5

votes

$35/Week for Food, What do you buy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 08, 2012 at 5:30 AM

New Question:

You have $35/week to spend on Paleo only food. What do you buy? and what do you already have in your pantry?

Edit: I put in the new question to be more inclusive, and to provide more information for other people who read the thread, and also to not limit my self. However, I left the old question up so if you want to get specific to me, you can. Cheers

Old Question: Okay, I'm budgeting down a lot.

I've got basics in the cupboard, sugar, grapeseed oil, salt, pepper, spices. So, exclude that stuff.

How do you spend your $35/week? I'll be buying my food each Friday or Saturday.

What I've been doing: 3 dozen eggs, 1 quart half&half, 1/4lb coffee, 10 strips of bacon, 1 whole chicken, some tuna cans, cans of tomatoes, cans of black olives, sunflower seeds. Veggies with money left over: romaine, onions, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes.

My goal here is to buy foods that are multi-functional, bang for the buck, paleo, non-specific to health markets.

Ideas? Also, suggestions of ways to eat foods, or with other foods, or even specific products would be great.

Thanks in advance!

Jared

P.S. Oh oh, I'm 21/5'9"/160lbs/6.8%bf - CrossFit, 2x/day & boulder 1-3/week (that's rock climbing without ropes for some of you) & ride my bike everywhere. I'm at the point where my carbs are generally low, my fat and protein are fairly high, and I feel good.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 10, 2012
at 02:45 PM

Okay guys! I've got a $35(38 actually)/week budget for the co-op. I'm going to the Asian market and the other still expensive, but slightly less so, grocery store that is downtown today. And then in the next few days I'll stop by hy-vee. I'll try and combine the best of all four worlds to make my dollars go the furthest. Looks like in August I could bump up my groceries to $45 or $50, which would be nice, just a little bit more meat and more veggies would be wonderful. But, I think, at this point I don't NEED more than $50/week.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 10, 2012
at 02:42 PM

Wait, that is not what I've read generally about potatoes. Sweet potatoes are paleo, but I was always under the impression that potatoes were bad for you (not a food GROK ate, poisonous, full of starch, little to no nutrients, raise insulin levels). Help?

Dfe1dfb34939145fe21b3d8fa6832365

(657)

on July 09, 2012
at 11:31 AM

Jared- I mix it with just about anything. My two favorite foods to mix it with are steamed broccoli and cauliflower (usually buy them mixed frozen), and eggs. They both can absorb so much lard, add some salt onion and garlic and I have a a ton of pretty nutritious calories for maybe $3. I don't do much frying though.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 09, 2012
at 04:11 AM

Yeah, liver and organ meat is so cheap, definitely worth learning to cook them :-) As for gelatin I make chicken and beef stocks on weekends, and I use it throughout the week (cooking meat and vegetables, soups, curries...). I wouldn't say it's necessarily cheap though, the bones seem very expensive in a budget. Hmm, about micronutrients, I'm mostly worried about vitamins, zinc, and magnesium, so I'll run the numbers on PaleoTrack and see how it works out. It would be so great if it does, vegetables are so expensive ... thanks for the tip!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on July 09, 2012
at 03:17 AM

Luisa~ Liver, gelatin and other organs from grass-fed animals are a more efficient (and to me, tastier) way of getting your micronutrients on a budget.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 09, 2012
at 01:52 AM

I just buy the normal ones. So long as the seals are strong - worth checking (the little holes), the coconut is usually good and they last for ages. You can eat the flesh, drink the coconut water. Coconut milk or cream is made by mixing the flesh with water. I am not sure how its done, probably boiling the flesh and then a blender? Ive never done that part.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 09, 2012
at 12:31 AM

Though I suspect someone with the name Potato Avenger will have some good reasons why potatoes are alright, potatoes are a tuber and thus widely considered paleo. When peeled they are nutritious and very low in toxins and anti-nutrients.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 09, 2012
at 12:17 AM

I eat a lot of meat, as written in this post, generally about 2 meals of fish, 2 meals of beef, 2 meals of chicken or pork, and the remaining meal is generally another fish or beef. For breakfast (when I eat it), I have eggs or shrimp. It's plenty of meat! Believe me, I don't want to be a vegetarian, I want to give birth to healthy children! :-D

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 09, 2012
at 12:15 AM

Chelsea, I didn't say that vegetables would make the bulk of his calories. I eat what I wrote here, and my daily calories are: 65-70% fat [and of that percentage, 90% is from saturated fat), 20% protein, 15% carbs. The reason I put vegetables as a priority is to make sure he gets all the micronutrients he won't be able to get from muscle meat. If he misses out on certain micronutrients for a while he could become unhealthy!

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 09, 2012
at 12:09 AM

You could probably keep the coffee, but buy a smooth tasting type so it doesn't need sugar and cream to make it taste good. I love heavy cream too, but it's sooooooo expensive...

2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

(3043)

on July 08, 2012
at 11:57 PM

Where's the meat? This isn't a vegetarian camp. By calorie, meat is far cheaper than vegetables!

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on July 08, 2012
at 11:48 PM

Kelly- If you can find a buying club for one of the local meat farms, you can get cheap lard. I get pork back fat for $2/lb from a local farmer (Virginia). I'm sure you could find pastured pork fat from someone in Savannah, or maybe up near Charleston (SC). I don't know what the farmers market situation is for you, but pastured pork fat shouldn't be too hard to come by. You may have to render it yourself over some weekend afternoon.

