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  • Primal on a budget with a big ol family?

    I currently have a gigantic household. All you really need to know is that I have 3 kids (3,5,8), a husband, and my my older brother and mom currently live with me.

    Which leads to grocery costs. Now, my brother does pitch in for rent and food (until he moves on. Hopefully soon, but probably not till sometime next year) and who cans and does, live on top ramen and morning soda. I usually cook dinner, and admittedly, I plump up meals with pasta, rice, quinoa, etc, to make it go further.

    I had to cook for a larger family suddenly: I baked loaves of bread, going from white, to wheat, to spelt, to almond, and I JUST started trying coconut flour.

    Ideally, grass fed beef, organic chicken, etc would be better financially in my grasp if my mom and brother didn't live with me. But they do.

    Do you buy all your meat as grass fed? What about your veggies and fruit (organic?). I feel like I buy "death" food for my family (regular cheddar, regular meat from Costco, pasta) while I try to buy better meat/raw cheese for myself and husband as we work through this primal phase.

    We own 11 bantam chickens, so we are good on eggs (although the ladies haven't been producing as much)

  • #2
    you don't have to buy grassfed, but I think it is possible. don't buy your fruits and veggies organic. And butter, milk, and rice and potatoes are cheap.
    well then

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    • #3
      The Dirty Dozen Plus: 14 Foods You Should Buy Organic | Eating Well

      I don't live on a limited food budget, but I do realize how expensive organic and grass fed can be. I would recommend buying organic for the dirtiest of the foods. Apples and berries, for sure. For more savings, eat seasonal/local fruits and vegetables. You can get the vitamins/minerals from seasonal veggies that you are missing in the winter from the lack of seasonal fruit. It just takes some planning.

      Do you have willing eaters? I mean are the kids compliant with eating primal foods? I would put them on the primal path along with you/husband and work toward the grass fed/organic/raw cheeses after your additional family members move on.

      I don't see any problem with using white rice to extend the meals (substitute a can of coconut milk for some of the water to make it more filling and nutritious). I would start reducing the pasta and other grains. Use sweet potatoes and winter squashes and (organic)root vegetables that are pretty cheap right now. Spaghetti squash with meat sauce is actually good and not expensive. Make stews and soups for the winter months. Buy foods on sale, and stock up when you see a good deal. Buy foods in bulk if you can (rice and nuts are a big savings that way). Buy the whole chicken and use it all. Roast the chicken and then use the carcass for soup with carrots/celery/mushrooms, etc for another meal. You can eat the same things repeatedly and not get bored if you are creative. Chicken can be cooked a multitude of ways, and you might be able to afford locally raised whole chicken if you can find it.

      I can find large packages of uncured bacon ends for much cheaper than slices. I am always chopping it up so it makes no difference. I save the grease for cooking and even for salad dressings.

      If you have the freezer space, seriously consider purchasing 1/4-1/2 cow for huge savings. Does your husband hunt? There is always venison. Also look for deals on frozen fruits and vegetables. They might not have the same texture, but the nutrition is there.

      I hope your brother buys his own ramen and soda! Good luck to you.
      sigpic
      Age 48
      Start date: 7-5-12
      5'3"
      121lbs
      GOAL: to live to be a healthy and active 100


      "In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties."
      Henri Frederic Amiel

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      • #4
        You deserve a medal.
        ----------------------------------------
        F, 48, 5'10"
        Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
        Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

        Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

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        • #5
          I write my ideas for cheaper meals at onepoundmeals.blog.com. Not the very best, but good if you're in a pinch or on a small budget!
          --
          Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

          --
          I get blunter and more narcissistic by the day.
          I'd apologize, but...

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          • #6
            I don't buy grass fed or organic anything. The places that sell organic produce and grass fed meats near me charge an arm and a leg. I buy my produce and meats and fruits at an ethnic market very inexpensively. Get what you can afford. Primal is not meant to be only for the rich.
            F 28/5'4/100 lbs

            "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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            • #7
              We don't buy organic - occasionally free range chickens, and always free range eggs (huge demand for those in the UK so there are cheap enough)

              Lots of ground beef meals (ground pork and lamb are fairly cheap hear too), lots of getting what's on short date (grap it when it's cheap, freeze then work out what to do with it), and the slow-cooker (crock pot) is your friend for making meals with cheap cuts supper tasty. We normally eat an egg meal once a week too (pizza omlette is the current fav) And of course organs are cheap
              You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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              • #8
                Is your brother working? If so, and he is eating YOUR food, you could try asking him to contribute a little to the food budget each week?

