16

votes

Delete this question.

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 03, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Please delete this question.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on February 09, 2012
at 01:06 PM

This is all very odd. I'm glad you can afford to spend so much time here though. I think people will indeed find it useful.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 09, 2012
at 12:41 PM

No, I pity those with poor reading comprehension skills.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 09, 2012
at 08:28 AM

If you didn't want us to criticize your freaking freezer meal prep thingy, why did you even mention it? I think you pity yourself a bit too much...

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Thanks for your comment, Deanna! Don't you have pig-roast jamborees, at your home? I would love to attend one!

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 09, 2012
at 02:18 AM

hee hee. no worries. I can relate. hang in there. :)

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 09, 2012
at 01:23 AM

Lyndsay, is this meal prep place "Dream Dinners" or something similar? I think it is a very good concept. I have not used the place for my meals but I did go with a friend to help prepare their order. I think the cost is reasonable and it is a real time saver if you want to eat healthy but are short on time. The food quality is good and there is variety.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 09, 2012
at 12:51 AM

I retract my snarkiness, BaconHealsChic. Many smooches to you and God help my bitchiness :) I'm not sure how to do emoticon hearts, but, um, let this take the place of emoticon hearts!

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 08, 2012
at 11:47 PM

I'm sorry my answer was not helpful. I'm still hoping your situation gets better and am cheering on your pursuit of paleo.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 08, 2012
at 10:34 PM

Yes, Sophie, what the freezer meal places allow me to have at home is a variety of meals, that contain meats, fruits,and veggies that it would cost me way more in time and money to prepare myself at home (which is what I was doing, cooking all these meals on one day, then freezing them). I used to end up with wasted ingredients and a much larger grocery bill. I am currently working three jobs and this saves me time and money.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 08, 2012
at 10:30 PM

I would invite you to answer the original question and save the Dr. Phil spiel for someone else :)

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 08, 2012
at 10:28 PM

How have I not been receptive? I have upvoted people who have actually taken the time to answer the original question. I work a full-time job right now, at a public school, and two-part time freelance jobs. Going to a freezer-meal assembly place has helped me eat- period. The question was about what I should buy with our allotted $7 per day to purchase extra food. That was the question. It does not involve extra-commentary on our financial decisions.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 07, 2012
at 05:11 PM

Great idea Korion. :)

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on February 07, 2012
at 03:00 PM

You clearly stated that your husband is "not paleo". Since the cost of feeding him is your primary compliant, then feed him the rice and you pass. I don't see the problem.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 07, 2012
at 11:18 AM

Keep in mind muscle meat is not necessary in a diet! It's freaking expensive! I guess chicken and some fish can be really really cheap too, btw. And if you want a snack, I'd go with cheap fruit and raw carrots.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on February 07, 2012
at 01:24 AM

Fantastic answer. + a million!

Af005ec9a8e028f2b04bf5367b64e0d6

(2797)

on February 06, 2012
at 06:40 PM

White rice is perfectly fine. And you drink beer...

78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

(2290)

on February 05, 2012
at 10:49 PM

+1 for asian market... I found one near my home and it's Amazing. Super cheap produce and meat.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 05, 2012
at 12:39 PM

I find that the local supermarket has kale really cheap ($1.50/bunch), so I'd substitute the spinach for kale occasionally.

E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on February 05, 2012
at 02:20 AM

i always order my VCO online, it's half the store price and i always get free shipping.

24d67557966cdfc748fc2b12053e6a23

(335)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:25 PM

I mention canned because it seems like there's a little more variety in canned than frozen in some stores, and a little cheaper. I hate broccoli so that's not an option for me. :)

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 04, 2012
at 03:49 PM

Thanks Caleb. Potatoes are awesome!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 02:28 PM

+1. Potatoes...

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 02:00 PM

I never buy precooked packaged food. At the freezer meal place, I am preparing the recipes with the raw ingredients they provide. But, the original question was not asking you to dissect my financial situation, it was asking how to best spend $7 per day on paleo food.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:56 PM

Not for me, thanks.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:54 PM

JayJay, the change to the freezer meal place has actually saved us half of our grocery budget. The $7 is for supplemental meals food. If you aren't interested in answering the question, then don't respond.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:08 PM

Frozen veggie are generally a more-nutritious bet than canned. I'm not sure how the price compares, but I can get frozen broccoli, etc., for really cheap. And I totally agree about the dollar store. Canned tomatoes are generally good there.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 04, 2012
at 08:48 AM

White Rice is perhaps the closest Paleo grain and on an extreme budget I would consider adding it. Many folks on Paleo Hacks eat white rice. If not sub for potatoes.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 04, 2012
at 07:52 AM

