I hear it all the time, “I’m on a tight budget, I can’t afford to eat like you.” Well, I too am on a tight budget. $100/week for food, in fact. I have a family of 4 and this budget also includes non-paleo foods for my (amazing) husband because again, this is my journey and I won’t pressure him into it, nor will I sabotage myself because of his preferences.
A few things:
- Is grass fed meat better? YES. Does that mean it’s all I eat? NO. I buy meat that is on sale. Some of it is grass fed (YUM) and some of it is not. From the sale meat, I create my weekly dinner plan.
- When not fresh, frozen or canned veggies? FROZEN. Freezing vegetables will help lock in the nutrients but also doesn’t allow it to sit and soak in sodium until consumed.
- Cooking serum? Coconut oil or butter. Real, unsalted, raw butter – THE best. Although I’m attempting a Whole30 right now so I’m sticking with coconut oil or bacon fat. Butter is a dairy.
- Fast & easy? Sure, there are lots of fast and easy ideas I can and will share, but eating plants & proteins does require preparation and forethought. It’s a lifestyle CHANGE, so all you fast paced, eat-on-the-fly, no time for prep folks, take a deep breath and reevaluate your priorities. Is health one of them? …Always make leftovers so you have them for breakfast and lunch options …bake some eggs in muffin tins and freeze for easy access …soups and stews in the crock pot are a lifesaver! …whole fruit and veggies are a sweet and crunchy snack option. SIMPLICITY in food brings forth a simpler life.
With that being said, I’ve decided to share my shopping list and meal plan to help folks get started. Also because I’m a simple girl with simple tastes and my recipes/meals are far from fancy. I think most of you can relate to having small children or spouses who aren’t always adventurous with their palates. Also, they are not on a Whole30, I am, so I will post my variations to anything for my own plate. Here we go:
Sunday: Leftover Stew – In a crock pot on low, I tossed leftover roast and meatloaf, frozen veggies of our liking, and broth together. After seasoning to taste, I checked back at dinner time! To serve, I added a dollop of pre-prepared mashed cauliflower to a soup bowl and scooped some soup on top. One of my daughters enjoys soup in a bowl, the other enjoys soup on a plate sans liquid. Wa-la.
Monday: BBQ – 1lb ground beef and a can of Manwich. I had my husband dish out my portion of beef first, before adding the Manwich. The family had it with fries and apples, I enjoyed it on top a bed of greens and carrots.
Tuesday: Pork & Kraut (OF COURSE!) – In a crock pot on low, I added a layer of sliced onion, a layer of sauerkraut, pork loin, and a final layer of kraut. Checked back at dinner time and added some pre-prepared mashed sweet potatoes and apple sauce to my plate. MY FAVORITE MEAL.
Wednesday: Chicken with Onions & Peppers – My husband pan cooks the chicken and sautes onions and bell peppers. I enjoyed that atop a bed of greens, carrots, cucumbers, radishes and celery. The rest of the bunch had some noodles with their chicken.
Thursday: Leftovers for the family – There wasn’t anything ‘clean’ leftover so I enjoyed some frozen Tilapia, sweet mash and crunched bacon sprinkled on top. I keep a stash of frozen fish, shrimp and scallops for myself to enjoy on nights the family decides on pizza, spaghetti or other grain based choices.
Friday: $5 Pizza night for the fam ala Little Caesars. I will be enjoying a Large salad (1, because I don’t want the greens to go bad before eaten and 2, because I’m craving a big salad) with roasted chicken on top.
Saturday: Bacon wrapped turkey with roasted vegetables and salad.
My method of shopping and meal planning is to create the first few meals of the week from items we HAVE in the fridge, then write a list of items we would like in the house (veggies and fruit, etc). Once I am at the store, I keep a running calculator of each item I put in the cart, remaining super selective on the items I choose, even if on my list. For instance, this week I knew we still had 6 eggs so I passed on another dozen because I didn’t have an egg heavy menu planned. I complete all non-meat shopping first, THEN I go to the meat department and check out what they have for sale, spending the rest of the budget on protein that will pair with any/all of the produce we have in the cart.
I don’t enjoy sharing my entire menu (I find it quite boring) but if you find it valuable please let me know by commenting here or on our Facebook page. Thanks for reading!
To view more $100/week budget Menu & Receipt posts click below.
Without getting too scientific on anyone, I would like to post about grains and why I do not include them in my diet. They are EVERYWHERE, even in cleaning products (what?!), and make up the majority of the American diet. Whole grain or otherwise, a grain is a grain. The links below will shed additional light on why grains should not take on such a substantial role in our eating habits. I will share some thoughts in laymen’s terms on each link. Hope it helps.
Why avoid grains? This is a short article, with just a little science, that explains what is actually in grain. All the good things in grain are nearly cancelled out because of the anti-nutrients that are also in grain. The anti-nutrients essentially block the absorption of the good-nutrients creating a LACK of nutrients altogether and even begin to block the body’s absorption of good fats, vitamins and minerals from other sources.
One word: DIABETES Another short read explaining how the massive consumption of carbohydrates recommended by our government is killing us. Modern disease is related to chronic inflammation which is related to anti-nutrients found in grain and other foods like legumes, some nuts and berries, even eggs but you’d have to eat a massive amount to experience an effect. Type II Diabetes is directly related to the consumption of grain and here is how: carbs turn to sugar, the body makes insulin to keep blood sugar at a nice calm level, too many carbs = too much sugar, insulin is in overload, inflammation begins, cells become resistant (DIABETES) and the pancreas goes into overdrive. Now you’re prescribed medication so you won’t die. OR, you could cut grain from your diet.
Auto Immune Diseases and Rheumatoid Arthritis This is a testimonial, and there are many more, from the website of one of my favorite Paleo leaders, Robb Wolf. This is also a disease my family is predisposed to and a major factor (aside from vanity) that led me on the path of Paleo. RA is said to come from an overactive immune response to infections caused by viruses and bacteria which then cause the disease to fight healthy tissue. When removing grain from the diet, adding omega-3 and probiotics (mmm, sauerkraut), the body’s gut will become healthy again. If the gut is sick or ‘dirty’, you will experience negative health effects throughout your body, most of which you would never even think to relate to an unhealthy gut. Eating Paleo is not a cure for RA, but it could help stop it’s progression, relieve symptoms and pain by helping inflammation subside and make for a healthier body to fight off the disease.
Grass-fed, why? This is my science heavy article. In a nutshell: Did you know corn is a grain? They feed it to our cows, pigs, chickens, none of which eat grain in the wild, all of which need antibiotics to stay healthy and alive in many cases. (Not to mention the growth hormones we use to take a calf to the size of a 5-year-old steer by the time they’re 18 months old.) They even feed corn to our farmed fish now – FISH DON’T EAT CORN – buy wild caught, or heck, go catch it yourself.