• Paleo On A Budget: Myths, Truths and Practical Advice

    Paleo on a budget is possible!

    Real Food On A Budget | stupideasypaleo.com

    There was a day in the not-so-distant past when it was nearly impossible to find grass-fed meat at supermarket and the selection of organic produce was quite small.

    My, how things have changed, but with the increased access to higher-quality food (a good thing) has come a lot of confusion (NOT a good thing). I’ve even heard people say Paleo is only for the “elite” which really perplexes me because this is the way our great-grandparents ate –and most of them weren’t high-falutin’ folk who only shopped at Whole Foods and dined on the finest grass-fed steaks.

    We’ll start by busting a few myths. Then, I’ll describe three general Paleo budget levels. Finally, we’ll end up with 15 practical tips to stretch your dollar.


    Myth Busting Time!

    Paleo on a Budget Myth #1: You can only eat the best [insert food here] when you eat Paleo.

    False. First of all, there are no Ten Commandments of Paleo. Yes, there’s a basic template (no grains, legumes, dairy, artificial sugar, etc.), but it’s there to help you get started. There are no Paleo police to show up at your door and confiscate all your conventionally grown bananas or non-cage free eggs. Don’t use this myth as the reason why you reach for Doritos instead of a non-organic apple.

    Yes, buying foods that are grown in a more sustainable, conscientious and ethical way is a great thing to shoot for if you can afford it, but don’t throw the grass-fed steak out with the bathwater. More on that later.

    Paleo on a Budget Myth #2: Meat is too expensive compared with grains.

    While this might be true in terms of actual dollars, it couldn’t be more false from nutrition standpoint. Gram for gram, meat and produce are far more nutrient-dense than grains or legumes. If you’re interested in side-by-side comparisons, I’ll indulge you:

    Beef Nutrition | stupideasypaleo.com
    Wheat Nutrition | stupideasypaleo.com

    A five-pound bag of wheat flour may be cheaper, but it’s not as nutritious as typical Paleo foods.

    Paleo on a Budget Myth #3: Even if I eat better food, I’ll still end up with health problems in the future.

    Well, nobody can know exactly how your future health will play out, but there is mounting evidence for the idea the role of diet in age-related diseases and some cancers (see this study and this study). These epigenetic studies indicate that it’s possible to change the expression of our genes with environmental factors like food. This concept may be best summed up by the saying, “Genetics loads the gun but environment pulls the trigger.

    Eat better now, enjoy fewer age-related diseases in the future? Seems completely possible.

    Paleo Budget Levels*

    The Bare-Bones Minimalist

    Times may be very tough, and the dollars you have available for food are truly stretched thin. You can only focus on the barest of Paleo standards, and that’s totally okay! Your priority list should include eating meat and eggs, veggies, fruits and healthy fats. Focusing your dollars here – and away from processed foods and nutrient-poor foods – is far more beneficial than eating donuts and soda. Don’t stress about grass-fed and pasture-raised meats; instead, buy leaner cuts, trim the fat before cooking and drain the fat after cooking. You may do well with making some expensive pre-made foods from scratch, such as probiotic-rich sauerkraut and even homemade ghee.

    Bare-Bones Minimalists shouldn’t stress if their Paleo friends tell them they’re doing it wrong because they don’t buy the highest-quality [insert food here].

    The Comfortable Consumer

    You have a modest food budget though it’s certainly not unlimited. You may be able to make some investments in certain areas of your shopping such as grass-fed meat for fatty cuts, free-range eggs or some organic produce (the EWG’s Dirty Dozen List can help you make choices). Some popular – though not really cheap – ingredients such as coconut aminos, nut flours, or commercially prepared fermented foods and bone broth may make their way into your cart. Shopping at a farmer’s market in your area is a real possibility. You may be able to capitalize on your dollar by doing things like buying coconut oil in large containers or participating in a cow share.

    Comfortable Consumers may have the means to get a bit more invested in the “fancier” side of real food, and they spend some of their extra food dollars on higher-quality purchases.

