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  • Money money money...

    So, being primal, my monthly food bill is about 400 dollars for two people ( me and my husband)

    this is alot and really starting ot be noticeable.

    We try to buy mostly organic and good quality meat and fish. but I am always going to the market, i look at teh dry rice that has been in my cupboard for the last 3 months and think about using it to save money.

    Any tips for reducing the budget - ways to save? certain veggies that it isnt important to buy organic?

  • #2
    $400? Shoot that's what I'm aiming for in a month right now. I know there is a "dirty dozen" list on this site somewhere that has the twelve fruits/vegetables that MUST be bought organic (for reasons involving pesticide use by farmers), but don't know where it is right now. Outside of those twelve you may be able to have some success buying non-organic.
    Are you a college student, trying to navigate college while being Primal? Do you know any other PB college students on a tight budget? Heck, for that matter, are YOU trying to live Primal on a budget? Enroll at Primal University!

    For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.
    -- Blaise Pascal


    • #3
      I'm going to be nosy and ask what are you buying?

      I often hear of people spening a lot on groceries... and well.. I don't. Though lots of people do (even with CW I know peeps that spend $700 a montn in food for their families).

      Having some idea of what you're buying will help get some constructive ideas that you can pick and choose from.

      I do know that many people who do spend more now see it as a health issue.. and cut back on other stuff that isn't really as NECESSARY in order to make it work without killing the budget. So that might be a thought as well...

      I know that when I first started eating well (even before Primal) there was a curve because I had to get a lot of things in my kitchen I had never had before, and that did cost some $$ (which I spread out and prioritized!).

      Also, is that $400 just for FOOD, or also including other groceries (just checking!).
      Last edited by Minxxa; 07-29-2010, 09:30 AM. Reason: forgot something, d'oh!
      sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


      • #4
        Onions, and garlic flat out don't need to be organic. (Onions are probably my most consumed vegetable.)

        I pretty much don't buy much organic produce. I got cabbage for .39 cents last week, try matching that organic.

        I buy my grass fed beef from the farmer's market, and although it's more expenseive than conventional, I priced it out, and it's cheaper than whole foods organic grain fed beef.

        I buy pork, chicken, and bacon all from conventonal sources, and I shop around. I was just down in chinatown on tuesday, and was asking myself "why do I bother buying meat anywhere else?" I don't eat much chicken (once every 1.5 weeks?) I buy my bacon at various westside stores that have cheaper meats, and I shop around for who has the cheapest eggs, got 'em for .99 cents yesterday in chinatown. (At a store that didn't have the best prices for meat, or cabbage.) Whole chickens are generally cheaper, or drumsticks.

        I take fish oil to offset the omega ratios in my non-pastured pork.

        I indulge and buy myself shiitake mushrooms to add to my food, yay nutrition.

        If I push I can get my grocery bill down around $25-$35 a week. I make stew, eat ground grass fed beef instead of steaks. IF some.

        I have kicked around the idea of getting a chest style freezer, but so far no go. When you buy meats in bulk it gets cheaper, people have recommended varous folks to get meat from online- U.S. Wellness Meats?

        Good luck, there are some threads here 'bouts try using the search button to turn them up.

        ...also cheapest meat I've found so far... PORKNECKS!!


        • #5
          ...oh yeah, and Sardines, and Kippered Herring are teh awesomeness.


          • #6
            Are you buying many "accessory" foods? Like coconut oil, nut butters, nut flours, and other "fun" foods? If so, I recommend trimming those first since they have such a high cost per unit/calorie. Focus on meats and veggies. If you already are, then you can disregard this.


