4

votes

Paleo/Primal on a Money Diet

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 26, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Alrighty, so just as a disclaimer, before I started making my switch over to start becoming more of a strict primal eater (def more primal than paleo), the majority of my fridge already made up of mostly nearly paleo/primal foods (meat, fish, eggs, fruits, veggies), with very, very few processed foods in house.

I'm well aware that at the end of the day the processed foods are going to cost you more than making your own delicious foods... but we weren't much of that at home anyway.

Living in Los Angeles is pricey. The gas, distances, and rent is higher than anywhere in the country, and the employment rate is low. We're in our 20's and just building up our lives.

Now I'd like to know if you guys have tips/tricks on how to get as primal/paleo as possible, whether it's with grocers such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods or local farmers markets, but doing it on a budget without spending much more than I already am. For some reason I feel like this is impossible, but some of the changes are feasable and I've been able to make those changes (like grass-fed butter for example) but others have been more difficult (like grass-fed steak).

It helps that we fast here and there, but we still have to eat.

Any solutions? Should we just stick to the general market fare until we're better off?

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:21 AM

These are stupidly cheap.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:20 AM

You realize that this answer is the equivalent of saying "Go ask elsewhere."

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on June 06, 2012
at 11:14 PM

Good luck - in the last 3 years of hunting in Central/West Florida (Brooksville/Croom) I've bagged 2 whole 50lbs pigs. If you can find someone with land that has nuisance pigs, you'll score better than at the Wildlife Management Areas. It's worth it though, at the very least you are in nature all day.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 06, 2012
at 10:43 PM

I can get shitaki mushrooms at the Asian market for a fraction of the price I'd pay at chic healthfood stores. And they have real African yams, too.

Ed2157b3a5560af0f2c507c8fc4f5a2a

(210)

on March 28, 2012
at 04:34 PM

True! I've checked it out, and I'm actually very good at finding meat at great prices, but not grass-fed meat. Those stores do have other fantastic options, however.

Ed2157b3a5560af0f2c507c8fc4f5a2a

(210)

on March 28, 2012
at 04:33 PM

That's probably an East Coast thing. Lucky Bastards.

Ed2157b3a5560af0f2c507c8fc4f5a2a

(210)

on March 28, 2012
at 04:33 PM

I actually thought about this for quite some time, but $31 is (believe it or not) a ton of money for me to spend on vegetables when I have my grocery stores peddling close to the same amount of fare (right, not the same quality, but I digress) for much less.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on March 26, 2012
at 07:43 PM

I live in LA too and live 5 minutes away from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's so I shop there often unfortunately. But I really don't know where else is a better place to get good quality food. Vons, Ralphs, Albertsons, etc. are just out of the question most of the time in regards to meat/seafood. And those high-end farmer's markets like in Santa Monica can also boast ridiculously overpriced items. Unless you catch a really good sale somewhere, I think we're pretty much stuck with what we got :\

Ed2157b3a5560af0f2c507c8fc4f5a2a

(210)

on March 26, 2012
at 05:12 PM

So right! I never thought of splitting the cost on buying in bulk... this could work. Now if only my vegan and vegetarian friends would also go the meat-eater route.... LOL

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13 Answers

3
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on March 26, 2012
at 05:08 PM

It sounds like you are on the right track!

Some advice: -Hit up farmers markets, watch sales, buy what is in season -Buy in bulk (while only buying what you know you will use) -Consider sharing a large purchase of grass fed meat with a friend (or several friends) to make the initial investment less expensive -Make a large volume of chilis, stews, soups and stocks which can be frozen and kept for later. I always make about 4x more than I need for a week so that I have some ready to go for the next few weeks.

Ed2157b3a5560af0f2c507c8fc4f5a2a

(210)

on March 26, 2012
at 05:12 PM

So right! I never thought of splitting the cost on buying in bulk... this could work. Now if only my vegan and vegetarian friends would also go the meat-eater route.... LOL

2
7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on June 06, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Many many resources are available for this. Just google Paleo on a budget or click the budget tag on your post. Many people had the same questions as you.

Here is just one of many great references:

http://robbwolf.com/2011/09/21/paleo-is-expensive

Eric makes a good point as well. Remember that eating this way is worlds better than the SAD. Don't kill yourself about going Grassfed/Organic if its not in the cards. Rice/Potatoes are cheap and paleoish (rice is generally considered a safe starch).

I also recommend checking your nearest Asian market. They have great cheap wild caught fish and pretty much everything is cheaper than normal grocery stores.

My personal favorite:

Wild Canned Salmon at Trader Joes $3 for 15oz. Healthy, tasty and cheap.

If you are deadset on Grassfed buy a freezer and find a farm that sells cows by the quarter/half. They will be cheaper than any other source.

