Shopping for a Paleo diet and buying fresh, unprocessed food should, in theory, be a doddle. However, it can sometimes be a bit more challenging than it first appears. Whilst fruit and vegetables are easy to find, shopping for other ingredients isn't always straightforward.
In order to get all you need (and at a reasonable price) you do sometimes have to shop around. I haven't, as yet, found a one stop shop for everything. I do a lot of schlepping around from shop to shop so I thought I would share what I have learnt. This is, of course, highly subjective and doesn't cover all supermarkets (I don't go to Lidl or Asda very often for example) but it may help point you in the right direction and save you some journeys.
I try and get organic produce whenever I can although this is not always possible nor is it affordable. I therefore try and focus on food which I think most benefit sfrom being organic. Meat and meat and dairy produce are at the top of my list. If you could see my fridge you would see that I don't always manage this at all but I try and do what I can!
In my experience, Tesco is the best supermarket for good quality organic meat. I can normally get organic chicken breasts, beef, minced beef and pork fairly easily. Tesco is also good for frozen wild fish such as their wild salmon fillets. They also stock a pretty good range of organic fruit andvegetables too. I normally manage to get at least half the items want as organic produce. They also are good for organic nuts and seeds and items such as tinned tomatoes. This does depend on size and locality of the store but my overall impression is that you can get a lot of what you need in Tesco.
I like a lot of Sainsbury's food, especially their huge free-from range, but I have found them to be surprisingly poor in terms of organic meat and wild fish. However, they do have some items that make it worth a visit to stock up. They are currently the only supermarket that stocks Helen Browning organic sausages which have the kid-friendly appeal of cooking in five minutes! Sainsburys are also currently the only stockist of Finnebrogue nitrate free 'Naked' ham and bacon. Nitrates in processed meat have been linked to some serious health issues so I think these products are worth the extra journey when possible. Sainsburys also stock a very reasonably priced range of organic low sulphate wine that you don't tend to see elsewhere so they definitely deserve kudos for still being ahead of the game in some areas!
Morrisons do have a small range of organic meat and it is certainly a lot cheaper for similar quality to Tescos but I only tend to see organic chicken there. It is worth buying it and freezing if you spy any. Morrisons also do really good gluten-free meatballs and sausages. They are not organic but it feels a good compromise. They have some organic fruit and vegetables but not nearly as much as Tescos. They do however sometimes have their own brand organic tomato sauces which are delicious. My local Morrison's has also really upped their game when it comes to free-from products. They also stock some items that you normally only see in health food shops such as protein powders and high-quality vitamins.
At the other end of the price scale, Waitrose has a similar range of organic meat and other produce when compared to Tesco but it does seem a lot more expensive. They do however stock organic meatballs and a big range of organic sausages,many of which have a high meat percentage and fewer additives than other brands. Waitrose also sometimes stock organic cold sliced meats such as chicken which I have yet to see anywhere else.
Aldi (and Lidl too) is really good if you are trying to cut costs on fruit and vegetables which are such a big part of a Paleo diet. The prices are excellent and they do have some organic produce too. The fresh food sometimes doesn't last as long as other supermarkets but if you are happy to go in more frequently it is fine. They are also brilliant for other items such as really good quality olive oil, coconut oil and nuts and seeds. They also have a good range of frozen fruit plus paleo friendly fruit and nut bars and small boxes of dried fruit, nuts and seeds. I have never seen organic meat there but some of the fish seems good quality and again, good value.
Last but not least, Costco is shopping heaven if you are eating a Paleo diet. Once you have got past the giant teddy bears (they seem to have set up camp there!) they have lots of items that are hard to get in other supermarkets such as coconut flour, coconut sugar, chia seeds, cacao nibs and protein powders. They also do huge bottles of maple syrup and big tubs of coconut oil. All of these tend to be cheaper than anywhere else. They are also good for nuts and seed mixes. Their meat is good value although it doesn't tend to be organic. However, they have fantastic salmon burgers made from wild Alaskan salmon that are worth going for the trip alone. America is about a decade ahead of us when it comes to the Paleo diet and it shows when you walk around here. They often have America products such as sweet potato crackers and sweet items made from coconut flour that you can't get anywhere else here.
I really hope you find this information useful. It is of course entirely based on my own experience shopping around Edinburgh but I do keep my eyes peeled and I have become a bit of a Ninja shopper in terms of spotting a Paleo bargain! I also know all the best coffee shops near every supermarket too in order to make the whole thing bearable. I would love to hear where you find good food in supermarkets near you too and if you have spotted any other Paleo gems out there too!