12

votes

Will Paleohacks be a supportive site for me during the coming recession?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 15, 2011 at 4:39 AM

Paleohacks has been a great source of info over the past 8 months as my family and I have gone paleo/primal. Thanks everyone! We are a happier, healthier family.

I survived the last round of county budget cuts but am now low man on the totem pole and I will definitely be laid off when the next crunch hits. We've been enjoying grass-fed beef, wonderful whole chickens at $26.00 each!!, $5 per dozen eggs, etc. This will all stop when I'm on unemployment.

Yesterday I was at the grocery outlet with my "honey do" list, thinking about Aravind's "coming out" as a paleo-vegetarian, Melissa's non-paleo food choices, Kurt Harris's %50 carbs,etc, and noticed to the left of me: Top Ramen (.16 per pkg), mac and cheese (.79 per box), hamburger helper (1.10 per box) and to the right of me: big, cheap bags of rice, beans, split peas, lentils.

Before we went paleo, we often ate casseroles and soups using lentils, split peas, etc. Often we would add some meat but not much -- a little goes a long way.

However, nowadays, a little meat doesn't go a long way. We need a lot of meat to feed our family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids). I don't believe we'll be able to call ourselves "paleo/primal" anymore. And I'm wondering: Will Paleohacks have anything to offer us in the way of support and advice when all we can afford is a pound of burger and one stewing chicken per week? I'm depressed. It wasn't easy getting those kids off breakfast cereal and pbj's! Now what?

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:34 PM

+1 for the gleaning edit - John Durant had something on his blog about that recently too: http://hunter-gatherer.com/blog/foraging-fruit-foreclosed-homes

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on August 16, 2011
at 08:14 AM

Yea, I don't hunt either. . . Two things -- know anyone who does hunt? You can often score meat that way. Good hunters usually have way more than they can consume. Also, I second the idea below to raise chickens. I used to live in Oakland, CA and a LOT of people kept chickens, right in the middle of city!

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 16, 2011
at 07:15 AM

Awesome Birdman!!!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:44 AM

*I* want to come live with you.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:35 AM

@Everybody who responded: Thanks for your advice and kindness! We have a lot to learn. That cookbook by Sally Fallon is amazing. And my boys are making plans to collect road kill -- not sure how that's gonna fly with the boss. :-)

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:30 AM

My kids want to come and live with you.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:30 AM

This is getting printed out and taped up on the frige. Thanks.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:19 AM

OMG - wait till I tell them we'll be eating tongue! So coooool! Seriously, thanks for the advice. We're researching bone broth and we're determined to stay out of the junk food aisles. However, we don't understand why everyone here uses white rice. Isn't brown rice (soaked) more nutritious?

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Thanks for the support -- and good luck to you, too!

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:12 AM

No neighbors with gardens -- ours will be the first in our neighborhood. I don't even know if there are rules against it! Maybe we'll start a trend. We live in the 'burbs -- surrounded by a sea of identical houses. I think they wrote a song about us, way back when.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:07 AM

I don't hunt. I know it's not very macho, but I just don't hunt. And we're planning on digging up the backyard this fall and readying it for a big garden for next year. We're not farmers - neither of us have ever grown a single thing but I guess we can learn! The kids are excited. And they definitely want to hunt. With bows and arrows.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:04 AM

Ok, this little family is headed off on a new adventure! Steaks on the grill with some taters and a big salad is so EASY, fast, tasty - and it's what got us to make the jump from SAD to paleo. Time to broaden our menu. I have to admit I never read the PH questions about bone broths, offal, etc!

