Published on January 26, 2023 by Ashley Rothstein
Hello! If you landed on this post, you’re probably looking for an animal-based diet grocery shopping guide.
I receive requests to create animal-based meal plans and shopping lists.
And while I’ve considered making them, whenever I put serious thought into doing it, something feels off.
It doesn’t feel right for me to tell people what to eat, at what time, or how often. That’s an individual pursuit.
But I do love sharing food ideas with people. That’s why I make recipes…to provide options so people can choose for themselves.
While my family’s experience is n=1, I think there is value in having a template or example to work from, especially if you’re new at something.
So what does feel right is to create a post about how I grocery shop and source food for my family. This is not a suggested plan or recommendation, but rather a detailed account of what we do in our house.
The pursuit of food sourcing can be daunting, especially if you don’t know what to look for. And sometimes it helps to see what others are doing.
So in this post, I share:
- how I break down my family’s shopping needs,
- where we currently source our food and supplements from,
- plus my thoughts on how much food to buy, budget concerns for this WOE, and more.
I also include discount codes for brands/products mentioned in this post in case you want to purchase any of the products mentioned. You can find those at the bottom of this post.
What foods to buy
If you are not familiar with what foods to eat on an animal-based diet, start with this post.
If you are familiar, read on.
Below are the categories I use to compartmentalize my family’s shopping needs:
- Raw dairy
- Condiments & Extras
This list may look different for your family.
For example, some people don’t eat dairy, seafood, or eggs.
I discuss each of these categories individually in the below sections, then provide a birds-eye view of what our grocery shopping looks like on a weekly/monthly basis.
If you’re using this post as a guide, I recommend skipping to whatever sections are relevant to you. grocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet
My family eats about 95% beef. The 5% is chicken, venison, bison, and once every blue moon, pork.
We buy all of our beef from White Oak Pastures (WOP), a zero-waste regenerative farm that sells & ships 100% grass-fed & finished beef + lamb, corn & soy-free duck + chicken, and humanely raised pork.
A bit about WOP…
Their animals never see crates or cages and are raised without antibiotics, steroids, and hormones. Their zero-waste production system utilizes 100% of the animals butchered and processed on their farm. Meats, organs, and bones are sold to customers for consumption, and hides are either tanned and turned into leather products (handmade in their leather workshop) or dehydrated for pet chews. Beef fat and pork lard are rendered on-farm to later be crafted into tallow goods like soaps, salves, candles, and moisturizers. All of their steaks, roasts, organs, and bones are hand-butchered the old-fashioned way: by a man with a knife.
Before transferring over to WOP, we were buying all of our meat from Whole Foods.
We were paying $7.99/lb for grass-fed ground beef and anywhere from $11.99/lb-$15.99/lb for steaks.
My own suspicions about Whole Foods meat (plus the above-linked podcast) made me want to look elsewhere for our meat sourcing.
I had heard a lot about WOP, and the more I learned, the more I became convinced they are currently one of (if not the) best. But because of their process and extremely high standards, I was expecting a steep price increase and wasn’t sure if we’d be able to absorb it.
While WOP steaks are quite a bit more expensive than what we were paying at Whole Foods, I was pleasantly surprised to find that WOP ground beef is priced at just $8.99/lb, so just $1/lb more than Whole Foods.
I was even more surprised to find that WOP also offers a subscription discount for their ground beef. The ground beef is delivered every 30 days and sold in 25 lb increments. The price per lb decreases to $7.99 if you select the subscription, which is the same as what we were paying at Whole Foods!
So we decided to sacrifice steaks and switch over to WOP ground beef. We are currently subscribed to receive 50 lbs per month.
WOP also offers something called Steakburger Grind, which is an 85/15 ground beef blend created using middle meats like rib loins, strip loins, and tenderloins. It’s ground beef that tastes like steak!
And while their steaks are priced at $20/lb+, the Steakburger Grind is priced at $15.99/lb, so it appears to be some sort of middle ground between their ground beef and steaks.
