At first I thought it would be too expensive to eat primal the right way with grass-fed beef and pastured chicken, etc., but when I realized what I wouldn’t be buying (no bread, pasta, processed foods; almost no canned or packaged foods) and how satisfying eating high fat was, I began to think this way of life was quite affordable. So I decided to do a bit of math…
Today I spent $54.07 CAD at “Meiridian Meats and Seafood” in Port Coquitlam, a couple of minutes drive from my home. Here’s what I got:
Grass-fed, grass finished Beef:
- 2 lbs. ground beef $9.15. That’s about eight meals.
- 3 New York Strip Steaks $14.97. Three meals.
- 5 Rib-Eye Steaks $29.95. Five meals. Oh man, is this ever delicious steak!
Then I went to Walmart. Here’s what I got:
- About 2 lbs. grass-fed pork tenderloin $12.23.
- That’s about 8 meals. $1.53/meal.
I’m not taking into account shrinkage here, so you might want to decrease the number of meals per item for the ground beef and pork tenderloin a bit, but not for the steaks of course (1 steak per meal).
Steaks are quick and easy meals (I fry them in ghee for about three minutes per side). Then I add a few veggies (a simple salad, usually) and a little fruit (usually berries) for dessert and Bob’s your uncle… dinner! Today I had a fresh fig for dessert. That was a really nice treat! Sometimes I mix the berries into full-fat yogurt sweetened with Stevia. I also make homemade ice cream with whipping cream, full-fat coconut milk, vanilla, and Stevia for the sweetener. Yummy! You can flavour it with melted chocolate (85%-100% cocoa) or fruit of any kind or just leave it plain and eat it with fruit or drizzle melted chocolate over it.
I’ve also been buying regular pork shoulder and grinding it myself in my 30-year-old food processor. It’s really quick and easy and saves you money! I’m looking for a good local source of pastured pork now, although here in Canada at least none of our beef or pork has growth hormones… or antibiotics in many cases (e.g., President’s Choice brand). I can get pastured pork across town, but I would like something closer. Driving across town only makes sense if I’m going to buy half a pig. Since I don’t have a freezer (just the one in the fridge), I can’t do that… yet! I’m seriously thinking about getting a small chest freezer, though!
I can get frozen bison burgers at the local Save-On-Foods or Safeway (can’t remember which, maybe both). Really delicious! But, just to let you know, bison is often grain-finished, just like beef, so beware!
I can also get pastured meats at Planet Organic, but their prices seem super high to me, so I haven’t bought any. I guess I should do a price test like I did with the meat from Meridian and Walmart.
[Update: Planet Organic is now gone. Pomme has taken over that spot. It’s a wonderful store, with everything Planet Organic had… and more! I haven’t done any price checking yet, but it won’t be cheap, I’m sure! They do have weekly specials, though.]
Don’t forget that bones from grass-fed or pastured animals/poultry make great bone broths, stocks and soups.
If it IS more expensive to eat Paleo, is your health worth it?
If so, where can you cut down/out other expenses? Eating out? Cablevison? (Use Netflix instead; that’s what I do: $7.99/month.) Electronic games and gadgets? Expensive cellphone plans? (My no-frills plan costs me $15/month.) Movie theatres? Beer/Wine? Protein shakes? Gym membership? (There’s really no need for a gym to get your exercise.) Expensive vacations?