8f87879387f2a357db7c33008ff9a04a

(887)

on July 08, 2012
at 11:43 PM

Kerrygold is more like 7$ a pound here. The cheapest I've found is Strauss for 5.5$ and I had to buy 15 lbs to get the discount for a case. Grass-fed butter is where its at!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on July 08, 2012
at 10:27 PM

100% grass-fed cows, no antibiotics or hormones. Yummy! Cheap at Trader Joe'.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 08, 2012
at 10:06 PM

I don't know if this is his, but here's mine: Potatoes are a a natural of glucose that is low in anti nutrients. It has none of the characteristics of any neolithic agents of disease (fructose, PUFA, anti nutrients). THat being said, I personally stick to sweet potatoes and squashes, but I will eat potatoes when I go out to a Bistro or something and they come with my meal :)

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:48 PM

ahhh dammit. I had to ruin such a good comment with a typo. haha

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:47 PM

I didn't mean it to seem like I was chastizing, I love potatoes. I want his rationalization so that I can steal it and use it for myself and start eating potatoes again! :)

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:35 PM

And more paleo than rice. :) I eat some potatoes, out of my own organic garden for the most part, and a little white rice, myself.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:18 PM

I brew my coffee with cinnamon on the raw. :D love it (I have a single cup drip which sits atop my cup that I pour hot water into.)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Potatoes are at least more paleo than sugar, coffee, and grapeseed oil ;)

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:15 PM

It seems the bird so longer the word, but rather kale. So, kale it is for now on.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:13 PM

My university (UofIowa) has a brand new state of the art recreational center, where I actually work (rock climbing instructor), but it is free for students. It has pools, tracks, courts, and free weights among other things. So, this is where I crossfit. :)

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Potatoes eh? Not so paleo. How do you justify the use? Cheap & dense?

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:12 PM

I'm in a summer sub-let righ tnow. Moving into a year long lease in a few weeks and plant to get a terrarium going for herbs as well as composting to grow plants inside. :)

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Indeed, I often use honey. I have about half a jar left of local honey. Sugar was just thrown in there as an example of a staple one might have in their pantry. When you buy coconuts, do you buy young coconuts or normal ones? How long do they last? You eat the flesh, any especially good ways? The age of the coconut determines if it's water or milk inside, right?

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Awesome. Thanks much! I see Kerrygold a lot on here and am wondering why its so popular with paleo-eaters.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:05 PM

Yes! I am hoping to buy from wallacefarms.com which allows you to purchase from a consortium of farms through a buying club. They deliver to the city once every 4-6 weeks. You place your order and they are at a location in the town all day and everyone who buys from them picks up the meat throughout the day when they can. If you live in Iowa or Illinois this is a great option. I've got to wait a few weeks though until I've got myself financially stable!

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:02 PM

You see, I had read the opposite about GSO. That, because of its high smoking point, it was better for frying in than other vegetable oils (especially olive oil, due to its low smoking point). Also, I find that food tastes less oily after frying in GSO. What is the texture of canned sardines like? Is the bone still in? The head? It kind of grosses me out. hahaha

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:01 PM

Wow! Thanks for this! I do love fried plantains. (Because of my time in Haiti. Soooo good!) And I do LOVE bone broth. I started doing that about 3 weeks ago. I save all my bones now, from any meat I buy. I have some pork bones and chicken bones and I was wondering if cooking them at the same time would be bad, or just better haha? I usually cook scrambled eggs and put them in a bit of the broth in the morning. Yum. Really? Rice? I feel like that would be so much carbs...hmmm. Thanks again!

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Interesting. I'll have to pick up some coconut aminos when I've got the money for it. Thanks!

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 08:55 PM

How do you use the lard? Frying? Or do you eat it straight with other things?

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 08:54 PM

fair enough. This will be difficult as I start my day with coffee, every morning. My book and a cup of coffee. Bacon gone. That's easy enough.

Dfe1dfb34939145fe21b3d8fa6832365

(657)

on July 08, 2012
at 08:33 PM

There's a local health food store, they are the only place I've seen local lard prepacked in little plastic containers. I'm in Vermont, so the local food scene is strong, Burlington especially. I know that's not any help to you :\, but if you can find pre-rendered? lard, it's an awesome calorie source.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 08, 2012
at 04:48 PM

Jared, coconut aminos are salt & sweet, and have no soy. They're really quite delish and multipurpose. I used to use wheat free tamari, but now I prefer the aminos. Fish sauce gives umami (google) and salt and just that irresistible something special. A lot of good Asian food is good because of the fermented seafood ingredients in it.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 08, 2012
at 04:46 PM

Agreed, coffeesnob - which is why I bust my rear to read the labels. There WAS gochuchang at the Korean market without wheat, but it took digging. I ignore the sugar in that quantity. A paleo purist could invest in Korean chili powder, which would also work. That's cheap and delicious, and then you can make authentic kimchi.

1955b5516a3eaedce732f4ea8bb3fa6c

on July 08, 2012
at 03:30 PM

eh, I would say as much as you exercise, which sounds like a lot, and you are already pretty lean, some sugar in your coffee is probably ok as long as you feel good. do you just use sugar or I'm guessing the 1/2 & 1/2 is for that as well. I used to be quite addicted to sweet creamers for my coffee but started using heavy whipping cream, 1/2 & 1/2, or butter only, maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon and as long as it is creamy I don't miss the sweetness.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:09 PM

Where do you get local lard? I've been meaning to ask someone where you find it. I'd love to cook with it.

