Monday, June 6, 2011

Paleo On a Budget

Okay, I'm sure people are getting sick of the paleo-blogness focus of my blog lately and I assure those interested in faith, art and the life that is mine, I will be posting some art stuff soon too!!

However, I wanted to disperse the rumors that eating paleo is expensive.

It is not.

There. I've said it. Paleo eating is not expensive. Stop saying that it is. You're not right, let's get to the facts...finding in-season meats, veggies and fruits as well as other necessities for a paleo-kitchen are relatively cheap. With cans of coconut milk around a dollar and a quarter, meat sales all the time and constantly rotating in-season produce, finding a week's worth of food can be around $100 a week for our family of two. That boils down to about $2.33 per meal. Which is absolutely more affordable than the average $5 combo from your favorite fast food joint. And vastly more healthy and satisfying.

I just left Kroger today, and though it is not the only grocery store our family frequents, I wanted to comment on the sales there this week. They have several buy-one-get-one free meat deals and huge post holiday savings. For around $35.00, I got enough meat to feed us lunch and dinner for well over a week. That is less than one dinner out for the two of us at any decently stocked restaurant.

  • 5 lb Spare Rib - $12.60
  • 2 2lb Shoulder Roasts - $11.03
  • 8 Pork Chops - $6.59
  • 3 lbs Bacon - $4.59

When you can find buy-one-get-one meat deals, you can really get a LOT of value, so long as you cook.

And that, if I might say, is the biggest problem with eating paleo on a budget or fixed income. Not cost, but time. If you want to eat right, make the best use of your budget and groceries, you're gonna need to prepare your own foods.

Now, you may ask what we can do with this. And as I am typing, Joe has made steak and onion omelettes, and is searing a roast, preparing stock for stew so he and I can have stew for lunch during the week.

So lunch made of stew with one of the roasts, which will last Joe and I about three days. So around six lunches for $5.50 plus some veggies for the stew. We will likely have pork chops with apples and onions for diner a night or two, and ribs which will be plenty for dinner with enough leftovers for lunch.

So what am I getting at? The real struggle is not the price of eating paleo, but the effort involved in planning, cooking and reheating the food you cook when you do.

My best recommendation for people struggling to eat paleo is to get a few cookbooks, watch a few videos, take a few cooking classes and you will be shocked how cheaply you can eat....and eat well.

You just have to cook, or be kind to someone who does. You will be doing yourself a huge service.

In fact, I will be providing some videos on simple staples for cooking.

I hope this motivates people to get out to the grocery, stock up on deals for items that can be frozen and get in the kitchen!


  1. I will admit that IDEAL paleo eating (ie: grass fed pastured organic food) is more expensive. Sure. But that's not just ideal paleo eating, that's ideal eating period. A kobe beef steak is more expensive than the all you can eat steak at the Sizzler, too. but if you eat real food this way and get some exercise, you'll be doing better than 90% of the people out there in this country. hell, even if you DON'T eat paleo, but you eat fresh meats and vegetables instead of processed crap, you're doing yourself a huge favor.

  2. first off, I love these posts. We're moving at the end of the month (GAH!!!) and I can't wait to do a proper massive shopping for suppplies like canned coconut milk, etc. I'll also have a postage stamp sized patio to do some container gardening in, woot! small peppers and herbs, ahoy!

  3. @bijziend, there will be at least one more the next few days about what we now consider "staples" of our pantry/fridge.

  4. You can also often cut the cost of grass finished meats to the same price as on-sale commodity meats by buying direct from a farmer in the whole or half animal size. Then again time, as in how to deal with frozen meat, is the issue not cost.