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Absolute cheapest ways to eat primal?

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  • Absolute cheapest ways to eat primal?

    So I'm a poor poor grad school student at the moment, and I've started to eat primal, while also incorporating some of the "how to eat primal on a budget" tricks I've found around here. Still finding myself spending a fair amount of money on things week to week.

    So I was just curious if anyone has found any ways to go primal on a REALLY low budget. Variety isn't that important to me, I don't mind alot of repitition in my meals (as long as I'm getting everything I need) - but that's easy for breakfast (eggs, bacon, berries, done) but I haven't had much success finding dirt cheap alternatives for lunch and dinner. Mostly I have turned to just a salad or veggie stir fry or just a regular protein (steak, chicken breast, or piece of fish) with a veggie for dinner.

    I'm not much of a chef unfortunately (wish I were!), so the simpler the better. But if anyone has found something that is really cheap that they eat a good bit of, lemme know, thanks!

  • #2
    Invest in a crockpot. Buy crappy cuts of grassfed meat (usually the tough parts) and cook them in the crockpot until tender. My favorite is to make a curry with coconut milk and curry paste and just toss in a hunk of meat. Forget about it for a couple of hours and then eat! That said, grassfed meat is still crazy expensive, regardless of what cut you buy. I could never afford it when I was in school.

    My journal


    • #3
      Soups: Buy a whole chicken, and roast for dinner one night. Eat on salad for lunch the next day. Throw the carcass in a pot and make a bone broth.

      Eat local and seasonal. Don't try to buy berries in the dead of winter, but enjoy some apples or pears. Seek out the farmer's markets and buy as much produce there as possible.

      Cook in batches. When pork chops go on sale, buy a few packs and then freeze, or cook and then freeze for instant meals.

      Sweet potatoes are cheap, make them a staple of your diet.

      Don't let the perfect be the enemy of good. Honestly, my family simply cannot swing grass fed meat in our geographic area until we can afford to buy a share of a cow. So, until the capital is available, we will be having meat from the grocery store.


      • #4
        roadkill .. it's free, usually grass feed, and comes pre-tenderized
        04/23/2012 Max Weight : 448 lbs
        01/01/2014 Initial Weight : 428 lbs
        06/23/2015 Current weight : 288 lbs
        12/31/2015 Goal weight : 208 lbs


        • #5
          eggs, canned fish, frozen veggies, various spices
          yeah you are

          Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.


          • #6
            I too am a poor grad student - here are some of my tricks:
            FARMERS MARKET! (and sometimes if you get to know the farmers, they will hook you up - offer you odd cuts of meat at low prices, etc etc).
            FROZEN MEAT - Do you have something called Sprouts near you? They have good prices and actually have fresh grass fed and finished steak I can afford. However, as another option, I buy a lot of grass fed meat frozen. I wait for it to go on sale and stock up - frozen tends to be cheaper anyway.
            Knowing what to invest on - So my understanding is that the fattier the meat, the more you have to be concerned with organic etc. So for sure, if you are eating red meat buy high quality. For lower fat meats, you don't have to worry as much.
            Same with produce - figure out which produce should be organic and which doesn't matter so much.
            Like the above poster said - stock up on sale, cook in big batches, freeze cooked meals and/or meat on sale.


            • #7
              Check the sale ads!!!!!!!!!! I'm feeding a family of 8, and when they have 1/2 off specials on the cheaper cuts of meat, I stock up! The slow cooker is my friend. It cooks up any cut of meat to perfection. :-) Also, definitely buy veggies and fruit in season. Not only are they "better" then, they are also much cheaper. I'm getting cantaloupe for 88 cents a piece right now (not per pound, but for the entire cantaloupe!!!). If you can handle dairy, you can buy cheese in bulk for a really good price usually. I'm not sure how much in the way of carbs you can handle, but I usually make a half potato, half cauliflower mash once a week and then add lots of butter and cream to it. That's a cheap source of calories. We eat that with a big hunk of meat and another vegetable usually.


              • #8
                Originally posted by bloodorchid View Post
                eggs, canned fish, frozen veggies, various spices
                I second the canned fish. You can get wild Alaskan salmon for about 3 dollars a pound that way. Buy the traditional style which includes the skin and bones.


                • #9
                  ground beef, eggs and potatoes was the cheapest way I ever ate on real food. I did that for other reasons, than saving money, so I would throw in any veggies/fruit that's on sale.
                  My Journal:
                  When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


                  • #10
                    Here's a link to eat wild:
                    Eat Wild

                    I think it's a good way to find out who is near you that sells the good meat. I think that if there are enough people near, you also get to price them, and this could potentially lead to some savings.

                    Also, buying in bulk seems to be helpful on prices in certain places I've been to, and as a result, we'd go in on meat with a few other people to get our overall costs down. It's not easy to always do this because not everyone is into the grass fed yet unfortunately. If you start clubs, though, maybe this happens?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BuckleyFan1043 View Post
                      regular protein (steak, chicken breast, or piece of fish)
                      I go for the chicken legs over chicken breast. Way cheaper per lb, at least in the stores down here. Rice, potatoes also a good, cheap and filling source if you're not going low carb.


                      • #12
                        I second what everyone else has said. You can also start rendering your own lard or tallow. Pasture raised suet and fatback can usually be had for dirt cheap. Then you can make chicharrones AND get a lot of good fat.


                        • #13
                          I too am unbelievably poor and in college. I've been living off $50 starting my third week with 14 days left to go. I do have a free source of eggs, which has been wonderful! I also bought a whole bag of red potatoes and can't believe how eating one or two can satiate me for quite awhile. I bought on sale meats like chicken thighs and ground beef and have been getting insanely cheap veggies from Trader Joe's or the farmers market. Since being in this pinch I've actually gone a few whole days (not in a row) without eating meat, which never happened before. I've been upping my veggie intake quite a bit. I've also been on a cottage cheese kick. I've been preparing less meals and making a serving of veggies or eggs or a whole avocado at random, whenever I get hungry. I don't know how much this has helped, but I've been doing it and it hasn't been so bad.


                          • #14
                            Cheapest way to eat primal:

                            1. Cancel TV. Should be the first thing you cut.
                            2. Cancel any subscriptions to news paper or magazines. Its all on the internet anyhow.
                            3. Get rid of internet. Its free at the library and most parts of any town anyhow.
                            4. Walk or bike rather than driving. If you can get rid of car completely you can save on gas AND insurance even if you owned the thing.
                            5. Get a roommate.
                            6. Learn to hunt, fish, and forage for food.
                            7. Take all saved money and buy only the best food.


                            • #15
                              ^This'll do it.

                              Today I bought:
                              4lbs of chicken breast (holy crap that's 1 pound per half breast!)
                              3lbs of sole
                              2lbs of steak
                              Broccoli, limes, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, yams and onions

                              Only $40.

                              It's not the only food I'm going to eat this week, but it's a lot of it. And some of that meat is going to last until next week.

                              I live in one of the most expensive towns in the united states. Half my take-home pay goes toward rent and I get a deal because I sleep with the landlord. I don't think it's terribly expensive to eat paleo. None of this was organic or grass-fed, though.
                              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.