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Is Primal cheaper?

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  • Is Primal cheaper?

    I thought I'd track my grocery spend, in an effort to assess how much it costs to eat this way. On return from holiday last week the cupboards were practically bare, so it was a good time to start.

    At the supermarket I spent $156, and fed three of us for one week exactly. Didn't quite expect to make it this far and of course the pantry and fridge are again empty, so back I go tomorrow.

    My list is basically meat, veges, fruit, eggs, milk, yoghurt, cream, cheese, nuts, raisins, tea (dh buys his own coffee). A few non primal things for my dh and dd - a loaf of thin sliced white bread, ricies, muesli.

    I also want to get some coconut oil, which means popping into another supermarket.
    Annie Ups the Ante
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

  • #2
    Meat is really expensive here; I try to buy meat when it's on 30% off sale - just a few days away from going bad, but I've never had a problem as long as I cook it within 2 days. I also try to buy hormone/antibiotic-free - can't afford to pay full-price, but even with the discount, I still paid like $9 for a T-bone this weekend. I usually pay $100-150 a week just for myself.

    EDIT: I just recycled all my receipts/paper today, but I'm trying to think what I bought yesterday:

    1) Stuff for crust-free pumpkin pie (pumpkin puree, cream cheese, sour cream) - $10
    2) Stuff for escargot-stuffed mushroom caps with goat cheese - $10
    3) vegetables - plantains, acorn squash, onions, kohlrabi - $15
    4) fruit - apples, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, figs - $20
    5) meat - bacon, 1 T-bone steak on sale, pork shoulder - $35
    6) dairy - whipping cream, cheese curds - $15
    7) nuts - $6
    Last edited by EyeOfRound; 10-20-2012, 08:53 PM.

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    • #3
      In my experience it is not cheaper. Of course depending on how much freezer space you have you can stick up on sale items and save them for later. It's especially more expensive to get organic, which I try to do. It's also less convenient since I am stopping at the store more to get fresh items. Is it worth it? Totally!

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      • #4
        I probably break even. Because things are more expensive, I make sure nothing goes bad - this is usually an issue with fresh produce for me. Now I'll cook something up and freeze to make sure it doesn't.

        Another thing is that I used to order a $20 pizza (plus tip for delivery) every week. So figure I'm saving $100/month not doing that. That money goes toward the higher quality meat, eggs, butter I now buy. I also don't drink beer or wine regularly and hard alcohol is pretty cheap here.

        Also, I've found that buying online not only saves in per pound/item price, but here where they have the audacity to sales tax food, I take great satisfaction in screwing the state out of that tax money, and saving it of course. A few months ago I found salmon online for $8.50/lb; the average price here is about $12.50/lb + 4.5% sales tax. I had to buy 20 lbs, but I love salmon and am learning that even a standard renter's fridge freezer holds a lot if you stack it right.

        So, it's not cheaper for me, but I don't think it's much more expensive either.
        "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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        • #5
          we spend about $300-350/wk on food (same economy), but we are also buying as best we can -- local for fruit/veg as much as can be, then also raw for yogurt for DS (cow share), and pasture-raised/finished meats/eggs, and sustainably caught fish. We do buy three large bars of dark chocolate ($9) in that as well.

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          • #6
            Our meals were pretty basic this week and I did dig into the freezer as well, so I don't think I can keep to $150 every time. I can't go over $200 though. I do buy free range eggs as I eat so many of them, but other than that I don't worry too much about choosing organic.
            Annie Ups the Ante
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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            • #7
              Even if primal is more expensive, think of how much money you will save on medical bills and having to buy plus size clothing. Besides, how much is it worth to have a higher quality of life by being primal?
              Randal
              AKA: Texas Grok

              Originally posted by texas.grok
              Facebook is to intelligence what a black hole is to light
              http://hardcoremind.com/

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              • #8
                My grocery bill is higher for sure.

                However, I eat out very rarely compared to what I used to. So... I'd say net savings overall.
                "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
                  Originally posted by Drumroll View Post
                  My grocery bill is higher for sure.

                  However, I eat out very rarely compared to what I used to. So... I'd say net savings overall.
                  As a chef, I'm pretty used to "costing out a menu" and looking for the value (vs. experience of a dinner). Generally, I've found that going paleo for me plus my lady yielded about a 30% rise in the grocery bill, but as we got more "dialed in" with paleo, we went out for food much less, in fact opting for picnics in or around our local parks. I'd say my primal budget is even.
                  Here to eat and move like a caveman, not look or stink like one

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                  • #10
                    I am very fortunate to live in an area where ethnic markets are plentiful, and I've found that produce, fruits, and meats are a lot cheaper there. Of course they're not organic, but the only places that sells organic around here are the upper chain markets like TJ and Whole Foods and I'd only be able to buy 2 pounds of meat for $20. I can get a cart full of vegetables and several pounds of meats for the same price at the ethnic market vs about 6 frozen dinners at a normal supermarket. My grocery bill for a family of 3, me and my parents, run to ~200 a month.
                    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

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

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                    • #11
                      Organics in this country are ridiculously expensive, so we don't bother.