                I can personally get whole, pasture-raised chickens at $4.25-4.50 a pound at my farmer's market which is amazing. And pasture-raised ground meats I can get between $6.00 and $8.00 depending on the week. The ground meats may SEEM a bit blaze, but learn to make breadless meatloaf and meatballs, make egg and ground meat casseroles, top omelets with 'em, eat your fill of primal sauces made with undrained ground meats topped over big bowls of steamed vegetables... Ground meat is cheap and versatile. Use them!
                "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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                • #9
                  As we fall into fall, potatoes are getting very inexpensive, as are some types of squash. White rice is inexpensive.

                  I try to buy the best quality animal product I can afford, and not worry too much about the produce. I carry the Dirty Dozen list in my wallet when I shop.

                  Look for weird cuts. One of the grocery stores here has a great sale on turkey necks this week and I'm stocking up. Good on their own, in stews, and to make soups.
                  "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                  B*tch-lite

                  Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                  • #10
                    Our budget has been a little on the lean side lately, so I'm not buying 100% grassfed/pastured meat like I used to. I try to get lean meat when we have to buy conventional though, and stick to grassfed butter and other good fats to replace what's missing. I use coupons when I can find them--mostly online printables. I lucked out and found peel-off coupons on Kerrygold Dubliner cheese (on sale) for $2 off Kerrygold grass fed butter recently so I stocked up. I've never bought 100% organic produce--I follow the "clean 15" listed above, and make exceptions particularly for local produce or huge price differences. I buy "clean 15" frozen veggies in bulk, which helps a lot as well.

                    A local farmer had frozen pastured chickens and turkeys that were starting to get a little freezer burnt at a discount so I threw a bunch of those in our freezer--honestly I don't really notice as it's mostly just the wing tips and such anyway. I use every last bit of the birds too--starts off as roasted chicken for dinner, then picked to the bone for another meal like soup or chicken salad, and the carcass is simmered into stock (and is much better than storebought or even homemade stock from a CAFO chicken). I'm frugal with scraps too, saving celery and onion trimmings and wilting carrots for stock, and saving tallow/bacon grease/etc. from the grassfed/pastured meats when we have them.

                    I can't wait until our budget gets a little better though, we have plans to buy a 1/4 cow from a local grassfed farm, and stock up again on the pastured chicken and pork. It just stinks right now because we could be saving so much if we just had the $ up front.

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                    • #11
                      I am feeding a bottomless pit husband, 2 teens (one of whom is picky), and one big eating 9 year old. I also feed random nephews and neices who show up (Although most of them think we eat wierd health food). I do not buy grassfed meat. I buy pork and chicken from Costco and my beef I buy at a local butcher who sells 100% pure American beef at least. I buy organic produce when I can in season. I mostly buy what is on sale or season organic or not. We do dairy and I buy raw organic milk (one place is pure grassfed but they are drying out their cow soon) or if I can't get there to pick that up I buy a locally produced milk that I trust to be decent. Sometimes I buy nice local raw cheese but more often than not it is Cabot cheeses, my husband works there. I can buy local free range eggs at the local store that are laid at the property next to our goat pasture, but sometimes I supplement those with store bought eggs. Like someone else said I make a lot of ground beef meals and most of my meals the meat is an ingredient. It is rare to get a big slab of meat on your plate, I just can't afford that. Steaks and stuff are a treat.

                      THis is the best I can do right now and even sometimes this is hard but I am trying

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PHaselow View Post
                        The Dirty Dozen Plus: 14 Foods You Should Buy Organic | Eating Well

                        If you have the freezer space, seriously consider purchasing 1/4-1/2 cow for huge savings. Does your husband hunt? There is always venison. Also look for deals on frozen fruits and vegetables. They might not have the same texture, but the nutrition is there.

                        I hope your brother buys his own ramen and soda! Good luck to you.
                        Who says ladies can't hunt?

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                        • #13
                          Thanks everyone for your response....oddly enough, I thought I had it set to tell me immediately when people posted....and it never alerted me, so I didn' see any of the thread responses until NOW.

                          we are considering the 1/4 cow. My brother does work, and is paying us rent/food money/etc. He can eat a ton of food. I hope that this current job for him lasts at least 5 months....this next year, I am seriously going to broach him moving on. But that is a whole gripe in itself and will resolve eventually. Hell yes, he buys his own ramen and soda, lol, I refuse to buy that stuff for anyone!

                          Hunting would be awesome, and lol, my hubby does not hunt. In fact, I would be better at it than him (ethically, using all the game meat, etc).Its NOT out of the realm of idea, but then would be another financial hobby that I am not ready to invest in yet.

