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Let's see your best budget primal meals!

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  • #16
    For me (college student), eating healthy on a budget is more about regular practices than about figuring out the exact cost per meal.

    1) Eat fruits/veggies in season.
    2) Buy fruits/veggies in season and freeze them for use the rest of the year (for example, berries are in season right now and raspberries/blueberries freeze very well, so I've been buying a ton and freezing them. They are slightly mushy when you thaw them but that doesn't bother me).
    3) Clearance/manager's specials/etc. These are bargain-priced items that only have a day or two left before the expiration date. If your fridge is reasonably cold and not too overflowing with stuff, these items usually last 1-2 days past the "use by" date on the package.
    4) Farmers markets. Usually much more inexpensive than grocery stores, and better quality food.
    5) Use the "dirty dozen" list (it was posted a while back) to know which foods are ok to buy non-organically.
    Subduction leads to orogeny

    My blog that I don't update as often as I should: http://primalclimber.blogspot.com/

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    • #17
      eggs, and ground beef.
      kippered herring.
      eggs, and bacon.
      pork necks 70 cents a pound. (over roast 'em with ginger.)
      pot roasts are cheap-o, roast of your choice, sliced onions, garlic, maybe some tomatos, other spices.
      chuck steaks.
      stews.
      bacon and cabbage.

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      • #18
        I feed the 3 of us on about 250 or so a month, sometimes up to 300, if the pantry is low, low, low. I do roast chicken a few times a month, and make those chickens work! Roast chicken and veg for first night, roast chicken in salad or clafouti, for a couple nights after, and then make stock from the bones. I buy 10 doz eggs a month and that gets us thru--eating 3 eggs a day for me, and 4 or so for hubby in his lunches. I do pork butt a LOT--crock pot it in taco spices, have taco salads, make chili out of what is left. Pot roasts. Ground meat, canned fish, kippered herring/sardines. Stew and chili--don't be afraid of offal!

        We stretch meals with vegg and salad--and I do buy a lot of frozen veggies, just make for a better price point than fresh. I do use the dirty dozen list, and since we don't buy 'junk' our budget goes a lot farther. Talking salad--make your own dressings if you don't already. I also buy a lot in season, and I am planning on checking out 2 local farmer's markets.
        Last edited by Spinner; 07-02-2010, 01:37 PM.
        Every day is another stitch in the quilt of life.
        ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
        Re-Start date 6/23/2011
        me--Post pregnancy --mama to a beautiful baby boy--
        273.4/269.3/115
        Hubby--230/227.8/165

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        • #19
          Originally posted by AmyMac703 View Post
          Farmers markets. Usually much more inexpensive than grocery stores, and better quality food.
          I would like to go to one of these magical places where farmer's markets are less $ than the grocery store. Every market I've been to (in CO and now NM) the stuff sold at farmer's markets is easily double what you can find in a store. And prices just go up from there. Granted the quality is definitely better, but around here it's not any cheaper.

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          • #20
            Same here....but what I have found is that Asian markets (at least the big ones like Assi and H-mart) have GREAT prices on produce. Not organic, unfortunately.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by atomickim View Post
              I would like to go to one of these magical places where farmer's markets are less $ than the grocery store. Every market I've been to (in CO and now NM) the stuff sold at farmer's markets is easily double what you can find in a store. And prices just go up from there. Granted the quality is definitely better, but around here it's not any cheaper.
              I have thought this too. It depends what you buy, I think. Of course, grass-fed pastured beef is more expensive than the mystery tube meat at the grocery store, but I have found that some local organic vegetables can be a bit less here in KS. Most of our organic veg at the grocery stores are flown in from Mexico, though, so I guess that makes sense in our area. Our FM eggs are SUPER expensive, and you can buy 'local' eggs at the health food store here for about half the price...or even Omega-3 enhanced Organic Valley for about the same price.

              I do suggest looking for 'weird' things such as organ meats and the like that someone is selling for cheap. My local cow-lady sold us almost 5 lbs of kidney fat for $1.50 b/c apparently it was an unusual request and she was happy to get any money at all for the thing. I am rendering tallow today to use as cooking fat.