Yes. I have been dirt poor actually. I was not concerned about living paleo, but I was subsisting on a carton of oatmeal, large batches of lentil/vegetable soup and a bag of apples a week. I just ran the numbers for a paleo-ish version of that same thing (with conventional meats sourced at my local grocery store) and it's doable instead of your freezer assembly place. I'm not saying to up front it right now, obviously you can't. The moneys not there today, but the next round you might be able to free up money so *you* can eat too.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on February 04, 2012
at 06:22 AM

Be careful diving! Some major grocery stores and big box stores put lye or other nasty stuff in their dumpsters to discourage 'gleaners'. Sad but true.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 05:23 AM

P.S. Matt and JJ, since I don't give a shit anyway, and you are both such obviously entitled, pretentious pricks, how about you go fuck yourselves and live on rotted dumpster-cabbage for a week? How does that suite your budget? Oh? unthinkable? Welcome to my world.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 05:01 AM

Because grains are out, hence "paleo"

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:58 AM

Okay, Matt, I've totaled up the numbers for cooking from scatch and wasting ingredients/vs. spending half that amount per week to go to a freezer-meal assembly place. Don't you think that someone who has absolutely no money and usually cooks freezer meals for thye month from scratch hasn't run run the numbers? I am 30 years old, and experienced cook, with a husband who manages a cafe. We know how to run numbers. I have outlined our daily budget. Why do you feel the need to question it? I am looking for solutions within the daily budget, not judgement on our financial sense.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:53 AM

Why is rice out?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:52 AM

Got to agree with jj here. You're spending way to much money on precooked/prepackaged food. if you're in such the financial pinch you claim you are, you should be cooking everything at home from scratch. Priorities aren't matching up.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:45 AM

By the way, this isn't "my logic" this is cold, financial facts.No, you can't do an OAMC for that price. I've been trying that for a year.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:08 AM

I don't even have to read the rest! Ditch the 10$/meal bullshit and buy some food woman! Don't care how big he is you can feed the guy on a lot less AND eat a few scraps yourself. Re-think your choices on where your money goes....change is never easy, but just do it.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:05 AM

Yes, I'm 5'3 120lbs. I can fast, but my husband can't. To get all of the nutrients we need, I do need to spend at least $120 per week at the store to feed both of us. I take it that you're not a 6'4 hockey-player with an intensively active job? We have to break it down BY DAY, EVERY DAY! Ground beef, stew meat, or chicken costs $4 per pack. That leaves us $3 for veg or oils, or gas, or shaving cream,or shampoo, or soap, Have you never been dirt poor? No, obviously not. Our entire income goes to rent, utilities, gas, and health-insurance. Talk to me when you are poor.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 04, 2012
at 03:42 AM

If your logic is that you have to spend all that money or your husband won't have a filling dinner BUT you are literally starving yourself, you're saying that he deserves to eat more than you do. And there are ways to do OAMC that don't cost $150 for ingredients, make 4 meatloaves and a huge pot of beef stew and a huge pot of chicken & rice, that's 12 meals right there, I just priced it out at my local store for <$80 (with 8oz meat per meal for your husband). It's not exciting food, but it saves you $60 towards lunches, which can go a long way towards not starving.

78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1025)

on February 04, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Yes, I hope so too. The momma in me doesn't like to hear that you're only eating once a day and feeling crappy. I hope you can figure out something that works for you.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 02:22 AM

I agree. I'm a fan of dumpster diving, but it is not for everyone. Hopefully Lyndsay can find other ways to save money.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 02:21 AM

Because we are getting 24 dinners for $240 dollars a month to feed my 6'4 hockey-player husband, filling, nutritious dinners. I was doing the "Once a month freezer-cooking" at home and paying $150 PER WEEK for all ingredients. This way, there are no wasted indgredients, and we can cook everything on the oven or grill. We are spending HALF of our grocery budget per month. We also don't have a microwave or dishwasher, so that cuts down on time.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:59 AM

Rice is out. Virgin coconut oil means a special gas-guzzling trip to whole foods to spend $7.99 a jar. My husband will not eat fish of any kind. Thanks for the post, though!!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:58 AM

Oh, um, no, That would probably be detrimental to my job in the public school system, if I were caught, As it is, I can't go 5 minutes without washing my hands to cleanse myself of kindergarten boogers :)

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:55 AM

I already IF every day. My 6'4 hockey-player husband needs food. BTW, telling people who have no money for food to IF is like telling a starving Ethiopian to just "grin and bear it." Not exactly helpful.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:53 AM

If this is a long term situation, then why are you paying $120 twice a month for 12 dinners? You could double the money you have available for food if you stopped doing that. There are books available at your library for Once-a-Month cooking, check one out and do that process yourself. That will allow you to redistribute some money to breakfast and lunch. And buy a bag of rice. If you guys are drinking beer you're getting some grains, you might as well use rice for some very inexpensive calories to fill out your meals.

