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  • More "Is paleo expensive" debating

    Just wanted to share a great guest post.

    It's interesting how different perspectives can be drawn together like this.

    We often talk on here about tips to keep the paleo budget in check, but this looks at it from a whole other perspective. Someone who understands the frugal lifestyle (which is more than just cutting out the coupons!), maybe you already know this, maybe you dont agree, but it is interesting, let me know what you think. it may be more applicable to the US in places.

    The Expensive Paleo Myth Part 1
    www.beatingorthorexia.co.uk

    No more diets. No more stress. Health made easy. Living made incredible.

  • #2
    I spend a small fortune each month on just myself, and my dog...but i don't go out for dinners or lunches....I enjoy my meals and am never deprived. I try to watch it a bit...but ordering bison, getting organic veggies...free range chicken thighs..eggs..it adds up monthly and FAST...... I will never settle for less! I try to have sardines three times a week on alternate days for dinners ...to save on the chicken a bit, but that's about as thrifty as I've gotten. I also have to purchase whole rabbits and chickens for my dog..as well as lamb liver which I try to eat as well although it's crucial my pup gets it at least weekly.
    *sigh*..... the two of us are quite a pair... ;-) broke, but well fed... :-) (I'm in Canada...everything costs more here)

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    • #3
      Karen De Costner has done a few posts where she tabulates the costs of her paleo meals. For a family of 4 she compares the cost of her meals to going out to Arby's for roast beef and cheddar sandwiches. And she compares both the supermarket staples and the fancy organic and grass fed staples. They always come out to more food, more nutrition and less cost compared to the fast food.
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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      • #4
        I believe it. I spend $60/week on grass-fed beef and organic veggies. Expensive? Yes. But that feeds me for the entire week, usually with a little left over. I can't find a good tasting meal for less than $10/meal. Not to mention that it is more nutritious.

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        • #5
          Ill be honest Im no frugal, but I choose to only buy the organic/grass fed stuff sometimes when i think its worth while. I know diet is well worth the investment, but I also know just by eliminating the abd stuff we are doing better than 90% of the pop. !
          www.beatingorthorexia.co.uk

          No more diets. No more stress. Health made easy. Living made incredible.

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          • #6
            Paleo is more expensive up front. In the long run, it will save you boatloads. I see how much money my grandparents shell out for pills. We won't even get into the money saved from hardly ever getting sick. Doctor's visits are expensive. Then, there's the allergy pills I don't need anymore. Oh, and I tan now instead of burn, so bye bye sunblock. I don't take whey, glutamine, BCAA's and all that stuff anymore, which is a $30/month savings, yet I've gained more strength now than ever. My grocery bill went up around 25%, but a lot of that is because my palate has expanded greatly and I enjoy a lot more food now.
            Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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            • #7
              I already cooked almost every meal from scratch and ate low carb before going paleo. And my husband has Parkinson's disease, so I don't have a partner who can help. So the main cost question for me is whether I am willing to pay a lot more for grass fed meat and pastured butter. I'm slowly moving in that direction. My local pre-order farm market has pastured eggs at a very reasonable price but the grass fed meat is even more expensive than Whole Foods 30 miles away.
              __________________________
              age 56, type 2 diabetes, swimmer
              low carb since 2006 thanks to Jenny, primal since Jan. 2012

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              • #8
                I find I eat less generally and am not spending money on snacks etc like before. I guess I'm cutting down on all the other things you can buy in a supermarket so I can buy at least some grassfed meat and organic cream and butter. eggs from a farmer, about the same as I spent on eggs in the market before. I buy organic lettuce, but fruits only if they are hte same or very similar price to on-organic. I have a family of four, and the food bill is not much higher than before...Goldfish and chocolate pretzels are expensive, too.

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                • #9
                  A trick I found for the fruits, if you have a real hippie-dippie health food co-op kind of place, is to get the fruit marked "unsprayed" rather than certified organic. I asked once what the difference was and they told me that unsprayed is fruit they bought from somebody's back yard harvest. Since it's just somebody's back yard, they're not going to be able to be certified organic. Usually the back yard stuff tastes great, too, since back yard fruit tends to be varieties that taste good rather than ship good. It also helps to save money by buying the transitional produce. That is from farms that are in transition to certified organic. There's a couple of years they have to be in transition before they can be certified. You're not going to find these distinctions at a regular grocery or some place like Whole Foods.

