Where to shop alternatives ??

Answered on January 09, 2015
Created January 05, 2015 at 9:48 PM

Hi all, 

Brand new to this Paleo lifestyle and was completely surprised on this past weekends trip to Sams Club/Walmart/Harris Teeter/Foodlion/Walmart just to name the few of the places which apparently have a very limited sourse of Non-processed foods....

We do have a Trader Joes and Whole Foods in the area (but a good 45min ride) and was curious if thats what I will have to do is count on the 2 stores that are 45min away for most if not all my food ? Is there a list of things that are doable from certain typical chain grocery stores like I mention above?? I mean a 45min trip every 2-3 weeks would be fine but any other options weekly/every few days that other folks do is much appreciated?? I have a small local natural foods store here as well but would get rather expensive, I've also heard Wholefoods and TJ's can be rather expensive as well (have not made it there yet)? Not against spending the extra money for better health/lifestyle outcome at all but just trying to see what my other options may be??

On a more positive note :) I seem to be doing great with things so far, cut out ALL sugars/dairy/wheat/pasta etc.. and have been loving the bacon,avacado,pork,beef,salmon, veggies,eggs, cuties etc. Had a bit of a hard time with finding the alternate combination of my typical light (with Half & Half) and sweet (agave,stevia or monkfruit) coffee that I was use to drinking most of the day (everyday) finally I actually like how it is just black with 2 teaspoons of honey in it (who would have thunk?) but need to look into what the better honey to use is still ?

Anyhow, I am thrilled to have found this site and have been reading a ton of questions and topics here, only 5 days into this but determined to get through the tough part (not so bad at all yet) and continue to chug on with it.

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions with my above questions, and I'm sure this will not be my last question asked :)


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7 Answers


on January 05, 2015
at 10:40 PM

What were you looking for that you couldn't find? If you shop produce, frozen produce, and meats, I have heard pretty good things about the big stores. Most grocery stores I go to these days have at least one source of grass-fed beef in addition to bison. They all also generally have organic poultry - it's really hard to find pastured poultry in stores, so if you really want it go to your farmer's market! 

If you want to do paleo baking or have specialty nut butters, you should consider making a trip to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's every few weeks. Nut flours and butters and "more paleo" sweeteners are available at those stores in addition to paleo-friendly snacks like Larabars and EPIC bars. But there are plenty of people who don't go to the health food stores and do paleo just fine! The cheapest grass-fed beef I've seen has actually been at a Walmart grocery store.

If you want to make bone broth, I would also recommend getting bones from Whole Foods (or another store that labels quality) so that you're getting grass-fed beef bones. The first time I tried I got bones from Harris Teeter, and the broth didn't gel at all.

Medium avatar


on January 09, 2015
at 08:03 PM

Any store with a fresh meat and produce section is really all you need. If you live in a place where all of the grocery stores nearby don't have these departments, then that's tough. You'll have to go out of your way a bit.

As for coffee, I'd recommend bulletproof coffee. It's made using butter and/or coconut oil, so it's still creamy. If you look it up online, you'll find that you're supposed to buy special coffee beans and special oil, but lots of people make it with their normal coffee and some kerrygold butter.


on January 06, 2015
at 03:03 PM

It is true that about 80% of your typical grocery store is full of processed foods but that doesn't mean you have to buy it.  Any grocery store sells meat, eggs, vegetables, and fruit, if you are shopping for other things you might be somewhat missing the point of the diet.

I go to our local Giant several times a week, and occasionally to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's to get certain things. for example WF tends to have better organic produce (though it can be expensive), TJ's has frozen seafood, nuts, chocolate, etc.

Maybe it is more of changing your habits somewhat rather than changing stores?


on January 06, 2015
at 02:22 PM

I prefer to mostly use Wholefoods/TJ/Specialty stores for buying organic and pastured animal products, they usually have better selection and prices there, aside from that I don't think they're really that much better than the other big box stores.  So I'm mostly there to get my free range eggs, full fat yogurt, wild caught seafood and organic meats.  I actually think the veg produce at these places is overpriced, and since it's not all necessarily organic I'm not sure the produce is that much better, though they sometimes have interesting specialty items.  Many of the bigbox grocery chains are starting to get hip to their real food customers nowadays though, a lot of them have store brand organics and such.  It's really more about what you buy at the store.  The catchphrase is to 'shop the edges of the store', meaning where the fresh food is, so produce counter, fresh meats, etc.  The frozen vegetable bags are also pretty good, on-farm flash freezing often gives more nutrient preservation than the stuff out there that looks 'fresh'.  There's a lot of hate on canned food but actually pure things that are canned without sauce and additives I find to be worthwhile.  Canned beans for instance are actually one of the better ways to eat legumes if you can handle that, because they have been soaking so long, much of the phytate will be in the water which you throw away.  The problem with the idea that healthy food isn't cheap is that that's only true if you count food as coming from a box already ready to eat.


on January 06, 2015
at 12:25 PM

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions, I definitely plan on checking out Trader Joe's, I've also been looking into mail order by bulk (grass fed bison,beef,elk etc.) Also will be looking into local farms in my area. 

Thanks so much...


on January 06, 2015
at 06:22 AM

Or also eatwild website-for local farms and such!


on January 06, 2015
at 06:21 AM

I've heard costco is realllly great and totally worth the cost of a membership....and they'll reimburse you if you didn't have a good experience or didn't think it was worth it. Also gives you 2 cards so you could split with another household! I really only shop at Trader j's....god I don't know what I would do without it, bc Whole Foods is just absurdly expensive and I can't shop there. Also maybe check into some local CSA's and farms in your area. Look up Weston A price website to see if there are chapter near you to help!

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