Can you eat paleo healthily on a budget finances-min

Can you eat healthily on a budget?

I wrote the other day about my $50 weekly food budget – and how hyper aware I've become about how much food costs.  I'm only shopping for one, I work from home, love cooking and have time to shop around. How hard must if be for families on tight budgets to eat well?

Can you eat paleo healthily on a budget finances-min

I really struck me how difficult it must be for families when I saw this in my local Aldi store:

That's just $3 for a big pizza. Assuming you'd need two to feed a family of four that's $1.50 per person for dinner. Preparation time is zero and cooking time less than 20 minutes.

Contrast this with a healthy paleo meal? Let's say a large free range chicken: $12, some steamed kale $5 and spinach $3 and some $4 cauliflower made into rice. That's $24 – so $6 a head. For families living on tight budgets there's a huge difference between spending $6 on dinner and spending $24.

And how about lunch? You can buy an entire loaf of bread for about 85 cents and some cheap processed meat for about $3. That's a cheap lunch, well under a dollar a head. Contrast that with a typical paleo lunch – that wouldn't even cover a decent cut of meat, never mind salad or veggies.

As for breakfast I doubt anyone could make an free-range egg and veggie omelette for less than the $2.2o an entire box of cornflakes costs.

So what's the answer?

Wouldn't it be good if fresh whole food could be subsidised? Unfortunately I can't see how that could ever be implemented, since everyone has such wildly different ideas about exactly what is healthy and what isn't.

Do you think families struggling to make ends meet are priced out of eating healthily? What do you think the answer is?

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6 replies
  1. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    It is extremely hard to stay Paleo on a budget. I am a single mother of four, three being teenaged boys. I literally spend AT LEAST $1000/mo. I meal plan and shop with a list of what is needed for each meal. I shop at Costco, Whole Foods, HEB and my local farmers market. I will say I desperately miss Aldi, but we were not yet Paleo when I lived near one, so Im not sure how much of an impact that would make on my budget. We TRY to eat organic for the dirty dozen(I just cant arrord to pay 4X more when its not in season)and conventional for the rest. We buy conventional raised, non-organic meat unless I find it on sale. My family qualifies for the free lunch program and we can not take advantage of it because there is nothing gluten free, let alone quality or organic. My three sons can not even get food from the smoothie bar or salad bar at the high school because it is not a “guaranteed nutritionally balanced meal according based upon the current food pyramid”. Yes, I have met with the food/nutrition dept. at the school. I am actually in the process of creating spreadsheets to compare prices on the products I buy from store to store and by month. We are currently trying to grow some of our own vegetables in our back yard. It hasn’t been terribly productive yet as the Texas summer heat almost killed everything and what little production there has been, a neighboring peacock likes to eat, sigh. It’s been a learning process to say the least. So this is our journey as a family. I am very grateful to have children who understand and cooperate and try to make the best choices available. We are also blessed to live in a community that is versed on gluten free and many are paleo or dietary restrictions (no dairy, soy, etc). I am thankful for all of the resources and bloggers available to help us on this adventure! On a side note, my father’s CARDIOLOGIST(conventional doctor, not naturopath) just put him on Paleo/Primal lifestyle! WIN!

    • Suz
      Suz says:

      I hear you Stephanie – feeding 4 on $1000 a month must be incredibly difficult. I’ve been thinking a veggie patch might be the answer, but as you say – it’s not reliable – and also it seems quite expensive to set it up. I’m exactly the same with organic, unfortunately all too often I’m priced out of it. The good thing however, is that where I live it seems that a lot of people can’t afford organic, so it’s often reduced right down when it’s close to the use by date.

      That’s fantastic about your father – what an incredible impact he could have on so many lives! Keen to hear how he gets on!

  2. Valarie
    Valarie says:

    Oh, I do relate to this. I am on a low budget, also shop around to find the best things, takes a lot of extra time as well.

    I have thought it might be good to have some sort of community area to grow the veggies. Would be great to share seeds, plants as well, also get gardening tips, from the experienced gardeners.
    Also might help lonely people get out, meet folk and get some air & exercise.

  3. Mark Lopiccola
    Mark Lopiccola says:

    You will make up the difference with trips to the doctor with the conventional diet. I know I did. Prescription drugs at $2/pill plus blood tests to make sure my liver didn’t blow up from taking these drugs. Good times… NOT!


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