We buy about 20 lbs or so every month or two as a treat, along with a few packs of their beef hot dogs. (If you haven’t tried their hot dogs, I highly recommend them.)
I was initially a bit bummed to sacrifice steaks, but it has been an easy transition. Especially since we now have the steakburger grind in rotation, I do not feel the void I was expecting to feel from not having steak.
As I mentioned before, we don’t eat chicken much. But I like to have a few chicken products on hand in the event that we crave chicken.
We buy our chicken products (breast, tenders, and liver) from Humble Rooster Farm, a local farm here in Texas. Their chickens are corn-free and soy-free, two markers to look for when purchasing chicken products. If you’re not local to Texas, White Oak Pastures and Northstar Bison also offer corn-free and soy-free chicken. Both ship to multiple states.
As for venison and bison, we buy Force of Nature meats from Whole Foods occasionally.
Northstar Bison is another wonderful option for meat sourcing. Their livestock is raised as nature intended and also organic, soy-free, corn-free, gluten-free, glyphosate-free, preservative-free, antibiotic-free, and added hormone-free, and their field harvests are zero-stress. Learn more about their standards here.
And if you’re located in Austin, Local Pastures is a store you may want to check out. They carry Shirttail Creek Farm (another amazing regenerative farm) meat and eggs along with a bunch of other products. It’s a little hidden gem. And for those not located in Texas, Shirttail Creek Farm also ships. Agrocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet
If you’re an animal-based eater, you probably blow through salt like we do.
The moment we have a topped-off salt shaker, I basically blink and then it’s gone. Between liberally salting our food and adding it to our water, it’s incredible how fast we go through salt.
Week after week we would purchase salt shaker after salt shaker from the grocery store. Like I do with all of our other household products, I began to wonder if there was a better, more efficient way to purchase salt that would also save us money.
- bought a reusable salt shaker (we use this one),
- bought a couple of 25-lb bulk bags of salt,
- and we use the bulk bag supply to refill the salt shaker.
When I shared this on my Instagram page, my followers loved the idea. I got tons of messages from folks who let me know they had never thought of this and were super excited to purchase their own bags.
Not only do I no longer have to think about buying salt during our weekly grocery trips, it is now so easy to walk over to our pantry once our salt shaker is empty and fill it up. Free space in my head and a more efficient/quicker refill process.
This is also the cheapest way I’ve discovered (so far) to buy salt.
Also, Redmond offers free shipping for orders over $30, so if you buy at least one bag, you’ll get free shipping.
We now purchase at least one 25-lb bulk bag every 1-2 quarters to keep adding to our “when shit hits the fan” stash.
I’m obsessed with salt.
Find out why here.
We get our eggs (which are corn-free and soy-free) weekly from a little shop called Local Pastures. The eggs are from Shirttail Creek, a local Texas farm.
Check out the color of these yolks:
We used to buy our eggs from Humble Rooster Farm, another local Texas farm.
We had no problem with their eggs, they’re just a bit pricier than Shirttail Creek eggs.
Jeremiah Cunningham’s World’s Best Eggs are sold at Whole Foods here in Austin too. They are not corn-free, but they are soy-free and organic.
As for egg sourcing, your best bet is probably a local farmers market as most farms don’t ship eggs. grocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet
Other than wild-caught fish eggs (in supplement form), we don’t eat much fish.
But in the event that we crave it, I like to have some on hand.
We purchase our seafood from Sea2Table. We get their “Salmon Lovers Pack” and scallops.
A bit about Sea2Table…
They sell wild-caught seafood from well-managed US fisheries, flash frozen to preserve freshness. Each package of fish includes a traceability label that lists where your seafood was caught, the catch method, and the best-by date. Free shipping for orders over $99.
And their turn-time is quick…we receive our box just a few days after ordering.
I do not purchase regularly as we don’t each fish regularly. Whenever our stock gets low, I just reorder.
