and to just “keep on keeping on.” When I first started out, I was spending $700 – $900 on AIP food stuff (for just myself) and I didn’t think I could sustain AIP long-term but as I learned more and more and followed a few Blogs and Instagrams, I have been been able to cut down on my food costs significantly. The key is to follow only a few Blogs and Instragrams — otherwise you get information overload and you want to try every recipe you see on a Blog/Instragram which cannot only be costly but also time consuming. I don’t eat out — I prepare all meals. Here’s my example of how AIP is doable –> I shopped at Trader Joe’s last night (located in the Washington DC area) and purchased two weeks of AIP food stuff for $108.03. The most expensive item on my list was the “organic/natural” whole chicken for $10.77, followed by 4 lbs of grass fed Angus beef for $23.96. The rest of my items included fresh and frozen vegetables, pantry items (vinegar, fish sauce, apple cider, cranberry juice). With all of these items, my meal plan for the next two weeks includes BREAKFAST: Apple-Cinnamon N’Orridge, Carrot Cake Breakfast cereal, Create Your Own Breakfast Skillet, Three-Herb Beef Patties. LUNCH: Roast chicken, simple Asian-inspired stir-fry, three-herb beef patties, butternut squash risotto, ginger fried cabbage + carrots, broccoli florets, Brussels sprouts, spinach. DINNER: Collagen-Berry Green Smoothie. I do a Smoothie every night. This Smoothie is very filling; the Collagen makes it thick and creamy and I use frozen chopped spinach. I also add a teaspoon of vanilla and lemon; lemon makes the berries pop. SNACKS: Morning Glory Cookies, and Upside Down Ginger Pear Cake.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Kathryn,
      THANK YOU for sharing! I know someone here will find it useful. Wishing you the best!

  • Pauline says

    Quick protein source on a budget – Turkey!! The free range turkeys are usually $3 or $4 per pound and nothing goes to waste! And it couldn’t be easier to cook. Although all the recipes call for 350 degree oven, I cook mine at 275 degree and it doesn’t dry out. And I use every single part of it… And free range turkeys feed on wild worms and insects and get fresh air and sunshine… Totally worth it!

  • Alana says

    Mickey,
    When I first looked into the Autoimmune Protocol (Jan 2015), your website was made it feel doable and approachable, and was the reason I felt ready to start it. I love your genuine (not dogmatic!) attitude about AIP and in general towards healing. This article is an awesome example of that. I often see people posting recipes and meals that are AIP, but when I look at the ingredients, all I think is “Holy Cow, I could never afford that!” It can be easy to get sucked into thinking that we have to buy all the possible types of food that are allowed on AIP, since it initially feels so restricted. Personally, I can’t afford the fancy stuff, but even pre-AIP I’ve always been on a tight food budget. These days I subsist on a lot of ground meats, pork shoulder, and tons of organic salad greens. All of those are budget friendly! I try to buy my ground meats at $7 a pound or less, and if I can’t find a particular meat in that range, I don’t buy it very often. This means that I don’t often make recipes as written, and mostly just experiment on my own. I think the key is for people to be willing to experiment for what works for them for food, lifestyle and supplements, not just follow what someone else is doing because it sounded good– it’s a balance between things that make us happy, things that nourish us, and saving our time for doing other things if it’s too much work to make our own. For everyone, it really seems to be different, which is awesome, because it means we have so many people to learn new ideas from.

    Thank you for everything you do!!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Thanks for this comment Alana, happy you find this approach helpful! Wishing you the best on your journey 🙂

  • Sharon says

    Hi Mickey,
    First of all, I’d like to thank you for your blog and your wonderful cook book. Last February, my 12 year old son was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. It was horrible because he first presented with a headache and none of the doctors he saw knew what was causing it and just wanted to treat his symptoms. During this time, he grew increasingly lethargic and couldn’t focus his attention so he couldn’t go to school. I am a single, self-employed mom. To say that I was stressed and worried to death about my son is a gross understatement. Eventually, after me talking to family and doing a shit ton of research on the internet, I took him back to the doctor (they had him scheduled months out to go to a neurologist) to check his TPO anti-bodies because so far all they’d checked were his TSH and FT-4 which were withing “normal” range. Sure enough, they were elevated so we finally had a diagnosis, which was a major relief, but little did I know that now our real journey had just begun. I had no idea about food intolerances and could not believe that our bread and pasta loving family was going to have to go gluten free! Then, I found out about the AIP and I decided we had to do it to get my son well again. My 15 year old daughter and I also went on the AIP with my son, to support him. At this point, I was pushed well beyond my comfort zone and into the crisis zone. After I got your cookbook, it made things feel manageable for me. Yes, it was still hard and a completely foreign way of cooking and eating for us. My son is doing so much better now and we have managed to add back in many more foods. Just last night, we had your rosemary, beef and sweet potato dish that is one of our favorites. We don’t eat completely Paleo but by and large that is how I cook. We are completely gluten free and mostly dairy free, with the occasional splurge of grass fed goats cheese. I won’t lie, our grocery bill has probably quadrupled but there is no cost I can put on my children’s health. I also learned that my daughter was gluten intolerant so I am hoping that by changing our diets I have prevented her from winding up with an autoimmune disease, as well. I will read over your post so I can hopefully learn ways to save some money on our food. My goal is to teach my kids to eat healthy so they can be healthy for life. Thank you both for all you do for the autoimmune community. I would love to see some posts for kids with autoimmune disease. Sorry for the novel length comment but, I have been wanting to thank you and couldn’t find an email?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Sharon,
      Thanks for your comment, and we are wishing the best for your son! While I try to develop recipes that are palatable to both husbands and kids, I don’t have any children to experiment on 😉 I would just start with what he will eat, and expand from there! I suggest checking out thepaleomom.com and paleoparents.com for great resources with restricted diets and kids.