    The Gourmet Guru

    You’ve reached budgetary nirvana! You’re able to purchase the best quality for all meats, produce and healthy fats. Paleo speciality foods and baking ingredients – often pricey additions to the average cart – may be on your list. Perhaps you’re a member of your local CSA or you’re on a first name basis with the local butcher. It’s likely you’re well-versed in the definitions and advantages of pastured, grass-fed, free-range, wild-caught foods and more. Dining out is probably more common for you.

    Gourmet Gurus are likely to be pointed out by the media as examples of why Paleo is “elite” (when in fact they don’t make up a majority of Paleo eaters).

    *Please keep in mind these are very wide generalizations. Which one is right? All of them.

    15 Tips For Eating Paleo On A Budget

    • Buy seasonal produce.
    • Shop at a farmer’s market.
    • Learn how to make homemade goods, such as fermented veggies, kombucha, almond milk and ghee.
    • Grow your own produce, even if it’s fresh herbs on the windowsill of your apartment.
    • Look for sales—even stores such as Whole Foods put meat on sale from time to time.
    • For meats, if you can only afford grain-fed, buy lean cuts, and trim the fat before cooking.
    • Use a vacuum sealer to prevent foods from losing freshness or getting freezer burned.
    • Limit Paleo baking or speciality ingredients. Nobody *needs* coconut aminos to survive.
    • Buy in bulk at stores such as Costco. I’ve even spotted big tubs of coconut oil there.
    • Limit how much you go out to eat.
    • Buy from the bulk bins at the health food market.
    • Purchase spices in bulk and make your own blends. It’s cheaper that way.
    • Join your local CSA—community supported agriculture—group.
    • Join a meat share. You chip in to buy a large quantity of meat, and the price is often cheaper per pound than the grocery store. You’ll need a large amount of freezer space.
    • If you absolutely cannot get by without staple foods, steer clear of gluten and dairy but perhaps add in less problematic foods such as white rice or white potatoes. If you’re struggling financially, it’s an option.
    • Check out The Frugal Paleo Cookbook.

    Pin this Paleo on a Budget article for later.

    Paleo On A Budget | stupideasypaleo.com

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    64 thoughts on “Paleo On A Budget: Myths, Truths and Practical Advice

    1. SO helpful right now! Although most of it seems to be common sense, it was nice to hear a “paleo expert” say it’s okay to get the lower quality products, they are still be better than processed and nutrient poor foods. Very validating when on an extremely tight budget.

      1. Hi Nikki…it’s about time someone gives folks the peace of mind that if you can’t eat the best, you’re still going to do better than if you’re eating a diet packed with nutrient-poor grains.

    2. one of your best posts my dear! What am I talking about? 😉 THEY ARE ALL AMAZING!

      As a nutritionist (and soon to be holistic nutritionist!) I love myth #3 🙂 right on!

      I also love reading every time you write about the “okays” to not buying grass fed meat. I will if I can, but it totally doesn’t fit my budget for all of the meat I purchase, most I purchase from Costco, so hearing you say that makes me feel a whole lot better. But you know when you say the lean cuts? Does that mean I should avoid dark meat chicken and stuff like that if it isn’t grass fed?

      Great post, love!


      1. High five, Meg!!

        I’m the same way…more of a middle-of-the-road budget. Particularly, when I say lean cuts, I mean meat that doesn’t have a lot of visible fat or marbled fat throughout the meat like a fatty steak would have. I wouldn’t sweat the dark meat chicken issue 😉

    3. Great article! I’m curious on one point though. If we buy grain-fed meat, fatty or lean cuts, why do we want to trim off the fat? And then drain the fat after we’re done cooking?


      1. Hi Joe,

        Great question. The fat of grain-fed / conventionally-raised animals is not as high-quality and has less CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and a less-desirable Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio compared to grass-fed animals.

        1. I’ve also read that toxins are stored in the animals fat. So if a conventional raised animal is feed grain that has been treated with pesticides it is possible some of that can be in the fat of the animal.

    4. I have 2 kids to look after in a single income family. I eat paleo (kids are transitioning to gluten free and paleo this year). I know it’s possible to eat healthy on a budget, cause I do it everyday.
      Today I picked up lean heart smart diced lamb, that was discounted to $1 for 500g (1lb), I bought all 3 packets, and now they are in my freezer for when I want lamb.
      I also have a veggie patch and plant seasonal, it’s awesome, and the kids love it.
      It’s all about shopping smart.
      Thanks for the reminder.

