9

votes

How can I cut costs without cutting food costs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Suppose I couldn't cut costs from my 77 bucks a week of ground beef, fish, and sweet potatoes. Give me examples of Paleo lifestyle changes for people on a budget - examples that enhance our lives and bring them more into line with what our ancestors experienced.

Things that come to my mind:

Walk everywhere, perform gym-free workouts outside, use free coffeeshop wifi instead of home internet, ditch the cell phone (or downgrade), play music on a guitar instead of an iPod. No TV.

These all give one the ability to occasionally disconnect from a virtual reality and reconnect with the reality in front of them: nature or their friends and family in person. Perhaps not all changes are implementable in all situations but it could be interesting to see creative solutions to money worries that would help us live not like cavemen, but like humans in tune with their genetic needs.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 20, 2011
at 04:56 PM

Even a few watts can make a difference over time, raydawg, especially if you have multiple tvs, computer monitors, etc. Also, I'm not sure why you don't think your DVR can be shut off. Unless you have yours soldered into the wall, all you have to do is unplug it. Obviously it won't record while it's unplugged, but if you don't have any recordings scheduled there is no reason not to unplug it.

7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on November 20, 2011
at 02:42 PM

@SlightlyReworded - That's a good idea but I'm too lean and active already to skip meals - my recovery from exercise goes down the toilet even if I don't feel specifically "hungry" when I skip a meal. I suppose a way to save money is to stop working out, then one needs less food :P

7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on November 20, 2011
at 02:29 PM

But do the LED bulbs emit harsh light or soft light? I only use a forty watt lamp after dark and while the bulb is not LED, it's the closest to gentle yellow candlelight I could find.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on November 20, 2011
at 01:37 PM

Actually the idea of unplugging things such as TVs is misguided. I have a UPS with a display feature attached to my TV, DVR, Amp, etc. and with everything in standby the drain is only 45W, with everything on over 125W. Most of that 45W goes to the DVR which you can't shut off. You can save a lot more money switching to LED bulbs instead of incandescent. These days standby is less than a few watts.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 20, 2011
at 01:14 PM

It's not something I do personally (nor is it practical for everyone), but it would save money and be in line with the pre-electricity paleo life. The use of artificial light can disrupt sleep patterns.

218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on November 20, 2011
at 12:43 PM

"Don't turn on any lights after the sun goes down" at 5 pm in winter? better still invest in some LED light bulbs. 1/10 the power consumption of old school bulbs and ultra long life.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 20, 2011
at 12:19 PM

Fixed. My bad.

499f188c87c6980742b9ba98caa6f563

(683)

on November 20, 2011
at 07:16 AM

Please edit again so that the title makes sense.

9ffe43c6c5990ed710c7c49b12d6ee7f

on November 20, 2011
at 03:24 AM

While your question specified not cutting food costs, you might try fasting just to increase the amount of time you stay "stocked up." When I began fasting occasionally - a day a week or skipping breakfast and lunch - it took so much longer to run out of food! Couldn't hurt.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 20, 2011
at 12:08 AM

Turned it into a question for you.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on November 19, 2011
at 07:22 PM

agreed. paleo and simplicity, in my life, are close friends. Neither lifestyle is only about wholesome foods!

7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on November 19, 2011
at 07:12 PM

Thanks to you and to Kewpie - I've been thinking about this topic alot, and it seems every budgeting question on this site has to do with food. While budgeting food is important, there are plenty of ways to save money while making life in general more ancestral. It's good to have this thread

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 19, 2011
at 04:03 PM

Great minds think alike, lol. Nice list!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on November 19, 2011
at 04:00 PM

you thought of a few things that I didn't! I'll add these things to my own goals. Thanks, Kewpie!

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4 Answers

10
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 19, 2011
at 03:58 PM

You've already given yourself lots of good answers. There are lots of ways you can simplify your life and cut costs in ways that will enhance your paleo lifestyle. Some suggestions:

  • Drop cable/satellite
  • Don't turn on any lights after the sun goes down
  • Borrow books from the library rather than buying them
  • Drop your gym membership and exercise outdoors
  • Walk or ride a bike rather than driving
  • Work from home
  • Barter for some of the things you need/want
  • Drop your landline (if you still have one)
  • Take camping vacations instead of hotel vacations
  • Use sites like Spotify or Pandora instead of buying music
  • Buy second-hand clothes and household items
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Take shorter showers
  • Make your own toiletries
  • Take up inexpensive and/or practical hobbies
  • Drop magazine subscriptions (read them online or at the library)
  • Invest in a chest freezer so you can buy pastured/grassfed meat in bulk at a discount
  • Invest in a chest freezer so you can preserve locally grown fruits and veggies while they are in season (and thus much cheaper)
  • Start a garden
  • Learn to can food
  • Unplug electricity drains like flat screen tvs when you aren't using them

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on November 20, 2011
at 01:37 PM

Actually the idea of unplugging things such as TVs is misguided. I have a UPS with a display feature attached to my TV, DVR, Amp, etc. and with everything in standby the drain is only 45W, with everything on over 125W. Most of that 45W goes to the DVR which you can't shut off. You can save a lot more money switching to LED bulbs instead of incandescent. These days standby is less than a few watts.

218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on November 20, 2011
at 12:43 PM

"Don't turn on any lights after the sun goes down" at 5 pm in winter? better still invest in some LED light bulbs. 1/10 the power consumption of old school bulbs and ultra long life.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on November 19, 2011
at 04:00 PM

you thought of a few things that I didn't! I'll add these things to my own goals. Thanks, Kewpie!

7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on November 20, 2011
at 02:29 PM

But do the LED bulbs emit harsh light or soft light? I only use a forty watt lamp after dark and while the bulb is not LED, it's the closest to gentle yellow candlelight I could find.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 20, 2011
at 04:56 PM

Even a few watts can make a difference over time, raydawg, especially if you have multiple tvs, computer monitors, etc. Also, I'm not sure why you don't think your DVR can be shut off. Unless you have yours soldered into the wall, all you have to do is unplug it. Obviously it won't record while it's unplugged, but if you don't have any recordings scheduled there is no reason not to unplug it.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 20, 2011
at 01:14 PM

It's not something I do personally (nor is it practical for everyone), but it would save money and be in line with the pre-electricity paleo life. The use of artificial light can disrupt sleep patterns.

5
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on November 19, 2011
at 03:58 PM

Great question.

Here are some of my answers, from my own experiences with simple / minimal living:

-Use free wi-fi (or university wifi)

-Don't have a landline phone

-Don't have a tv (use the internet for shows you may watch)

-Make tea or coffee at home.

-Sell a lot of stuff and move to a smaller place - more doable than you may think!

-Sell your second car (or never buy a second one)

-Sell CDs and just use your computer.

-If using transit, use it as infrequently as possible. Walk instead.

-Make your own home decor - including things like growing a plant for a bit of color and freshness

-Cancel subscriptions to print magazines or papers. Use internet instead to follow news.

-Quit smoking.

Best of luck!

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 19, 2011
at 04:03 PM

Great minds think alike, lol. Nice list!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on November 19, 2011
at 07:22 PM

agreed. paleo and simplicity, in my life, are close friends. Neither lifestyle is only about wholesome foods!

7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on November 19, 2011
at 07:12 PM

Thanks to you and to Kewpie - I've been thinking about this topic alot, and it seems every budgeting question on this site has to do with food. While budgeting food is important, there are plenty of ways to save money while making life in general more ancestral. It's good to have this thread

3
18d89478c2fbd0a69889ae094f5fa5d3

on November 19, 2011
at 03:58 PM

Live in the woods/cave and hunt for food. /thread

2
25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on November 20, 2011
at 12:48 AM

Paul Muni's parting statement here may be of some help to you:

http://youtu.be/ttKg62pkcc8

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