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              • #22
                Oh - I realize I didn't answer the original question because I went off on a tangent...

                We like taco salad around here lately. Top salad greens of your choice with ground beef sauteed with onion, cumin, chili powder, peppers, and other veggies of your liking - using whatever is cheap and convenient works in this, because the veggies take on the flavor of the seasoning. Add salsa and tomatoes, a little cheese on top if that is your thing, and you have a pretty good filling meal that can easily be modified for any picky eater (a plus around my house).

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                • #23
                  One of my stand-by meals is a spinach salad with an avocado, can of salmon, walnuts and a couple hard boiled eggs covered in olive oil..

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                  • #24
                    Keep a store of mince and other cheap cuts in your freezer.

                    I'm lucky because I live in Northern Ireland and all of our beef is grass fed. That's why it's the best in the world. I keep a store of 100% meat, Irish burgers in my freezer. I eat them with some fried bacon and salad.

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                    • #25
                      I'm coming the conclusion that once you remove the cost of packaged foods, snacks, juice drinks, takeout, and the occasional unnecessary meal that should have been an IF, you can do PB for no extra $ at all if you want. I would try and save by not stressing the high-end grassfed WholeFoods stuff and instead go for local when possible, + use yer crockpot / dutch oven. You can get some frozen primal meats at Costco too if you look around - I recently got a big bag of frozen mahi mahi for about $6 a pound or something.
                      A super cheap meal that I make involves an organic whole chicken in a dutch oven (big crockpot would work too), in a sauce of can tomato and mushroom broth w/ carrots, leeks, and whatever else I feel like. You can stuff the cavity w/ mushrooms if you are feeling lucky. Add a salad or some sauteed veg on the side and you can get a full family dinner on the table for $10 or less.
                      Also, bolognese sauce over zucchini / squash is about as cheap as you can get, primal or not.
                      If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                      • #26
                        I made up something the other night I called "Thai Thighs". I found some organic chicken thighs in the markdown section (bonus!). I made a marinade out of red Thai curry paste (about 1 T??), sesame oil, Bragg's, sambal oelek, a little rice vinegar, & a squeeze of honey. Marinate meat for a couple hrs in fridge, turn a few times. Bake @ 350 for about an hr. I added a little coconut oil to the baking dish & covered with foil. I just ate one of them cold for lunch. mmmm. Had a nice spicey snap to it.
                        I love cruising the mark-down sections of the stores, whether chain grocers or the health-food varieties. I'm lucky to have a big freezer right now, so if there is great deal, I can load up! I am getting CSA shares this summer & I have already froze most of the spinach I've gotten so far.
                        A dehydrator is also a must. I have a batch of sprouted almonds roasting as we speak.
                        Speaking of sprouts, I also make my own sprout mixes. It's the ONLY thing I can grow at this altitude. I make a blend of alfalfa, mung, lentil, etc. to go on the salads. Cheap & easy-peasy!

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                        • #27
                          Eat lots of eggs. I buy pastured eggs from the farmers market for $2.50 per dozen. I enjoy 4 at a time usually which costs 83 cents for about half of my meal. Add some veggies and/or fruit with coconut milk or water for a cheap but very healthy breakfast.

                          Avocados are cheap too and FULL of nutrition.
                          Find me at aToadontheRoad.com. Cheers!

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by atomickim View Post
                            I need to start seeking out more ways to prepare offal. Liver is cheap, even grassfed, and so is heart. Maybe more meals w/ eggs as the main protein, too. And soups are good - I just can't think of soup when it's this hot out!

                            Thanks for all the ideas, this is really helpful...
                            Offal sounds awful. Just the word, you know?

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                            • #29
                              Organ meats are really good for you, but DH & I don't like the taste/texture. So I ...
                              -beef heart & liver in the food processor
                              -spoon the mixture into ice cube trays
                              -freeze the trays
                              -once frozen, pop the meat cubes into a zip lock bag
                              -whenever I cook something with ground beef or a thick sauce I pop a few cubes in.

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