F4a6fc9f0b701e12cdf2ad5dadaeb2dd

(360)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:43 AM

Intermittent fasting will save you some money :P

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:16 AM

No, credit cards are maxed, as my husband lost his job this summer. Can't afford cooking oil, will use meat fat. No, seriously, we live day by day, can't afford to save up all at once. We have friends at a brewery, so are able to get free beer. My husband works at a cafe, so is sometimes able to get free lunch there. He is not paleo. He is 6'4 and it costs a lot to feed him. I am only eating once per day now and feeling crappy.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:04 AM

But seriously, you can't save up $50 and go to the store once? You're that close to the edge financially? No credit card?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:02 AM

Ok, I reread what you're needing. Even freakin' easier! You could get by on half of what I recommend, or pony up for overpriced organics/grass-fed junk!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 12:37 AM

the $4 was meant as 2 cans. I buy it two at a time, so that I have some on multiple days. Just a quirk. Though you're right, jj -- it is cheap. For those who know Zombieland, Rule #32.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:32 AM

I can get coconut milk in the realm of $1.50-$2 a can, $4 seems like an awful lot.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:30 AM

Meh, skip meals for a few days and save up for a trip to the store then.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:25 AM

That sounds nice, Matt, but we would have to save money for this weekly budget, and there is a daily breakfast/lunch thing we have to buy for, without knowing if he's going to get enough tips that day. we could only break it down daily, I'm afraid, otherwise we'd have a weeks missing meals. Good plan, though!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:20 AM

I think I'm the only person in the world who appreciates slightly more abrasive TP. :P

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:11 AM

Coconut milk is unnecessary, but when you have so little joy in your life that you can't even splurge on toilet paper that isn't shaved from aluminum can remnants, it is nice to be able to put together a fatty curry for Sunday dinner :)

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 12:10 AM

@Matt, you make a good point, but I chose to add it, (1) because I based my answer on my own choices, (2) because a budget is a lot easier to handle when there is variety in the meals, and (3) coconut milk has added variety to my diet by allowing me to make curries, soups, and other things for very cheap.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Coconut milk is totally unnecessary. Especially if on a budget.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 03, 2012
at 11:56 PM

We have a total of 24 dinners taken care of by the freezer-dinner place. We would need groceries @ $7 per day (literally day-by-day, because my husband can't guarantee daily tips and is off two days per week), for the both of us. This $7 per day would need to cover breakfast for him, lunches for both of us and about 2 dinners per week.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 03, 2012
at 11:47 PM

I'm confused, is $7 just for breakfast & lunches (because you already have dinners)? Or for 3 meals a day? $7 per person, or $7 for the both of you?

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 03, 2012
at 11:45 PM

you're welcome. I found it helpful for me, too. I'm trying to budget my paleo eating a bit better!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 03, 2012
at 11:41 PM

Thank you for that thoughtful and cost-effective post, Caleb!

  • 26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

    asked by

    (5798)
  • Views
    2.3K
  • Last Activity
    1262D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

17 Answers

best answer

17
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 03, 2012
at 11:38 PM

Things I would buy would often last me more than a day, but if it broke down to $7 / day, I would buy

Day 1: a dozen eggs and ground beef

Day 2: mushrooms ($2), kale ($2), a red onion ($1), and perhaps a sweet potato ($2)

Day 3: beef, chicken, or other meat (yesterdays ingredients not being gone yet)

Day 4: sauerkraut ($3), coconut milk ($4)

Day 5: fruit if desired, spinach ($4), carrots ($2)

The other days I'd buy whatever I felt was missing, i.e. if I needed more meat, or more tubers, etc.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:32 AM

I can get coconut milk in the realm of $1.50-$2 a can, $4 seems like an awful lot.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 03, 2012
at 11:41 PM

Thank you for that thoughtful and cost-effective post, Caleb!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 03, 2012
at 11:45 PM

you're welcome. I found it helpful for me, too. I'm trying to budget my paleo eating a bit better!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 12:37 AM

the $4 was meant as 2 cans. I buy it two at a time, so that I have some on multiple days. Just a quirk. Though you're right, jj -- it is cheap. For those who know Zombieland, Rule #32.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Coconut milk is totally unnecessary. Especially if on a budget.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:11 AM

Coconut milk is unnecessary, but when you have so little joy in your life that you can't even splurge on toilet paper that isn't shaved from aluminum can remnants, it is nice to be able to put together a fatty curry for Sunday dinner :)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:20 AM