If you’re looking for good seafood, consider Sea2Table. They ship to all 50 US states. grocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet
Feeling bloated? Read about the 10 things I did to beat the bloat for good.
Read this post here to learn more.
We use either ghee or beef tallow for cooking. Sometimes raw butter, but that is rare.
We buy our beef tallow from White Oak Pastures. Whenever we need to restock, I just add a few jars to our monthly order.
As for ghee, a friend shared this amazing 38-lb tub (!) with me. We purchased one. The ghee is tasty and appears to be high quality, and the per lb price ($8.33/lb) is significantly cheaper than anywhere else I’ve seen. They also have an 8-lb pail option if you’re budget-conscious and/or looking for a smaller quantity.
grocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet
To source raw dairy, your best bet is probably a local farmers market. Look for A2.
Some farms sell online and ship too, like Raw Farm.
We purchased their raw dairy products regularly when we lived in California as they’re sold in stores there. They used to also sell online and ship to most states until they experienced a devastating creamery fire in 2021 and halted all online sales. Their online store should be up and running again soon, hopefully this year (2023).
Now that we live in Texas, we purchase our A2 raw milk weekly from Richardson Farms, a local farm. We buy 3-4 gallons per week.
As for our raw cream, we get it from a local co-op. A nice gal volunteers her time and coordinates with a farm that delivers once per month. So we place our order monthly and pick it up from her house.
As for raw cheese, we buy Organic Valley from Whole Foods or whatever raw cheese looks good from the cheese counter there. grocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet
Not sure which organ supplement brand you should choose?
This post here may help.
As for produce, we buy weekly from Whole Foods. Occasionally we’ll run low and my husband will make a quick stop for more during the week.
Our weekly produce list is mainly fruit, the occasional vegetable, and sometimes a few herbs and spices. We purchase organic only.
Here’s a sample list:
- 3 kabocha squash
- 1-2 sweet potato
- 1-2 regular potato
- 3 bundles of bananas
- 2 packs blueberries
- 1 pack kiwis
- 1 avocado
- 1 cucumber
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 bunch dill
- lemons and/or limes if we’re out
During the summer months, we also buy plenty of strawberries, watermelons, mangoes, and oranges.
My list is based on:
- the usual rotation (we always have kabocha squash and bananas on hand, for example)
- what we’re craving that week (maybe a fruit, vegetable, or herb we don’t always eat – i.e. if I’m craving guac, I’ll get avocados, cilantro, lemons, and limes)
- what I need for upcoming recipes
I also sometimes make game-time decisions at the grocery store (for example, seeing a new fruit that sounds good that I didn’t know would be there, like apricots). I don’t love doing this though because the result is usually overbuying and having to rush to eat food so it doesn’t go bad.
Condiments & Extras
We also re-up on our “extras” at Whole Foods each week. What we buy is based on whatever we’re running low on.
- Bone broth
- Maple syrup
We randomly crave condiments. When we buy them, we usually get Primal Kitchen brand. My husband loves their BBQ sauce and ketchup.
The snacks we have in rotation are:
- Carnivore Crisps
- The Carnivore Bar
- Heritage Biltong
- Epic Beef + Beef Liver Bites
- Epic bars (my husband eats these)
If you love a good crunch, I highly recommend trying out Carnivore Crisps. They offer tons of different meat options, such as organ meats, lamb, different cuts of beef like ribeye, brisket, and top sirloin, and even wild game like elk.
If you’re on the go and don’t have time to cook or if you’re looking for a nutrient-dense shelf-stable snack for backpacking trips, airplane rides, or long periods of time away from a fridge, Carnivore Crisps are a great option.
I buy them here and there if I’m craving “chips” to go with a dip, or if I need them for a recipe.grocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet
The Carnivore Bar
They offer three bars (all made with dehydrated beef for a nice crunch!):
- beef + tallow
- beef + tallow + sea salt
- beef + tallow + sea salt + raw honey
My personal favorite is the raw honey variation. After trying the honey bar for the first time, I woke up craving another first thing the following morning.