                  As for grass-fed, I'd go for the grass-fed butter and cream and just buy lean regular meats if I was trying to save money. The pastured eggs are definitely worth it. Since having your own chickens is gaining popularity, it may be possible to trade a neighbor or co-worker for the eggs. We get eggs from time-to-time from a co-worker by trading backyard avocados and passion fruits. Not enough to keep us supplied all the time, but it helps.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                  • #10
                    For the people who don't have copious amounts of time to go shopping and cook up every single one of those meals, I can see how people consider Paleo expensive since they have to invest time (=money) on top of expensive food. Fast food is so much cheaper overall because of the minimal time investment. Of course, all people value their time differently monetarily, so it's just we who make the choice to cook that have a lower value on the concept of time that could be invested elsewhere. Just my opinion.
                    My chocolatey Primal journey

                    Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                    • #11
                      Paleo is kinda expensive though I've found cycling carbs and eating none at all a few days a week creates the "feeling" of the hunter/gatherer lifestyle-- food is here and then it's gone. This makes it possible for me to shop for food less which also makes it seem less spendy.

                      But I also agree- I eat a TON of cheap Wal-Mart sardines- 2 something a can. They are good. I've read there's no point in buying the organic eggs also but not totally clear on that. I don't eat that many eggs, I eat more meat.

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                      • #12
                        For my husband and me...it's less. No beer. No wine. No boxed crackers and snacks. No tubs of pimento cheese. (crackers and cheese were his thing not mine, my wine budget was my failing) No bulk grains and legumes. No Ben and Jerry's or Gelato. We never ate a lot packaged foods to begin with, but we cut out the treats. No pizza or sushi. We rarely go out for meals. So here's how we're really blessed and what we can have...Local grass fed beef bought at the tailgate market...$5/lb ground $6-9 for cuts, $5 for liver.Local whole pastured chickens, $5/lb. (one $20 chicken makes 2 meals for two plus stock and dog treats) In season veggies on the cheap. A sam's membership is great for organic greens and Alaskan salmon or other wild caught seafood. Our local Fresh Market really does have great sale prices. We have lived off of Artichokes for the last two months at 3/$10, and we split one for a side. We home roast our coffee, so we save money there too. Long story longer...it's less expensive for us.

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                        • #13
                          I think its cheaper if not the same...

                          U cut out all the crap you're not suppose to eat (Saves $$$)
                          Try to get more organic stuff (Costs More $$$)
                          Eat less (Saves $$$)
                          Primal (2013)
                          Locavore (locally grown foods when possible)
                          Training consists of Muay Thai, BJJ, weight training, and mountain biking

                          Would like to be in good shape by my 36th Birthday (07-07-2013)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fiercehunter View Post
                            But I also agree- I eat a TON of cheap Wal-Mart sardines- 2 something a can. They are good. I've read there's no point in buying the organic eggs also but not totally clear on that. I don't eat that many eggs, I eat more meat.
                            We buy sardines in water or saltwater brine at the dollar store - $1 a can. Not only cheap, but a quick and easy meal.

                            We're lucky enough to know someone who has a cow and some hens. We get 18 pastured eggs and a gallon of grass-fed raw milk each week for $5.

                            We buy conventional for just about everything because our budget is so tight. I've planted a garden for veggies (if it does well this year I'll expand it next year) and we've talked about putting in fruit trees/bushes. Those cost a bit up front but the long-term reward is so worth it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by raptoryell View Post
                              I think its cheaper if not the same...

                              U cut out all the crap you're not suppose to eat (Saves $$$)
                              Try to get more organic stuff (Costs More $$$)
                              Eat less (Saves $$$)
                              This is where I am now. At first, I went a little wild on at the natural foods store, buying what I now know to be two-months worth of almond butter and coconut oil, etc. But now I'm eating less, I'm not buying expensive processed foods, and I don't have to buy allergy meds. Granted - I'm still buying mostly conventional meats.

                              Near myneighborhood, there's a local market that has weekly sales on a grass-fed meat (one week it's ground beef, another week it might be pork, etc), so if I start a program of buying extra and freezing it, I should be able to stay frugal.

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