                          I have opted to keep along with my bulk meat purchases from costco, with the seafood being "wild". I get the sausage, bacon, hot dogs, pepperoni from Whole Foods (nitrite free). Dairy is organic or grassfed. Some veggies are organic (costco broccoli, frozen blueberries) but am still buying some "death" food (as I term it) until finances open up.

                          Kids will not go primal right now. One barely eats as it is....his peanut butter has gone from the artificial stuff to the natural stuff, and that was a switch for him. I am in the process of hiding veggies in his food (pumpkin puree) and i know that yall shudder at oatmeal and beans, but he is eating bean and oat waffles...so I consider that a success right now, because he will retch at the thought of eating meat (I think its the texture) and veggies are a joke. (this is my 5 year old). And I know that y'all freak out over Shakeology, but he gets some veggie nutrition that way and allows him to take a regular bowel movement without straining. Small steps in his case.

                          My daughter chooses to eat more healthy, opting for carrot sticks and apples, and can be taught to eat primal. The youngest is built like an ox and eats everything and anything, not as much with the veggies, but he is not adverse to it.

                          I am going to see how primal treats my husband and I...then we shall see about adding longevity to the program....this is all quite new to me so i am doing my research and biding my time.

                          Oh, and my chickens are not putting out as many eggs. Gotta go give them the "talk".

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                          • #14
                            Wow, I feel stressed whenever my household increases to 5 with visitors, and for you it is a starting point! Hats off! I hope other people help you with cooking!

                            For a family of 3 with the occasional relatives visiting, I buy 1/2 cow and 1 pig. I buy chickens from a local farm. And whenever there is a holiday I load up on turkeys. Same with salmon.

                            One huge saver for me is using the offal and things like fish heads and tails.

                            I always buy produce on 50% off sales, and/or the cheapest veggies available and make do. I am big on freezing, and home preserving ( I do not can, just store stuff like pumpkin and apple butter in the spare fridge).

                            If I were to stretch the budget, I would turn to beans and potatoes to supplement the diet. Those are not grass-fed beef or wild salmon, but nutritionally sound and unless you have specific issues, I believe the human ability to derive good nutrients and satiation from those foods. I am less hot on rice, for the difference in price I would go to millet, personally, but rice will be okay too). My problem with rice is that it doesn't give high satiation bang for caloric buck. But it's cheap.
                            My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                            When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                            • #15
                              Dang, leida, other people were telling me to GO for the rice, lol. but my mom and brother will eat whatever i put in front of the, and NO, they don't cook as often as they should. My mom would if I asked her to, and I ask her to make specific meals, but she reverts to death foods (as I call them) so we still have canola oil in the house (she will use that) and will make things that I will not eat (with white flour or white sugar, which they buy). sadly, her cooking has never been very impressive, so I can't expect a lot NOW with her set in her ways.

                              My brother cannot do much more than top ramen with an egg boiled in. when there are no available leftovers, he will hop in his car (he works from home...MY HOME, he is ALWaS HERE) and grab a bag of fast food.

                              once, i made home made clam chowder. shocked the crap out of them that I actually MADE it, not poured it from a can, lol.

                              I have a buddy that runs a pumpkin farm...I asked if I could buy some of her pumpkns and she is going to give me a ton so I can puree them all down and pop them in the freezer. Next growing season, I hope to put out some magic in my garden and see what I can grow in the texas heat besides tomatoes and basil (my favorites). Gonna try for zucchini and squash, and get the blackberries running!

                              Originally posted by Leida View Post
                              Wow, I feel stressed whenever my household increases to 5 with visitors, and for you it is a starting point! Hats off! I hope other people help you with cooking!

                              For a family of 3 with the occasional relatives visiting, I buy 1/2 cow and 1 pig. I buy chickens from a local farm. And whenever there is a holiday I load up on turkeys. Same with salmon.

                              One huge saver for me is using the offal and things like fish heads and tails.

                              I always buy produce on 50% off sales, and/or the cheapest veggies available and make do. I am big on freezing, and home preserving ( I do not can, just store stuff like pumpkin and apple butter in the spare fridge).

                              If I were to stretch the budget, I would turn to beans and potatoes to supplement the diet. Those are not grass-fed beef or wild salmon, but nutritionally sound and unless you have specific issues, I believe the human ability to derive good nutrients and satiation from those foods. I am less hot on rice, for the difference in price I would go to millet, personally, but rice will be okay too). My problem with rice is that it doesn't give high satiation bang for caloric buck. But it's cheap.

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