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truly cheap calories

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  • truly cheap calories

    Hey, I've been primal(ish) for a long time, and I mostly know how to make it work, and work for our budget. But in the last two months, two of my kids have hit major teen growth spurts and on top of that, they've begun training for parkour. They're hungry ALL of the time, and they burn through our food supplies in no time flat. It's getting to a point that I can't afford to keep up. I'm starting to understand why so many parents give in to the $5 pizza scheme.

    I'm looking for some truly cheap eats to fill teen bellies without doing too much damage to their health. Neither of them is overweight at all. They eat a basically primal diet, with occasional treats, plus extra potatoes and sweet potatoes, and more fruit than most primal adults (I think).

    So far my ideas are: roasting up some sweet potatoes and keeping them on hand for them to reheat when they're hungry

    hard boiled eggs

    egg salad in lettuce


    Anyone other ideas would be greatly appreciated!
    junebu8's journ@l

  • #2
    I’m really far from being a mom, my suggestion was going to be potatoes…

    How about white rice? It’s pretty safe as just an empty starch, you say your boys aren’t overweight or anything so I would throw some of that in there. It’s definitely cheap.
    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


    • #3
      I can relate! My 17-year-old grandson is staying with me. He loves the Primal diet, but also supplements with some carbs although he has drifted away from refined carbs. I make a full slow cooker pot about every 3 days with other meats in between. Each time I think SURELY this food will last 3 days he dives in and cleans me out. He's lean but working out a lot including running and swimming (he's much leaner than the 1-year-old pic I used in my album.)

      I'm also feeling the dollar pinch, but it's better than having him eat Twinkies and chips. Fortunately, he also gave up soda so I'm using those dollars to prop up his meat needs.

      For cheap calories, I look for sales on meat approaching the "use by" dates and I make sure he eats enough vegetables. I'm pleased to report he's developed a taste for celery root and rutabagas. I think most teen boys don't eat veggies, and Zac won't eat salad but he does take nice helpings of veggies I include in the slow cooker batch.

      Like his gramma, he's also a fruit eater and that moderates his intake of meat a little.


      • #4
        Hit Costco and stock up on their $5 Rotisserie chickens, they are a minimum of 3 pounds. (At least that's what they are up here in Washington). I also second the suggestion about potatoes. Bake up a bunch of them, and have butter, sour cream, cheese, onions, BACON, all the extras they want to top it with. Veggies with dip, lots of fruit. You can do it!


        • #5
          2nd sweet potatoes. They need some carb replenishment. Also ground beef is easy to have on hand all cooked up and seasoned. I make pulled pork a lot, too. Easy to make in a crock pot or pressure cooker. Pork butt is cheap and yummy.


          • #6


            • #7
              Will they eat liver? I can get liver from my grassfed farmer for pennies to the pound. He sells it for 2-something/pound, but nobody but me and a couple other people buy it so he always throws in a couple extra packages for free. I cook it and make pate and throw that into everything I eat. You could probably add it to mashed potatoes for added nutrition.


              • #8
                I just ate some white rice for lunch with my salmon, re-introducing moderate amounts of rice has been fine for me and I appreciate the added variety. Perfect Health Diet (my new fave paleo book) recommends moderate amounts of white rice.
                If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least and this (personal fave):


                • #9
                  Fat calories are cheap! Ask your butcher for leftover beef fat and make your own tallow.

                  Cabbage is cheap. My favorite cheap meal is chopped cabbage stir fried with a little ground beef or other meat, pork or bacon is yummy, with yummy fat, garlic, salt & pepper.


                  • #10
                    A cheap cut of meal (preferably pork or turkey) plus onions plus kale or cabbage. Preferably in a crockpot. Nutritious, delicious, filling.


                    • #11
                      Crockpot with chicken, strip meat, them make bone broth, add vegetables for filling soup.

                      Liver is very cheap, look out for frozen chicken livers. Good back in freezer.


                      • #12
                        One of my favorite cheap energy boosting meals is a can of Thai Kitchen coconut milk + a banana. That comes out to less than $2 and over 800 calories. It will supply them with good fat, some carbs and nutrients like potassium. It also taste great with the banana.


                        • #13
                          Respectfully, I think some of you guys are missing the point that these boys are (at least currently) being highly active and a high-fat/low-ish carb diet is not going to suit them well.

                          Parkour is a high intensity activity, fun as all hell from the looks of it, but nothing that I would fuel with just fat/protein. Parkour involves bouts of sprinting, climbing up things, jumping, pulling yourself up and over obstacles, etc… even if they’re just starting out they’re expending themselves a lot. Presumably of course.

                          Those are all activities that require a decent amount of daily carbohydrate. Give these kids white rice with protein and fat, potatoes, etc… nothing is cheaper than white rice and as stated before it’s pretty mild/safe. I bet your boys won’t put on any negative weight at all, in fact anything they gain right now is going to be mostly determined by the simple fact that they’re hitting growth spurts. They’ll be just fine having white rice even daily.
                          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


                          • #14
                            I second the baked potatoes and rice. Do they like guacamole? Avacado is high fat and cheap. Ground beef is a cheaper cut of meat, so you could get rice based GF tortillas, fill them with white rice, taco meat and guac.
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                            "We have all the food groups- meat and chocolate".


                            • #15
                              Make a stew with as much offal as possible (heart,liver,kidney) for cheap protein and nutrients.
                              Like others have said more carbs like white rice and potatoes.