Pretty much the only bad thing I've got to say about prof. Cordain's book is that you'd almost have to be a freakin' millionaire to follow his weekly diet plan. Fresh blueberries everyday? Salmon, asparagus? Pffsh.
On the other hand, I've argued with my friends that unless you're a very plain eater, cheap-paleo will be a lot more affordable than non-paleo. I probably safe a lot by simply not buying anything to drink or not buying candy etc. That said, there's still a lot to fiddle with.
Here's a random list of things I do to keep eating healthy somewhat affordable.
1. If you're going to freeze it, buy it frozen.
Selling stuff with a short best-before date is a risky business. In the shop where I work we end up binning quite a bit of meat. And ofcourse this shows in the price. If you're going to freeze it anyway, avoid paying for things your shop throws away.
2. You kill it, you eat it.
No discrimination on what part of the animal to eat. Liver is yumm, bones make good broth and the longer you need to cook it- the tastier.
3. Go lean.
That said, consider what you eat meat for. It's the protein. And since meat is expensive, make sure you're getting enough bang for your buck. Normally just add extra fat with oils and save the fatty meats for treats.
4. Organic & grass fed/finished?
Remember that post from MDA about the lean vs fat discussion?
A single organic chicken breast costs about 7 euro's. Non-organic I can get a whole kilo of chicken breasts for that price, and even more if I'd buy it frozen. So, another benefit of eating lean, is that you can skip having to sell your kidneys to eat a piece of chicken.
When you go for your fatty treats like bacon you want it organic/grass finished anyway because of the nitrates etc.
5. Shop often, preferably atleast every other day.
There's always some sort of discount on vegetables. Shops buy big, they have too much so they put it on sale.. and that's when you buy it. Just make sure you use it quickly. They also sometimes put as much as a 50% discount on meat when it has reached it's best-before date. It might not be optimally healthy, but hey, you gotta make ends meet.
Obviously you should be walking or riding a bike while doing this shopping....
6. Keep your pantry and recipe book well stocked.
When you come accross one of those sales mentioned, you have to be able to actually use it. This means having a recipe, and not having to buy some expensive ingredient to go with it. That's where your pantry and freezer come in!
7. Go to the market at closing time.
Dutch market's and farmers market's aren't exactly the same, but probably it holds true that the sellers want to get rid of their stuff. At the end of the day prices for perishable stuff go down, sometimes a lot. Buy it all, eat what you can and freeze the rest so that when you find a discounted piece of meat you've got something to eat it with ;)
8. Worry about saving big, and not so much about saving small.
The best eggs cost twice as much as regular eggs, so buy the best eggs. A good organic can of tuna can be 8x more expensive than a cheap can with just water and salt added. Get the cheap tuna.
9. Consider wether you're actually saving money..
Related to the above, buying a farmed non-organic piece of salmon doesn't mean you're saving. You're just wasting money on a not so good but still expensive product. Get frozen coalfish or something like that when you're going cheap and get a good, fresh, wild piece of salmon when you want a treat. You'll still be better off.
10. Don't eat so many fruits, berries and nuts.
Seriously, you don't want to do it anyway because of omega balance issues, sugar issues, way too many calorie issues... and now you can also add the 'way too expensive' issue.
Fruit and fresh berries are like paleo-candy. Before going paleo (or whatever) you didn't eat candy everyday either, did ya?
Got anything to add? Disagree with something? Leave a comment!