      1. I keep finding bargains too. One day I found grass-fed, organic, humane, etc, ground beef on clearance for $1/lb. I bought all 15 lbs they had! 🙂

    5. I just wanted to say thank you for this article. I am a single parent on disability. My finances are very limited. I have stressed out so much over not being able to buy all organic or grass fed meat. Thanks to you I won’t be so stressed out when I go food shopping this coming month.

    6. I look at my food as an investment in my health. Even if things are little more expensive, my body is worth it. Bulk buying is right on the money. I buy only gallons of coconut oil and it last pretty long for me. I also joined a farm CSA . I can go 3 mo without having to go to the store for meat. I plan to buy a bigger bulk soon. I am making Kombucha (thanks to Steph’s Kombucha class). I have decided to get into urban farming, to save on spices. The little things go a long way.

      People need to limit going out to eat and cut out some of the other things in life you can really live without. Invest in your health.

    7. Thank you for this! And for your recent post on stress. A world of gratitude to you. I know I often feel sad I can’t buy grass-fed meat all the time, or that the salad my friend lovingly prepared maybe had soy sauce in it. I think a big part of the Paleo journey is learning to be comfortable with your choices and being kind with yourself.

    8. Thank you for this post. I am constantly amazed by the number of people I know who will drive across town for a bargain. Surely the money they spend on gas should be a consideration. Also those who drink alcohol and smoke will spend a lot more each week than people eating a healthy paleo diet. Have you looked at the price of cigarettes recently?

    9. I am so glad I read this.

      Every other “budget” article I read always starts out with a nice, comfortable “do the best you can” attitude, then swaps to a moralizing tone and the assumption that I really do have the money to eat perfectly paleo all the time, and that if I could just turn of my cable, downgrade my phone plan, grow my own tomatoes, buddy up with local farmers, quit eating out three nights a week, and stop living at Starbucks buying five-dollar whole milk lattes, I’d have enough for pastured eggs and meat. Then I could stop taking expensive statin drugs and metformin and have even more money to buy organic everything. I’m a graduate student with 0 net income and no free time living with three people who eat ALL THE CARBS. The nearest bulk store is a half-tank of gas away. I’m on my mother’s phone plan and it is an unlimited one because she is a property manager taking calls and emails 24/7, and our internet plan is high-speed for the same reason, and because there are 3 students living in the house with extensive online course components. I only get a Starbucks coffee (black, regular coffee) once every two months or so, and I bring my own cup. I’ve packed my lunch every day for years, and we don’t eat out. We split cooking nights, and while one of my roommates makes paleo meals on my behalf, toward the end of the month there are some pasta or grilled cheese nights. Because of this, nothing we buy is organic, grass fed, or from a farmer’s market (although the bulk of our produce comes from a produce stand in town). We can’t afford a cow share or a chicken coop, and there are surprisingly no CSAs or anything out here. Sometimes we even eat white potatoes.

      This is the first budget article that hasn’t judged me at the outset to be a thirtysomething career person with disposable income and poor priorities, and instead of patronizing me for daring to think of myself as having a tight budget, said, hey, you know, it’s all right if white potatoes aren’t as nutritious as sweet potatoes, they’re still better than a bagel. Thanks for the public paleo permission to ACTUALLY do the best I can with what I have instead of insisting that I do better than my best with what I don’t have.

      1. Our family is in a similar budget. We eat a lot of soups like cabbage and ham soup or ground beef with canned vegetables. Lots of chicken quarters and whatever is on sale. Paleo is more expensive. It’s a lot of work as well. I have noticed a huge improvement in my family’s health since we started, even though I mostly buy non organic and look for whatever is cheapest. I do but in bulk a lot and we have completely stopped eating out and I’m working more so that we can do this. It is worth it. When we have to eat non paleo because of monetary constraints I have found that rice and black beans do not make us sick whereas any processed foods or foods containing wheat will make us ill immediately.

    10. I really do wish people would stop saying shopping at a farmers’ market is a way to trim the budget, up here in Canada a farmers’ market is luxury shopping. It’d cost 3X as much to buy there vs. a regular grocery store. 🙁

      Otherwise decent tips.

      1. Hi Jasmine…I understand your point and it’s not always economical for folks in certain areas. Here in Southern California the prices are often cheaper.

      2. Same here in Massachusetts.

        And I’ve never seen Whole Foods have a sale on anything as good as the cheaper grocery stores. Their sale price is still 2x what the store across the street from them sells products for.

        I so agree with Kristina too. I have 4 kids and not a lot of room in my budget. Paleo proponents that write articles about how I should stop paying for “luxuries” like internet (necessary for kids’ homework), or my cell phone (there are no more pay phones for emergencies) to buy grass-fed beef are elitist and turn people off from the whole idea.

      3. The best way to make Farmer’s Markets cheaper is to go about 30 minutes before it ends and haggle. Some of the larger merchants won’t (the ones that also have retail stores or brands that can be found in-store also), but the smaller Mom & Pop farmers usually will be open to bundles for a reduced cost. Then I make sure to buy from them on a regular basis as a ‘Thanks!’.

      4. agree!! Every time I read “visit the farmers markets to save $” – I cringe. I love our farmers & go a few times each season – but find myself frustrated each time because the prices are very high – and out of reach for many people. Our farmers markets (Maine) are 2-3x price for even organics in more “expensive” stores.
        Alternatively, we grow as much as we can in a short season, freeze excess, and are trying to expand our gardens little by little. To fill in the gaps we shop only produce on sale, always check out the discount produce bin first – and freeze extra from these when we can!
        This is one of the best articles I’ve read that doesn’t make eating better & smarter totally out of reach for many people. Thank you!

    11. A friend who has been out of work, has been living on Ramen with food stamps. He’s says he feels like crap from the crap he is eating, that I inspired him. I recalled seeing that many farmers mkts offer $2 in tokens for every $1 in food stamps. He was so stoked to be able to get locally-grown fruits, veggies,eggs and meats – for about the same as non-organic at the grocery store. (plus, it’s going to the local farmers over big chains)

        1. Not sure where Hiking Diva is from but they do the tokens here in Portland, Oregon. Not only do our markets accept WIC/food stamps for a great deal to the families, but certain farmers will also have deals where using tokens will get you extra food deals. A certain fruit retailer goes to multiple markets each week and offers 6 pints for the price of 5 in general, with 6 pints for the price of 4 for tokens, and they will mix & match (berry varieties, plums, peaches, whatever they have in their baskets that day). It’s heartwarming to see this in my community.

        2. here in Northern Colorado the city I live in will accept food stamps/EBT cards at the farmer’s market with up to $20 matching funds per week. It’s a new program they started recently to try and allow more people to eat locally/more vegetables.

    12. I have to agree about the farmer’s market not always being cheaper. We’ve shopped our local farmer’s market last year after price shopping both Whole Foods and PCC Natural Markets that are nearby. The prices were the same or even more expensive and most of the produce available wasn’t organic, I asked every vendor. And I’m just north of Seattle. I guess it all depends on where you live. Someone living near farmland is going to make out like a bandit while someone living somewhere very urban might not be so lucky. I really appreciate the article and the easy way you said it’s all ok as long as you are trying your best. Our grocery budget has increased quite a bit and I am fighting tooth and nail to bring it back down to where it was, but I am starting to run out of ideas. It really IS cheaper to eat off brand processed crap from bargain stores like Grocery Outlet (still shopping there, but for meat/veggies only now). Our budget for a family of four, including two budding pre-teen boys with appetites like bottomless pits, has increased about $75 a week and that’s adding up quickly every month. I would like to bring it down another $50 a week if I can. I’ll figure it out eventually, but it’s definitely a learning curve.

    13. We have been blessed to hav an Aldi and Trader Joes open up recently. Their prices are very good and they often carry things like avocados and plantains at budget friendly prices. They have added more organic items recently. Our biggest issue is food allergies – especially to nuts, but also to things like lettuce and spinach! It makes it hard to eat/cook in general! Anyway, I have also found great bargains on meats and produce at local ethnic stores like the Indian, Hispanic, and Asian markets. If you have any in your areas, it may be worth a look.

