Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eating Paleo on a Budget

piggy bank
Who out there is convinced that it's too expensive to eat Paleo? Go ahead raise those hands; I know you're out there. I'll admit to you that eating meat is more expensive that eating Wonder Bread. But when you add up the prices per ounce of all of that over packaged food you've eaten in the past compared to the nutrition contained within, you may find that what you were eating wasn't really so inexpensive after all. There's a very big push in the Paleo community to only eat pastured-grass-fed-organic-hormone-free meat, eggs, etc. but that can also get very expensive very quickly. And although that meat is better for your body and better for the environment, is it really a must-have or a nice-to-have? What it really comes down to is this: Is it better to eat the Standard American Diet or a Paleo Diet made of commercial meat/eggs and frozen veggies/fruit? I belive the better healthier choice by far is any version of a Paleo/Primal Diet! Frozen veggies are ok! Commercial meat is better than a bagel! So here are some things I do in my house to help keep costs down while eating as well as I can.

1. Plant a garden! Leafy greens are easy to grow and grow in the early spring, late fall and will even grow in your house in the winter with the help of a grow light. Buy a packet of lettuce, chard, kale or spinach seeds, a bag of potting mix and use some plastic containers you probably already have in your garage. One package of seeds will grow hundreds of heads of greens. If you have outdoor space, plant a bigger garden with some squash, cukes, green beans and cabbage. All are easy to grow and product copious amounts of veggies!

2. Shop the sales and stock up! When you see good meat on sale, buy as much as you can, divide it into reasonable portions and freeze it until you need it. If you can buy enough, it may last you until the next sale. When frozen veggies are on sale, buy a lot!

3. Buy meat in bulk if you can! I buy my grass-fed beef from a local rancher on the hoof. I will buy 1/2 a cow at a time and share the cost with friends. We all get a great price and healthy meat. Buying from a rancher also gives you the option for healthy organ meats that they sometimes throw in free of charge.

4. Buy veggies and fruits in bulk at the end of the season! Some farmers markets and local farms will lower the prices on produce at the end of the season. You may be able to get many pounds of produce at a reduced price for canning, saucing or freezing.

5. Keep a few chickens in the backyard! Keeping a few backyard laying hens can be a good way to ensure that the eggs you eat are as healthy as they can be. And when the hens get too old to lay, you can eat them as stewing hens knowing that the meat is also healthy.

Here are a few more articles on how to eat healthy food at reasonable prices.

Robb Wolf: Paleo isn't expensive

Paleo on a Budget

Mark's Daily Apple: Eating Well on a Budget

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