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:02 AM

But don't you need to have grains to go with the beans to make protein? Or is it ok to just add some burger? Are you eating beans as a side dish? My boys love the idea of eating fish heads and guts -- but so far have not actually put a sardine into their mouths. They like to watch me and say "cool!". Canned salmon they'll eat - love crunching the bones. No one in my household likes it when I eat beans, if you get my drift. *snort*

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:53 AM

I see we're headed in a new direction at my house! We've been enjoying steaks and chops and ribs and salmon -- but none of us have ventured into liver, marrow, bones, etc. Can't wait to tell the kids! Actually, scratch that -- I think we better perfect meatloaf and other ways to hide it first. My partner is remembering pot roasts and other cheaper cuts of meat that her mom used to cook. Ok, I'm starting to get this now. Doesn't have to be prime rib to be paleo. (duh)

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:47 AM

You know, I printed out the 12 steps months ago and lost it in the pile of junk on my desk. Just found it and taped it to the frige.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:46 AM

Good point, Renee - thanks for the reminder.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Thanks Shari! What a kind,thoughtful response. I've been feeling like the last 8 months were a big wast of time but perhaps we can think of this as just an interim. My oldest reminded me today that cavemen sometimes ate weird stuff and they survived! We went straight from SAD to paleo and now I feel like we're going backwards. I will do some reading up on the Perfect health Diet. Also, I've been feeling kinda smug lately about our great diet so this is a real humbling experience. But no one ever died eating humble pie, right?

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:31 PM

While your idea that getting a job is easier nowadays while you are still employed is certainly valid, I'm not so sure about your assumption that the questioner isn't already doing that. And, in any case, this response is not about answering the question asked which is why I downvoted it.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:08 PM

And I agree with looking to cheaper cuts of meat and bone stock for protein. When I first discovered Primal eating I bought a freezer full of grass fed cow tongues and that was the only meat I ate for a few months. Yummy stuff, I can't believe nobody wanted those. Snobs miss out.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:06 PM

If you think about it, it's another format of a paleo diet. While we didn't see a ton of grains on a constant basis until the agriculture revolution, they were paleolithic starvation foods. In lean times they are better than starving to death. And better than processed junk. Well, these are lean times, aren't they?

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:53 PM

I don't think it is safe to assume that the OP is sitting on Paleo Hacks instead of getting a job. There isn't anything wrong with venting and getting some good food advice in the meantime.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:37 PM

Since you will have extra time on your hands, you might look into hunting, fishing and foraging. Perhaps even planting a garden or keeping chickens (assuming you are not in a high rise - lol).

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 15, 2011
at 02:35 PM

better question is will your body be kind to you during the coming year.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 15, 2011
at 02:27 PM

thats a good idea...

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 15, 2011
at 02:26 PM

same position. i refuse to eat store bought meat its disgusting. i have NO money, and dont qualify for food stamps b/c i dont have kids (Mississippi lol) but have over 10000 debt in student loans. i originally tried just sticking to free range eggs and cultured butter. but there is no way in hell i can afford to eat the quantity i need. same with salmon/sardines- theyre good and cheap but damn you need a lot

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 15, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Yes, get to know your butcher and you get them for free. Free marrow, yum.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on August 15, 2011
at 01:26 PM

BTW, even Mark Sisson gives a bit of pass to properly prepared grains for those who have the time: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/soaked-sprouted-fermented-grains/

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on August 15, 2011
at 01:22 PM

I agree re the WAPF route; frankly, I think your best bet is to avoid Kurt Harris' NADs (wheat, added sugar, veggie oils). You might also consider the Jaminets' safe starches a la their Perfect Health Diet if you want to play it safe re grains.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 15, 2011
at 10:23 AM

To piggyback on Danielle's post regarding ethnic supermarkets- you should be able to find goat meat quite cheaply at ethnic markets and as far as I know there are no goat CAFOs so it should be moderately clean eats at a discount. Also, the Asian markets have lots of cheap fish (probably farmed unfortunately) but it's a decent alternative when you're in a money crunch.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:19 AM

Nice. And beef bones are cheap too!