            • #7
              For my household of three people (self, husband and partner) I routinely spend about $600 a month, and that's buying CAFO meat because frankly grass-fed is four times as expensive and that ain't gonna happen. Primal is expensive; there's no way around that.
              Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

              Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

              Ditch the scale!:

              My Success Story:


              • #8
                Like DarthCupcake said, it isn't necessary to buy organic. It's not necessary to buy grassfed. Buy whatever vegetables you can afford and wash them well. If you buy CAFO meat, then make sure to take a fish oil / omega 3 supplement. You are better off with standard produce and meat than you are with the highest quality grain products. The two things I would splurge on would be coconut oil and the fish oil.

                Consider adding butter to your meals and eat maybe twice a day.
                You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


                • #9
                  I'm definitely spending less on food, because I'm eating a lot less, hardly ever eating out, and rarely drinking anything other than water (okay, iced coffee, but most of the time I make it myself)

                  I eat a lot of eggs. And no, I'm not a big egg lover. I always get them cage free, ideally not "vegetarian fed."

                  I eat cheaper cuts of meat: pork shoulder, london broil (rather than steaks). In fact, one pound of London broil lasted me for about 8 meals two weeks ago because it was pretty tough. It was too much of a workout eating it! It made me realize that I don't need a huge amount of meat at every meal to be full.

                  I don't usually do organic veg due to the budget. I also don't buy things like nut butters or flours...
                  Il faut vivre et non pas seulement exister.


                  • #10
                    Yeah, nut products of all kinds should be considered luxuries or rare indulgences. Only healthier than rare indulgences of ice cream or whatever.
                    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


                    • #11
                      I rarely visit the grocery store anymore. Try Depending on where you live, you might have local farms where you can buy stuff direct. I'm fortunate that I can drive to a farm a couple miles from my house and get organic produce for $2/pound (any kind) and free-range organic eggs for $2/dozen. Farmer's markets are also good. Community-supported agriculture is also a good way to save on grassfed meat. You can find out what's in your area on that localharvest website.
                      My Primal journal goes like this


                      • #12
                        If the food bill is hitting you, then please don't buy into the organic, grass fed hype. Start with plain grocery store food, it will work just the same, and is just as good. If you hit a plateau then you may want to move to grass fed, or organic to see if it helps get over that hill but I truly believe the regular plain meat and veg in the store will do just fine for you. Its already difficult for some to convert their lifestyle to primal from CW, so don't add the extra stress of spending top dollar for food if you don't have to. Start simple, see what works for you and adjust when and IF needed. Just my two cents.
                        Last edited by tasteslikeburning; 07-29-2010, 09:53 AM.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for all of these ideas, maybe doing more IF-ing would help.

                          We usually buy per month:
                          1 bottle of olive oil (10 dollars)
                          1 jar coconut oil (13 dollars - expensive in italy)
                          500 gr butter (5 $)
                          1 jar olives (5$)
                          hazelnuts ( these are about 6 bucks for 500 grams...) we go through about 2 bags (10$)
                          yogurt ( we both use almost daily) (25$)
                          eggs - 24 (4$)
                          fruit and veggies daily - all organic (at least 100 $ a month on fruit and veggies)
                          coconut milk - 2-3 cans (10 dollars)
                          fish - 2 x per week (expensive in italy, figure 15 bucks each time for salmon or sea bass) (120$)
                          chicken - 1 chicken per week which costs about 7 bucks and i make chicx salad which gives us a couple of meals (20$)
                          beef - 2 x per week (about 7 bucks per time) (50$)
                          canned tuna (6 tins per week at 1 dollar each - i buy good Quality, low mercury). (24)

                          Then also other - like cleaning products, TP, paper towels etc.

                          Maybe this is normal..and we have to adjust in other areas. I find I am spending on supplements but that is only like once every 2-3 months.


                          • #14
                            My bill as a single dude is like 400 - 500 a month. I'm really trying to cut it down by using my crockpot and stuff more because it's really getting out of hand. Steaks and whatnot add up!

                            I think this month I'll be sitting at around 300, which is MUCH better.


                            • #15
                              You can find the "dirty dozen" and the "Clean 15" lists for pesticide residue in fruits and vegetables at this address: