Everyone keeps talking about "grass-fed beef" and other luxuries of the middle-class & super-wealthy, but I simply cannot afford it. And when I say I can't afford it, I don't mean "it would interfere with my wine of the month subscription", I mean I REALLY CAN'T AFFORD IT... as in pay the electric bill or blow $129.00 on FOUR 5lb organic free-range chickens type of situation. I live in the city, not the country, with no car...so I do not have access to "farmer's markets" or any other elitist mingling hot spots. If I sound cynical, it's because people are always giving me rotten advice, telling me to "prioritize", ask a friend to give me a lift to the farmer's market (I don't have friends or close family) or just flat-out refusing to acknowledge my situation.
I have a cheap, cr@p job. I get $60 worth of food stamps per month. $50 per week is my budget. Throw me some ideas, but please don't tell me to "reassess my finances", or I will explode into rageville. I promise.
Some people take "Paleo" way too far. No electricity? No internet? Give me a break. Buy big, fatty, tough cuts of meat: pork shoulder, beef chuck, shanks, whatever. And buy a crockpot. It will change your life. Buy frozen vegetables/fruit. Forget about nuts; they're overrated. If you must search for it and order online: BUY LARD. OR DUCK FAT. That is the second thing that will change your life. You're welcome. If you're not allergic...EAT EGGS!
I say good on you for taking the time to invest in your health regardless of socio-economic circumstances and not using this as an excuse in itself.
My tips for buying meat is to shop when supermarkets are discounting their food for the day that's due to expire. I just freeze the meat if it's due to expire before I can eat it. You could try asking a staff member when the best time of week would be for this and try and work it around your work schedule somehow. Stick to lean cuts if grain-fed and you can simply add fats to your meals otherwise.
keep eyes peeled for the weekly specials too. You can always save a few dollars by buying in bulk today to save for tomorrow.
Don't let perfection get in the way of progress. Organic is great, but eating conventional fresh veggies is still superior to a loaf a bread.
Less buzzwords like organic, grass-fed, local, etc...
Excessive meat consumption isn't cost-effective. Half a pound max per day is plenty.
Starches (potatoes, rice, tubers, etc...) are good sources of calories (assuming you do starches).
I'm a college student, who cannot eat eggs and avoids dairy. I'm completely gluten intolerant *celiac disease.
My daily meals consist of things like:
Frozen spinach with 2 tablespoons of EVOO or EVCO and garlic powder. Sometimes I'll add a little grass fed ground beef (Buy 1 lb/week and call it good = 6-8 dollars of daily groceries) or just use a small amount of conventional meat.
Flax seeds are your friend. Filling!!! Add a few berries when you can afford it.
I rarely buy fresh vegetables (College life for you!) and I usually eat frozen vegetables ($1.99 = 5 days of broccoli frozen). If I get a little extra money (overtime!), then I stock up on a package of meat from BJ's (3 lbs grassfed ground = 15 dollars and I "use meat as a spice" these days. If you're an egg eater, this will be even easier.
I made my own sauerkraut for <6 dollars and that lasted me lunch for 6 days. Super cheap meal!
A lot of broths and spices to make your meals interesting.
If you can tolerate them, sweet potatoes are your friends. Bananas are also your friend.
It is doable, I swear!
Eggs, cheap cuts of meat that you can put in the crockpot to become tender, More eggs, whole fryer chickens- not pieces of meat that come de-bonned or de-skinned.
Also, I think frozen veg is cheaper than fresh but have never compared prices. Bananas are cheap.
I think, whether or not others agree, that red meat, even if it isn't grass fed is miles above any type of grain. Get some onions potatoes and carrots, the cheapest red meat you can find, maybe some hard aged cheese for the calcium/phosphorus/k2 and some pate/liver. Everybody can afford organ meats, they're the cheapest thing in the store.
So, with that money you are just feeding yourself, right? I'd say hamburger -- check the local price for grass-fed if you can, where I am it is $8.99 a pound, but for me, that's 4 burgers & depending on how much meat you're eating, that might be several days worth of meat. Ground lamb here is a little more, $9.99 a pound, but is nearly always grass-fed. But conventional hamburger isn't the end of the world. Then pork shoulder is a great, reasonably priced way to get multiple meals out of one hunk of meat, as is chuck roast or stew meat. A few sweet potatoes, white rice, eggs, bacon, fresh lettuce & carrots, veggies, whatever fruits you can find cheaply. Organic chicken really is expensive, but I can get a medium sized chicken for $18, and that's at least 3-4 meals for me, then using the bones to make broth takes your money even farther.
If it were me and I couldn't afford pastured meats, I'd buy lower-fat conventional meats and splurge on decent butter -- I think the Organic Valley cultured pastured butter is $4.99 a package, which granted is terribly expensive, but that would give you some of the nutrients (K2, etc) that you'd be missing out on from the meats. Kerrygold butter is another option.
And if you can stand it, look into liverwurst -- it's not expensive, and is very nutrient dense. I buy rolls & cut them into quarters, then freeze them and eat 1 a week.
There's a nice thread here for an even stricter budget than yours:
Budgets are always tough. These strategies help me keep it under $75 a week.
Grass-fed liver is very cheap. Sardines are very cheap if not very tasty, I like them with salsa. Eggs may be worth paying more for, you get what you pay for. Everything said about crock pots and large cuts is so very important. Buy cheap cuts and cook your week's meat on the weekend, you'll discover such tasty stuff with a crockpot or just a big covered dish in your oven.
Not very paleo, but I've found home-made raw milk kefir is excellent for the budget. You get amazing nutrition for the price of milk and a half hour of work each day. My local raw milk is $5 a gallon, that lasts all week. On foodstamps you can probably find a no-hormone or antibiotic local pricey milk somewhere that will be worth the extra buck or two per gallon for this. Kefir starter is cheap or free online.
Don't accept your limitations, be inventive. I have a 2nd floor back porch for a 'backyard' and grow more green beans and herbs than I can eat every year, on the 2" X 6" railing in recycling containers. Saves quite a few bucks a week in season. I buy a couple bags of fertilizer each year to refresh the soil in my containers, and use seed from my own plants. Stay healthy and respect the health-wisdom you discover. If you're broke and paid hourly, getting sick every couple months by eating crap is MISERY.
All this bombardment to this guy is gonna leave him confused outta his mind ! Keep it simple dude . Wit a budget dont kill urself over grassfed , organic etc... shop the perimeters of markets , try and ger fruits , veggies and tubers @farmer martkets if pipossible and meats at your local market . However keep the meats lean when their not grassfed . As LEANas possible .add fats to your meals with avocados , coconut oil and nuts and seeds and youll be fine . Check out my YouTube channel for a ton of Palei info the channel is realitychuck821000
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