The salted bar isn’t bad, but taste-wise, I would never choose it over the honey bar. If I was looking to stay low carb, however, or was trying to stay away from sugar, I’d choose the salted bar.
I was not a fan of the unsalted bar. I don’t know if there is ever a scenario where I would choose an unsalted variation of something over a salted one.
We currently subscribe to receive one box (sometimes, two boxes) per month.
Note: you may have heard about their recent price increase. If you are bummed, I can assure you that they are too. They hold themselves to very high sourcing standards, and creating a bar of this nature with high-quality ingredients is not cheap, especially right now. We all hope this is temporary. If you have the means and like them, support them during this challenging time. If you purchase a subscription and use my code, the discount ends up being 25% off.
While biltong is not beef jerky, it is a South African snack that is similar. I was skeptical at first since I have never liked beef jerky or snacks that resemble it.
When I got the snacks, I left them with my husband to try first. When I came back, he was pleasantly surprised at how much he liked them. He is picky, so that intrigued me.
And when I tried them myself and enjoyed them, I was officially impressed.
Heritage Biltong offers four different flavors. All are good. The flavor is subtle (more of an aftertaste), yet deep. It doesn’t taste synthetic. I liked “Classic” the best, followed by Smoked, Garlic, then Spicy.
Epic Beef + Beef Liver Bites
Like the above three snacks, Epic Beef + Beef Liver Bites are also shelf-stable and nutrient-dense.
It’s one of my favorites.
I pair these bites with Opal apples and raw cheese (pictured below). It’s like Lunchables, just way better.
I usually purchase a few bags per week from Whole Foods, but they can also be purchased on Amazon. grocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet
Below are the supplements we always have on hand. I re-up whenever our stock runs low.
I like this collagen because it’s certified glyphosate-free and sourced exclusively from Brazilian grass-fed pasture-raised cows. No fillers, pesticides, hormones, or flow agents. Mixes with both hot and cold liquids.
Note: for the best deal, use my discount code and order 4 jars. You’ll get their 3+ bulk discount (20% off) + 10% off with my code + meet the $ requirement for free shipping.
This gelatin is also certified glyphosate-free (like their collagen) and sourced exclusively from Brazilian grass-fed pasture-raised cows. No fillers, pesticides, hormones, or flow agents. Gels and thickens recipes. Great for marshmallows, gummies, and jellies.
Note: for the best deal, use my discount code and order 4 jars. You’ll get their 3+ bulk discount (20% off) + 10% off with my code + meet the $ requirement for free shipping.
One of the cleanest protein powders available, made with easy-to-digest A2 goat milk. No sweeteners, flavors, gums, stevia, hormones, GMOs, or chemicals. Just one ingredient: grass-fed goat milk protein. 80% casein, 20% whey. Other variations include fermented protein + minerals/probiotics. ASHLEYR for 10% off.
Pre-packaged single-serving electrolytes. Great if you’re on the go.
Bulk electrolyte powder. Great if you don’t want to make your own electrolyte powder. ASHLEYR for 10% off.
Another option for pre-packaged single-serving electrolytes. Great if you’re on the go. ASHLEYR for 10% off.
Beef liver and heart. Rich in vitamin A, copper, choline, folate, B6, B12, niacin, iron, potassium, phosphorus, COQ10, zinc, and selenium)
ASH10 for 10% off.
Cartilage, bone marrow, and liver. Rich in collagen, B12, riboflavin, iron, vitamins A and E, phosphorus, thiamin. We alternate between buying this one and Bone Marrow & Liver.
ASH10 for 10% off.
Note: If you’re looking for an organ supplement source that is cheaper than Heart & Soil but still high quality, consider Perfect Supplements. They offer a multi-organ blend and a desiccated liver supplement. You won’t get the targeted support that you do with Heart & Soil, but these are great alternatives. Perfect Supplements also offers both products in bulk powders. Use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.
Rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K2, DHA, EPA, and ETA.
Desiccated oysters. Rich in zinc, iodine, B12, selenium, and copper. Each batch is tested for heavy metals. To learn if desiccated oyster supplements are right for you, check out this blog post. Use code ASHLEYR for 10% off.
Note: for the best deal, use my discount code and order 3+ bottles. You’ll get their 3+ bulk discount (10% off) + 10% off with my code.
Real food Vitamin C supplement. Single source: acerola cherries. Use code ASHLEYR for 10% off. Perfect Supplements also sells this product in bulk powder.
For those who don’t mind (or prefer) a fruit variety, check out Pure Radiance C.
For extra B vitamins and micronutrients, including bioavailable copper. Also…one heaping teaspoon has 5g of protein!
For the immune system benefits (I get chronic UTIs) as propolis is known for its antibiotic effects. Check out the reviews for the product below…some people claim that propolis reversed their cancer!
1 tbsp has around 1500 IU of vitamin D (plus a plethora of other nutrients). Use code ASHLEYR for $10 off.
I recently got my vitamin D levels tested and they were at just under 50. I stopped synthetic supplementation at the beginning of this year (a few months ago) and have been using only Cod Liver Oil and sunning, so I was pleased to find that those two things seem to be holding up, even during winter. Looking forward to getting it even higher in the spring/summer.
Note: for the best deal, use my discount code and order 5+ bottles. You’ll get their 5+ bulk discount (10% off) + 10% off with my code. Can be paired with other Jigsaw items like MagPure Malate and Glycinate (below).
This is the D/K2 supplement I took prior to my CLO experiment. It’s the cleanest one I’ve found. Sourced from sheep’s lanolin.
I take 2 capsules with my evening meal to help with winding down at night, overall wellbeing, and bowel movements. I don’t skip a day as I get horribly constipated when I do. Read more about magnesium here. Use code ASH10 for 10% off.
Note: for the best deal, use my discount code and order 5+ bottles. You’ll get their 5+ bulk discount (32% off) + 10% off with my code.
Daytime magnesium to support energy levels. Read more about magnesium here. Use code ASHLEYR for $10 off.
Note: for the best deal, use my discount code and order 5+ bottles. You’ll get their 5+ bulk discount (10% off) + 10% off with my code. Can be paired with other Jigsaw items like MagPure Glycinate (below) and Cod Liver Oil.
Evening magnesium to support sleep. Read more about magnesium here. Use code ASHLEYR for $10 off.
Note: for the best deal, use my discount code and order 5+ bottles. You get their 5+ bulk discount (10% off) + 10% off with my code. Can be paired with other Jigsaw items like MagPure Malate (above) and Cod Liver Oil.
Want to learn more about my full real food supplement routine (and why you may want to consider ditching your manufactured supplements)?
Read this post here to learn more.
As for water, we have a few 5-gallon drums and refill them weekly with reverse osmosis water at Whole Foods.
We have a 2-gallon dispenser in our pantry that we use to dispense water for drinking. We use the 5-gallon drums to refill it throughout the week.
So, to summarize…
We purchase the below categories when our stock runs low:
- Meat (beef + chicken)
- Seafood (salmon + scallops)
- Supplements (organ supplements + fish eggs + desiccated oysters + magnesium + bee products + D/K2 + cod liver oil + medicinal use supplements)
Throughout the month, I’m constantly checking our supply of these things. When it drops below about 30% of what we started with, I re-up.
We purchase the below categories intermittently to build stock:
- Fat (ghee + tallow)
As I mentioned above, I purchase one (or a couple) 25-lb bulk bags of salt every 1-2 quarters and fat from the grocery store in bulk when it goes on sale.
We purchase the below categories weekly:
- Meat (venison + bison)
- Raw dairy (cheese + milk)
- Produce (fruits + veggies + herbs)
- Condiments & Extras (maple syrup + honey + ACV, etc.)
