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Thread: Discouraged-Big family on small budget

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Shop Now
    Family of 5 here. Eggs are great. As is canned salmon or makeral. (What ever is cheapest.) Make a giant fish cake pie. I can do a quiche, no crust (makes it easier anyhow) pretty quick. Basically milk, eggs, cream or more eggs and cheese. Frozen spinach is also good.

    Shepard's Pie is pretty easy. Instead of potatoes, I use canned pumpkin. I brown some burger, add a bag of mixed frozen vegis, and put the pumpkin on top with some savory spices (sage, rosemary, etc.) Bake in oven until brown.

    One dish meals are great. I do one with chicken cubes (I debone thigh meat, but breast also works) add some cut up celery, cabbage, onions, squash, carrots and what ever else I have around. Then put on some olive oil and my favorite spice mix, and bake until the vegis are browned.

    I feel no guilt in buying already peeled baby carrots or getting salad mixes. Slightly more expensive, but does save time.

    I do try to use my crock pot as much as possible. I make a huge amount of meat, like carnitas or pork shoulder, then use the meat for tacos, curries and stir fries during the rest of the week.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Oh, honey, I completely can feel your frustration through your words. I get it! I don't have as big of a family as you do, but I do work full-time with two kids and my husband works late nights. So basically, I'm doing it on my home. My big secret is that I do most of my major cooking once a week. For instance, on Sunday, I'll make the following:

    A big-ass roast in the crockpot
    A huge pot of paleo gumbo
    Paleo chicken tenders
    a ton of bacon

    I'll also prep veggies--cutting broccoli florets, chopping brussels sprouts, trimming green beans. You can use this roasted broccoli recipe from Elana's pantry and use it for pretty much any veggie: Oven Roasted Broccoli | Easy Broccoli Recipe - Elana's Pantry

    Roast your veggies for 20 minutes, heat up your protein in the microwave, and you're done.

    You can also use that one cooking day to cook food for the non-paleo littles in your house. You can boil pasta, make rice in a rice cooker, bake muffins, whatever.

    I know it's so hard. Take it slowly. After a while, it will become really natural. I love how my evenings are freed up from cooking now. I can spend more time with the kids, and I'm so less stressed out. Good luck!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post
    Shepard's Pie is pretty easy. Instead of potatoes, I use canned pumpkin. I brown some burger, add a bag of mixed frozen vegis, and put the pumpkin on top with some savory spices (sage, rosemary, etc.) Bake in oven until brown.
    That sounds like the ultimate post-workout meal. I can't wait to try it. What's the pumpkin:beef ratio?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Eggs, bacon, avacado: Total prep time 2 min. Cook time 20 min Cost 5 bucks


    Spinich salad, coconut oil dressing, celery, shredded chicken thighs. Prep time 5 min. Cook Time 0(have crokpot shredded chicken always available) Cost 5 bucks

    Dinner: Salmon or Tuna patty burgers(use califlour rice instead of bread crumbs) and 1/2 a sweet potato. Prep time 10 min. Cook time 20 min Cost 5 bucks.

    Snacks: Bag of carrots, celery cucumber, recent recipe of chicken/turkey/pork chop jerky, hard boiled eggs, shredded chicken thighs, Coconut flour pancakes/bread/muffins. Avg cost 5 bucks

    There you go: 7 people, less then an hour and less then 20 bucks.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    New Mexico
    The other thing that hasn't been mentioned is don't go overboard in trying to get grass fed beef or pastured pork, etc. Yes, those are great if you can afford them. For a family of 7 on a limited budget, that might not be the best thing to do, though. Get the best cuts THAT YOU CAN AFFORD. Even Mark says to do that. Supplement every once in a while with something grass fed if hubby or you get a bonus at work or something. Also, a garden is a great way to get the kids involved in where their food comes from and it can save a fair amount of money. I know you have time limitations, but really, this could be more something for the kids to do and you just sort of supervise.

    Get a Crockpot slow cooker (if you don't already have one) and it will be your best friend. The WalMart where I shop sometimes has 2 decent sized chickens wrapped up together for 8 bucks. Throw one or both of those in the crockpot with onion, carrot, celery, chicken broth, herbs and seasoning of your choice and you've got a really nice chicken soup - add in some potatoes or rice near the end of the cooking cycle. You could easily get one meal for everyone out of that and possibly leftovers for hubby's lunch. You can't go wrong with eggs - cheap and easy and filling. Have "breakfast for dinner' once a week or so and make a big quiche-like dinner with a salad or grilled veggies.