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:52 PM

Watch out for additives in Asian sauces. Modern gochujang contains wheat. sriracha contains many chemicals and preservatives.

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:49 PM

I agree with Luisa. Coffee, bacon and heavy cream do not have place in such a limited budget. I would spend that chunk of money for fresh vegetables and quality animal proteins/fats.

Dc8ec73989c7b37c006f2031dd648a61

on July 08, 2012
at 01:39 PM

and remember.. herbs/spices = variety... when im low on money, mince meat (ground) and different combinations of herbs/spices keep every meal interesting/tasty for ages :P

Dc8ec73989c7b37c006f2031dd648a61

on July 08, 2012
at 01:32 PM

lots of mince meat in bulk if you can, same with eggs..

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on July 08, 2012
at 12:16 PM

Tamara, I believe it's the other way around. white rice is considered by many to be a "safe starch", but quinoa acts the same way as a grain and is off limits (at least according to Robb Wolf).

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 08, 2012
at 11:43 AM

For flavour, because soy is bad for you...

B4b56fcc5ebad76ed8e1709dedf01f86

(660)

on July 08, 2012
at 11:13 AM

You are right about Romaine! That was an unchecked assumption - turns out it's full of fat soluble vitamins and minerals. I will edit that out. Thanks!

08527df7a704aad2ddf12a840abe7963

(164)

on July 08, 2012
at 10:42 AM

You're wrong about romaine and I've never heard mention of rice being arguably paleo. Quinoa, yes, because it's a seed. But rice? http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=61

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 08, 2012
at 06:54 AM

As someone on a similar budget I am eager to hear what people have to say. I really haven't found a way to do it myself and still end up eating enough calories for my frame.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 08, 2012
at 06:44 AM

Well, for what it's worth I was also very healthy... before I became unhealthy :-D I wouldn't say romaine lettuce is worth the money, to me romaine isn't even worth a fart in its general direction. I'm concerned because with the very limited budget you have, coffee, bacon and heavy cream shouldn't be in the shopping list at all. Mostly I'm worried about too little omega 3, too much omega 6, and not enough nutrient diversity. That's why I listed things in order of importance.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 08, 2012
at 06:35 AM

Well, for what it's worth I was also very healthy... before I became unhealthy :-D I wouldn't say romaine lettuce is worth the money, to me romaine isn't even worth a fart in its general direction. I'm concerned because with the very limited budget you have, coffee, bacon and heavy cream shouldn't be in the shopping list at all. Mostly I'm worried about too little omega 3, too much omega 6, and not enough nutrient diversity. That's why I ordered things in order of importance.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 06:26 AM

To be fair, I'm quite healthy. I eat two salads a day (buying about 3 heads of romaine a week) with whatever vegetables I have on hand. It just happens to be that most of the time it is an onion of some sort (lately lots of green onions/leeks since they're at the farmer's market). I don't find that I'm eating unhealthy at all. What are you concerned about in terms of my health? Cheers, Jared

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 05:58 AM

Hmmm, kk. GSO is for frying and the sugar is for my coffee, and chai. :) haha, I can't give it up, neither can I give up my quart of half and half for the coffee. That said, everything else I have is paleo, is it not? :/

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 05:55 AM

Why cocounut aminos? why fish sauce? Just curious for more information. Presenting new things to me, so I'm curious. :)

78964c5cc470f86a5897db8e1ce8e6f9

on July 08, 2012
at 05:55 AM

Neither sugar nor grapeseed oil are particularly Paleo.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 05:54 AM

care to elaborate?

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 08, 2012
at 05:33 AM

Brace yourself - that's not going to be considered much of a paleo kitchen. But we've all got to start somewhere!

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15 Answers

6
Dfe1dfb34939145fe21b3d8fa6832365

on July 08, 2012
at 10:46 AM

Since no one has mentioned it; if you can get local lard, it may be one of the cheapest fat srouces possible. I buy nearly a pound of leaf fat for about $4. Thousands of calories that I can add to any hot dish, especially vegetables. Just an idea.

My budget is under $35 a week, haha.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 08:55 PM

How do you use the lard? Frying? Or do you eat it straight with other things?

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on July 08, 2012
at 11:48 PM

Kelly- If you can find a buying club for one of the local meat farms, you can get cheap lard. I get pork back fat for $2/lb from a local farmer (Virginia). I'm sure you could find pastured pork fat from someone in Savannah, or maybe up near Charleston (SC). I don't know what the farmers market situation is for you, but pastured pork fat shouldn't be too hard to come by. You may have to render it yourself over some weekend afternoon.

Dfe1dfb34939145fe21b3d8fa6832365

(657)

on July 09, 2012
at 11:31 AM

Jared- I mix it with just about anything. My two favorite foods to mix it with are steamed broccoli and cauliflower (usually buy them mixed frozen), and eggs. They both can absorb so much lard, add some salt onion and garlic and I have a a ton of pretty nutritious calories for maybe $3. I don't do much frying though.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:09 PM

Where do you get local lard? I've been meaning to ask someone where you find it. I'd love to cook with it.

