Primal on the Cheap
I need the Primal Experts' advice.
I have a limited budget for food, but want to 'go' Primal. We have ten people, 2 adults, 3 teens, 1 12 year old, 3 nine year olds and a five year old. Please give me ideas for primal side dishes.
I think I can do main dishes, mostly chicken and ground beef, well enough. I usually serve tossed salad and a steamed veggie and a starch. How can I fill growing bellies without beans, rice and potatoes and without breaking the budget?
add fat to everything. cook up veggies in lard. make blue cheese dressing for your salads (or any dressing that uses mayo, and make home made mayo as it tastes better and is better for everyone). add butter, coconut oil, or olive oil whenever you can.
if the meals are higher in fat, you'll be more satisfied. we can buy rendered duck fat, beef tallow, pork lard, pretty easily and pretty cheap. we also save bacon drippings after frying up bacon, so we are good there.
buy in bulk when you can. we bought lots and lots of kilos of chicken when our supplier went out of business, and also a fair number of turkeys at the end of the season (though they are lower quality -- not organic, but free range, and i'm not sure if they are grain finished or not). a big freezer helps, and hitting whatever sales you can.
joining a community garden and growing as many of veggies as you can helps too. you'll want to freeze and can some of those as well, obviously, and if possible, get the kids involved in growing. :)
[FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=3][B][I]Well for that many people your going to have to go with potatoes to feel full without spending waaay too much money a week, without potatoes youd have to eat wheel barrels full or meat eggs veggies and fruit to feel full enough... in my experience anyway. Soup with potatoes is a great option, with an egg or 2 every day. and remember, no grains![/I][/B][/SIZE][/FONT]
[SIZE=2][B][I]YOU DONT NEED TO KNOW WHATS IN THE BURGER...[/I][/B][/SIZE]
Eat a lot of eggs if you can handle them. I buy a dozen JUMBO pastured eggs for $2.50 per dozen. Buy a whole cow! You need money up front but you will save in the long run unless you are buying very cheap ground beef right now...
I buy a 12 pack of organic shredded coconut on amazon for $17.99. 110 calories which is 93% saturated fat costs me 10 cents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I add this greatness to any and all foods!! Coconut oil is also super cheap.
Look for meat that is expired on the same day you are shopping - it just might be half off! I bought about 3 lbs. of organic chicken for HALF PRICE because it expired that same day - managers special :) I simply froze it
making a beef and veggie stew can help as well, the meat is affordable, add inexpensive veggies like carrots &onions, I add cauliflower if it's on sale, Zucchini is usually pretty cheap and butternut squash is cheap and more primal than potatoes.
everything that's already been said (well, maybe not the potatoes.. if your family isn't trying to loos body fat then sweet potatos, kumar, yams, etc. would be better than white potatoes) and look for the cheaper cuts of meat like beef heart. Lots of bang for your buck there.
But you don't have to eat meat with every meal either, as long as you're getting the necessary amounts of fat & protein and veggies you should be good.
Cauliflower is not very expensive. Steam it up and mash it with some coconut oil, nutmeg, and cinnamon mixed in. Takes the place of mashed spuds perfectly.
BTW I don't agree with the guys with fangs above who said you would have to resort to potatoes. They often put cauliflower on sale when it's a day or two past it's prime but, if you are going to be mashing it anyway, it doesn't matter if it is not perfectly pretty.
Also, leftover mashed cauliflower can be made into (non) potato pancakes the next day with the addition of some eggs.
Everyone has great tips here, but don't be afraid of occasional white potatoes and bananas! I know they can be villanized as they aren't the optimal choice, but they're cheap and there's nothing wrong with them occasionally. We're also on a tight budget, and I find that if I get caught up on trying to do the best everything I just get discouraged. Don't let the same thing happen to you!
This site had a series of posts on eating 'Primal-on-the-Cheap' I haven't looked closely at the menus/meal plans but it may be of some help.
Good luck with your efforts.
[URL="http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-meals-123110-and-1111-more-budget.html"]http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-meals-123110-and-1111-more-budget.html[/URL] <--there are several posts over the months on this theme
Soups! They are filling and satisfying and a great way to get lots of vegetables into the diet. Our favorites:
Marcella Hazan's Minestrone Soup (leave out the cannelini beans)
Tomato Basil Soup
French Onion Soup
Cream of Celery Root Soup
Colombian Ajiaco - Chicken, Potato, Avocado soupe (made with celery root)
Chicken Enchilada soup (preprimal favorite, I need to find a primal replacement for the mas thickener)
To maximize the nutritional value I have started making my own beef broth using oven roasted soup bones (meaty neck bones, oxtail, etc.). It adds time but, boy is it worth it.