The paleo diet is a very attractive alternative to most weight loss regimes as it promises mouth-watering meals that you actually look forward to eating. However, try as we might to stick to it, it’s often seen as a bank buster. This may explain why it’s generally believed to be practised by Hollywood stars and fitness freaks, but not the average Joe.

Sadly, it’s portrayal in the media as a trend meant for the higher echelons of society has stopped many from enjoying the countless benefits. Good thing for you, we’re about to give you a list of foods in line with the paleo diet that you can enjoy on a budget. Let’s start off with the meaty stuff, shall we?

Meat

Although we’re starting off with meat, you should know that the paleo diet doesn’t require you to eat it regularly. This means that the types of meat we’re about to recommend can be consumed sparingly while enjoying other foods that provide your taste buds with the satisfaction you deserve.

Lamb

The average price of lamb might discourage you from buying it, but you’d be surprised by how cheap it can also be. Like most meats on the list, it’s all about choosing the best cuts that provide value for money. The shoulder, for example, generally sells for a measly $10, unlike other cuts that can retail for an incredible $70. It’s often overlooked because it’s regarded as less tasty than the rest but, again, you’d be wrong. With half a red onion, a carrot, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and a skillet, you can fry up a healthy filling meal for two and spend less than $20.

That’s not all; other lamb cuts and recipes to consider include:

  • Breast (use almonds as an alternative to breadcrumbs)
  • Middle neck
  • Chump
  • Scrag

Beef

Beef is also seen as relatively expensive, but you can buy cuts that are far more delicious than that $50 steak you’re digging spare change for. Often used by creative chefs, beef shin has a rich marrow that can liven up a sauce consisting of large onions, carrots, cloves of garlic and celery. It’s one of the cheapest cuts because it comes from hard-working muscles, and is overlooked because of the fat content and bone but, trust us when we say this, it’s delicious, indulgent and healthy.

You should also consider using other cuts of beef such as:

  • Flank – perfect slow cooked with balsamic vinegar, garlic and rosemary
  • Chuck
  • Blade
  • Leg
  • Shin

Fish

You don’t necessarily need to consume meat to be on a paleo diet. Fish is cheaper, leaner and offers a variety of recipes that are on budget. Because there’s relatively a large group of fish available on the market, we’ve shortlisted it to our favourite two affordable varieties used by high-end chefs.

Dorade

While you might feel put off by the word farmed fish, it’s a better alternative to overfishing in the wild. Dorade is one of the best example of sustainable farming. It also retails for up to $10 a pound and, due to its small size, isn’t daunting to cook for two. Because it’s from the bream family, you can sauté, pan-fry or bake it.

Skate wing

Yes, we know, it’s a bottomfish. However, skate wing is easy to cook, delicious and sustainable. Certain chefs have begun to capitalise on its affordability, making sumptuous meals such as fried skate wings with homemade tartare sauce, consisting of lemon juice, low-carb mayonnaise, minced onion and sweet pickle relish.  Just make sure you avoid longnose varieties from fisheries in British Columbia, as these areas are notorious for poorly maintaining their fisheries.

When choosing fish, don’t overlook:

  • Porgy – a bit on the bony side, so pick around a bit
  • Red mullet
  • Catfish

Vegetables

Veges form the lion’s share of your meal, or at least should. Their generally inexpensive, but you can come across vegetables such as organum, zucchinis and asparagus that are pricey. These can seriously deal a blow to your budget if you don’t watch out.

However, washed and packaged vegetables are what really make you bankrupt, so always purchase veges separately. Not only does this mean you choose the quantity that you want, therefore save, but it also lowers food waste. But most importantly, you can save on low carb vegetables by buying what’s in season.

If you’re in a grocery store, be sure to buy low carb vegetables such as:

  • Kale – In season during February
  • Cabbage – In Season during February
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Dried lentils
  • Celery
  • Green beans – in season during September
  • Cauliflower – In season during March, April, November and December  
  • Mushrooms – In season during April
  • Lettuce – In season during June, July and August

Fruits

Depending on the school of thought you follow, you might have to cut out sugar from your diet if you’re doing paleo. This doesn’t stop you from enjoying the sweet taste of life, as you can substitute your sweet tooth with fruits. Just like vegetables, you should purchase what’s in season and unpackaged.

Try these fruits if you’re trying to have some change leftover for a vacation:

  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Apricot
  • Avocado
  • Pear
  • Watermelon

So there you have it; all these ingredients are delicious and affordable. Their health and nutritional value far outweigh plenty of weight loss methods such as diet pills. What’s more, most of these ingredients can be combined to create your very own, original dish. So go ahead and try them out.

If we didn’t mention other foods such as chicken, pork cuts, vegetables and fruits that you’re looking for, let us know in the comments section and we’ll do a follow up article.