Dfe1dfb34939145fe21b3d8fa6832365

(657)

on July 08, 2012
at 08:33 PM

There's a local health food store, they are the only place I've seen local lard prepacked in little plastic containers. I'm in Vermont, so the local food scene is strong, Burlington especially. I know that's not any help to you :\, but if you can find pre-rendered? lard, it's an awesome calorie source.

6
B4b56fcc5ebad76ed8e1709dedf01f86

on July 08, 2012
at 09:34 AM

Yay for the eggs! Boo for the grapeseed oil! Just in quesadilla you don't know, "Vegetable" oils (like soy, corn, grapeseed, and canola) are super-high in Omega-6s, which are highly inflammatory. Keeping omegas in balance (a ratio as close to equal of 0-6 and 0-3 as possible) is one of the main ideas behind paleo. Vegetable oils have so much 0-6 there is essentially no way to balance them : /

Here are some suggestions:

More coconut oil, no more grapeseed oil. If you don't have a "health food" store near you, you will probably have to buy coconut oil online. I like Nutiva brand. It's not exactly cheap, but it comes in a large jar that should last you a few months. Someone else here may have rec's for good, cheap coconut oil sources (anyone?). I shouldn't be more expensive than grapeseed over the longrun.

More beef (lamb, too, if possible!), less chicken. I would go for cheaper, fattier cuts like chuck that can be braised and will make for several meals. Braising is easy and delicious and can be done really cheaply. Ground lamb can be cheap and it's great for you because it's almost unheard of to confine and grain-feed lambs. Lambs out in the sun eating grass all day = good meat for you. Chicken livers are also a good, cheap choice for a quick meal (and they taste a lot better than beef liver). Braising a pork shoulder is a cheap, delicious option, too, but still, pork & chicken are second to beef & lamb (IMHO).

When you do buy a whole chicken, for the love of god, make broth from the bones! It couldn't be easier and then you're wasting nothing. It will also keep your joints & cartilage healthy for all that crossfitting! You literally simmer the bones in water all day with 1 Tbsp. of vinegar. Add vegetable scraps if you have them. Strain and season with salt (or fish sauce!) and drink the broth. Seriously delicious. Or use the broth to cook with (soup? rice? see below).

Bacon - no complaint from me :)

More sardines, less tuna. Most cheap canned tuna is totally stripped of fat so it has no omega-3s (these are what you need to balance your omega-6s). Sadly, the tuna fat is so valuable that the canned tuna that has it runs closer to $5 a can. The way to check this is to look at the fat grams on the water packed tuna. if it's ZERO (and it usually is), skip it. I've found some canned salmon that is reasonably priced, too. And I agree with the other mention of frozen fish. Frozen wild salmon in particular is cheap-ish (compared to fresh), so watch for that to be on sale.

More variety in your veggies. Maybe try spinach for your salad sometimes? Also, what do you put on your salad? I hope it's not more vegetable oil dressing! Or fat-free tuna! Of course you need some healthy fat with the salad for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. The sardines would be a good choice or an olive oil vinaigrette, but ditch any vegetable oil dressing you might be using. For my veg, I buy bags of frozen greens (spinach, kale, collards). They're $2 a bag - even at Whole Foods! I also buy lots of frozen broccoli. These are all super easy to cook up and have zero prep time.

Sweet potatoes - YES! Plantains are usually super cheap, too and can be fried up in coconut oil. Do you have a Mexican or Latino owned Market near you? I would hit that up for plantains and some veggies, too. I save TONS buying some of my fresh veggies at the Mexican owned market in my hood. Greens are $0.39 a bunch and plantains are $0.99/lb.

Do you eat rice? That's cheap and arguably paleo. Cook it in your chicken broth. So good.

I say go buck wild on the half & half. Maybe even consider heavy cream - it might be more cost effective (if you use less because it's fattier, that is). I can't even use half & half anymore. Too weak ;-)

So here's a menu: Breakfast: Eggs, leftover meat (braised pork, beef, or bacon), frozen greens sauteed in a few tsp. of coconut oil. Coffee w/ cream. Lunch: Spinach Salad with a can of sardines, onion, tomato, and a baked sweet potato with a few tsp. of coconut oil. Dinner: Meat (chicken, beef, pork) with rice cooked in gelatiny, delicious chicken broth (or plantains cooked in coconut oil if rice is on your shit list), sauteed peppers and frozen broccoli.

I hope at least some of that is helpful!

08527df7a704aad2ddf12a840abe7963

(164)

on July 08, 2012
at 10:42 AM

You're wrong about romaine and I've never heard mention of rice being arguably paleo. Quinoa, yes, because it's a seed. But rice? http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=61

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on July 08, 2012
at 12:16 PM

Tamara, I believe it's the other way around. white rice is considered by many to be a "safe starch", but quinoa acts the same way as a grain and is off limits (at least according to Robb Wolf).

B4b56fcc5ebad76ed8e1709dedf01f86

(660)

on July 08, 2012
at 11:13 AM

You are right about Romaine! That was an unchecked assumption - turns out it's full of fat soluble vitamins and minerals. I will edit that out. Thanks!

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:01 PM

Wow! Thanks for this! I do love fried plantains. (Because of my time in Haiti. Soooo good!) And I do LOVE bone broth. I started doing that about 3 weeks ago. I save all my bones now, from any meat I buy. I have some pork bones and chicken bones and I was wondering if cooking them at the same time would be bad, or just better haha? I usually cook scrambled eggs and put them in a bit of the broth in the morning. Yum. Really? Rice? I feel like that would be so much carbs...hmmm. Thanks again!