                      We were 90% organic in the US, and were spending about $250-300/wk for two people there (in USD), so it wasn't a big shock to come here and spend $300-350/wk (particularly once DS transitioned from breastfeeding into feeding!), though it's conventional rather than organic.

                      Today, we bought 1 kilo of tarakihi; 1 whole chicken; 1 skirt steak; 1 kilo of mince; 2 packages ostrich sausages ($20 -- this was the priciest!). We added this to what we had left over from last week which is two tri-tip sirloins, 1 chicken, and 1 kilo venison mince (there was a lot on sale last week!).

                      We then bought two big heads of lettuce, three heads fresh broccoli, one fennel bulb, 2 kumera, 1/3 kilo asparagus, 2 kilos oranges, 1 kilo apples, 5 bell peppers, 3 telegraph cucumbers, 4 tomatoes, 3 avocado, 4 bags berries (2 kilos total), 2 bags frozen veggies (2 kilos), 3 large dark chocolate bars, 1/2 kilo pistachio nuts, 1/2 kilo butter, 6 dozen eggs. ah, and mexican spices.

                      As an aside, we also bought a $34 bucket (3 kgs) of coconut oil, which will last us *forever* -- several months at least. And, I bought a 'treat' for us which are these great raw 'cookies' that are totally primal and are a nice treat ($10).

                      Then, we also have 1 liter of yogurt from our cow share ($6).

                      At the very least, we could cut three chocolate bars and the treat from the grocery list, which is about a $20 savings. I figure that you could also buy the coconut oil, but if you didn't, that would save you $34 there too. So that's a $54 savings. That would put you at $300.

                      What I also notice is that most people eat a lot fewer fruits/veggies that we do. While DH and I do one fruit a day (either berries or citrus), DS has unlimited access to fruit and veg. So, he might eat up to 5-6 fruit per day plus an additional 6-7 servings of veg.

                      A fellow friend of mine who is also basically primal spends a lot less because her grocery cart looks more like this:

                      4 dozen eggs
                      1 kilo mince
                      1 steak
                      1 chicken
                      1 bacon
                      1 kilo fish

                      1 head of lettuce
                      2 tomatoes
                      1 cucumber
                      2 broccoli
                      3 bell peppers
                      2 avocado
                      3 bags frozen veggies
                      2 bags berries
                      1 kilo oranges
                      1 kilo apples

                      And then from there, be able to assert that everyone is happy and satisfied, etc. Which is fine. I happen to know that her child eats very little (from what I can tell when I'm around him). She eats around 1500 calories per day, and I don't know what her husband is eating.

                      we all have high metabolisms here. DH and DS in particular. They are like garbage disposals. And they are LEAN and active, so. . . i'm not worried about them over eating. If I try to control DS's portions to "normal" for his age, he's hungry (constantly). I was nformed that I "should" train him on the right caloric amounts for his age, but I would hear his stomach growl! Not fair. I'd rather he eat what he needs.

                      And so he does. And it's fine.

                      But it means my grocery bill is much higher.

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                      • #12
                        I spend a lot, but I don't eat out as much and I eat a lot more food overall so I think it's pretty even.
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                        • #13
                          I believe it is cheaper as I don't eat as much as I used to. Going from 4-5 meals a day to 1-2 saved me money.
                          http://kitoikitchen.blogspot.com/

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Drumroll View Post
                            My grocery bill is higher for sure.

                            However, I eat out very rarely compared to what I used to. So... I'd say net savings overall.
                            So true, I used to eat out a minimum 5 meals/week, now it's maybe once.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Damiana View Post
                              I am very fortunate to live in an area where ethnic markets are plentiful, and I've found that produce, fruits, and meats are a lot cheaper there. Of course they're not organic, but the only places that sells organic around here are the upper chain markets like TJ and Whole Foods and I'd only be able to buy 2 pounds of meat for $20. I can get a cart full of vegetables and several pounds of meats for the same price at the ethnic market vs about 6 frozen dinners at a normal supermarket. My grocery bill for a family of 3, me and my parents, run to ~200 a month.
                              I've been burnt with meat purchases at ethnic markets....I had more than one experience of buying meat that was "best before" for like 5 more days and would be rotting when I took it out of the package a day or 2 after buying it. I will still buy some frozen stuff or live fish/lobster, but I stay the hell away from the "fresh" meats/seafood section.

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