I think I'm the only person in the world who appreciates slightly more abrasive TP. :P

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 12:10 AM

@Matt, you make a good point, but I chose to add it, (1) because I based my answer on my own choices, (2) because a budget is a lot easier to handle when there is variety in the meals, and (3) coconut milk has added variety to my diet by allowing me to make curries, soups, and other things for very cheap.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 05, 2012
at 12:39 PM

I find that the local supermarket has kale really cheap ($1.50/bunch), so I'd substitute the spinach for kale occasionally.

best answer

0
26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 08, 2012
at 10:55 PM

I am going to answer my own question. Those of you that have answered the original question with a cost analysis of PALEO foods are awesome, and your suggestions have proven very useful this week. Bravo and thank you! Those who have, instead, commented on how I am "wasting money" on going to a freezer-meal prep place, where I assemble uncooked meals twice per month, have not been so helpful in answering the original question.

This is a financial decision I have made to save us money. This has cut our budget for food in half, because I was previously spending at least $120 per week to cook a variety of unique dishes. I cooked one day per week and froze meals, but ended up with extra, wasted ingredients. If I made the same dishes all the time, my non-paleo husband would run to McDonald's to go eat off of the dollar menu.

This has also saved me time. I work a full-time job and two freelance jobs. Instead of spending a full day shopping and cooking, I now take my husband to the meal-assembly place and we are out with 12 meals in less than an hour.

Not that I needed to justify that to anyone here, because the original question was about budgeting meals on an allotted $7 per day, not an invitation to hack my entire financial situation. I think the original question and the resulting answers from those who chose to answer the question asked, really helped not only me, but other people who don't even have enough money to devote a solid chunk of money to well-rounded dinners.

So, thank you to those that followed up with $7 meal plans. The rest of you might need to wait until someone asks an over-arching question about hacking their financial path.

Am I laughing at you? You bet yer sweet bippy I am.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on February 09, 2012
at 01:06 PM

This is all very odd. I'm glad you can afford to spend so much time here though. I think people will indeed find it useful.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 09, 2012
at 12:41 PM

No, I pity those with poor reading comprehension skills.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 09, 2012
at 08:28 AM

If you didn't want us to criticize your freaking freezer meal prep thingy, why did you even mention it? I think you pity yourself a bit too much...

23
1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

on February 06, 2012
at 02:38 PM

I'm probably going to get down-voted for this, but I'm going to say it anyway.

Lyndsay, you do not seem very receptive to people's suggestions. We are just trying to help you the best way we know how, but you shoot down almost everything we propose. It seems to me that you are asking this question just so you can tell everyone that their answer isn't good enough and further reinforce to yourself how horrible your life is. I know that most of us probably don't understand how tough your financial situation is right now, but at the same time, this site isn't the place to hold a pity party for yourself.

Sorry for the tough love. I call it when I see it.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 08, 2012
at 10:28 PM

How have I not been receptive? I have upvoted people who have actually taken the time to answer the original question. I work a full-time job right now, at a public school, and two-part time freelance jobs. Going to a freezer-meal assembly place has helped me eat- period. The question was about what I should buy with our allotted $7 per day to purchase extra food. That was the question. It does not involve extra-commentary on our financial decisions.

16
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 06, 2012
at 04:37 PM

This whole question and the resulting back and forth rubbed me wrong. I???m trying to sympathize with you but I suppose what set me off is the "meal prep place twice per month at $120 per visit to get 12 dinners."

And then..."I never buy precooked packaged food. At the freezer meal place, I am preparing the recipes with the raw ingredients they provide. But, the original question was not asking you to dissect my financial situation, it was asking how to best spend $7 per day on paleo food." Reading the great advice that is EXACTLY what these people are trying to do.

In my experience, paleo allows me to be creative about a lot of things, including how much I spend. I have found it very freeing. I really like the opportunity to kind of eschew conventionality for everything???I don???t HAVE to buy this or buy that. I also try not to be rigid in my thinking. I tailor it to MY situation the best way I can.

Lindsay. I agree with others your priority-strategy sounds strange. If I can be self-indulgent for a minute--I thought my family was impovershed when I was growing up because we lived in a tiny house behind a bowling alley...across the street from a strip-joint. My Mom cut coupons and we did not have extravagant things. I remember when I was young my Mom driving us around in a large, yellow, banana van with a blanket attached to the front grill. I was the only kid my freshman year of college who brought a 22 year-old used ten-speed with fenders on the front and the back.(I did not get the point at the time my parents paid for my college outright with no student loans I was fixated on my crappy bike.) My Dad was an in-state truck-driver who bought rental houses with the money they saved. He worked from 4 am driving a truck and then worked on fixer-upper houses at night until he collapsed into bed.