    14. I know and often have to do these things. We don’t make a killer living but I want to do the best that I can, I feel better knowing that I am not the only one who feels, that at least it is better then eating all the junk!!

    15. Thank you So much. I have been diagnosed with chronic inflammatory disease. My Doctor has suggested that I start a change in diet such as Paleo. You have given me so much information.
      I will be watching your web page.

      Kris P

    16. Thank you so much for this article! My fiancee and I have been living the paleo lifestyle for about 4 months now but the last month our paleo treat intake has gone waaay up due to quitting smoking. Id like to get back on track so we don’t gain back everything we lost! Its still better than smoking but I wanna feel good again. Im just having issues reading a lot of different things and feeling like what I thought were good choices maybe aren’t.

      I shop at Walmart for about half our groceries a week. It fits our budget and I go to publix for the other things. A couple of questions I’d love your opinion on.

      First, I buy frozen salmon from walmart, its pink, skin on but i just realized its processed in China. I’ve heard that can be bad, not sure exactly why. Would buying canned salmon be better? Even if they weren’t BPA free cans? Not sure if that even exists but Im sure it does. It also doesn’t sound as appetizing as blackened salmon fillets for our lunches but I’d give it a shot.

      My next question is what kind of milk do you reccommend for daily consumption? We’ve been using almond milk, store bought with the fewest preservatives we can find. I recently was reading about the cons of nuts and was wondering if there might be a better choice. I don’t love coconut flavor but might start trying to use some once a week in place of almond. We make smoothies every morning for breakfast and a snack during the day. So we are consuming milk on a daily basis. I was thinking of looking for hemp milk, never tried it before. Not sure if it has a strong flavor.

      Sorry for the long post. I just thought I had things figured out for us and now Im confused again! Any help would be great!

      1. Hi AJ!

        I mean, if budget is your primary concern, I’d probably avoid canned salmon unless you can find a wild-sourced brand that’s inexpensive. It’s usually quite pricey and if it’s not wild-caught, you’re back at square one. There is no right answer here because I don’t know what your budget is like, but I can tell you this: you’re still getting more benefit from eating the salmon you are compared to eating fast food.

        I’d lean toward coconut milk or even better, make your own almond milk. When almonds are on sale, you can buy a bunch, soak them and process with water in a blender (https://www.stupideasypaleo.com/2013/06/17/homemade-almond-milk/). Honestly it depends on how much you’re using, IMO. If it’s a splash here or there to put in coffee or to drizzle over berries, then I don’t see a real reason to switch from almond milk if that’s what you like (again, I’d recommend going away from the store-bought though..it’s pretty processed and usually quite watery). If it’s because you’re eating smoothies 2x a day (which I’d probably try to steer away from as time goes on…consuming so much liquid food has definite drawbacks), then that might be another story. Hemp milk…I’m just not into it and I don’t like the flavor. You’re still running into the issue of it being processed / containing preservatives.

        Hope that helps!

    17. One thing with CSA is that you may get things you don’t want. This week I got new potatoes and green beans. I ate them because its pesticide free and local. I also get greens and onions so not too bad.

    18. Thanks for the tips and for the non-judgment if we can’t go “all in” right now. We’re slowly working towards getting healthy and I think the grocery budget is the hardest part….

    19. I’ve been cooking paleo for about three months, and it SEEMED expensive at first–but I’ve ultimately discovered that I’m actually saving money. Granted, I do buy some staple ingredients that are moderately expensive, but they last a substantial amount of time, and I use them often in so many delicious recipes. If you have them on hand, though, most of the supporting ingredients are more than manageable money-wise. I also realized that I eat far less in general because the paleo diet satiates me in a way that my other diet (or lack thereof) didn’t. I’m also getting more bang for my buck because I’m eating ALL of my paleo grocery buys whereas, in the past, I’d frivolously buy bulk junk and throw half of it out, spoiled and uneaten! Moreover, I just started naturally cooking more and having a LOT of creative fun with it (thanks largely to you), which meant I was eating out less.

      People can say what they want about paying a little bit more for better ingredients, but investing in your health today probably means a smaller price tag on health CARE tomorrow. Thanks for your wonderful site.