0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66

(1994)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:03 AM

You can mince beef heart/soup meat and liver together to make a meatloaf - with added vegetables... "Nourishing Traditions" my be helpfull for ideas.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:57 AM

Great answer. +1

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:56 AM

And potatoes! They're cheap.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:55 AM

Great response Shari. I would also suggest cutting back on meat and focusing more on eggs (even "free-range", ~$3 a dozen) and other sources of protein. Like Shari said, traditionally prepared legumes can be a good source of protein. Check your asian/ mexican stores for cheaper produce as well.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:54 AM

Yes, the OP could still get that beef liver every couple of weeks, even grass-fed. Get it from a local farmer, should still be cheap. And can get bones from butchers really cheap, for making bone broths.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 15, 2011
at 05:51 AM

Was just about to say the same thing :) sometimes, I have found wild alaskan salmon to be cheaper than some piece of grass fed meat.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 15, 2011
at 05:24 AM

+1 Beautiful answer from an intelligent, informed, compassionate mind.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 15, 2011
at 04:55 AM

+1 Very good response.

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18 Answers

31
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on August 15, 2011
at 04:52 AM

I'm sorry you are struggling financially or about to be. During times of financial struggle I try to look at it as an adventure of sorts. You can try out some new things and have some fun with it. It's only temporary so just know there will be a time you can return to your paleo ways. Nothing lasts forever included unemployment and lack of money.

I have always thought that if I were to be challenged in such a way I would turn to WAPF and include traditionally prepared grains and legumes in my diet. At least that way you are lessening the toxic load on the body and can enjoy some cheaper grain/legume options. They are very close to paleo in thought otherwise so it's not a huge leap. You can eat what meat you can afford but also things like soaked oatmeal, lentils and rice or beans and rice, which are really inexpensive. Not perfect per paleo but a heck of a lot better than Ramen and mac and cheese in the dreaded blue box. You might want to check them out.

Keep the faith. It's just part of the journey and you will come out on the other end all the better for it. Change is hard. Humbling change is really hard. But these are the moments where you get to show your stuff. So take it a day at a time and just do the best you can for you and your family. Whatever that is will be enough.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 15, 2011
at 05:24 AM

+1 Beautiful answer from an intelligent, informed, compassionate mind.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 15, 2011
at 04:55 AM

+1 Very good response.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on August 15, 2011
at 01:26 PM

BTW, even Mark Sisson gives a bit of pass to properly prepared grains for those who have the time: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/soaked-sprouted-fermented-grains/

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 15, 2011
at 10:23 AM

To piggyback on Danielle's post regarding ethnic supermarkets- you should be able to find goat meat quite cheaply at ethnic markets and as far as I know there are no goat CAFOs so it should be moderately clean eats at a discount. Also, the Asian markets have lots of cheap fish (probably farmed unfortunately) but it's a decent alternative when you're in a money crunch.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on August 15, 2011
at 01:22 PM

I agree re the WAPF route; frankly, I think your best bet is to avoid Kurt Harris' NADs (wheat, added sugar, veggie oils). You might also consider the Jaminets' safe starches a la their Perfect Health Diet if you want to play it safe re grains.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:55 AM

Great response Shari. I would also suggest cutting back on meat and focusing more on eggs (even "free-range", ~$3 a dozen) and other sources of protein. Like Shari said, traditionally prepared legumes can be a good source of protein. Check your asian/ mexican stores for cheaper produce as well.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:56 AM

And potatoes! They're cheap.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Thanks Shari! What a kind,thoughtful response. I've been feeling like the last 8 months were a big wast of time but perhaps we can think of this as just an interim. My oldest reminded me today that cavemen sometimes ate weird stuff and they survived! We went straight from SAD to paleo and now I feel like we're going backwards. I will do some reading up on the Perfect health Diet. Also, I've been feeling kinda smug lately about our great diet so this is a real humbling experience. But no one ever died eating humble pie, right?

12
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 15, 2011
at 03:25 PM

Having been below the poverty line, I can say that ethnic markets were the best thing in the world. If you stick with a Asiatic-style diet you will be healthier than most people and since I actually experienced health benefits from rice, I stuck with it even though I have a job now. It's interesting...at what point are you not paleo? Considering Don Mastesz and his wife are calling their macrobiotic diet (with soy milk!) primal, I figure I can fit under the umbrella too.