It was later in life I realized my parents are millionaires. It completely freaked me out.

I try to pattern my money spending off my parents the best I can. I don't think they would ever use a prep meal place and then complain they don???t have enough money. So when I read your justifications for using the meal prep place I was hoping I would be convinced. I???m not.

I urge you to examine your rationale. Open up your mind and take a re-look at the WONDERFUL, well-informed answers you were given from these very experienced paleo pioneers. If you are so rigid in your thinking it will close you to so many new ideas. I've certainly found out that I am not always right. A lot of these people are farther down the road than you or I and have hit the hard-knocks already.

Good luck.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on February 07, 2012
at 01:24 AM

Fantastic answer. + a million!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 08, 2012
at 10:30 PM

I would invite you to answer the original question and save the Dr. Phil spiel for someone else :)

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 08, 2012
at 11:47 PM

I'm sorry my answer was not helpful. I'm still hoping your situation gets better and am cheering on your pursuit of paleo.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 09, 2012
at 02:18 AM

hee hee. no worries. I can relate. hang in there. :)

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 09, 2012
at 12:51 AM

I retract my snarkiness, BaconHealsChic. Many smooches to you and God help my bitchiness :) I'm not sure how to do emoticon hearts, but, um, let this take the place of emoticon hearts!

12
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 05, 2012
at 03:43 AM

I know they are an acquired taste, but organ meats are rather inexpensive cuts of meat that can be had for cheap. Beef liver, chicken liver. beef heart, and beef pancreas are often under $2/lb at my local grocery stores.

10
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on February 04, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Do you have access to an Asian market (or other international market)? My husband and I had to feed ourselves on the [really] cheap a few years ago and pretty much lived and breathed that store. I didn't have access to organic produce, but I could find potatoes/sweet potatoes/veggies/fruits for really good prices (and coconut milk for well under a dollar). We weren't paleo-inclined then, but you could save money on veggies/starches and be able to purchase more in the way of animal protein by doing something like that.

At the time we ate loads of rice. I'm not sure whether you're open to any white rice a la the Perfect Health Diet, but there are lots of other starch choices to get you and your husband energy that are 'paleo-safe' (tapioca, taro, etc.) available at Asian markets.

You're also likely to get offal at non-supermarket-type stores. I can find things like tripe, liver, kidneys, etc., and while they're not grass-fed if we were in a huge pinch it might be worthwhile looking into those meats.

I feel like a total apologist for international groceries, but they pretty much saved my butt when we were on a $200/month budget for three (okay, one adult male, one lactating female, and a baby).

78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

(2290)

on February 05, 2012
at 10:49 PM

+1 for asian market... I found one near my home and it's Amazing. Super cheap produce and meat.

6
037448c8b9767fe643b0c35a5a107713

(160)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:17 AM

Shoot, sometimes I live on $20 a week. A big part of it is finding good sources for food if you want to eat quality while eating cheap.

Here's a fairly decent breakdown of a week. It's not fancy, but it's filling and loaded with nutrients.

$4.00 - 2 dozen eggs
$6.00 - 2 lbs ground beef
$3.00 - 3 large cans of mackerel
$1.50 - 1 large cabbage
$1.50 - 2 lbs onions
$2.00 - 1 large bunch of kale
$1.50 - 3 large cherrystone clams


$19.50 Total

That's shopping at a grocery store for produce and seafood, and the local butcher for eggs and beef. Hitting farm stands in season can give you great deals on all kinds of wildly cheap produce.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Thanks for your comment, Deanna! Don't you have pig-roast jamborees, at your home? I would love to attend one!

6
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:18 AM

$50 weekly budget Take out $5 for FOC (butter, coconut, olive oils). Will cost more than $5 to buy, but last multiple weeks.

Veggies: 2 bunches of Kale ($4) 2 pounds of carrots ($2) 4 pounds of sweet potatoes ($4) 1 pound of onions ($2) 4 pounds of frozen cauliflower ($6)

Meat: 2 whole chickens ($10) 4 pounds ground beef ($12) 2 dozen eggs ($3) 1 can of mackerel ($2)

Probably going to have to settle for more towards conventional meats, but you might be able to find some affordable better quality meats. Worse comes to worst, rice and beans are cheap and relatively nutritious, even if not truly paleo.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:53 AM

If this is a long term situation, then why are you paying $120 twice a month for 12 dinners? You could double the money you have available for food if you stopped doing that. There are books available at your library for Once-a-Month cooking, check one out and do that process yourself. That will allow you to redistribute some money to breakfast and lunch. And buy a bag of rice. If you guys are drinking beer you're getting some grains, you might as well use rice for some very inexpensive calories to fill out your meals.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:45 AM

