Is it possible to eat AIP on a budget? Absolutely! I’ll show you all the best tips for living well with autoimmune disease even on a tight budget. Includes an AIP on a Budget Shopping List and cheap AIP meals!
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Picture this. You’ve just discovered the AIP diet. You’re so excited at this chance to finally heal and get your life back. But then you realize just how expensive the AIP diet actually is! Grass-fed meats, bone broth, 8+ servings of vegetables A DAY? It really adds up and you’re on a fixed income! If this sounds like you, I can help! This ultimate guide to AIP on a budget was written just for you to help you heal without breaking the bank! Let’s get started!
Wanna rock the AIP diet? Check out The AIP Lecture Series by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom!
AIP on a Budget: The Ultimate Guide
Welcome to AIP on a Budget! In this guide, we’ll explore all the awesome little ways you can save money on AIP. Health doesn’t have to be expensive– you just need to know the right tips and tricks for staying within your budget. It’s easier than you might think. Let me show you how!
AIP on a Budget Tips & Tricks
Here some easy AIP on a budget tips and tricks that can easily save you tons of money every month!
AIP on a Budget: Meat
- Choose fattier cuts of meat. Many people prefer leaner cuts of meat, so they tend to be more expensive. For example, the average price of chicken leg quarters is $0.89 per pound, while the average price of boneless chicken breast is a whopping $3.33 a pound (over 3 times more!) And the best part is that on AIP, fattier cuts of meat are often prefered because they’re more nutrient dense!
- Use the whole animal. A whole chicken is typically much cheaper than individual cuts at around $0.94 per pound on average. If you use all the meat, that should cover you for at least four meals. You can also use the bones to make broth! If you can find a whole chicken with the giblets still attached, you can use the organs as well. This 3-for-1 bang for your buck is a great way to eat AIP on a budget. You can always freeze leftover meat for later.
- Buy tougher cuts of meat. Similar to fattier cuts of meat, tougher cuts of meat like beef shank or pork shoulder are typically cheaper. You can slow or pressure cook these meats for great flavor. See the cheap AIP meals section for recipes!
- Embrace organ meat. Organ meat is extremely nutrient dense and great for healing. In fact, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom recommends 5 servings or more of organ meat per week. If you’re doing AIP on a budget, you’re in luck because organ meat tends to be cheap! I bought a .80 lb pack of beef livers at Whole Foods the other day for less than $5.
- Choose ground meat. Ground meat also tends to be cheap and is very versatile. Grass-fed ground beef is much cheaper than grass-fed steak and you can often get great deals on dark meat ground turkey. If you see a sale or a great price on ground meat, you can stock up in your freezer for up to 4 months.
- Make your own bone broth. Bone broth is a must on AIP due to its many healing properties. However pre-packaged bone broth tends to be very expensive, so when eating AIP on a budget you should make your own! You can re-use grass-fed bones up to 3-4 times, which is a great money saver! Check out the cheap AIP meals section for my favorite bone broth recipe.
AIP on a Budget: Fruits & Vegetables
- Shop the Clean Fifteen. The Clean Fifteen is a list of 15 conventional fruits and vegetables with minimal pesticide residue. If you can’t shop organic, the next best thing is to shop the Clean Fifteen and avoid the Dirty Dozen (produce with the highest pesticide residue).
- Choose organic produce wisely. Not all organic produce is priced equally. Organic bagged spinach and kale tends to be cheaper. Organic frozen berries are typically cheaper than fresh ones, particularly during the winter when berries are out of season.
- Grow your own. If you have a green thumb, growing your own produce could be the best way to eat AIP on a budget. You’ll save a ton of money AND have a cool new hobby!
- Visit your local wholesale store. Many wholesale stores like Costco, sell organic produce in bulk for cheap. Check for in-season fruits and veggies for the best prices.