Some staples from the lean years

  • unground buckwheat and then grind it in a coffee grinder to make flour
  • rice
  • rice noodles
  • skinless urad dal, soaked for 24-hours, which I think is the least toxic legume you can get
  • potatoes
  • coconut cream, which often costs the same as a can of coconut milk and is the equivalent, calorie-wise, to several cans of milk
  • bartering with local farmers and growing my own garden of vegetables and herbs. If I had lived in a suburban area I might have tried to keep chickens myself.
  • when I did get meat, I hoarded the bones and made stock to cook the rice in

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:19 AM

OMG - wait till I tell them we'll be eating tongue! So coooool! Seriously, thanks for the advice. We're researching bone broth and we're determined to stay out of the junk food aisles. However, we don't understand why everyone here uses white rice. Isn't brown rice (soaked) more nutritious?

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:08 PM

And I agree with looking to cheaper cuts of meat and bone stock for protein. When I first discovered Primal eating I bought a freezer full of grass fed cow tongues and that was the only meat I ate for a few months. Yummy stuff, I can't believe nobody wanted those. Snobs miss out.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:06 PM

If you think about it, it's another format of a paleo diet. While we didn't see a ton of grains on a constant basis until the agriculture revolution, they were paleolithic starvation foods. In lean times they are better than starving to death. And better than processed junk. Well, these are lean times, aren't they?

11
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:04 PM

Top quality pastured meat vs. ramen is a ridiculous false dichotomy. This type of thing is turning into my pet peeve, because it gives the impression that if you can't afford to eat ideally, you may as well eat the worst possible options.

("Pay for food or pay with your health" type comments are my other paleo pet peeve. While I agree that a lot of people could cut back in other areas to make more room for food, if you don't have the budget for top quality food, you don't have it, and such comments only make those in that situation feel bad without providing any solution to the problem.)

Nutrition is a continuum, not black or white. Conventional eggs aren't as ideal as pastured eggs, but they're still pretty inexpensive per serving, and nutritionally superior to ramen, hamburger helper (plus you still need to take the cost of the protein source into account when looking at that price), and other carb-based processed foods. Figure out where you're willing to compromise on quality.

Look at your overall budget for areas that can be cut to make room for better food. Most US households have cable packages, for instance - that's something that can be cut and will most likely improve your health. If you need or want to buy consumer goods, look for them secondhand at thrift stores, craigslist, ebay, and so forth first. Would it be reasonable to get rid of one or more cars and bicycle/walk/public transportation more (again, this would probably be beneficial to your health)?

Experiment with properly prepared legumes and grains while you still have a reasonable food budget. Figure out what works for you and what you'd rather avoid when you can afford to use them on only an occasional basis. Properly prepared navy beans and lentils are allowed on GAPS/SCD (anti-inflammatory diets), and might be good starting points.

Start making these changes now - don't wait until you're forced to. If you can start buying secondhand and put more money into savings, you'll have more of a cushion when your income drops. And right now is prime time for produce - buy a lot and preserve it now (freezing, drying, fermenting, canning, whatever), rather than paying for more expensive, lower-quality produce in December on a more limited budget.

10
E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on August 15, 2011
at 05:04 AM

I am on a budget also and eat beans prepared from scratch, vegetables from the garden, fruit from wild trees and cultivated ones. I live out in the country. Just no way I'd pay that much for a fresh chicken when I can go out and shoot a rabbit or deer LOL. I'm not hardcore paleo since most of my recent ancestors are from the Caribbean, Meditteranean, Africa. It's all good my friend. The stress of money will override whatever gains in health you are making if you worry about being perfect paleo.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:46 AM

Good point, Renee - thanks for the reminder.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:57 AM

Great answer. +1

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:37 PM

Since you will have extra time on your hands, you might look into hunting, fishing and foraging. Perhaps even planting a garden or keeping chickens (assuming you are not in a high rise - lol).