During our weekly Whole Foods trip, we purchase produce, raw cheese, venison and/or bison if we’re craving it (or if I want to feed it to my daughter), any condiments/extras we’re running low on, and we also re-up on water. We purchase our raw milk from a local farm and pick it up from the farmers market on Saturdays (the same day as we grocery shop) and we stop by Local Pastures then too for eggs. So, all of the above is taken care of in one weekly trip.
We purchase the below categories monthly:
- Raw dairy (cream)
Snacks either come in on subscription or are purchased intermittently. We purchase and pick up raw cream once per month from a local co-op. grocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet
How much food to buy?
This depends on so many factors.
- How many people are in your family?
- How many kids and how many adults, and how old are the kids?
- Is your family active?
- Do some family members require more food than others (i.e. athletes)?
- Does anyone have food sensitivities or allergies?
This is why, at least for me, it’s so hard to create one-size-fits-all meal plans and shopping lists.
For my family, the amount of food we consume changes over time.
For example, during the summer months, we drink more water/raw milk and consume more fruit/electrolytes than we do in the winter.
There are three humans in our family now. One of them is 8 months old and doesn’t require nearly as much food as we do, but her food needs will increase over time. And as we add more members to our family, we will need to start buying more and more food.
If you’re trying to figure out how much food to buy, my best advice is to go with your gut and estimate, then calibrate over time based on your family’s changing needs.
A couple of things to consider…
If you find yourself placing online food orders often and going to the grocery store multiple times per week, you’re probably underbuying (unless you love going to the grocery store multiple times per week).
If food often goes bad on your watch, you may be overbuying. grocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet
If budget is a concern, buying in bulk is the way to go.
Bulk buying can be daunting because it’s a bigger dollar sign up front, but if you’re going to buy whatever it is anyway (meat, salt, etc.), then why not pay less per unit?
For meat, you could take advantage of WOP’s bulk ground beef subscription program, or look into buying a whole or partial cow from a local farm.
As for seafood, Sea2Table has subscriptions that are a bit cheaper in price.
For salt and supplements, Redmond Real Salt sells 25-lb bulk bags of mineral-rich sea salt and Perfect Supplements sells collagen and gelatin in bulk. Marine Health Foods also offers a bulk discount (10% off for 3+ bottles of desiccated oysters) as does Jigsaw/BiOptimizers for magnesium (10% off for 5+ bottles Jigsaw, 30% off for 5+ bottles BiOptimizers).
Raw dairy is a bit more challenging to buy in bulk as it sours if left too long in the fridge, so you’d need to have freezer room if buying in bulk. Same with produce.
As for fat, condiments, and extras, there are definitely ways to buy in bulk. I’m currently looking into that myself.
Below is a list of discount codes for the brands/products mentioned in this post.
White Oak Pastures: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.
Northstar Bison: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.
Shirttail Creek: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.
Sea2Table: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for $20 off your first purchase of $149+.
Redmond Real Salt: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 15% off at checkout.
Carnivore Crisps: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.
The Carnivore Bar: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout (25% off for subscriptions).
Heritage Biltong: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.
Perfect Supplements: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.
Mt Capra: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.
BiOptimizers: Shop using this link and use ASH10 for 10% off at checkout.
Jigsaw: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for $10 off at checkout.
LMNT: Shop using this link.
Marine Health Foods: Shop using this link and use ASHLEYR for 10% off at checkout.
Heart & Soil Supplements: Shop using this link and 10% off will automatically be applied at checkout.
If you like deals: I created one giant hub that lists out the products I (and my family) use and/or recommend with explanations about each. I am also partnered with the majority of these companies and have plenty of discount codes available for use. To take advantage of the deals (or if you’re curious to learn more about what I and my family use to optimize our health), check out my Discounts Hub here. grocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet
I hope you found this blog post useful.
Best of luck with developing and/or refining the food-sourcing process you use for your family!
Feel free to share any recommendations or comments about how you source food for your family.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com. grocery shop for my family on an animal-based diet