2
Eea6a68f5a7190d13c60e1c72417a581

(1376)

on March 26, 2012
at 11:16 PM

My big tip is to check out smaller ethnic grocery stores for good deals on produce, fish, spices, fruit, coconut milk, cheap meat and bones etc. In the LA area you have a huge variety of small stores to explore- Asian, middle eastern, Latin American and more.

Ed2157b3a5560af0f2c507c8fc4f5a2a

(210)

on March 28, 2012
at 04:34 PM

True! I've checked it out, and I'm actually very good at finding meat at great prices, but not grass-fed meat. Those stores do have other fantastic options, however.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 06, 2012
at 10:43 PM

I can get shitaki mushrooms at the Asian market for a fraction of the price I'd pay at chic healthfood stores. And they have real African yams, too.

2
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 26, 2012
at 05:44 PM

I'm a student and try to eat as cheap as possible. This is what I buy most of the time :

  • bones (I get those for free because my butcher is friendly)
  • what my butcher calls 'waste meat', though for me that's the nutrient-dense meat like grass-fed liver and grass-fed heart.
  • gelatin from iHerb.
  • ground grass-fed beef
  • vegetables from under the ground : beets, carrots, celeriac, ...
  • cheap fruit : apples (though I buy expensive fruit too)

With the rest of my money I buy coconut oil, some supplements and spices.
I believe iHerb also has oysters. If you like fish, you can buy small fish too.

Have fun, I love playing around with this. Today I got kilos of fruit for only 7 bucks, enough for a week :).

1
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:19 AM

Offal, eggs, and milk.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:21 AM

These are stupidly cheap.

1
29b2b81e2bea8c58453bce58080ac02e

on March 26, 2012
at 11:25 PM

Get a CSA produce box. You will be eating local,organic and seasonal. I get one delivered every other week for about $31 in San Francisco. I'm sure LA has similar options.

Ed2157b3a5560af0f2c507c8fc4f5a2a

(210)

on March 28, 2012
at 04:33 PM

I actually thought about this for quite some time, but $31 is (believe it or not) a ton of money for me to spend on vegetables when I have my grocery stores peddling close to the same amount of fare (right, not the same quality, but I digress) for much less.

1
A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on March 26, 2012
at 05:50 PM

I keep thinking about trying boar/deer hunting here in Florida, but I haven't done it yet. Might be a little tricky in LA though.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on June 06, 2012
at 11:14 PM

Good luck - in the last 3 years of hunting in Central/West Florida (Brooksville/Croom) I've bagged 2 whole 50lbs pigs. If you can find someone with land that has nuisance pigs, you'll score better than at the Wildlife Management Areas. It's worth it though, at the very least you are in nature all day.

0
58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

on June 07, 2012
at 02:44 AM

I buy a lot of grass feed ground beef, it usually comes in handy when my supply of other meat runs low. I add it to all sorts of stuff.

Also, I buy a lot of house brand frozen veggies. Fred Meyer/Kroger usually has their frozen veggies 10 for $10. Sure, I'd prefer fresh but frozen cauliflower does make a decent side dish.

And Costco. Decent prices on veggies and eggs. And meat if you're willing to buy a bunch at once.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on June 07, 2012
at 12:04 AM

If you are into carbs (I am) potatoes are a cheap calories that pair well virtually every protein.

I go to WHole Foods almost daily, and have become friends with staff there. It wasn't my intention to use them for deals, but now about 10% of the time I'll get some seafood or produce "on the house." Nice little perk of getting to know the people who get your food from.

0
Cbf014e1272e1c092e774c70e78b7890

(300)

on June 06, 2012
at 10:35 PM

You do what you can until your budget catches up with your plans. Mark Sisson advocates this knowing that eating this way can be difficult (and time consuming if you are searching for deals).

0
A2b9075bd176ca2912743e4df1e4af49

(146)

on March 28, 2012
at 05:58 PM

Costco...if you don't have a membership find someone that does, they can purchase a gift card for you, and you can pay the difference of what you buy with cash, all this without being a member. find meats on say, cauliflower rice fills me for days. where in l.a. do you live?

0
9267cb2507141e9a72e9d7159a5ffb80

on March 27, 2012
at 09:16 AM

Yea being on a true PALEO diet is kinda hard because all of the healthy stuff is so expensive. Try to search for paleo on a budget and you will find some good tips.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:20 AM

You realize that this answer is the equivalent of saying "Go ask elsewhere."

0
F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:19 PM

I'm on the East coast, but I find that most supermarkets have a fair selection of wild caught fish. And if you watch, you can get it at good prices ($4 a lb for fillets). You can also get mussels super cheap, and if you look in the freezer case you can often find small fish with bones for really good prices. That and Trader Joe's grass fed ground beef are what I eat when I run out of CSA meat.

I so wish I could find a local butcher that would give me grass-fed meat offal. Or even sell grass-fed meat.

Ed2157b3a5560af0f2c507c8fc4f5a2a

(210)

on March 28, 2012
at 04:33 PM

That's probably an East Coast thing. Lucky Bastards.

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