    20. Hello, I need some serious help. I love your article though. Anyway, unfortunately my son is paying for our food, there is three of us. He was only letting me spend $40.00 a week on food for 3 biggish eaters. We lived on a lot of pasta dishes, hardly any meat. Two of us are over weight, he is not but he decided he wanted to do the paleo diet and I jumped on the chance because pasta and grains were starting to make me sick (I have ibs-c and diverticulosis and that old diet was making it worse). We are just starting our second week trying paleo and he’s about ready to quit because of the cost. For someone who is pretty much on a pasta only budget is there an easier way to still be able to do this? I’m also finding it hard to come up with a good menu. Any and all help would be much appreciated.

      1. Hi Diane…are you eating many vegetables? Remember, it’s not required that you buy organic. Veggies are an important part of Paleo and they’re pretty affordable. In terms of meat, buy what is on sale or try to buy in bulk for the best savings. If you’re looking for a carb to help fill you up, potatoes are inexpensive and don’t come with some of the issues that wheat flour does. I am having a really hard time picturing how to feed three people on any diet for $40 a week.

        1. Hi Steph, We are starting to eat more veggies but the amount to feed us all with a bit of meat is more than we’re use to. I may start putting potatoes in some of our meals even though my son(the one who started this) will say it’s not paleo. To give you an idea on how we ate around $40 a week here’s our menu 🙂 Breakfast we all ate different. I’d have eggs 1.60, son 1 waffles 1.29, son 2 bagels 1.69. Lunch: me and son 1 would have peanut butter sandwiches 3.78 with butter or jelly if I could afford it that week, son 2 tuna sandwiches 4.00, Dinner: rotini noodles with spaghetti sauce 2.08, chili dogs 4.83, tuna and noodles 2.86, pancakes 1.29, mac and cheese .78, ham sandwiches 4.50 that leaves a little extra for half gallon of milk to cook with, butter or mayo if we need it, and bread 3.56 but that is ultimately what we ate every week. Sometimes I would go over budget but that was only if we were out of a lot of “extras” like seasonings or something. Anyway even the cost of some veggies are kind of expensive but we’re still trying to make it work. We found chicken legs/thighs on sale this week for .88 cents a pound and I was able to talk my son into getting 6 packages yippee 🙂 so we are set with meat for lunches for 2 weeks 🙂

          1. Hi Diane,

            I admire your diligence with doing the best you can with what you have; that was quite a tun around in you and your son’s daily diet. You should be really proud of youselves! I wish you continued success in your journey and hope you can keep finding those great deals. 🙂

            1. Thank you so much Candace I hope we can find them more often 🙂 ….Right now I am soo angry at my son because he said he can’t do this diet anymore, He needs more food during the day so he can function at work (he’s the one who started this and dose not need to lose weight, in fact I think he needs to gain some) I agree he needs more food. For breakfast he had an orange at 6am, 3 chicken legs and a plain romaine salad for his 8:30 break, and baby carrots at 11:30 then he was off work at 2pm. He needs a better breakfast and something more at 11:30. I started to fix his lunch for tomorrow and found out he didn’t eat his salad or carrots (that had to be thrown out waisted money) no wonder he was so hungry after work and loaded up on junk (couple cookies, a piece of fudge, and a taquito).

              I know there is something about the carbs in veggies and the protein in meat that work together and give you the energy you need but how exactly does that work? i need to explain the facts to him better so hopefully it will sink in and he’ll understand he needs to eat his veggies. He’s wanting to gain muscle and must think he just needs more protein. Last night we had chicken, broccoli, and fries, he only ate the chicken. Sigh, I don’t know what I can do to help him :'(

              1. Something that’s carb dense like sweet potatoes, white potatoes, plantains, etc will provide carbohydrates for energy. In your case, I *might* recommend white rice because it’s gluten free. However, it’s not very nutrient-rich.