6
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 08, 2012
at 06:11 AM

I'm scared that your food plan is not going to be healthy/sustainable in the long run. Please look after your health!

I'm also in a budget... but I have a big concern for my health, specially because as a woman I want to make sure I'm as healthy as possible before having children. So I always make sure to account money for the most important food first, then buy extras as money allows. This list is the order of priority I use. For one person I spend about 60-80 dollars for two weeks, but I'm not sure if this is going to work for you since you're a man... you probably eat double what I eat...

  1. Dark leafy greens like collards, swiss chard, large leaf spinach, turnip greens, kale... pick enough to make atleast 4 meals. Rotate different dark leafy greens every week depending on cheapest price.

  2. Cheap vegetables: red and green cabbage, red and white or yellow onions, winter squashes, carrots. Buy different vegetables when there is a special price. Sometimes I get 3 bunches of scallions for $1.20, in which case I chop it and make an omelet.

[ Edit to prevent further confusion: I'm not saying vegetables should be the bulk of your calories (they definitely shouldn't) I'm saying that you need to make sure to eat a variety of vegetables so you consume all the different micronutrients. Even though vegetables are at the top of this list, 65+ percent of your calories should come from (mostly saturated) fat. ]

  1. Fish. Try to find the largest bags of frozen fish. I lucked out today on a large bag of wild Alaskan salmon for 16 dollars. It will last a few weeks!

  2. Shrimp is expensive, but worth it.

[ Edit: learn to cook chicken liver. I bought a 1 pound tub today for $1.50. That gives me about 2-3 meals worth of meat, and it's delicious! If you buy this, it could replace chicken meat in your diet because it's a lot healthier. ]

  1. Coconut milk, because it's high calorie and will keep you satiated. You can make curries and sauces with it, with cheap chicken or shrimp, or both!

  2. Two servings of beef. Buy the cheapest roast, cook it up, then slice it into steaks. It's the cheapest way for me.

  3. Two servings of the cheapest chicken. I like chicken wings or tights so I can make a curry.

That makes weekly dinners about... 2 fish/shrimp, 2 beef, 2 chicken, so you could make the remaining dinner whatever you like, and eat the eggs for breakfast.

  1. Eggs. I like to keep a few leftover vegetables and shredded meat and eat it on the side or turn it into an omelet.

And lastly:
A little fruit. Generally don't even bother. Clementines are very cheap. Lemon is also generally cheap (3 for one dollar here), you can squeeze the juice in cold drinks, make tea, or make lemon-pepper fish/shrimp/chicken. I always buy lemon to make sure I have vitamin C.

Most important spices... garlic powder (hey gourmets: the supermarket "fresh" garlic is too old and tasteless anyway), salt and pepper, something spicy like chili paste. You can avoid buying more spices by cooking like this: Heat lots of fat in a pan. I use either bacon grease or butter because that's what I can afford. Add meat and spices... cook at very high heat until the meat browns, then lower heat to finish cooking. Remove meat. Cook vegetables in the meat drippings at high heat (of-course, add more fat if needed). This will make the food very flavorful without using lots of expensive spices.

Also: make sure to cook your food with lots of fat in the pan, the fat has lots of calories and will keep you full longer.

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:49 PM

I agree with Luisa. Coffee, bacon and heavy cream do not have place in such a limited budget. I would spend that chunk of money for fresh vegetables and quality animal proteins/fats.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 09, 2012
at 12:15 AM

Chelsea, I didn't say that vegetables would make the bulk of his calories. I eat what I wrote here, and my daily calories are: 65-70% fat [and of that percentage, 90% is from saturated fat), 20% protein, 15% carbs. The reason I put vegetables as a priority is to make sure he gets all the micronutrients he won't be able to get from muscle meat. If he misses out on certain micronutrients for a while he could become unhealthy!

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 08, 2012
at 06:35 AM

Well, for what it's worth I was also very healthy... before I became unhealthy :-D I wouldn't say romaine lettuce is worth the money, to me romaine isn't even worth a fart in its general direction. I'm concerned because with the very limited budget you have, coffee, bacon and heavy cream shouldn't be in the shopping list at all. Mostly I'm worried about too little omega 3, too much omega 6, and not enough nutrient diversity. That's why I ordered things in order of importance.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 08, 2012
at 06:44 AM

Well, for what it's worth I was also very healthy... before I became unhealthy :-D I wouldn't say romaine lettuce is worth the money, to me romaine isn't even worth a fart in its general direction. I'm concerned because with the very limited budget you have, coffee, bacon and heavy cream shouldn't be in the shopping list at all. Mostly I'm worried about too little omega 3, too much omega 6, and not enough nutrient diversity. That's why I listed things in order of importance.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 06:26 AM

To be fair, I'm quite healthy. I eat two salads a day (buying about 3 heads of romaine a week) with whatever vegetables I have on hand. It just happens to be that most of the time it is an onion of some sort (lately lots of green onions/leeks since they're at the farmer's market). I don't find that I'm eating unhealthy at all. What are you concerned about in terms of my health? Cheers, Jared

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on July 09, 2012
at 03:17 AM

Luisa~ Liver, gelatin and other organs from grass-fed animals are a more efficient (and to me, tastier) way of getting your micronutrients on a budget.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 09, 2012
at 12:09 AM

You could probably keep the coffee, but buy a smooth tasting type so it doesn't need sugar and cream to make it taste good. I love heavy cream too, but it's sooooooo expensive...