7
65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:02 AM

I would also add that you can stretch that chicken by making big batches of bone broth. With an organic chicken backs and a neck or two (about $2 for the whole batch at my health food store, ask the meat department) I made 330 ounces of bone broth: will-paleohacks-be-a-supportive-site-for-me-during-the-coming-recession?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:19 AM

Nice. And beef bones are cheap too!

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 15, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Yes, get to know your butcher and you get them for free. Free marrow, yum.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:04 AM

Ok, this little family is headed off on a new adventure! Steaks on the grill with some taters and a big salad is so EASY, fast, tasty - and it's what got us to make the jump from SAD to paleo. Time to broaden our menu. I have to admit I never read the PH questions about bone broths, offal, etc!

7
0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66

(1994)

on August 15, 2011
at 05:29 AM

(Conventional) chicken, eggs, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, porc fat and meat, offal of any origin, butter, apples, carrots, coconuts are quite inexpensive.

The least problematic legume is lentils (soaked and cooked) as far as I know... White rice may do not much harm, if a person is not sensitiv.

Resorting to crap in a bag is no good idea on a budget ??? what you safe in the grocery store you???ll perhaps have to pay your doctors???

What about gardening and growing your own food? Raising your own chickens?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:54 AM

Yes, the OP could still get that beef liver every couple of weeks, even grass-fed. Get it from a local farmer, should still be cheap. And can get bones from butchers really cheap, for making bone broths.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 15, 2011
at 02:27 PM

thats a good idea...

0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66

(1994)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:03 AM

You can mince beef heart/soup meat and liver together to make a meatloaf - with added vegetables... "Nourishing Traditions" my be helpfull for ideas.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:53 AM

I see we're headed in a new direction at my house! We've been enjoying steaks and chops and ribs and salmon -- but none of us have ventured into liver, marrow, bones, etc. Can't wait to tell the kids! Actually, scratch that -- I think we better perfect meatloaf and other ways to hide it first. My partner is remembering pot roasts and other cheaper cuts of meat that her mom used to cook. Ok, I'm starting to get this now. Doesn't have to be prime rib to be paleo. (duh)

6
A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:50 PM

Do not forget that sitting down to a home cooked meal is time together as a family. Quality time... Spend the time together to shop, cook, and eat. It will prepare your kids for a healthy life, and give them memories that money can't buy.

6
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 15, 2011
at 05:02 AM

Hang in there. You are still family no matter what your circumstances.

Eggs and butter (even just normal ones) Some meat here and there...

Paleo is more than just eating expensive food. I like the 12 steps listed here. Even if you can do a handful it is better than none.

http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

Hang in and stay here on PaleoHacks.

Best Wishes - Eric

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 16, 2011
at 07:15 AM

Awesome Birdman!!!

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:47 AM

You know, I printed out the 12 steps months ago and lost it in the pile of junk on my desk. Just found it and taped it to the frige.

5
61e254571b4c792bca87340a090a3ea1

on August 15, 2011
at 09:04 PM

I am sorry you maybe going through a hard ship soon. I think maybe it can be a chance to learn, grow, and spend time with your family. I really like a lot of the suggestions on here and I think a have a few more.

My first idea is if you are buying meat from farmers. You can sometimes save a lot of money by slaughtering/butchering the animals your self. Some farmers will let you do it on there farm and some will want you to take the animal home. If this interests you I would look for farms raising goats, or sheep. These animals are pretty easy to butcher. You may not get all the fancy cuts but you will get a lot of food. Sometimes farmers will sell older animals for a big price reduction also. Look into chickens and ducks. They are really easy to kill and butcher. The only part that really takes a little time to learn is hand plucking without breaking the skin. Even some of the smaller heritage breeds of pigs can be totally reasonable too butch on your own.

Second would be fishing. Licenses are cheap for general fishing. Look into small fish that are in your area. Most people fish these for bait and you can often get large amounts fast in season. these can be canned, smoked, or pickled and eaten all year. Also if you have reasonably clean water near you look into carp, cat fish, bass, and trout stocked lakes. Most of the really sot after fish like salmon etc... are going to require more money and are more difficult to catch.