                1. I will try to get more sweet potatoes in some of our meals. We had white rice with our hamburger stir fry last night. Son 2 loved the stir fry but didn’t eat the rice which was ok I know white rice isn’t that great for you but later my body told me no rice soo that one is out for me 🙁 Son 2 is off the diet he said he cannot do it but I can if I still wanted to, then he wanted to go to sonic right after saying that grrrrrr he didn’t get to go to sonic hehe As long as he will let me I will still strive to stay on this diet because my life depends on it and we will still have paleo dinner they just wont be having it during the day and as long as it doesn’t get to expensive. so I’m happy for now 🙂 I think hehe just need to get rid of this “flu”

    21. Great points. 🙂

      I do have to say, however, that buying seasonal produce does not always work out best. I live in Canada, and while summers are nice and there’s certainly autumn produce, winter is pretty much a write-off, and were it not for non-local, non-seasonal (to us) produce, there wouldn’t be much left to eat for several months. 😉

    22. Steph. I did Whole30 in January and I’ve been eating about 75-80% Paleo since then. I have 2 questions. Since cheese comes from cows, why isn’t it (as a dairy product) allowed for a Paleo eating life style? Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts – is it acceptable as Paleo? Also, Thank you for your Paleo-on-a-budget article. It (along with everyone’s comments) was quite informative.

      1. Hi Freida,

        Cheese is always a hot topic of conversation and included in strict definitions of Paleo due to a variety of scientific effects on the body. Some primal food plans accept occasional dairy from pastured grass fed animals. For most, dairy is the subject and source of pain for a lot of folks because of problematic proteins, casein and lactose. When you have dairy derived from sick cows, those proteins become even more toxic. There’s an issue with hormonal disruption due to high amounts of phytoestrogens present. The Whole 9 life website posted some really great information on dairy. As for oatmeal, this is also not ‘Paleo” because Paleo eliminates grains. I understand it’s your favorite breakfast. Have you tried to see how you feel swapping out a grain fueled breakfast for veggies, protein and healthy fat? It provides more satiety and keeps insulin from the highs and lows that keep us reaching for more starch and sugar.

    23. I keep seeing coconut oil and I have read that vegetable oil is a no-no, but what about olive oil? I’ve always been told that extra virgin olive oil is the best. Is this true? Also, I typically cook with pan spray rather than oil. Is this bad?

      1. Olive oil is great, but it’s not good for very high temp cooking because it smokes and breakds down. I would stay away from pan spray because it’s usually made from low quality veg oils.

    24. Hello, I have an allergy to nuts and eggs. I avoid them altogether. Peanuts, walnuts, almonds seem to be the worst in the nut category and eggs I avoid altogether eg poached/fried/scrambled. I seem to be able to eat them in cakes as long it is not a eggy sponge or there are not too many eggs in the cake. Do you think I should start on the Paleo diet, I am feeling extremely bloated, and a bit overwhelmed with the whole idea but need to give myself a start somewhere. I am in my late 50’s but need to do something for my weight now before I become a couch potatoe!

      1. Hi Val,

        Lots of people who do a paleo approach to food skip nuts and eggs due to allergies. My husband couldn’t eat eggs for a long time due to a histamine intolerance, and our meals were still manageable.

        I can’t tell you whether starting paleo is right for you but I can ask whether you’re ready to maybe feel better. If so, I’ve got lots of resources here that can help you <3


    25. Val, the bloating will go away when you stop eating gluten products. At least that’s what worked for me. Fortunately I found a youtube by Dr. Glidden and the video listed 12 foods to absolutely stay away from. If you’re eating a lot of those foods, you’ll have a leaky gut. A leaky gut is the reason you might have some allergies and also the reason you might not fully get the nutrition from food. Dr. Glidden also endorses Youngevity supplements which have made a great difference in my husband’s health and strength. Good luck!

    26. I’m so excited we just started the Paleo diet! We are on a budget too, but are making it work for us! On the first day I had no appetite after a healthy breakfast and lunch plus apple for a snack! It’s unheard of that I don’t have a afternoon dip in energy & craving! I’m loving Paleo already! Learning online how to do this & so very excited about getting off the lactose, Gluten & having no bloat, or feeling awful from eating lactose or gluten. I have IBS-C & food allergies also. Thank you so much for this whole article & directions on how to do Paleo on a budget! I’m a disabled 62 year old woman & so happy about getting my life back!!! Thank you!!!

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