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 08:54 PM

fair enough. This will be difficult as I start my day with coffee, every morning. My book and a cup of coffee. Bacon gone. That's easy enough.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 09, 2012
at 12:17 AM

I eat a lot of meat, as written in this post, generally about 2 meals of fish, 2 meals of beef, 2 meals of chicken or pork, and the remaining meal is generally another fish or beef. For breakfast (when I eat it), I have eggs or shrimp. It's plenty of meat! Believe me, I don't want to be a vegetarian, I want to give birth to healthy children! :-D

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 09, 2012
at 04:11 AM

Yeah, liver and organ meat is so cheap, definitely worth learning to cook them :-) As for gelatin I make chicken and beef stocks on weekends, and I use it throughout the week (cooking meat and vegetables, soups, curries...). I wouldn't say it's necessarily cheap though, the bones seem very expensive in a budget. Hmm, about micronutrients, I'm mostly worried about vitamins, zinc, and magnesium, so I'll run the numbers on PaleoTrack and see how it works out. It would be so great if it does, vegetables are so expensive ... thanks for the tip!

2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

(3043)

on July 08, 2012
at 11:57 PM

Where's the meat? This isn't a vegetarian camp. By calorie, meat is far cheaper than vegetables!

3
6b365c14c646462210f3ef6b6fecace1

(1784)

on July 08, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Enslaved grad student here: I load up on the potatoes and rice. Lots of carrots. It helps lowering protein intake from meat as well, but it seems that you are a Xfitter... isn't that expensive? Excercise can be done anywhere for free...i think getting proper nutrition may have a higher priority than spending money to have someone screaming at you (when i think Xfit, i think screaming trainers, but that may not be the case at all :-).

but, anywho, i hope you figure something out!

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:13 PM

My university (UofIowa) has a brand new state of the art recreational center, where I actually work (rock climbing instructor), but it is free for students. It has pools, tracks, courts, and free weights among other things. So, this is where I crossfit. :)

3
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:15 PM

Easy, though a bit boring.

Keeping in mind that I am a 125 lb, 49 years old woman--this wouldn't be enough calories or carbs for most.

Excluding the basics (sub coconut oil for grapeseed & add in black tea.):

2 doz local free-range eggs = $8``

2 lbs grass-finished ground beef = $10 (preferably the stuff from Slankers with offal mixed in.)

1 pint local cream = $2.5

1 pound Kerrygold butter = $3

1 pound local cheese = $5

1/2 pound organic spinach = $4

1 bar dark chocolate: $2.5

Total: $35

ETA: This works out to about 1500 cal a day, just entering the above items into FitDay.

75 gm protein, 9 gm carb, 170 gm fat. Adding in sugar in my tea & some coconut oil would raise the carbs & fat.

8f87879387f2a357db7c33008ff9a04a

(887)

on July 08, 2012
at 11:43 PM

Kerrygold is more like 7$ a pound here. The cheapest I've found is Strauss for 5.5$ and I had to buy 15 lbs to get the discount for a case. Grass-fed butter is where its at!

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Awesome. Thanks much! I see Kerrygold a lot on here and am wondering why its so popular with paleo-eaters.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on July 08, 2012
at 10:27 PM

100% grass-fed cows, no antibiotics or hormones. Yummy! Cheap at Trader Joe'.

3
D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 08, 2012
at 05:44 AM

On that budget, I'd probably focus on veggies for salad and ground beef and then whatever meat is on sale that week to put on said salad, and eggs, and I'd work on getting coconut oil or grassfed butter when they're on sale. I'd also make a run to an Asian or specialty market once a month to buy some interesting stuff to spice up the inexpensive regular meals: gochujang, aleppo pepper, good balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos, fish sauce, fresh cumin, etc. It is just so easy to get tired of one's own cooking, you know? Helps to be able to funkify it up.

Here's one of my favorite lazy dinners: I brown some ground beef in expeller pressed coconut oil (goes with everything), and add in whatever allium I have around - yellow onion, green onion, garlic, chives, whatever. Big splash of fish sauce, bigger splash of coconut aminos. Black pepper? Almost always some kind of chile - sriracha, or my beloved gochujang. I dump the whole skillet onto a big bowl full of salad while the meat is still warm. It's delish and you can spin it different ways - Thai-ish, Vietnamese-ish.

Don't forget to get in the dark greens. I'm like you - I love the sweet veggies. I'd had to cultivate a taste for bitter greens. Now I live for broccoli raab cooked with golden raisins, garlic, red chile flakes, Italian sausage and white wine. I can eat a TON of raab done that way.

Oh, another budget thing- Amazon has a LOT of specialty food at prices that beat the pants off specialty markets, and they get it to your door.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 05:55 AM

Why cocounut aminos? why fish sauce? Just curious for more information. Presenting new things to me, so I'm curious. :)

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 08, 2012
at 04:48 PM

Jared, coconut aminos are salt & sweet, and have no soy. They're really quite delish and multipurpose. I used to use wheat free tamari, but now I prefer the aminos. Fish sauce gives umami (google) and salt and just that irresistible something special. A lot of good Asian food is good because of the fermented seafood ingredients in it.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 08, 2012
at 04:46 PM

Agreed, coffeesnob - which is why I bust my rear to read the labels. There WAS gochuchang at the Korean market without wheat, but it took digging. I ignore the sugar in that quantity. A paleo purist could invest in Korean chili powder, which would also work. That's cheap and delicious, and then you can make authentic kimchi.