By the way, this isn't "my logic" this is cold, financial facts.No, you can't do an OAMC for that price. I've been trying that for a year.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:30 AM

Meh, skip meals for a few days and save up for a trip to the store then.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:04 AM

But seriously, you can't save up $50 and go to the store once? You're that close to the edge financially? No credit card?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:52 AM

Got to agree with jj here. You're spending way to much money on precooked/prepackaged food. if you're in such the financial pinch you claim you are, you should be cooking everything at home from scratch. Priorities aren't matching up.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:25 AM

That sounds nice, Matt, but we would have to save money for this weekly budget, and there is a daily breakfast/lunch thing we have to buy for, without knowing if he's going to get enough tips that day. we could only break it down daily, I'm afraid, otherwise we'd have a weeks missing meals. Good plan, though!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:05 AM

Yes, I'm 5'3 120lbs. I can fast, but my husband can't. To get all of the nutrients we need, I do need to spend at least $120 per week at the store to feed both of us. I take it that you're not a 6'4 hockey-player with an intensively active job? We have to break it down BY DAY, EVERY DAY! Ground beef, stew meat, or chicken costs $4 per pack. That leaves us $3 for veg or oils, or gas, or shaving cream,or shampoo, or soap, Have you never been dirt poor? No, obviously not. Our entire income goes to rent, utilities, gas, and health-insurance. Talk to me when you are poor.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 04, 2012
at 03:42 AM

If your logic is that you have to spend all that money or your husband won't have a filling dinner BUT you are literally starving yourself, you're saying that he deserves to eat more than you do. And there are ways to do OAMC that don't cost $150 for ingredients, make 4 meatloaves and a huge pot of beef stew and a huge pot of chicken & rice, that's 12 meals right there, I just priced it out at my local store for <$80 (with 8oz meat per meal for your husband). It's not exciting food, but it saves you $60 towards lunches, which can go a long way towards not starving.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:58 AM

Okay, Matt, I've totaled up the numbers for cooking from scatch and wasting ingredients/vs. spending half that amount per week to go to a freezer-meal assembly place. Don't you think that someone who has absolutely no money and usually cooks freezer meals for thye month from scratch hasn't run run the numbers? I am 30 years old, and experienced cook, with a husband who manages a cafe. We know how to run numbers. I have outlined our daily budget. Why do you feel the need to question it? I am looking for solutions within the daily budget, not judgement on our financial sense.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 04, 2012
at 07:52 AM

Yes. I have been dirt poor actually. I was not concerned about living paleo, but I was subsisting on a carton of oatmeal, large batches of lentil/vegetable soup and a bag of apples a week. I just ran the numbers for a paleo-ish version of that same thing (with conventional meats sourced at my local grocery store) and it's doable instead of your freezer assembly place. I'm not saying to up front it right now, obviously you can't. The moneys not there today, but the next round you might be able to free up money so *you* can eat too.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:02 AM

Ok, I reread what you're needing. Even freakin' easier! You could get by on half of what I recommend, or pony up for overpriced organics/grass-fed junk!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:16 AM

No, credit cards are maxed, as my husband lost his job this summer. Can't afford cooking oil, will use meat fat. No, seriously, we live day by day, can't afford to save up all at once. We have friends at a brewery, so are able to get free beer. My husband works at a cafe, so is sometimes able to get free lunch there. He is not paleo. He is 6'4 and it costs a lot to feed him. I am only eating once per day now and feeling crappy.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 05:23 AM

P.S. Matt and JJ, since I don't give a shit anyway, and you are both such obviously entitled, pretentious pricks, how about you go fuck yourselves and live on rotted dumpster-cabbage for a week? How does that suite your budget? Oh? unthinkable? Welcome to my world.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 02:21 AM

Because we are getting 24 dinners for $240 dollars a month to feed my 6'4 hockey-player husband, filling, nutritious dinners. I was doing the "Once a month freezer-cooking" at home and paying $150 PER WEEK for all ingredients. This way, there are no wasted indgredients, and we can cook everything on the oven or grill. We are spending HALF of our grocery budget per month. We also don't have a microwave or dishwasher, so that cuts down on time.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 02:00 PM

I never buy precooked packaged food. At the freezer meal place, I am preparing the recipes with the raw ingredients they provide. But, the original question was not asking you to dissect my financial situation, it was asking how to best spend $7 per day on paleo food.

5
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 04, 2012
at 09:03 AM

Husband Breakfast

4 eggs and 3 Tbs butter

Lunches

8 oz hamburger or other meat on sale or when tips are good.
1-2 medium potaotes.

