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Primal on a Budget

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  • Primal on a Budget


    I'm new to Primal. I picked up Blueprint on Monday and have been reading ravenously. As a nursing student it goes against a lot of what I have learned, but it all makes sense, and evolution can't be wrong!

    So my question is do you guys afford organic and pasture raised? I live in Western New York and with the foot of snow we have right now nothing is growing. So currently fruits and veggies are pretty expensive, let alone organic. And the organic meat in my local grocery store is beyond what I can pay. I am going to see if my local butcher is any better. (I should mention I'm on a fixed budget) I did read the section titled Going Primal on a Dime and I am going to make an effort to move things around to free up some extra income, but I was wondering if all of you out there had any ideas!


    PS I can't wait till my local farmer's market opens up but that isn't till May

  • #2
    I'm doing a high-carb low cost version of Primal now (because I'm trying to bulk up a bit and because money is tight), so here's what I'm eating. Hope it helps:

    Organic bananas
    Sweet potatoes
    White potatoes
    Eggs (mostly local, supplemented with grocery store "free range" when necessary)
    Local, grass-fed beef liver
    Local, grass-fed ground beef
    Sardines from a can
    Tuna from a can (be careful, even some that are "in water" have soy)
    Local, pasture-raised chicken thigh/leg portions
    Local, pasture-raised nitrate-free bacon
    Local, pasture-raised pork sausage (ingredients: pork, water, salt, pepper, sage)
    Pastured, organic milk
    Pastured, organic heavy cream
    Organic, SWP Decaf French Roast coffee
    Lindt 90% or Green & Black's 85% dark chocolate
    Organic apples
    Almond butter
    Kerrygold butter

    Some of that stuff was cheap because I bought it in bulk. Some of it was cheap because it's less desirable cuts. Some of it was cheap because it was on sale. Some of it is just plain cheap. Some of it wasn't that cheap, but is used very sparingly (e.g. the almond butter). Hope that's helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions.
    The Champagne of Beards


    • #3
      I've heard some people "cowpool" by which a group of people go to a farm and buy a whole cow and split it up which saves money
      and I heard stores like Costco sell bulk organic meats! Still waiting for my local Sam's Club to do the same...


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kool View Post
        I've heard some people "cowpool" by which a group of people go to a farm and buy a whole cow and split it up which saves money
        and I heard stores like Costco sell bulk organic meats! Still waiting for my local Sam's Club to do the same...
        If you have a chest freezer you can cow-pool all by yourself....

        Other low budget things:
        1. Lots of vegetables are still pretty cheap, like onions, carrots and potatoes.
        2. Lots of herbs and vegetables can be grown in your own garden
        3. Organ meat is amazingly nutritious, and really cheap
        4. The fatty cuts of meat are cheaper, and the fat ironically makes them more nutritious. Great in the slow cooker
        5. It's *really* cheap to not buy junky processed food....
        Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

        Griff's cholesterol primer
        5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
        Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
        TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
        bloodorchid is always right


        • #5
          I wrote this post on my blog a while ago hoping to help others. We personally don't buy organic, but we do get a CSA of grass fed cow every month. 30 lbs for $190. We eat beef, chicken, and fish in rotation throughout the week to help stretch out that order.
          Anyway, here's the post. I hope it helps:
          The Primal Junk Foodie: Tips For Shopping Primally On A Budget

          After reviewing it, I think I'd like to add "tuna fish and eggs tend to be dirt cheap"
          Last edited by Dr. Bork Bork; 03-21-2013, 09:02 PM.
          --Trish (Bork)

          FOOD PORN BLOG!


          • #6
            Search on "budget" - you'll find lots of threads. Welcome
            Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

            My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial


            • #7
              If I don't eat the peel I don't worry too much about if it's organic. Sweet potatoes, avocados, onions, etc.

              I buy conventional beef because the SO complains about the taste of grass fed.


              • #8
                I look in the clearance section at all the "hippie" stores I go into, ie, any natural food or health food store. I can generally pick up whole chickens, organic, air-chilled, all that fun stuff, for half-off, which translates to about $5 for a 3-lb bird.
                Most people don't realize how much energy it takes for me to pretend to be normal.

                If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

                Twibble's Twibbly Wibbly


                • #9
                  There are a number of things that you can get inexpensively such as wild caught salmon from Walmart for $3.50/lb or New Zealand lamb from Costco for $5.49/lb. Stater Bros. often carries wild caught squid - 3lbs for $4.99. Local natural food stores carry organic greens for $1.50/bunch. If there is a farm or farmer's market nearby, you may be able to get pastured eggs for less than grocery store eggs, I pay $3.50 for a dozen.

                  You can eat really well by buying the things above and subsidizing them with lean grocery store meats, oftentimes the "natural" variety meaning no antibiotics or hormones (hopefully). Just add your own healthy fats to it.

                  I feed my family of four on an $85/week budget. I keep a blog about what we buy each week and eat every day. I know markets are different all over the U.S., not to mention other countries, but if you would like some ideas you can check out my blog at Feed the Clan.

                  Check out my blog to see how a family of four eats real, whole foods on $85/week


                  • #10
                    We have always been huge coupon shoppers so when I started PB about a month ago cost was a factor I was aware of.
                    As with everything I watch the sales. I buy produce that is sometimes bruised or not the right shape so that it's cheaper. Since I live in Florida I am growing some things like lettuce, kale, Spaghetti Squash, Limes, Lemon's and Tomato's in my patio but there are still lots of things I still am buying.
                    For protein I find it's cheaper to buy a large portion of meat like a Ribeye roast and have it sliced for free into steaks. It might cost me 50 bucks up front but it lasts in the freezer and saves me money. Also I found a deal on organic chicken breast a while back and stocked my freezer up with it. I also found a deal on Organic tomato paste making it 4 cans for $1.00 and practically bought out the store! Tomato paste is great to use in so many things and doesn't go bad.
                    We use COSTCO a lot for cheap organic stuff. I buy the Large organic chicken and beef base there for cheaper than the 1/2 size containers at a regular grocery store. We also get local eggs for $2.50 a dozen which makes a great protein source.
                    Things like carrots, zukes, and cabbage are always cheaper veggies and we just work them into meals instead of springing for Asparagus if it isn't on sale.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by avader View Post
                      how do you guys afford organic and pasture raised?
                      I don't. Even when the organic beef is marked down it's still quite expensive. But the local grocery stores have their new "sale" items for the week starting Wednesdays, and their fliers are posted online, even the day or evening before on Tuesday, so I like to look at those and make a list of all possible primal things to buy. Cheapest cuts of meat, which veggies are on sale, maybe some organic butter, etc. If you invest in a package of bacon, you can collect 1/3 - 1/2 cup of fat from that to cook things in for awhile (cook in the oven on a rack and collect the fat drippings). If concerned about coatings and contamination, peel veggies before use. You can also check Craigslist under "farm and garden" section for people selling eggs (and maybe meat or other things) near you. I plan to go get some local eggs soon, someone has them as low as $2/dozen, as well as local honey.
                      Natural products super cheap @ iherb: Use discount code SEN850 at for $10 off first order; free shipping $20+ order in USA