Small game hunting licenses are also cheap. Honestly the work for the amount of meat is usually not worth it. Unless you enjoy it. But it is an option. I would also look into if your state has any nuisance animals like feral pigs. If so they usually try to make it pretty easy to hunt them as far as rules, prices, and seasons.

This one freaks people out a bit but I have been doing it for years with no problems. It's picking up road kill. First in most states it's illegal but cops don't really care. If you are worried you can sometimes call up the sherif tell them about the road kill and ask if you can clean it up. In small towns they rarely care. They just don't want people hitting animals on purpose or hunting out of season and saying it was road kill. If the meat smells fine it's fine. Sometimes the animal can be pretty beat up just cut off the bad stuff and save the rest. I wouldn't recommend preparing this meat rare. But you would be surprised how much food this can provide. The best way to get fresh stuff is to head out early in the morning and just see what you can find that's new. After awhile you will know the best spots to look.

Wild plants can also bring in a lot of food if you get the right kind (starchy) but a lot of people are even more scared of those then road kill and you do really need to learn your plants first.

All those are kinda stuff for if you live in the country or suburbs

The only things I got for the city that hasn't been mentioned is dumpster diving and insect farming.

I fed myself for years as a homeless, vegan by dumpster diving. I was eating grains, soy, sugar and lots of juice. But you can get a lot of produce by dumpstering. A lot of grocery stores have a separate produce dumpster and they stay pretty clean (unless they pore bleach on it to keep the dumpster divers out). Not every grocery store has one but a lot of them do. Some groceries will save expired dairy and if you ask for it it's free. If not you can check the non produce dumpster and get eggs, yogurt, cheese all kinds of stuff if it's past date they can't sell it but it's still fine. If you don't want to eat it it's still good as free chicken feed if that's something you can do.

As for raising insects I don't know much about it. But I have had friends that do it. Look into meal worms.

These may sound like crazy ideas but anything that makes you a little freer. I think is worth looking into. Food independence can be a huge step in that direction. You never know when a hardship like this can strike and it's good to have options. Plus if you can spend more time with your family teaching your kids and living directly why not do it.

PS to save a lot of money on heating install a wood stove if you can. They are cheap on craigslist and wood is free if you just keep your eye out for it. Plus hauling/chopping wood will put some serious muscle on you for free.

Edit: If I didn't give you enough farfetched ideas yet. I remembered something else. Learn to identify fruit and nut trees around the city. Then you can go back and harvest them. Also look for trees in yards that seem to be unused. Ask the residents if you can harvest the fruit or nuts and in trade give them a portion or clean up the yard for them. A lot of times elderly people will be happy to have some help. If you don't know your neighbors well this can be a way to build a relationship with them. I know some neighborhoods will frown on this kinda thing but I thought mention it just incase.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:30 AM

My kids want to come and live with you.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:44 AM

*I* want to come live with you.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:34 PM

+1 for the gleaning edit - John Durant had something on his blog about that recently too: http://hunter-gatherer.com/blog/foraging-fruit-foreclosed-homes

4
C0ac9d03c6ac66b7876faa871108a3ed

on August 15, 2011
at 05:35 AM

I am in a very similar position. Money is tight but I still want to stay fairly Paleo. At the same time I can't bring myself to eat cheap bulk meat products because of the chemicals hormones and other additives in industrial meat. I also can't forget that I would be eating second hand the horrid stew of cheap grains, rendered animal fat, chicken litter and other waste products that factory farmed animals are fed.

Here's what I do stay fairly paleo on a budget while avoiding factory farmed meat. I eat inexpensive fish from the ocean like sardines, salmon and herring. I stay away from dairy products and factory farmed meats. I avoid grains but will eat beans. Bulk dry beans are very cheap and filling and if they are soaked and activated before cooking they are very nutritious.