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:52 PM

Watch out for additives in Asian sauces. Modern gochujang contains wheat. sriracha contains many chemicals and preservatives.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 08, 2012
at 11:43 AM

For flavour, because soy is bad for you...

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Interesting. I'll have to pick up some coconut aminos when I've got the money for it. Thanks!

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:42 PM

Budget paleo is tough. I'd wager you're not going to be able to do low-carb paleo on such a budget. As it is now, your diet seems energy low. Consider what some people might recommend as a base: 8 ounces beef, 4 eggs, and 4 tbsp of coconut oil - that is only 1200 calories, and going to run you around $5 per day. You probably need to eat at least double that considering your stats/activity. Embrace non-wheat starches, you need energy in your diet. Rice, beans, corn meal... all non-paleo, but there are worse things out there, and if you're digestion is ok, you'll be fine.

2
707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

on July 08, 2012
at 12:33 PM

If you can manage to save up enough to "cow-pool"-- you might find that you can get grassfed beef (all cuts not just ground) for under $4/lb.

Find a few like minded friends and split a cow 8 or more ways. Even a 1/4 cow takes up far less freezer space that you think-- roughly a cubic foot per 30 lbs.

You can find farms local to you that sell quarter, half and full cows here: www.eatwild.com

The other benefit to having a freezer stocked with beef is that it will free up your budget to buy more 'fun' stuff such as spices, oils, etc as the most expensive item (protein) will already be covered.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:05 PM

Yes! I am hoping to buy from wallacefarms.com which allows you to purchase from a consortium of farms through a buying club. They deliver to the city once every 4-6 weeks. You place your order and they are at a location in the town all day and everyone who buys from them picks up the meat throughout the day when they can. If you live in Iowa or Illinois this is a great option. I've got to wait a few weeks though until I've got myself financially stable!

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on July 08, 2012
at 11:07 AM

I personally would focus on cheap cuts of beef (chuck, rump, brisket, ox tail, stew meat) and learn how to use a pressure cooker, I have a recipe that makes stew from 2 pounds of chuck in about 20 minutes. I can throw in any vegetables, cheap root vegetables work best, and you don't lose any nutrition because you can drink all the juice.

Bones can be had for next to nothing (some butchers will literally give them away), and you can make bone broth from that and use that for stews, drink it, or even make cocktails out of it (bone broth, V8, and vodka is great).

I am wary of cheap ground beef these days (can you say pink slime) but that is another option and versatile, for everything from burgers to curries.

You need some green leafy vegetables, and kale has the best bang for the buck in terms of nutrition for the cost. I like raw kale with a strong dressing, or you can cook it with bacon, or bake it into crispy chips. We have kale 2-3 times per week. I am a little wary of cheap leafy greens these days (all of the salmonella and E. coli breakouts), you can try collards, mustard greens, beet greens, etc. These are both very nutritious and filling, especially if cooked with fat (i.e. bacon, ham, etc). In Kenya, collard greens are called "Sukuma Wiki" which means "stretch the week" and are an inexpensive staple food.

Go to ethnic / asian markets which in my area tend to have the widest variety and best quality produce.

When eating on a budget, many people eat cheap fillers such as bread, rice, potatoes, etc. but on paleo diet that is exactly what you should be avoiding. If you really must have something like this (and you're exercising a lot so maybe a little is ok) I'd go with white rice, you can probably get a 10 pound bag of it for cheap at an asian market. A better choice for starch is tubers such as sweet potatoes, which can be found cheap.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:15 PM

It seems the bird so longer the word, but rather kale. So, kale it is for now on.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:48 PM

ahhh dammit. I had to ruin such a good comment with a typo. haha

2
08527df7a704aad2ddf12a840abe7963

on July 08, 2012
at 10:28 AM

Try heavy whipping cream for coffee. It lasts longer and isnt diluted with milk. Eat sardines instead of tuna. Grape seed oil is horrible for frying in. Use coconut oil for eggs and tallow for meats you pan-fry.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:02 PM

You see, I had read the opposite about GSO. That, because of its high smoking point, it was better for frying in than other vegetable oils (especially olive oil, due to its low smoking point). Also, I find that food tastes less oily after frying in GSO. What is the texture of canned sardines like? Is the bone still in? The head? It kind of grosses me out. hahaha

2
3c6f4e7b56361080955ab6cfce6a2772

on July 08, 2012
at 05:59 AM

I agree with the Asian market suggestion. You'll find lots there to make things interesting for not much $$. I get dried mushrooms, hot sesame oil, and spicy palm vinegar there. Their prices on cabbage and onions usually beat all the competition. Same with limes and bananas.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on July 08, 2012
at 08:41 PM

That is tight for sure, but if I were doing it, here's what I'd get

  1. beef stew meat (it's one of the cheapest cuts)
  2. canned fish (sardines, salmon)
  3. root vegetables of your preference
  4. butter
  5. kale

1
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 08, 2012
at 07:11 PM

I see someone else has already covered bone broth, kale&collards, and fish, so I'll skip that and just second what they said. :)

What I would recommend to add to your diet is fermented vegetables. Super cheap and super nutritious. You can make your own sauerkraut at home for the cost of the cabbage and salt, and most people have plenty of vessels around that they can use to ferment. http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/03/52-weeks-of-bad-a-bacteria-week-9-the-triple-s-super-simple-sauerkraut/ Also, Alton Brown of Good Eats fame has an episode on the subject.

