Another cost of paleo dieting is that items are recommended to be organic, high quality, grass-fed, pastured, and all natural. All of these adjectives are synonyms with expensive. For those of us who can't afford 9$ bags of macademia nuts every grocery trip, we must learn to make do with cheaper alternatives.
Obviously, a Big Ass Salad , as Mark Sisson puts it, is always a good fall back option, especially with a well-stocked paleo kitchen. I buy steak whenever its on sale, as its my favorite meat, but I simply can't afford the high cost of quality steak on a regular basis. Although I try to eat diversely, I have a number of staples that make up >50% of my diet.
1) Whole Foods Organic California Frozen Veggies: this is a mix of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots, all organic, and flash frozen. I have had other versions of this mix Big Y (local market) calls it the Florentine Mix ($1.50) and Stop and Shop has it too ($1.50) but both of these versions are conventional. Another thing I like about the WFM version compared to others is that its almost all crowns, unlike the Big Y version which had a lot of random pieces of the broc thrown in. A bargain at $2.29 a bag. I throw this in my lunch with a pad of grassfed butter or just use the sauce of whatever protein source I have in there.
2) Trader Joes Sausage/Bacon: Trader Joes is a great stop for cheaper all-natural items that still maintain the high quality we all love. They offer a ton of different chicken sausages at 3.99/5 pack Hofbrau Brats for 3.99/lb and Bacon for 3.99 lb. Thats a lot of bargains for pork/chicken products. They also have ground beef for 2.49/lb but it is unfortunately not grass-fed, but my wife uses it for various things!
3) WFM Eggs: 18 pack/$3.19 cage/antibiotic free, tasty, large, brown - when I can't get eggs from a local source, this is my fall back
5) Big Ass Salad: This comes in many different forms for me, but the basis of it is always lettuce, tomato, bell peppers and some form of protein, plus whatever other vegetables I have on hand. My wife loves blanched almonds, so they are always stocked in the pantry, and frequently get added on. I will make a dressing if I have time, or use Newman's Own Organic Dressing if I am feeling extra lazy.
Snacks: Beef/Bison Jerky is $5/bag at TJs and I usually have a selection of nuts, primarily almonds and pecans. Occasionally fresh fruit, especially if it is on sale or in season.
Treats: Red wine from Trader Joes, usually buy for under $6/bottle because I am poor, remember, Craft Beer: Usually buy a 22oz bomber of something very nice, I just love beer too much to give it up although it is full of grains (carbs/gluten).
Shrimp is often in the rotation as well as tilapia or another type of seafood, but not often enough to be considered a staple!
In honor of the George Costanza post on Nerd Fitness (a fine blog, that I totally recommend). Instead of putting it off, I am going to update the blog today. I have a lot of new things going on in my life, a new job, a new apartment, and new food plan/philosophy. The new job is going extremely well. All though, working in finance, there is a lot of technology and complex procedures to follow. It is only my second week, but I think that I am making progress and beginning to understand the method to the work that we do. People at the new job seem very friendly and outgoing, although it is that corporate, sterile friendliness, for the most part. The benefits/salary of the job are better than what I was receiving at the last company, but the company is many times smaller, although that does not affect me much on a day to day basis.