Cheap Dinner ideas:

Baked Potatoes
Omlettes
Spaghetti squash

EDIT:

I have eaten this breakfast and lunch many times weeks on end and it works. You could add a potato for breakfast as well if needed. You might add two eggs to your lunch and maybe eat just one potato.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 04, 2012
at 03:49 PM

Thanks Caleb. Potatoes are awesome!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 02:28 PM

+1. Potatoes...

5
78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1025)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:50 AM

The other answers cover a lot, but I just wanted to add: DUMPSTER DIVE!!

Seriously, there is a feast waiting for you out back of some nearby grocery store. It can take a little driving around, because some stores lock up their dumpsters, but there will be a couple that don't.

Also, once spring hits see if there are any local farmers looking for volunteers, they're usually happy to give away produce to anyone who helps out. There might even be some who have stuff growing in greenhouses now.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 02:22 AM

I agree. I'm a fan of dumpster diving, but it is not for everyone. Hopefully Lyndsay can find other ways to save money.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:58 AM

Oh, um, no, That would probably be detrimental to my job in the public school system, if I were caught, As it is, I can't go 5 minutes without washing my hands to cleanse myself of kindergarten boogers :)

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on February 04, 2012
at 06:22 AM

Be careful diving! Some major grocery stores and big box stores put lye or other nasty stuff in their dumpsters to discourage 'gleaners'. Sad but true.

78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1025)

on February 04, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Yes, I hope so too. The momma in me doesn't like to hear that you're only eating once a day and feeling crappy. I hope you can figure out something that works for you.

5
35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:28 AM

OK, based on what you said above (breakfast for 1, lunch for 2 and 2 additional dinners)... I'm also assuming you have some sort of cooking oil... otherwise you could do hard boiled or poached eggs for breakfast, but that may be light on calories.

Day 1: 1 dozen eggs, 2 onions and a cabbage. Breakfast: 2 fried eggs; Lunch: egg/veggie stir fry (use only one onion and 1/2-1/4 of the cabbage).

Day 2: Still have 6 eggs, 1 onion & cabbage. Buy $5 worth of stew beef (or chicken thighs if beef is too expensive), a couple carrots & a handful or so of mushrooms.
Breakfast: 2 fried eggs; Lunch: Beef stew made with veggies (save 1/4 of your cabbage), unless you're big eaters (or your meat is super expensive) that should be enough to last a couple days worth of lunches.

Day 3: Still have 4 eggs, 1 day worth of beef stew and some cabbage. Meals same as yesterday, save $7 for tomorrow.

Day 4: Still have 2 eggs left, some cabbage & $14. Yay! Buy a chicken (~$5), 1 sweet potato, a couple carrots, and a couple turnips. If you can find an affordable quantity of olive oil or coconut oil, get that now.... or buy some bacon (~$5) and render the fat out. Breakfast: 2 fried eggs (bacon?); Lunch: Roasted chicken, with roasted root vegetables.

Day 5: Still have 1/2 roasted chicken & some cabbage left, out of eggs. But 1 dozen eggs and a pound of ground beef. Breakfast: 2 fried eggs (bacon?); Lunch: leftover roasted chicken; Dinner: Beef & cabbage stir fry.

And on and on similarly. You want to focus on eggs, inexpensive cuts of beef, canned tuna (if you can find affordable clean tuna without vegetable oils or broth), whole chickens, and the cheapest veggies you can find (onions, carrots & cabbage have been big staples for me when I've struggled to put food on the table). An occasional good day of tips can get you some coconut or olive oil, and you should be set.

4
F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on February 05, 2012
at 10:36 PM

Every few weekends I buy 2kg of grass-fed organic minced (ground) beef and lots of vegetables. I already have lots of herbs, spices and coconut oil which I use too. This weekend I made 18 lunches with it which I freeze. It cost $46 in total - $2.86 a meal (Australian dollars, but similar to US$ at the moment). I found ingredients tended to be so much cheaper in the US, so hopefully you could do this for even less?

Not only cheaper, but I much prefer spending hours cooking at the weekend and hardly any time in the kitchen in the week!

4
Ce762ef3660ab44dbc72fdd7ff8fb168

on February 04, 2012
at 08:25 AM

Minced beef, liver, potatoes.

3
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 07, 2012
at 11:16 AM

It looks like nobody said this, but what about bone broth? I can get free bones from my butcher. Put in some organ meats, make broth, and you've got yourself a cheap meal with lots and lots of good stuff in it : gelatin, fat-soluble vitamins, b vitamins, ... I'd add as many veggies, fruit and cheap starches (potatoes & white rice) to that as I can.

