If you have been on the paleo diet for a while, you know that meat is one of the top sources of protein. While animal protein is important in this diet, the cost can be a little overwhelming. Here are some tips for feeding your family enough meat on paleo without breaking your budget.
Choose Cheaper Cuts of Meats
Just because you need to eat animal protein doesn’t mean it has to be the thickest, most expensive cut of beef or pork money can buy. There are a lot of other cuts and types of meat that are more affordable and easy to prepare.
When it comes to chicken, cooking a whole chicken is often preferred because it doesn’t cost too much, and you can use the entire chicken for multiple meals to feed an entire family. However, if you don’t want to cook a whole chicken, chicken thighs are the best option. The bone-in meat is always going to be cheaper, plus, chicken thighs are very versatile. You can cook them just about any way you can imagine, save the leftovers for salads and lettuce wraps, and still have flavorful chicken every time.
For ground beef, go with ground chuck. This is the least expensive type of ground beef and has many uses. You can use your ground chuck to make some bunless burgers, use it for a healthy taco salad, or make paleo-friendly ground chuck meatballs to top butternut squash noodles.
Similar to chicken, turkey is going to be less expensive than many of the red meat varieties. Mix it up a little by using some turkey in your meals. The great thing about eating turkey is that it can be eaten in a variety of ways. You can get an entire turkey for dinner one night, make turkey salad the next night, and make turkey sandwiches on grain-free bread the next day. Similarly, you can get ground turkey and create turkey meatloaf, turkey meatballs, and a variety of other turkey dishes.
If your family is a fan of pork, the pork shoulder is going to be the cheapest. This is a tougher cut of meat, but you can braise it to make it tender and have tons of flavor.
Different Ways You Can Use Meat
When you buy meat on the paleo diet, try to find multiple uses for it. This is where you benefit the most from a whole chicken or buying your meat and fish in bulk. You can cook it on meal prep day, then freeze leftovers for different meals.
For example, one large chicken can be roasted and made into several meals, such as:
- Chicken breasts with vegetables
- Chicken stir-fry
- Soup or chili with chicken
- Salad with chicken, like a chicken cobb salad
Every time you are buying a type of meat, make a list of meals and snacks you can use the meat in, and suddenly the cost will be well worth it.