What it boils down to is inexpensive fish from the ocean (not from fish farms), beans, fruit, vegetables, tubers, nuts and seeds. It's the healthiest diet on a budget that I know.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:02 AM

But don't you need to have grains to go with the beans to make protein? Or is it ok to just add some burger? Are you eating beans as a side dish? My boys love the idea of eating fish heads and guts -- but so far have not actually put a sardine into their mouths. They like to watch me and say "cool!". Canned salmon they'll eat - love crunching the bones. No one in my household likes it when I eat beans, if you get my drift. *snort*

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 15, 2011
at 02:26 PM

same position. i refuse to eat store bought meat its disgusting. i have NO money, and dont qualify for food stamps b/c i dont have kids (Mississippi lol) but have over 10000 debt in student loans. i originally tried just sticking to free range eggs and cultured butter. but there is no way in hell i can afford to eat the quantity i need. same with salmon/sardines- theyre good and cheap but damn you need a lot

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 15, 2011
at 05:51 AM

Was just about to say the same thing :) sometimes, I have found wild alaskan salmon to be cheaper than some piece of grass fed meat.

3
8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

on August 15, 2011
at 02:02 PM

You don't say where you live, but I wonder if you can look into farmer coops or that sort of thing where you would go in with a bunch of friends to buy a cow, or get the Box delivered (fresh veg and quite cheap). Also, what about hunting? It is legal (even encouraged) to hunt deer many places and one or two deer ought last a family of four quite awhile. And of course, your own garden -- even on a porch in planters there are a lot of veggies you can grow.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:07 AM

I don't hunt. I know it's not very macho, but I just don't hunt. And we're planning on digging up the backyard this fall and readying it for a big garden for next year. We're not farmers - neither of us have ever grown a single thing but I guess we can learn! The kids are excited. And they definitely want to hunt. With bows and arrows.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on August 16, 2011
at 08:14 AM

Yea, I don't hunt either. . . Two things -- know anyone who does hunt? You can often score meat that way. Good hunters usually have way more than they can consume. Also, I second the idea below to raise chickens. I used to live in Oakland, CA and a LOT of people kept chickens, right in the middle of city!

2
Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 15, 2011
at 09:22 PM

Tough situation. Eat opportunistically to survive. Sacrifice expensive grass-fed meat and all dietary supplements as "90% cost - 10% benefit" frills. Buy the best carbs and fat you can get, with as much meat as you can afford. Fatty bone-in beef and pork cuts and whole chickens. In stews of beans and rice, cooked to extract the fat and marrow.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:30 AM

This is getting printed out and taped up on the frige. Thanks.

2
60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

on August 15, 2011
at 03:14 PM

I am new here but just wanted to add my condolences. We have been struggling for some years since my husband's career went overseas without him and our family business tanked at the same time. It's hard and it's scary. But I have hope because I see so many other families hunkering down and figuring out and there are great homesteading resources online that illustrate this. Living well doesn't have to take money although it does take time. (I'm in grad school now so we don't have much of either!) this site seems like a great place for discovering alternative ways to get the healthful things done as this thread testifies. Hang in there and TAKE CARE!

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Thanks for the support -- and good luck to you, too!

1
B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on August 16, 2011
at 08:39 PM

Bulk markets such as Costco or Sams clubs for vegetables and tubers. Another option is the Asian markets. Ranch 99 and H-Mart are some good ones. Also get some good fats such as avocado and coconut at these places.

For inexpensive protein I feel that one could be okay adding in non-allergen supplements. This means rich and/or pea protein (30 servings/330 grams for $7-$9 on vitacost.com) Robb Wolf said on one of his podcast that rice protein powder was fairly harmless (compare this to whey (dairy) and soy (estrogen promoting).

To supplement the vitamins from real meat and to get more protein Id recommend Now Foods Liver Powder. It's $8ish for 34 servings/340 grams of protein on Swanson http://www.swansonvitamins.com/NWF898/ItemDetail?n=0

Buying offal Ive been told is also cheap but I worry about non-organic sources. The Now Foods powder is grass fed/hormone free cattle from Argentina.

Im allergic to eggs but if youre not then stock up on stacks of eggs at Costco/Sams Club.

