This has been circulating all over the place and I loved it at first. I’m a little over it now, but mainly because our Paleo reality is fast, cheap, and easy. Not so much fake, but definitely all of the other three. We be real, yo! But we definitely be cheap too.
I loved this article from Picket Fence Paleo about how to do Paleo without busting your budget. I just feel like I can never stress enough that Paleo is not exactly the same for everyone. Some people are having a difficult time getting their basic needs met, but those people deserve to have healthier lives too.
It’s so frustrating when elitists try to cock block people from eating a Paleo lifestyle when they can’t do it without buying inexpensive meat and non-organic produce.
To those people I say “Go fork yourself!”
So to fly in the face of the meme above and the paleo elitist nazis, I’m putting together another cheap & easy meal planning week.
Score one for us; the Fast, Cheap & Easy Paleos with Pride.
It is imperative that you have a CrockPot this week. They are not expensive and with the money you will be saving on eating Fast, Cheap, & Easy, you should pick one up. Your life will be much faster, cheaper, and much easier with a CrockPot in your life.
Stacy from The Paleo Parents follows the AI Protocol where she doesn’t eat eggs or nuts. It sounds like sudden death to me, but her breakfasts on Instagram always looks so yummy, and she has replaced eggs for breakfast with bone broth. Don’t forget that breakfast doesn’t have to be sweet, and it doesn’t have to include eggs. I know, the notion is mind blowing, it really is. I wanted to mention that for people who follow the AIP, because my breakfasts are almost always eggs but your breakfast doesn’t have to be. You can have left overs for breakfast, bone broth with salami, fruit with coconut milk on top, or just whatever. Break out of the “normal” breakfast routine and try something new. There is plenty of extra space on the back of your printed shopping list to add your own breakfast items.
Waste not, want not. If Cavemen were around today, I think they would be appalled at the level of waste that we produce. I try to eat leftovers for lunch every day and I STILL manage to throw lots of food away. It makes me sad and it makes my wallet cry.
That said, we sometimes need a little break from the norm, so sometimes I like to buy a small spaghetti squash and whip up a homemade marinara with it. Don’t let the laundry list of ingredients scare you off, most of them are spices that you probably already have in your pantry. Make this sauce instead of taking a nap one day and store it away in a large mason jar to use whenever you want it. You spend a little time up front making it, but it’s fast, cheap, and easy when you WANT it.
Um. YUM? I haven’t tried this but Paleo Pot NEVER steers me wrong. This isn’t going to be the “easiest” recipe this week, simply because I am going to urge you to make the homemade Paleo Adobo Sauce from Paleo Pot, but if you get that made ahead, this recipe can and will be delicious. Don’t let the ingredient “Dried Chipotle Peppers” scare you off. I found an enormous bag at Walmart for $6 in the produce section. Make the Adobo sauce at the same time you’re making your marinara for lunch, and store away in a mason jar in the refrigerator so that when you’re ready for it, it’s ready for you.
It’s how we save time in the long run, people.
To roast broccoli, preheat oven to 350*. Wash and cut broccoli into bite-sized florets. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt & pepper. Cook for 25 – 30 minutes until desired crispness.
Pork Tenderloin was on sale BOGO last week, so I have one of these just chillin’ in the freezer waiting to be used. This recipe uses FOUR ingredients. FOUR. And it will take you about FIVE MINUTES to prep. I could do this when I wake up in the morning before I’ve had my coffee. OK maybe not before coffee, but shortly thereafter.
I already have every, single ingredient I need for this recipe in my house. YAY for free meals!
To roast your asparagus, preheat your oven to 400*. Wash & bend asparagus in half so that it snaps. (Asparagus will snap at its most edible point so you really don’t have to do a lot of guess work here – it’s smart like that). Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar on your asparagus and roll around to coat. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt & black pepper. Cook for 15 minutes or until desired crispness.
This recipe reuses a lot of ingredients from other dishes this week, which is a great way to save money. Of course you want different flavors in your dishes over the course of the week, but pairing the same ingredients with different meats and in different amounts, will definitely give your taste buds something to sing about. Make Jicama or Sweet Potato Fries to pair with this meat loaf for a straight-up American dinner experience. I’ve included Sweet Potatoes in the shopping list, but if you want Jicama, just replace 2 sweet potatoes with 1 Jicama.
Fish Taco Salad
The Nerd wanted fish tacos last week, but the lettuce I bought to use as “Shells” was broken and cracked all the way to the heart. I turned the tacos into salad and was SHOCKED when The Muffin and The Stinky asked for seconds, then thirds. That is NO. JOKE. A 2 and 3 year old eating salad like it was candy. The trick is to cut the lettuce into small pieces before topping with ingredients, then toss together. They probably won’t even know that it’s salad.
You can make this recipe, from preheating the oven to serving in 20 minutes.
I purchased an enormous bag of Tilapia from Walmart for less than $10. It had 15 tilapia filets in the bag. That means 2.5 meals for our family of 5 (The Workaholic eats 2 filets per meal while the rest of us eat 1).
I’m immediately aware that it is creepin’ on “Not Chili Weather”, but I have some frozen stew meat that is begging to be used, so I’m making chili this week. I use the basic recipe from Make it Paleo (recipe can also be found here) but I change it a bit to be a little more affordable and a smidge easier. My changes are below:
*2 lb Stew meat instead of beef rump roast
*1 lb ground meat of some sort – just get whatever is cheapest. I put ground beef on the shopping list
*Brown ground beef in a skillet
*Throw all ingredients into your crock pot and cook for 8 hours on low
I usually budget $10-$15 per dinner for meat. It sounds like a lot, but we are a family of 5 and my kids eat a LOT. Plus, I enjoy having leftovers so that I can eat them for lunches. In the long run, it saves money if you eat your leftovers. This recipe from my friend, Jackie at The Paleo Mama is simple and delicious. She has a sour cream option for the lemon dill sauce if you do dairy.
Follow the recipe for Elena’s Mashed Cauliflower, but instead of 2 heads of cauliflower, substitute one head with one head of broccoli. Add some sea salt, pepper, and olive oil. This side is REALLY good and it’s got a fun color. You can tell your kids it’s Monster Snot and they’ll eat it because kids are weird like that.
You know I don’t usually include desserts, but I turned my computer on this morning and was greeted with one of the most delicious looking desserts I’ve seen in a while. I just so happen to have all of the ingredients for it, so I’m adding it here. I will italicize the dessert-only ingredients in the shopping list so that if you choose to leave them out, you don’t have to buy the ingredients.
For those of you who are new, I usually only include 6 meals because I assume that you’re going to either eat out one night per week or have some leftovers and a “Leftover Night”.
For Paleo Snack ideas, check out the Snacks Abound Paleo Meal Planning week. There are several great snacks there.
If this is fast, cheap, & easy; I don’t want to be anything else.
Please give me some feedback on what you would like to see in the future in regards to meals or themes.
My computer is being a butt-munch lately, and for some reason MS Word isn’t even pulling up. This means that I do NOT have a printable shopping list for you today in the format I usually do. I did, however; make a shopping list on another page for you. I believe you can print from there. You might need to copy and paste it into a word processing document of your own to make it easier.
DO NOT FORGET to shop your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator before hitting the grocery store. If you had to purchase every item on this list, it would not be an inexpensive shopping trip at all.