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Paleo on a Beans and Rice Budget. And are beans and rice even ok?

Commented on January 06, 2014
Created January 05, 2014 at 4:57 PM

After being promised a raise that has not come through, I am having to reexamine our food budget. My Aunt is trying to be helpful, and proposed a drastic, 30 day beans and rice diet (now, I'm being literal here. She means 30 days, buy nothing but black beans and brown rice, and use what's in the house now which isn't much). My questions are these:

1. What rebuttal can I give her that may sink in that I don't think living on beans and rice for even 30 days will suit my body. I have become used to eating Paleo, especially consuming lots of animal fat and protein. I understand her theory, for saving money, but I just don't think it would be healthy.

2. Does anyone have any suggestions for eating Palo on a super tight budget? Yes, I have searched the forums, but no other posts seemed to be what I'm looking for. There are 2 of us to feed, I work so leftovers for lunch are good for me, and the bf is in school so two days a week, he would need something that's grab and go (no heating or refrigerating required). The other days he's home for lunch, so leftovers are also fine with him. We generally do eggs and meat for breakfast, and then some meat dish with veggies for lunch and dinner. We don't mind including white potatoes and rice for a while, as we both tolerate them with no issues. I have also, although not in the last year or so, soaked and prepared dried beans with no issues.

Basically, I don't mind including beans and rice, and other marginally Paleo items to help stretch the meat further. I just don't know how to do it. I'm shooting for our monthly food budget (for two people) to be $200.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 06, 2014
at 03:18 PM

Tubers are paleo. Starches may be paleo. Paleo is not repackaged Atkins.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on January 06, 2014
at 04:44 AM

Thanks, Matt. This is very useful.

65bba2aa1de77b31c373c1a390c43ca8

(423)

on January 05, 2014
at 08:57 PM

My company pays my phone bill, and I have problems with my legs, so biking to work is not an option. Also only have internet, which I need for work. unfortunately, there's not much I can cut in my budget.

73405829e4cd62de86d52ef5c557dc42

on January 05, 2014
at 07:49 PM

On that note i also get gf beef for 50% of at my grocery store if i go around 9pm or later. GF seems to get marked down more often because the avg shopper doesn't buy it because of the price and then they have to get rid of it at the end of the day

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7 Answers

0
783275f7d7d5fd8de47977d42fc5f97d

on January 06, 2014
at 02:22 PM

There's nothing wrong with properly prepared beans and rice imho, if you tolerate them well. They are whole foods but clearly you would want to complement them with a wide range of other foods to meet your nutritional requirements.

One thing you could do is to sprout the beans and then steam or cook them, this will make them less filling (by reducing their carbohydrate content) but will boost their nutritional value (they're more like veggies at that point)

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on January 05, 2014
at 08:26 PM

If you can't afford pastured meat, it's OK to eat lean cuts of CAFO if you supplement with good fats. A big container of coconut oil at Costco is an investment, but per serving it saves a lot of money. Pastured organ meats and bones are very reasonable, and go a long way.

Eggs and canned fish (bought on sale) are good, inexpensive sources of protein. My family of 4 gets at least three meals from a chicken--we like the dark meat roasted, we chop up the white meat to use for stir fry, chicken salad, casseroles, etc., and the carcass goes into soup. While a whole chicken is not inexpensive, by the time we've stretched it over 3 meals its a good bargain.

Buy from bulk bins when you can. Prices are much better since you don't have to pay for packaging, and you can buy exactly the amount you need, reducing waste. I buy a couple of pounds of dried, shredded coconut at a time, and make my own coconut milk, coconut butter, and coconut meal/flour (using the pulp from the coconut milk production). This costs only pennies. All you need is a blender--if you don't have a blender they are easily found at thrift stores for little cost. You can also make almond milk, meal, and butter yourself, but almonds are more costly.

You can ferment foods at home for very little money. It's easy to make yogurt and kefir if you do dairy, ferment veggies like cabbage and carrots, make beet kvass or kombucha for a fraction of what it costs to buy these things. You don't need any special equipment other than some big jars.

Plant a garden, or at the very least a few herbs in a windowsill. During the spring and summer when produce is plentiful, buy in season at bargain prices and dry or can as much as you can. I slice and dry strawberries when they are cheap, and there's nothing like munching on slices of dried strawberries in the middle of winter--tastes like summer!

This all takes some planning and an investment of time, and you can't do everything at once. You may be able to make only one "big investment" (e.g. a container of coconut oil) at a time. It's OK to ease into it.

Avoid wasting food and money by planning a menu and a shopping list and sticking to it. Spend a few hours on the weekend prepping food for the coming week, so that you are less tempted to buy inexpensive junk food. All this time is an investment in a healthful future for you both.

0
Af679502f1e31c0c59c79bd08f324b35

on January 05, 2014
at 07:40 PM

eat good grass fed organ meat... If you are close to a farmer's market you might go very very late and get good deals. At the produce stands I usually see 50% off with 30 minutes left to go. You could also switch to a high carb low fat paleo including lots of tubers and organ meat. My girlfriend and I spend too much on food a month... $1000+

73405829e4cd62de86d52ef5c557dc42

on January 05, 2014
at 07:49 PM

On that note i also get gf beef for 50% of at my grocery store if i go around 9pm or later. GF seems to get marked down more often because the avg shopper doesn't buy it because of the price and then they have to get rid of it at the end of the day

0
Medium avatar

on January 05, 2014
at 07:16 PM

Lean meat is Paleo with little or no fat. Also, veggies and fruit should be included. All starches, legumes, and tubers are not Paleo. If you're on a really strict budget, and you want to stay Paleo then my only suggestion is that your meat and veggies will have to be lessor quality like frozen or canned rather than fresh.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 06, 2014
at 03:18 PM

Tubers are paleo. Starches may be paleo. Paleo is not repackaged Atkins.

0
73405829e4cd62de86d52ef5c557dc42

on January 05, 2014
at 06:48 PM

examine your budget. Is there anywhere you can save money. Personally, i got rid of cable tv and switched my phone to metropcs on a $40/mo plan and that saved me about $160/mo that I can put toward food. I also ride my bike to work and every where else. I still have my car but drive once a week and that saves me about $300/mo in gas money that can also go toward food. Most people can cut a lot of expenses if they prioritize

65bba2aa1de77b31c373c1a390c43ca8

(423)

on January 05, 2014
at 08:57 PM

My company pays my phone bill, and I have problems with my legs, so biking to work is not an option. Also only have internet, which I need for work. unfortunately, there's not much I can cut in my budget.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on January 05, 2014
at 06:22 PM

The lighter beans have been soaked 24 hours, but no less than 12hrs. In my experience, I digest best 48 hrs soaked chickpeas, french lentils, and adzuki beans.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 05, 2014
at 05:54 PM

Think of meat as a supplement, rather than a staple. It's there for the nutrients, not for the calories. When you think in those terms, meat needs are modest - maybe 4-6 ounces a day.

$25 budget for a week per person:

  • 1 whole chicken or 1 pound ground beef - $5
  • 3 dozen eggs - $5
  • 10 pounds potatoes - $5
  • 2 boxes frozen spinach - $2
  • 1/2 pound butter - $2
  • 1 pound onion - $1
  • Various other veggies - fresh or frozen - $5

That's your calories for the week, more than enough vitamins/minerals/protein as well. You could replace some of the potatoes, eggs, meat with rice and beans if desired, though you lose more on nutrients than you gain on cost savings I think.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on January 06, 2014
at 04:44 AM

Thanks, Matt. This is very useful.

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