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  1. #1
    springdragon2727's Avatar
    springdragon2727 is offline Junior Member
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    Primal on a budget with a big ol family?

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    I currently have a gigantic household. All you really need to know is that I have 3 kids (3,5,8), a husband, and my my older brother and mom currently live with me.

    Which leads to grocery costs. Now, my brother does pitch in for rent and food (until he moves on. Hopefully soon, but probably not till sometime next year) and who cans and does, live on top ramen and morning soda. I usually cook dinner, and admittedly, I plump up meals with pasta, rice, quinoa, etc, to make it go further.

    I had to cook for a larger family suddenly: I baked loaves of bread, going from white, to wheat, to spelt, to almond, and I JUST started trying coconut flour.

    Ideally, grass fed beef, organic chicken, etc would be better financially in my grasp if my mom and brother didn't live with me. But they do.

    Do you buy all your meat as grass fed? What about your veggies and fruit (organic?). I feel like I buy "death" food for my family (regular cheddar, regular meat from Costco, pasta) while I try to buy better meat/raw cheese for myself and husband as we work through this primal phase.

    We own 11 bantam chickens, so we are good on eggs (although the ladies haven't been producing as much)

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    Gadsie's Avatar
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    you don't have to buy grassfed, but I think it is possible. don't buy your fruits and veggies organic. And butter, milk, and rice and potatoes are cheap.
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    PHaselow's Avatar
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    The Dirty Dozen Plus: 14 Foods You Should Buy Organic | Eating Well

    I don't live on a limited food budget, but I do realize how expensive organic and grass fed can be. I would recommend buying organic for the dirtiest of the foods. Apples and berries, for sure. For more savings, eat seasonal/local fruits and vegetables. You can get the vitamins/minerals from seasonal veggies that you are missing in the winter from the lack of seasonal fruit. It just takes some planning.

    Do you have willing eaters? I mean are the kids compliant with eating primal foods? I would put them on the primal path along with you/husband and work toward the grass fed/organic/raw cheeses after your additional family members move on.

    I don't see any problem with using white rice to extend the meals (substitute a can of coconut milk for some of the water to make it more filling and nutritious). I would start reducing the pasta and other grains. Use sweet potatoes and winter squashes and (organic)root vegetables that are pretty cheap right now. Spaghetti squash with meat sauce is actually good and not expensive. Make stews and soups for the winter months. Buy foods on sale, and stock up when you see a good deal. Buy foods in bulk if you can (rice and nuts are a big savings that way). Buy the whole chicken and use it all. Roast the chicken and then use the carcass for soup with carrots/celery/mushrooms, etc for another meal. You can eat the same things repeatedly and not get bored if you are creative. Chicken can be cooked a multitude of ways, and you might be able to afford locally raised whole chicken if you can find it.

    I can find large packages of uncured bacon ends for much cheaper than slices. I am always chopping it up so it makes no difference. I save the grease for cooking and even for salad dressings.

    If you have the freezer space, seriously consider purchasing 1/4-1/2 cow for huge savings. Does your husband hunt? There is always venison. Also look for deals on frozen fruits and vegetables. They might not have the same texture, but the nutrition is there.

    I hope your brother buys his own ramen and soda! Good luck to you.

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    Louisa655's Avatar
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    You deserve a medal.
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    Kochin's Avatar
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    I write my ideas for cheaper meals at onepoundmeals.blog.com. Not the very best, but good if you're in a pinch or on a small budget!

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    Damiana's Avatar
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    I don't buy grass fed or organic anything. The places that sell organic produce and grass fed meats near me charge an arm and a leg. I buy my produce and meats and fruits at an ethnic market very inexpensively. Get what you can afford. Primal is not meant to be only for the rich.
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    We don't buy organic - occasionally free range chickens, and always free range eggs (huge demand for those in the UK so there are cheap enough)

    Lots of ground beef meals (ground pork and lamb are fairly cheap hear too), lots of getting what's on short date (grap it when it's cheap, freeze then work out what to do with it), and the slow-cooker (crock pot) is your friend for making meals with cheap cuts supper tasty. We normally eat an egg meal once a week too (pizza omlette is the current fav) And of course organs are cheap
    You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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    Drumroll's Avatar
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    Is your brother working? If so, and he is eating YOUR food, you could try asking him to contribute a little to the food budget each week?

    I can personally get whole, pasture-raised chickens at $4.25-4.50 a pound at my farmer's market which is amazing. And pasture-raised ground meats I can get between $6.00 and $8.00 depending on the week. The ground meats may SEEM a bit blaze, but learn to make breadless meatloaf and meatballs, make egg and ground meat casseroles, top omelets with 'em, eat your fill of primal sauces made with undrained ground meats topped over big bowls of steamed vegetables... Ground meat is cheap and versatile. Use them!

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    JoanieL's Avatar
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    As we fall into fall, potatoes are getting very inexpensive, as are some types of squash. White rice is inexpensive.

    I try to buy the best quality animal product I can afford, and not worry too much about the produce. I carry the Dirty Dozen list in my wallet when I shop.

    Look for weird cuts. One of the grocery stores here has a great sale on turkey necks this week and I'm stocking up. Good on their own, in stews, and to make soups.

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    Our budget has been a little on the lean side lately, so I'm not buying 100% grassfed/pastured meat like I used to. I try to get lean meat when we have to buy conventional though, and stick to grassfed butter and other good fats to replace what's missing. I use coupons when I can find them--mostly online printables. I lucked out and found peel-off coupons on Kerrygold Dubliner cheese (on sale) for $2 off Kerrygold grass fed butter recently so I stocked up. I've never bought 100% organic produce--I follow the "clean 15" listed above, and make exceptions particularly for local produce or huge price differences. I buy "clean 15" frozen veggies in bulk, which helps a lot as well.

    A local farmer had frozen pastured chickens and turkeys that were starting to get a little freezer burnt at a discount so I threw a bunch of those in our freezer--honestly I don't really notice as it's mostly just the wing tips and such anyway. I use every last bit of the birds too--starts off as roasted chicken for dinner, then picked to the bone for another meal like soup or chicken salad, and the carcass is simmered into stock (and is much better than storebought or even homemade stock from a CAFO chicken). I'm frugal with scraps too, saving celery and onion trimmings and wilting carrots for stock, and saving tallow/bacon grease/etc. from the grassfed/pastured meats when we have them.

    I can't wait until our budget gets a little better though, we have plans to buy a 1/4 cow from a local grassfed farm, and stock up again on the pastured chicken and pork. It just stinks right now because we could be saving so much if we just had the $ up front.

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