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  • Supercheap primal meals? Help!

    We (that is, my family - me, husband, two kids aged 6 & 3) are generally pretty rigorously primal - eggs for breakfast, always organic meat and veggies for dinner, etc. Our food costs lots, more than 150 (GB) every week. However we have pledged to raise money for a local cause by eating for a week for 50 and donating the saved 100.

    I could easily do this if we lived on brown rice and lentils for a week. Don't want to do that, though! I need some ideas for ultra, ultra cheap primal meals, breakfast lunch and dinner. One proviso - I will not buy meat or eggs which are battery farmed.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Doesn't seem very feasible for your family to spend two-thirds less than your typical budget and expect to get the same quality of nutrition. I mean, if that was possible, wouldn't you be doing that every week?
    In general, eggs tend to give the most bang for their buck. How much does a dozen of eggs cost where you live?
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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    • #3
      Eggs are 2.70 for 12 free range. I don't expect to get the same interesting variety of food, and I appreciate that there might have to be a bit of porridge and pulses for one week only, but I don't usually make any effort at all to make my meals cheap. I thought there might be some budget suggestions out there...

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      • #4
        Just buy regular eggs and regular meat... won't kill ya.
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        • #5
          You might be clucking when it's through, but what occurred to me was "rubber chicken." Example: http://www.stretcher.com/stories/02/02feb04e.cfm

          Essentially, you're supposed to be able to get thee meals out of it- roasted chicken, then use bits and pieces from the carcass- (the link uses it to make burritos, I'd throw it in an omelette or use to top a salad) and then of course, the bones get made into broth with veggies and any incidental meat for soup the next day. I am not sure how far your pound will stretch though (somewhat further than a dollar, I know that!) Around here, you can get a whole chicken (raw, battery raised) for around $3.50 if it's on sale, organic chicken is about $12, and if you're talking pastured free-range, closer to $20, which would be a hefty chunk of your budget, even with the conversion!

          Good luck!
          With Mark's help, I've conquered depression, acne, rosacea, scale obsession, migraines, and lethargy. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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          • #6
            Ok, how much fresh produce can you get for 1.74 a day? I know around here, I could probably get a giant bunch of some leafy greens for that amount. The rest spend on eggs, which will give you two dozen eggs per day, which I think should be enough protein and fat for 2 adults and 2 kids. I'm assuming you already have butter/coconut oil/spices/etc. to use for the cooking, and eggs are pretty versatile. It's not very exciting, but it could def work.
            Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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            • #7
              I know that a lot of frozen organic vegetables are cheaper than fresh organic where I live, but I've got no clue whether that's true in any other city, let alone another country. If you're open to buying non-organic fruits or veggies, check out a list like this one of the items that tend to be the most or the least contaminated.

              Buy only the cheapest cuts of meat if you're insisting on eating the good stuff... here that would be ground beef, chicken or turkey legs, pork shoulder/butt roasts, hearts, kidneys, livers. Sometimes you can get marrow bones quite cheap. If you know what days the market tends to mark down the meat that's nearing its expiration, that can save a bunch of money!
              "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

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              • #8
                I should just clarify that I'm not expecting to buy organic during this week - just that I won't buy battery eggs or 1.99 chickens.

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                • #9
                  I can find organ meat at the local farm really cheap often. Last weekend I bought 2lbs of chicken hearts (yummie) for $1.50 a lb. Some times they give me fatback.

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                  • #10
                    Frozen veggies, seasonal loss leaders at the store (not sure if this is in the UK), canned wild salmon, cheap cuts of meat like organ meats or chicken legs. See if there is a health food or co-op type store that sells healthy foods and ingredients (like nuts) in bulk which is usually cheaper; and ethnic grocery stores that often have great prices. I outline some tips in my blog: http://amoderngal.com/2010/05/13/eat...an-affordably/

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                    • #11
                      Organ meat, cheap fatty cuts, eggs, A cubic ton of veggies, and patience.
                      Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
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                      • #12
                        Soup is good - you can always get good quality bones pretty cheap and make a simple stock/broth and a hearty soup with veges.
                        My kids eat quite a bit of spag bol, and I just have the mince with a bit of grated cheese wrapped in a lettuce leaf (primal taco) also cheap as you can make a large bolognaise sauce fairly cheaply.
                        Stirfry. All these things you can do in one shop.
                        Do you have any Italian grocers around? They often have cheap veges. I would stick with organic meat and use less, but just buy non organic veges.
                        Good luck, it is an interesting project!

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                        • #13
                          FAST.

                          enough said.

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                          • #14
                            organs, eggs, frozen veggies if you need them, sardines

                            you should have butter/fat/oil....

                            a week of regular meat wont kill you as im assuming you take omega 3 in some form
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                            • #15
                              I second what people are saying about cheap cuts of meat. I can get organic chicken saddle legs near my house for 0.89 per pound! Chix breast at the same butcher are $3.99/lb and up. That is amazing to me, considering that the only thing I have to deal with is more chicken bones...but the meat tastes fantastic!

                              I also second the frozen veggies/berries if you eat them. You can stick with organic and still get them cheap.
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