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Primal on the Cheap

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  • #16
    I buy a lot of eggs and cheese... For chicken and fish, I buy in bulk and freeze it. Because we cook more, we have saved a lot of money by not eating out as much!
    Last edited by bluechip; 12-14-2012, 12:31 PM. Reason: typos
    ~ Chris


    • #17
      A few things spring to mind:

      1) You'll be cutting cokes, juices, etc - replace them with water. It's free! Big savings.

      2) You're also likely to eat out less often - even if you don't much now. You'll be surprised, and it'll save money.

      3) Buy bone-in meat whenever you can, save the bones and make your own stock. It's easy, nutritious, SUPER primal and is then one less thing you have to buy. Giblets too! I can't tell you how disappointed I am whenever I buy a chicken that doesn't come with giblets.

      4) Maybe it goes without saying, but don't stress about organic/grass-fed/happy/expensive varieties of food if you can't afford them. You will not be robbed of the benefits of eating primal if you can't afford the best of the best.

      5) Make your own jerky and snack-pacs. I LOVE all of those Primal Pacs, Steve's Originals jerky/trail mix primal snack packs out there, but they are not cheap. But you can make tasty jerky in the oven with cheap beef, and make your own jerky/nut/dried fruit mixes.

      6) Basically, just have fun finding things you can make yourself, and thus avoid buying. To me, that's a part of what primal's all about - having a connection with your food. Maybe we're not hunting/killing/gathering it ourselves, but we can still have that personal connection. And the food always winds up being more healthful when we take the trouble ourselves (I mean would you knowingly add MSG to your jerky?), and frequently saves money. I discovered this in grad school (pre-primal) when I started making my own bread. Bread is cheap, homemade bread is CHEAPER! But the same holds true for more healthful foods as well.


      • #18
        A couple of things come to mind.
        Yes, it's been suggested to grow your own veg. That's great if you've got a yard, or a balcony with a sunny window and can grow in containers. I've had difficulty with this, though, and find I've frequently spent more on containers/seeds/potting soil/watering than I gained in the few bits of veg I picked (they make $5 heirloom tomatoes look dirt-cheap). If you don't have a place to plant produce, though, you can still save cash by either growing sprouts from cheap cheap seeds (think sunflower sprouts, which are nice to add to salads) and growing your own fresh herbs. This is an approach that has worked for me (no weeding, no worries about the ridiculous Texas summer heat, and it provides me steady access to quality fresh herbs/sprouts). Most people do have at least one sunny location to grow herbs/sprouts, and those can save a good deal of money over the long term (not to mention the built-in organic factor, assuming you grow them that way). A related tip -- if you have a yard, you might be able to plant a fruit tree or two. I live in Texas, and I think now is a good time to plant citrus and avo trees.
        Farmer's markets are great. My experience has shown you have excellent selection early in the market and deals at the end when they are packing up and trying to go home. You may not get your first choice of fruit or veg, but you can still get more quality -- and on a local billing, to boot -- than what is typically available at the grocery. Also, you might be able to get seconds at a farmer's market. Often seconds aren't as pretty, but there's usually not anything truly wrong with them. Seconds will be cheaper.
        Trades. If you can obtain a fraction of a cow or other animal, you may be able to trade a certain percentage of the animal protein with a family that grows a bunch of produce.
        Buy in bulk -- In the summer when it's easy and cheap to get things like tomatoes (especially if you go for seconds), it may make sense to do your own canning and dehydrating -- can spaghetti sauce (which I mix with ground meat and serve over s'ghetti squash), can your favorite salsa, can tomato sauce, dehy "sun-dried" tomatoes, dehy those same tomatoes and store them in herbed olive oil for easy addition to dishes. A lot of willing hands (and it sounds like you have a number of kids you may be able to, ahem, coerce into helping) will make the work go quickly, and it may be that you can invest power/energy rather than money. If that's the case, canning may be a solution for you. Many many many veggies require only a water bath (rather than the more complicated and equipment-specific pressure canning).
        Finally, use everything! A couple of posters have talked about using bones from the meat. That's a really great habit to get into. Keep the bones back, and when you've accumulated enough, throw them into a crock pot with water, a few veg (onion/celery/carrot) (and here is where you can use some of your veggie cast-offs like peels from organic carrots, or tops and tails of celery, that last bit of fresh parsley, etc) and some ACV, cook on low for 24-48 hours, and store in mason jars in the fridge. Use this yummy stock for soup. Or in your veggie side dishes.
        Compost what you can (ie, make your own very healthy potting soil), which will not just give you a useful growing medium, but it will reduce the trash you send to the land fill as well as the smell factor of your trash can.
        Good luck, and please let us know what solutions seem to work for you.


        • #19
          in for primal on budget