1

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Can paleo diet be comparable to vegetarian diet in cost?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 14, 2012 at 5:30 AM

Hello,

I've searched and read various 'budget paleo' threads, but I was hoping I could get some more specific advice addressed to an individual recently wanting to adopt a paleo diet.

I've been a vegetarian for about a year, and have excluded dairy, grains, and sugar for amount a month. Today, I reintroduced meat back into my diet in the form of brisling sardines (which were delicious!), and I feel really energized and haven't experienced any digestion problems.

However, shopping for groceries as a vegetarian has proven to be very affordable for me. My main staples include lentils, eggs, and whatever vegetables are looking good. I usually average 20-30 dollars a week on these foods.

Could a diet which replaced the legumes in my diet with meat be comparable in price? I realize this could be answered in part by going to the grocery store and checking out prices, but part of the problem is I learned to cook after I became a vegetarian. Consequently, i'm severely lacking in my meat know-how in terms of preparation and cost. I assume grass-fed would be out of the question for the most part. Should I look into organ meets and less-describable cuts? Also, foods with quick preparations or those which could be made en masse at one time (like legumes) would be preferable, as I don't have a lot of time to cook as a student. Any suggestions for a hopeful convert?

Thanks,

Daniel

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 15, 2012
at 01:09 PM

Is it a good sign that spammers are actually spamming paleo on a paleo website?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 14, 2012
at 01:55 PM

I freeze my fish in water to prevent freezer burn. I fillet whole salmon, then boil the bones to recover meat and make stock.

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9 Answers

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1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 14, 2012
at 04:48 PM

In terms of quantity/price, vegetarian is going to win over paleo 90% of the time. If you start considering quality/price, paleo is going to start to pull ahead.

2
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on November 14, 2012
at 02:19 PM

The cheapest paleo diet will never be as cheap as the cheapest vegetarian diet. You can cut your costs by, buying conventional vegetables on the "clean 15" list, concentrating on cheaper tough muscle meats, organ meats, making broth with the bones and connective tissue, limiting one animal food per meal (so... like no meat + cheese+ egg dishes) learning to love fritata and egg casseroles will help, and buying things directly from farmers and in bulk.

It takes a while but you'll get the hang of it, if it is important to you. We spent a lot more on food when we first started and now that I know how to cook more than steak and kale, our meals are more creative and I'm able to stretch our meat a lot longer. Good luck!

2
B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on November 14, 2012
at 06:08 AM

You could try slow cooking your meat, it makes cheaper cuts of meat pretty nice, and it's easy of course.

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 14, 2012
at 01:09 PM

Calorie for calorie legumes and grains at $1-2/dry lb are much cheaper than even low quality meat. There's no easy way to avoid this. I buy larger pieces of meat and whole salmon to get bulk pricing, and freeze most of it.

1
5bac45c78a2be60bc17fc2084a0f5d43

(259)

on November 14, 2012
at 07:15 AM

You actually don't need that much protein anyway, most energy should come from fat, and because fat is energy dense - it is not much by weight/cost.

Bones, organs and meat mince are sooo cheaper than "premium" cuts of meat or stakes, and they are more yummy and nutritious.

One of my favorites is fish head soup - boil fish head (around 1 kg) for an hour or so, let it cool then filter it, separate meat from the bones (there is a lot of meat). As a result you get a couple of liters of amazing fish stock which is so high in collagen it solidifies overnight in fridge - it doesn't fell from the pot even if I turn it upside down! Plus you get fish meat at half price.

Canned fish is also cheap, I would be worried about BPA though.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 14, 2012
at 04:54 PM

In terms of raw dollars (or euros or whatever), no. Legumes are about as cheap a commodity as you can find. Meat is almost always more expensive.

If you were eating expensive tofus and some of that meatless chicken patty crap then perhaps.

0
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on November 14, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Ground meat is a relative bargain, and you should be able to find grass-fed ground beef and lamb with relatively little trouble (and lamb burgers, I'm told, are an acquired taste, but I love them). It is also possible to find ground pork from properly raised & fed pigs, and you can make a very good meatloaf using 1/2 beef, 1/2 pork.

Grass-fed flat iron or flank steaks are more expensive, but considerably less so than the fancier cuts like T-bones.

If you can get a slow cooker, beef chuck pot roast or pork shoulder are reasonably priced, easy to cook, and generally involve plenty of leftovers. And you can start making bone broth with leftover chicken bones, another money-saving bonus. All of these things can also be made in an oven, just a little more work that way.

Another one of our favorite cheap & easy meals: Niman Ranch ham steak sauteed in bacon fat. If you've just started back on meat, that might be more than you can digest at this point, but something to keep in mind for the future.

Still, any of these is more expensive than lentils.

0
0dfbc9546cbb16c240235a8ff45984bf

on November 14, 2012
at 01:00 PM

If dont´t allready have one, you should get a freezer. Then you can buy affordable meat (and most often desirable cuts as well) when they have offers in the store. Since meat is more energy dense than veggies the cost shouldn´t be that much higher. Deepr frozen fish from open waters is also a good option. Deep frozen fish is not as tasty as fresh fisch, but most often come at half the prize. The chapest food out ther are dairy, grain and legumes, so if you already cut those out, it wouldnt be much more expensive.

Btw, thanks for the fish head soup recipie, sounds great (and cheap), will definitily try it!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 14, 2012
at 01:55 PM

I freeze my fish in water to prevent freezer burn. I fillet whole salmon, then boil the bones to recover meat and make stock.

-1
64c85f364ef0a306f68b34e947b4622a

(-10)

on November 15, 2012
at 09:32 AM

I been using http://getnow.org/paleo cookbook and it cost me very cheap. Lost ton of weight and gained muscles!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 15, 2012
at 01:09 PM

Is it a good sign that spammers are actually spamming paleo on a paleo website?

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