  • Kim Condatore says

    Hi Mickey,

    Thank you for this article. It is very informative with great advice and tips. Also thankful for the comments by others as they also add some great tips. One thing I wanted to let you know is that, for me, some of the links to the articles you recommend and refer to are not working.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Kim,
      Thanks for letting me know–if you encounter a broken link, the best thing you can do is comment on the post and let me know which one is broken. Sometimes articles change outside this site, which I have no control over, but I do make changes when I know things are broken!

  • Alison says

    Great post Mickey! I find that eating seasonal produce and getting my meat from our local butcher really helps me to keep my AIP diet affordable. Appreciate the tips! 🙂

  • Sharon says

    I left a comment about my 12 year old son with Hashimoto’s last week and I noticed that you did not publish it? I’m wondering why that is? All I did was thank you for your cookbook and your blog? Not sure how this is “building community”?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Sharon,
      I get in to moderate comments every week or two, it is a constant flood from the blog, email, and social media channels combined. Hope you understand!

      • Sharon says

        Sorry about that Mickey! I do understand and I apologize for being impatient and defensive. I do love your cookbook and your blog and appreciate everything you and Angie do.

  • Thank you for the great read and wonderful advice, Mickey. I’m going to check out Pick Your Own right now! Our local farmer’s market only operates part of the year, so it would be nice to have farm fresh produce while it’s closed.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Samantha,
      I think you will find a lot of info there–I’ve loved connecting with local farms in my area and taking advantage of seasonal produce!

  • […] you learned in Part I of this series, prioritizing properly, getting your best nutrition from food instead of supplements, and planning […]

  • Laura Kelly says

    Thank you so much for this article. I am currently disabled due to some physical and autoimmune issues and I truly believe that with some dietary changes and discipline I can eventually turn it around. This article helps a lot. Being disabled I have a VERY limited budget.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Laura,
      Wishing you luck as you make these changes!

  • Basmah says

    This is great advice! This article really hit home as I recently lost my job due to hospitalization. Luckily, I live with my parents, but I want to stretch out the money that I have saved while I am recovering. I am still learning, but right now I am just keeping meals really simple with protein and steamed vegetables. I look through the ads every week/month, and buy the majority of my food with items that are on sale. My coop also has a 25% off for meat that’s ‘old’. It’s still kind of pricey, and I can’t wait until the farmer markets and fruit picking open this summer :).

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Basmah,
      Thanks for sharing your story–I sincerely hope you are able to get on your feet soon after the hospitalization! I had a similar experience a few years ago. Good for you for being creative and willing to purchase food that others turn down. Wishing you luck!

  • […] honest with yourself about your budget and your health goals, swing by Autoimmune Paleo and read Mickey Trescott’s tips about how to meal plan on a budget. For example, she covers which foods to take priority in quality and which specialty foods are […]

  • ethan says

    during her AIP healing process, my partner recently got onto an olive kick, intense olive cravings, which makes sense, considering this: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=46

    Anyway, we quickly ended up with a lot of olive juice and brine. I calculated the brine strength, which is about 7-10%. Perfect for brining meats! So instead of dumping salt and all those valuable water- and fat-soluble nutrients down the drain, we put it through a few cycles: first as a brine for meats, then as a source of flavor and salt and liquid for soups or even to deglaze pans while doing stir-fry dishes. During this olive kick, we’ve ended up using very little dry salt or fish sauce. I’ve even reduced it over the stove to concentrate the salt further (and pasteurize it after brining meats), so we can use it like fish sauce. Works great! And I’m sure we are recovering more nutritional value. After all, osmosis means that ~1/2 of all soluble nutrients go into the liquid. That’s a lot! Which is why things like fish sauce are so nutritious.

    I’m finding that this “not wasting anything” is a mindset more than anything. After I made that decision, then the question becomes, “what can I do with it?” And I think of all the ways I can substitute it in for other ingredients or combinations of ingredients. It’s fun! I also do the same with fats. For years, I haven’t let anything greasy hang out in my sink. I recover as much grease as possible for later reuse. The result? More flavorful food. Less buying of cooking fats. And I haven’t had a clogged sink drain since then!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Ethan – such a creative use of brine, and I do the same as you with the fats… they do not go down the drain in this house! There is nothing better to cook up your next batch of greens with. Thanks again for sharing and wishing you the best of luck.

  • Traci Veno says

    Thank you for the great post. If you are ever in tigard, oregon. The Tigard Oregon farmers Market matches ebt up to $10 a day and some farms are also taking ebt for those who can get benefits when not able to work.
    Also I don’t have a green thumb but I grow a few herbs and it saves a lot of money over time. Oregano, Rosemary, Chives are very easy to keep inside all year. At my local store it’s $3 if I want a few sprigs of fresh rosemary (and it grows like a weed in some places hehe).

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Thanks for the local tips Traci!

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