I am a wanna be paleo and am wondering how everyone is doing this on a budget? Any tricks of the trade involved here that any of you would like to share??? Thanks!
Well, it's definitely a more expensive way to eat than my previous grain-based vegetarian diet. But I've figured out a few things that help. First, I bought a chest freezer and stuffed it with some bulk meat orders. It cost several hundred dollars upfront, but now I don't have to buy meat every time I go to the store. And the bulk prices were obviously lower than what I'd pay for quality meat at the health food store.
Second, I try to base some meals on eggs instead of meat. I get 18 eggs per week from a local farm, and basing at least one dinner a week on eggs saves money.
Third, I work on saving on produce, since we eat tons of it! I get some stuff at Costco (big boxes of lettuce, spinach, apples, bananas, big bags of frozen fruit, etc). Most of the rest I get from Bountiful Baskets, which is a great way to get cheap produce if it's available in your area. For any other produce I need, I shop the sales at Sunflower Market. They really do have some incredible prices on produce if you're willing to stick with what's on sale (assuming you have a Sunflower Market where you live).
I have to admit I also eat white potatoes, as I do not believe it's necessary to do low-carb in order to do Paleo and I don't *think* potatoes cause me and DD any problems. That helps with the grocery budget as well, since they are super cheap and filling.
I agree with the bulk meat orders and chest freezer, though we haven't done this yet ourselves. When meat and frozen vegis are on sale, I buy in bulk though. I meal plan our dinners, and try to make meals that will stretch. Right now we eat a lot of crock pot meals:
-whole chicken in the crock pot goes a long way
-chili (can be served over salad with sour cream and salsa to make it last longer)
-curry chicken (curry, frozen chicken breasts, carrots, broccoli and onions, and a can of coconut milk) served over jasmine rice
We eat eggs or smoothies for breakfast, and salads or leftovers for lunch. My DH eats quite a bit of rice, and usually makes up a big batch of spicy chicken and rice for his lunches.
Peruse all fliers for the best sales on fruits and vegis in winter. In summer, seek out people with fruit trees who might let you pick some of their extras. Consider joining a CSA.
Hope some of these ideas are helpful. I find without buying processed foods we don't spend that much more than before going primal. If you are on a budget, stay away from gluten free baked goods since they can get pretty costly, even when homemade.