For a "cheap" meal on the go, hit up Chipotle, ask for two sides (sides only) of meat and one side of groc. If you go steak this is around $6.50 and filling. Chicken would probably be around $5.75. In N Out double single (keeping dairy to minimum) is also another good option.

I have autoimmune issues so I cant buy cheap meat, it messes me up (but even when I went to supps I still ate about a pound of hormone free meat a day..down from 2-3 lbs). I supplemented with these foods when I was laid off. I am now working for a solar start-up (so back to full paleo) but still its only part time. As someone who graduated from a top university with honors and has a solid resume but still looking for work I feel your potential pain. It can be tough at there...

1
A994080d499afca98cdc9de896701ebd

on August 16, 2011
at 08:03 PM

frozen veggies are usually less expensive. for example: I can get 1 kilo of green beens for 1,50 euros! don't know how it is in the US though.

if you introduce more heavy carbs like rice and potatoes to your diet, don't forget about the fact that their nutritional profile is practicially non-existent. I mean, you still want to eat this way because you want to be healthy and feel good, right?

Start buying HERBS! they are often overlooked. so small, so tasty and such powerhouses of vitamins and minerals; things a caveman needs. parsley! e.g. chop it up, put it in mashed potatoes with butter = heaven. sage! rosemary! or oregano. you can easily grow these in your kitchen. cheap and awesome!

and of course, as some already suggested it: offals. seriously. shovel it down your kids' throats. don't tell them what it is if they are such cowards; they will thank you one day. cubes of beef tongue in an easy stir fry with some hash browns/veggies? say it's beef. you're not even lying. puree liver and mix it into ground beef (another cheaper protein source).

IMO it is important to stick with good fats. ghee (make it yourself), EVOO, lard and tallow. the latter two are quite cheap if you ask your farmer for suet and then render it yourself.

eating "paleo" is not a law. don't label the way you eat. don't think: omg, actually, potatoes are not "paleo". stick to WHOLE foods! don't despair, stick with making things from scratch!
GO, birdman ;)

1
F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

on August 15, 2011
at 08:46 PM

FWIW- my local grass-fed butcher here in the Hudson Valley just started participating with the New York State equivalent of food stamps. Some of the local farmer's markets participate as well. Don't know if this will be an option for you, but may be something to keep in mind...

1
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on August 15, 2011
at 02:31 PM

Sorry you are in this mess, as others are. Have you thought about increasing your own food production with chickens or a veggie garden or maybe even helping an elderly nieghbor with their garden in exchange for some extras? Do you have some local farmers who can trade a bit of work for some extra meat? A bag of brown rice or a sack of potatoes can go pretty far, and you'll still be 80/20.

467e8b0360bfdeb6493581eaf24e0ad4

(60)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:12 AM

No neighbors with gardens -- ours will be the first in our neighborhood. I don't even know if there are rules against it! Maybe we'll start a trend. We live in the 'burbs -- surrounded by a sea of identical houses. I think they wrote a song about us, way back when.

-4
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on August 15, 2011
at 05:32 PM

This may be slightly off topic but if you are about to lose your job, now is the time to be looking for a new one.

Get off paleohacks and find a job. Yes, during this time of economic uncertainty it is difficult to find a job, but it is much easier to find a job while you are employed - your skills are relevant right now, but when you are on unemployment you are stagnating and after a few short months become obsolete. If you are a government (local/state/federal) it is even more important because most people have a negative view of government employees and would be even less likely to hire an unemployed government worker.

If you stay employed, you can continue your life as is.

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on August 15, 2011
at 06:53 PM

I don't think it is safe to assume that the OP is sitting on Paleo Hacks instead of getting a job. There isn't anything wrong with venting and getting some good food advice in the meantime.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:31 PM

While your idea that getting a job is easier nowadays while you are still employed is certainly valid, I'm not so sure about your assumption that the questioner isn't already doing that. And, in any case, this response is not about answering the question asked which is why I downvoted it.

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