You also won't need to buy cooking oil in that case, all you need is water and a crock pot.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 07, 2012
at 05:11 PM

Great idea Korion. :)

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 07, 2012
at 11:18 AM

Keep in mind muscle meat is not necessary in a diet! It's freaking expensive! I guess chicken and some fish can be really really cheap too, btw. And if you want a snack, I'd go with cheap fruit and raw carrots.

3
E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:13 AM

6 XL eggs (1.50/day)

1 cup rice (0.10/day)

1 can sardines (1.10/day)

1lb ground beef ($2.79/day)

3tbsp virgin coconut oil (0.50/day)

~2800 calories, 160g protein, 6.00/day

$7 a week for sale leafy greens...i think meat and eggs are cheaper in the states if that's where you live. but that's what i eat

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 05:01 AM

Because grains are out, hence "paleo"

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:53 AM

Why is rice out?

Af005ec9a8e028f2b04bf5367b64e0d6

(2797)

on February 06, 2012
at 06:40 PM

White rice is perfectly fine. And you drink beer...

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:59 AM

Rice is out. Virgin coconut oil means a special gas-guzzling trip to whole foods to spend $7.99 a jar. My husband will not eat fish of any kind. Thanks for the post, though!!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:56 PM

Not for me, thanks.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 04, 2012
at 08:48 AM

White Rice is perhaps the closest Paleo grain and on an extreme budget I would consider adding it. Many folks on Paleo Hacks eat white rice. If not sub for potatoes.

E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on February 05, 2012
at 02:20 AM

i always order my VCO online, it's half the store price and i always get free shipping.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on February 07, 2012
at 03:00 PM

You clearly stated that your husband is "not paleo". Since the cost of feeding him is your primary compliant, then feed him the rice and you pass. I don't see the problem.

2
24d67557966cdfc748fc2b12053e6a23

(335)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:28 AM

Assuming that this is a temporary situation, I would get the following items from the meat market:

  • stew beef
  • ground beef
  • ground turkey
  • offal (things like liver, giblets, etc., sometimes referred to as meat for pets or pet grade)
  • chicken wings and drumsticks

Also these items as cheaply as possible:

  • eggs
  • butter
  • canned fruit (rinse, don't use the juice)
  • canned veggies (rinse to get rid of extra salt and other nastiness)

I would even get these at the dollar store:

  • tea bags
  • coffee grounds

You might even see canned fruit and veggies at the dollar store but make sure they're not years old, and watch out for corn syrup and dented cans.

These things are obviously not optimal but in the short term they should be okay. Also you might want to give a shot at intermittent fasting to skip a few meals.

If you don't want to use butter to cook with, you might have to splurge on olive oil, or save your grease in a can for later use.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:08 PM

Frozen veggie are generally a more-nutritious bet than canned. I'm not sure how the price compares, but I can get frozen broccoli, etc., for really cheap. And I totally agree about the dollar store. Canned tomatoes are generally good there.

24d67557966cdfc748fc2b12053e6a23

(335)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:25 PM

I mention canned because it seems like there's a little more variety in canned than frozen in some stores, and a little cheaper. I hate broccoli so that's not an option for me. :)

1
166f449979d83186bd876e8f466d0a69

(1317)

on February 07, 2012
at 10:39 AM

I think some people have been a little too quick to attack Lyndsey's economic plan/rationale, and that's no way to try and encourage someone to come round to your way of thinking.

There have been some very good answers here about where to get the cheapest paleo food. My advice is to make friends with a butcher if you have one in the area, who will give you cheap cuts (think offal, if you're adventurous even go for tripe etc-otherwise heart, liver, tendon etc, and look up Asian recipes online as they tend to be the best and most "palatable" for offal, I've found). You also don't need coconut oil, just try and get tallow or lard from your butcher (you might have to render it yourself). As for vegetables, find an ethnic market or a grocery... buy what ever is cheap that day and don't set your heart on finding specific things.

That said, the $10 per meal you're paying for the freezer meals seems a bit odd if it only leaves you $7 for many other meals. I'm afraid I don't live in the US and have never heard of these freezer places. How did it cut your bills in half? Do they provide the food or the gas or freezer capacity, or something else you can't do at home? I think the reason people reacted so venomously to you is that they looked at the whole amount of money you allocated to food and thought they would do something different with it. I would simply try to replicate the same thing at home, again with the same economical ingredients (cheap meat, offal, eggs, potatoes, any veg on offer) and freeze those meals. But each to their own. And good luck!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on February 08, 2012
at 10:34 PM

Yes, Sophie, what the freezer meal places allow me to have at home is a variety of meals, that contain meats, fruits,and veggies that it would cost me way more in time and money to prepare myself at home (which is what I was doing, cooking all these meals on one day, then freezing them). I used to end up with wasted ingredients and a much larger grocery bill. I am currently working three jobs and this saves me time and money.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!