If you don't like sauerkraut, there are many other options to fermented veggies. I also make my own cucumber pickles (spicy garlic dill and regular garlic dill), spicy green tomatoes and cauliflower, pickled jalapenos, and kimchi, mostly out of stuff in my garden, just to name a few items. The stuff off the shelves in most grocery stores is not the same - they just put in vinegar to give it that sour taste, though some Whole Paycheck and health food stores may sell it (not sure, haven't looked) but they would likely be expensive to buy, and it's really easy, cheap, and fun to make. Just takes a bit of waiting.

Also, it is not for everyone - but do you have a windowsill or patio where you could put a few plants? Many veggies are easy to grow in containers, and fresh herbs are similarly easy, so tasty, and last about forever.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:12 PM

I'm in a summer sub-let righ tnow. Moving into a year long lease in a few weeks and plant to get a terrarium going for herbs as well as composting to grow plants inside. :)

1
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 08, 2012
at 12:03 PM

You could swap the odd can of tuna for a can of wild caught salmon, markeral or some sardines. They are fattier, so have omega-3s better than pure protein, and still cheaper than normal fish (Yes cans arent ideal, but this is budget).

Bit of beef mince is a cheap red meat.

Both grassfed butter and coconut oil are expensive, but you cant go on with that vegetable oil stuff, if your wanting to be healthy. Probably butter is the cheaper of the two. Lard as mentioned is probably the cheapest, so maybe go for that.

Coconuts are a good food to have in the mix. I can get cheap whole coconuts from my health store. See if you can find a cheap source of whole coconuts. Or you could buy packaged coconut milk.

U can just use lemon for your salads. Or mix it with olive oil if you can find some thats cheaper. The lemons will give u some vitamins too.

Not sure about whats special about sunflower seeds, but you wont see many people talking about seeds here...nuts are okay in moderation, according to most, so perhaps you could swap for almonds, so long as you dont go mad with them (most nuts are high in o-6, but they are also nutritious)

Bacon is expensive but perhaps you want it for variety in your breakfast mixtures?

Take it easy on the sugar, thats not terribly paleo. Honey may be better (has anti-insulin chemicals + nutrients), or glucose (no fructose, but high GI), but moderation with sweetners generally is best. If you feel like some sweet, frozen boysenberries seem the cheapest of frozen berries, and youll get some nutrients while you at it.

Also dont overdo the chicken unless its free range, they are higher in omega-6 (better to not eat the fatty bits like the skin, or in excess when its battery chicken).

If you swap some chicken for beef mince, and throw in some canned fatty fish, ditch the vege oil, your ratio will be better. Frozen shrimps might be slightly pricey, but you can use small amounts in stirfries or in salads and get some more omega-3, and they are tasty...

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Indeed, I often use honey. I have about half a jar left of local honey. Sugar was just thrown in there as an example of a staple one might have in their pantry. When you buy coconuts, do you buy young coconuts or normal ones? How long do they last? You eat the flesh, any especially good ways? The age of the coconut determines if it's water or milk inside, right?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 09, 2012
at 01:52 AM

I just buy the normal ones. So long as the seals are strong - worth checking (the little holes), the coconut is usually good and they last for ages. You can eat the flesh, drink the coconut water. Coconut milk or cream is made by mixing the flesh with water. I am not sure how its done, probably boiling the flesh and then a blender? Ive never done that part.

0
1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on July 08, 2012
at 07:23 PM

College student input here. Simple but effective:

Ground beef, canned fish, potatoes of all varieties, squash of all varieties, butter.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Potatoes are at least more paleo than sugar, coffee, and grapeseed oil ;)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 08, 2012
at 10:06 PM

I don't know if this is his, but here's mine: Potatoes are a a natural of glucose that is low in anti nutrients. It has none of the characteristics of any neolithic agents of disease (fructose, PUFA, anti nutrients). THat being said, I personally stick to sweet potatoes and squashes, but I will eat potatoes when I go out to a Bistro or something and they come with my meal :)

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Potatoes eh? Not so paleo. How do you justify the use? Cheap & dense?

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:47 PM

I didn't mean it to seem like I was chastizing, I love potatoes. I want his rationalization so that I can steal it and use it for myself and start eating potatoes again! :)

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:35 PM

And more paleo than rice. :) I eat some potatoes, out of my own organic garden for the most part, and a little white rice, myself.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 09, 2012
at 12:31 AM

Though I suspect someone with the name Potato Avenger will have some good reasons why potatoes are alright, potatoes are a tuber and thus widely considered paleo. When peeled they are nutritious and very low in toxins and anti-nutrients.

1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

(396)

on July 10, 2012
at 02:42 PM

Wait, that is not what I've read generally about potatoes. Sweet potatoes are paleo, but I was always under the impression that potatoes were bad for you (not a food GROK ate, poisonous, full of starch, little to no nutrients, raise insulin levels). Help?

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