Hi Steph, where in Scotland are you? There's 2 of us and we manage on a lot less then that (perhaps 2/3 your budget).
Avoid grains, avoid starches, avoid boxed or pre-made things. A head of brocolli 75p, a tin of mackerel £1.50 will do a meal for 2. Poached egg and kale for breakfast. You get the idea.
Buy butter, olive oil, avocados; Tescos are good for frozen wild salmon. Eggs are much cheaper from the farmers market or health food shop. Veg is cheap at Lidl or Aldi, and their nuts are good value too, look for their ground or flaked almonds.
No need to go mad on beef etc. That is the thing that wil blow your budget, that and eating out or buying manufactured boxed items.
It's not only possible, it is easy, but you have to get 'into' it to find the bargains and the mix of items that suits you.
I think the sugars and carbs really are addictive though!
I eat 2 eggs each morning for breakfast with some bulletproof coffee. A dozen eggs is way cheaper than special cereal. If you try to cut out grains and processed foods you might find you can actually save money. I do not do organic or grassfed because it is not readily available, but that's one thing that makes primal so awesome. My blueprint I made for myself says that since its convenient and still better than processed foods that regular meat is fine for now.
zucchini, carrots, onions, broccoli, sweet potatoes, potatoes, apples, spinach, and bananas are always dirt cheap
proteins: pork loin & shoulder, ground beef and pork, canned tuna & salmon, eggs, milk, whey
white rice, black beans, and lentils if you're really hard up for cash
I think we spend about the same as your budget to feed two men.
I often go without breakfast, preferring to wait and have some nuts or an apple mid morning. My housemate tends to eat 2 or 3 eggs, but he's a woodland manager/bladesmith so needs a lot of food.
Lunch is generally leftovers, I make sure to make extra, or at least extra veg that I can add some tinned fish or baked chicken to.
Dinner is meat and veg. At the moment the budget is extra tight so I'm being careful. I get frozen white fish from sainsburys for about £3.50/kg which we might have once or twice a week. A whole chicken will do a roast dinner, lunch the next day and the leftover carcass will make chicken soup - so three meals for a few quid. If you can't get to a sainsburys then lidls have white fish for £4/kg, beef mince and pork shoulder steaks for good prices, plus "free-range" eggs for about £1/half dozen. Plus they often have deals on things like steak and turkey steaks, not to mention the deals in the freezer section. If you buy meat frozen it will be safe in the fridge for a few days before you eat it. I buy the big bags of onions, the bags of onions, stock up when things are on offer (did a bit of a stock up on butternut squash and sweet potato recently as they're good safe starches and on offer were cheaper than most veg). I usually buy a bag of their nuts royal because I will have a few each day as a snack when I get home from work or a mid morning snack. But honestly every week they have veg on offer. Things like carrots are cheaper than pasta, even regular pasta. I can go into tesco and buy frozen broccoli for something like 75p/kg. Even cheap pasta tends to be more expensive than that. When there is a good offer on meat I will stock up. If the meat comes in a tray I rebag the meat (labelling it up before I freeze it) so that it takes up less space. I have a couple of freezer drawers in a fridge/freezer and a small chest freezer, but I also raw feed a big dog and buy in bulk so his food takes up a lot of space.
Eating primal on the budget you describe is completely do-able for two people. It's better to eat conventionally raised meat and non-organic veg on a primal diet than to not eat any kind of primal diet. Maybe I'm not as healthy as I would be if I could eat exclusively naturally raised meat and organic veg, but I KNOW I am healthier than I was before I went primal.
And don't forget that delicious BLOOD. I get it by half the liter for about the same money as I would pay for a chocolate bar, even the grass fed, free range stuff. Blood pudding will last in your fridge for days, and you can use it as a filler in sausage(which is another great thing to do on a budget, especially if you have one of those stuffing machines at hand, but it's not necessary). There's black soup, sauce base, spice for a lot of things... it might be a bit difficult to get used to the idea of eating blood, but om nom nom I say.
Most simply, buy the meat and eggs that you can afford (quality-wise) buy veggies seasonally. Cheap primal veggies include not only what is in season, but roots like carrots, beets, onions, sweet potatoes (these are really inexpensive). And, you can eat a lot of the greens, too (beet greens, for example). Kale is usually pretty cheap, too, as are cabbages.
Go to the asian markets to get coconut oil (to use instead of butter or other cooking oils). It tends to be less expensive at the asian markets.
This thread: [url]http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread68562.html[/url]
I think the guy shops at Lidl.
I know you live in Scotland, and comments about Whole Foods and Trader Joe's doesn't mean much to you, but what it[I] does[/I] mean is that you should not be afraid to do some comparison shopping with more "upscale" places. Crunch the numbers with Marks&spencers and take into consideration quality per ounce. Does MS have a house brand? You may find it to be a better quality for about the same price as what you get at Lidl. Do you still have access to actual butcher shops? Go there and comparison shop. Buy liver and heart and fat and bones there, they might be happy for you to take them away. Mince them up (except the bone) and mix them into the cheap mince from Lidl. Result: super-nutritious mince for dirt cheap.
Skip all the recipes for nut "flour" bread and so on. Expensive for dubious value.
FWIW, I thought I hated coconut too, until I figured out that it's only sweet coconut that makes me gag. Savory coconut is yum.
Experiment. If all else fails, eh, go and look up some Weston A Price recipes that include legumes and have a few lentil meals. Soak, rinse, boil, etc. carefully. It's a lot better than breakfast cereal, I guarantee it. Extruded grains of any sort is poison, imo, and there's nothing you can do to solve it.
Another tip: Comparison shop with Amazon.
I order for nearly all the "specialty" items I use, like coconut oil, kelp, etc. from Amazon. So much cheaper than buying them in a store that carries them.
Maybe there are some other areas of your budget you can cut. Like alcohol, entertainment, dining out, beauty treatments/products, clothing, TV, travel. Or cake :)
We are in the same boat and basically are limited to Tesco or Asda for shopping as the few remaining small butchers/grocers are hugely expensive in comparison. I have found switching from my usual diet to a more paleo focused wasn't all that different in price, admittedly we haven't got fully organic and grass fed as it was out of budget but even so I still have noticed a difference.
I also kept carbs just smaller portions and only on evening meals purely because rice, pasta & potatoes are cheap and easy to bulk out meals and I wasn't looking to lose weight. My rough diet breaks down along the lines of:
Breakfast; 3 egg omelette, apple & protein shake with whole milk (not paleo but helps with my training)
Lunch: Beef or lamb steak cooked in coconut oil with big handful of mixed leaf salad and bit of extra virgin olive oil for taste
Evening meals: Chicken or fish, small amount of carbs and then whatever veg fits
I drink water and green tea through the day and if I do feel the need to snack have some pistachio nuts.