Jan 12 2012

Primal Eating on a Budget


Primal / Paleo Eating on a Budget

What is primal eating and is it more expensive? You can read the definition of primal eating over at MarksDailyApple. My definition is more like the picture above. I don’t know that I care too much about what our ancestors ate…I’m not real big on history {I know, I’m shallow}, but what I do care about is MY HEALTH. I feel a bazillion times better eating a primal based diet and you cannot put a price on how much energy I have now compared to my grain based “frugal diet”.

I am often asked this question: Does primal eating cost more? 

Previously I spent $60 per week on groceries {when I had our grocery budget at an all time low}. Over the past 18 months we’ve increased our food budget to $100 per week and now I think I want more money allocated to our food budget. It took me a while to get over my “pride” but now that I’ve done that, it’s a little easier to increase the food budget.


Does primal eating cost more?


I don’t think so. I used to plan EVERYTHING…my.entire.life around eating. HYPOGLYCEMIA is so not fun to live with. We ate “healthy” whole grains for years. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Oh the snacks nearly killed me. I had to make so many snacks and make sure we had enough protein to go with the snacks because we were starving all the time.


I remember going on a hike with the family. About half way to our destination my husband had to go back to the car because I forgot the snacks. He was not a happy hiker, but his life would have been WAY worse if he wouldn’t have done that. Hypoglycemia was horrible for my daughter and I, but it was even worse for those who had to live with us.

Once we stopped eating grains {especially for breakfast} like magic the hypoglycemia just disappeared. That my dear friends is PRICELESS.


Does this way of life cost more money?


I don’t think so. Had I done the following I don’t believe our budget would have increased:

  1. Consume NO carbs {grains, fruits or veggies} in the morning.
  2. Ate beef and some kind of fat for breakfast {my preference is butter or coconut oil}.
  3. Stop consuming all sugar {includes honey, maple syrup, white sugar}
  4. Prepare “boring”, but edible grain free foods.

Unfortunately I don’t know for sure if our budget would have increased because I took out most grains. At the same time I found out about the primal way of life, I also watched a movie called Food, Inc. After I watched that movie I decided that I *really* wanted to support local farmers and ranchers. Supporting local businesses is definitely more expensive than buying the cheapest food you can find at the grocery store.


If you are at a place where you MUST have a low food budget, by all means buy the cheapest food you can find at the grocery store.

Frugal Grocery Tip

Definition of the cheapest food:

Foods filled with a lot of nutrients at the lowest possible price.

I don’t think Doritos qualify :-) Some people say avocados fit the bill, some people say coconut milk.  I do not know the answer to that question for you. For me right now it’s a pound of ground beef at our local butcher shop. Apparently my body is craving beef right now. Maybe from years of avoiding meat?



Have you ever totally done a 180 with grocery shopping? I’ve done it a couple of times now. First ten years ago when we spent over $800 a month to feed our young family and now because I realized that sometimes “frugality” comes with a price.

For more tips check out WeareTHATfamily,  Life as Mom and GroceryCartChallenge.



Awesome photo credit: AQUICK.ORG

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