    If you have access to one of the big warehouse shopping stores anywhere near you, that might be worth the investment. You can get really big ham hocks for about $25 but even with a family of 7 you could get 3 meals out of one of those, and at least a couple of sandwiches for lunches. I know the Sam's Club near me has hamburger for $3.18 a pound for the 90% lean stuff and at WalMart or Smith's it's over $4 a pound. I'm single but I shop enough at Sam's that the membership fee is paid for in the first month or so in savings.

    I know it seems overwhelming. It's like that old adage, though, about how do you eat an elephant? One step at a time. Don't try to do everything at once. That never works. No, you don't want to get rid of the food that's in the house that you've spent money on, just try to get through it and bring in the better stuff as you can. You can do it.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post

    Shepard's Pie is pretty easy. Instead of potatoes, I use canned pumpkin. I brown some burger, add a bag of mixed frozen vegis, and put the pumpkin on top with some savory spices (sage, rosemary, etc.) Bake in oven until brown.
    Potatoes are CHEAP, and really nutritious. I added them back into my primal life 2 years ago and love them. They form the basis of fish cakes (tinned salmon, chopped spring onions, twice the weight of mashed potatoes to salmon, chopped coriander leaves which I believe is called cilantro in some countries, lemon zest, a beaten egg to bind and formed into cakes, cook in melted butter or lard); fish pies; finely chopped left over meat with chopped onion and mashed potato to make "rissoles"; and with cheap neck of lamb make a wonderful Lancashire Hotpot / Irish Stew offspring; few pounds of neck of lamb, 2 pound of carrots peeled and chopped, couple of pound potatoes cut into chunks, pound or two of onions chopped, pound or two of turnips, peeled and chopped, large sprig of rosemary, salt, pepper to taste, tablespoon of worcestershire sauce and cover with water, then top with a couple of layers of peeled and sliced potatoes, bring to simmer and cook in oven in a lidded casserole for two hours. Delicious!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    the Netherlands
    There are some sites around that focus on paleo on a budget. Just found this one

    There is also a thread and website on paleo/primal for a pound. Can't find it now but you can search for it.

    A good resource for free cookbooks is amazon. Search the kindle selection for paleo or primal or wheat free. Selection changes daily, sometimes there a crockpot recipesas well. If you don't haves kindle you can read them with a kindle app for PC or phone.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    I agree with the above suggestions. There are lots of CHEAP cuts of meat out there that are delicious....all you need is a very large slow cooker (I believe Target sells a 3- compartment extra large slow cooker that may be useful to you) or a bbq for food preparation. Veggies are cheap too. Stay away from the dirty dozen of veggies if you cant afford organic. Get a costco membership where you can get bags of frozen veggies, sweet potatoes, coconut oil, nuts avocados ect for cheap cheap cheap. You can do paleo on the cheap and without that much work if you just do a little bit of digging around.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Transition slowly, start to include more of the good stuff while gradually dropping the bad stuff, don't aim for perfection just improvements.
    If you do it slowly you will have time to adapt meals and won't create unnecesary waste because of failed recipes and this will also allow the familiy to adapt to new tastes.
    Simply buying from the same range as you are now, but removing the processed foods will most likely result in cost savings, it did for us, this will allow you to invest some of that into higher quality meats etc.
    Focus on variety and increasing nutrient density and understand while you have kids in the mix it will always be hard to go the full 100% because of their exposure to the outside world and the peer pressures involved, so if you only get 1/2 way there, then that is a mean effort and nothing to be scoffed at.
    Always be mindful of the stresses in the process, better to just go part way and have no added stress, then all the way with added stresses and conflicts. Within this concept never forget that it is an overall lifestyle, not just a diet so do not lose sight of exercise, general movement, fun, stress reduction, family time and socialising etc, etc. These things can have just as much impact on your health as the diet, so keep the big picture in mind and remember everyone has to walk their own path.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    United States
    Learn More
    Quote Originally Posted by j3nn View Post
    White rice, potatoes, rice pasta, properly soaked beans, eggs, frozen vegetables, and bulk bins for tapioca/potato starch. These can help stretch meals and be cost effective. Corn tortillas with minimal ingredients are ok in my book, too.
    Hello. I'm still learning about this lifestyle at the moment too. I am curious as to why you're promoting white rice and rice pasta? I thought those are frowned on for the high phytic acid, and very high glycemic index. From what I've read, potatoes are better to choose than rice. Also, I like that you mentioned "properly soaked beans". I was freaked out when I read that legumes are "bad", because I love beans and lentils etc. Then, I found some studies showing something like a three-fold reduction of phytic acid after 24 hour soaking. (also adding some vinegar to soaking water assists in the break down)
    We are like cattle, blocked in by industrial confines. Walking down aisle seven, I grab my wheat flakes like a foddered bovine. ~lucid space

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