- Try Co-ops. Oftentimes small, local co-ops will offer better prices than larger chain stores. Some co-ops even allow you to donate your time in exchange for a discount. This is a great AIP on a budget hack.
Sources: 17 Cheap Organic Foods You Must Buy
AIP on a Budget: Packaged Foods
- Minimize packaged foods. Packaged foods on AIP tend to be the most expensive, but should be minimized anyway because whole foods are more nutrient dense. Eating AIP on a budget can actually be a benefit to you, if it’s forcing you to avoid packaged foods. More whole and fresh foods = faster healing. That being said, sometimes AIP packaged foods are necessary for convenience, baking, etc. You can use the tips below to get the best prices!
- Price compare. Before I purchase packaged foods, I usually compare prices at the two co-ops near me and Whole Foods to make sure I’m getting the best price! For example, I’ve noticed that tapioca flour is cheapest at Whole Foods, but coconut oil is cheapest at my local co-op. Price compare before you buy to get the best deal.
- Buy in bulk. Oftentimes wholesale stores like Costco offer AIP staples like coconut oil in bulk for a much cheaper price. This is a great way to shop AIP on a budget.
- Shop online. The best deals for AIP packaged foods are usually online. My favorite online store for AIP on a budget is Thrive Market. There is a $60 membership fee to join, but it’s SO worth it! The discounts are HUGE– some of the biggest I’ve seen anywhere at 25-50% off retail. For example, coconut flour is usually $6.99 at my local store but only $3.49 on Thrive Market. I made my membership fee back right away and I get a free gift with every order. Use this link to get a free trial and 25% off your first order. I also love ShopAIP for AIP on a budget. They’re the only 100 % AIP compliant online store and have great prices. Use this link and the code SHOP for 10 % off your first order.
AIP on a Budget Shopping List
Want to make AIP on a budget super easy? This AIP on a Budget Shopping List has all the cheapest AIP products based on the tips above. All you need to do is copy and paste it into your phone and you’re set!
Flaxseeds & Fairytales AIP on a Budget Shopping List
Meat, Fish & Seafood
- Grass-fed ground beef
- Grass-fed beef bones
- Organic ground turkey (dark meat)
- Organic whole chicken
- Organic chicken leg quarters
- Grass-fed beef shank
- Pasture-rasied pork shoulder
- Pasture-raised liver
- Canned wild caught tuna
- Canned wild caught sardines
- Wild caught salmon
- Wild caught shrimp
Fruit & Vegetables
- Bagged organic spinach or kale
- Frozen organic berries
- Organic Sweet Potatoes
- Avocados (conventional is okay)
- Onions (conventional is okay)
- Asparagus (conventional is okay)
- Cabbage (conventioanl is okay)
- Cauliflower (conventional is okay)
- Broccoli (conventional is okay)
- Mushrooms (conventional is okay)
- Organic apples
- Coconut oil (best in bulk)
- Coconut milk
- Coconut flour
Cheap AIP Meals
Now that you have all your yummy AIP on a budget ingredients– the next question is what do you do with them? Make one of these cheap AIP meals, of course! Here are some of my favorite AIP on a budget recipes:
Ginger Turkey Meatballs
AIP Crispy Chicken Drumsticks
Vegetable and Ground Beef Skillet
Crusty Roasted Pork Shoulder
Beef Shank Vegetable Soup
Gut Healing Bone Broth
Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken
AIP Tuna Salad
Liver and Onions (with Bacon) (omit black pepper and use coconut oil for strict AIP)
Quick Onion Soup
I hope you enjoyed this ultimate guide to AIP on a budget! If you were worried you couldn’t follow AIP because of your budget, I hope this guide changed your mind. Health should never be limited by what you can afford– you deserve to heal, no matter what! Good luck on your AIP journey. ❤️
If you found this post helpful, you will also like:
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Eating Out on the AIP Diet
AIP BBQ Chicken Fritters (Paleo & Whole30)
FREE One Week AIP Meal Plan
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