I get frequent requests for ideas on working Primal eating priorities into more frugal budgets, and we’ve done a good number of posts on the topic over the years. It’s one of those issues, however, that deserves more attention because it’s really a significant intersection for Primal “theory” and day-to-day practice. In fact, we’ll be putting together a new resource page this year, however, that brings together more on the subject. For today though, let me share some ideas, and I hope you’ll offer your questions and suggestions, too.
- Learn to cook thriftier cuts of meat to be just as tender and flavorful as more expensive cuts. (We have an upcoming post on this one.)
- Hunt around for sales and stock up whenever something good (organic/grass-fed) reaches a price that works for you. Store in the freezer. Wrap tightly in freezer-safe ziploc bags, making sure to suck out all the air to prevent, or at least limit, freezer burn. Better yet, get a vacuum-sealer.
- Keep your eyes out for Australian or New Zealand lamb (the former is usually pastured if not entirely grass-fed and the latter is almost always grass-fed). Uruguyan, New Zealand, and Australian beef are also widely available and usually grass-fed.
- If you’ve got any friends or family interested, combine your funds to purchase an entire cow, or half or a quarter of one, from a local farm. This is also called cowpooling, so keep your eyes peeled for that term. You can check EatWild.com for local ranches that offer bulk purchases. I’ve also seen bulk purchasing listed on Craigslist.
- Check out farmer’s markets in your area. Even the “non-organic” produce is often organically grown, just without the pricey certification. Don’t be afraid to ask the people manning the stands.
- Skip cold cuts, which are expensive when you consider the actual price per pound, and slice your own whole meats for use in salads, wraps, etc.
- Frozen produce is an excellent and often affordable way to obtain high-quality (frozen right after picking to limit degradation of nutrients) organic fruits and vegetables.
- Join a big box store like Costco, which often has great deals on organics and grass-fed meat.
- Quality trumps quantity. Stick to smaller amounts of high-quality meat rather than loading up on cheap, CAFO-raised meat.
- Plan ahead. Plan your meals for the week. Plan your shopping trips so you can make an extra stop or two for really good deals. Eliminate the random spontaneous stuff you pick up because you walked into the grocery store without a plan in mind.
For more ideas, check out “99 Ways to Save Money on Food.”
About the Author
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.
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