Eating cheaply on carnivore


No seasoning works for some tasty, fatty meat but some dishes and some kind of meats pretty much need or could use some (like rabbit but probably kangaroo too…?). Chili can’t be done without chili :smiley: Even I know that.

I can cook and bake but not any kind of food, I have very tiny experience with meat dishes :slight_smile: But as simply frying the meat is nice, I don’t feel the need to complicate things. I always was lazy but carnivore made me even more lazier… While my food is better than ever. Wow.

(Kirk Wolak) #22

I have to say I think about this a lot! I am a few years away from retiring. And inflation is a killer. Worse, I seem to be allergic to the cheap stuff (Eggs and Pork). I don’t tolerate dairy that well, which adds nice flavor.

I have played with Chicken, but beef really hits the spot. A 3lb bag of burger patties (100% beef) is like $14 at Walmart. I usually finish that off in 1 day. So $420/month is about as cheap as I get without specials. Change it to ribeyes and nowadays (June 2024) I can easily spend $28 / day (double).

TBH, one of my plans is more fasting, but adding splenda to my coffee, as it seems to stall out my weight loss. Certainly cream ($24/mo) plus splenda. Then fasting a bit more. Keep me out of the higher calorie burning. I am going to give it a shot. But I want to do 2 weeks of Alternate Day Fasting, normally, and then see if my weight stabilizes with either of those two additions for 2 weeks (first without HWC, then with it for 2 weeks).

I just thought of this, thinking through the “problem” you are pointing out. While I could easily afford a bit more… I am still carrying extra weight. So I could use fewer calories/more fasting. But knowing that I can stall out the weight loss on fewer calories just seems like a cool hack to try. LOL

(KM) #23

I actually brought up the idea at some point that the lowered metabolism that comes from prolonged calorie restriction, provided the nutrition is adequate, could be something of a blessing. But let’s not tell our government officials that! Who knows what their next policy might be.

(Harriet) #24

A Bow and Arrow?!

(KM) #25

Only in Alaska. I wonder what the story behind that was! It sort of makes sense, but why subsidize hunting and growing plants but not raising meat? :woman_shrugging:


This is what I do. I price everything per serving. So a large rib roast I just bought that cost me $58 “seems” expensive, but I cut 5 thick one-pound ribeye steaks from it and that gives me a total of 12 servings at $6.50/serving, because I am full after half a steak (8 oz) and one steak gives me two meals. And it’s a juicy delicious ribeye! Not lunch meat or chicken wings. Lol When I eat a cut of meat like that, I don’t eat anything else and I’m satisfied for several hours.

A $8.99 rotisserie chicken gives me 3 meals so that’s $3 a meal.

I’ve noticed the same thing about the misconception of processed food being cheaper. It just isn’t, and it’s because of the minuscule serving sizes and low servings in a package. Additionally, even a larger serving does not satiate at all, and you need to eat more of it or something else rather quickly. So that adds up. Maybe a box of macaroni and cheese is only $1.24, but you will be hungry for something else within a couple hours and the cost of that something else combined with that Mac and Cheese cost will equal or exceed what meat would have cost in the first place.

My beef and pork may cost a lot, but each serving is satiating and I end up eating less often. So the amount of money I spend on meat for a week actually goes a lot farther and lasts longer than that same amount of money going towards processed food, or even towards carbs, fruits and vegetables.

(Geoffrey) #27

Having lived in Alaska and hunted up there my guess would be for sustenance hunting. It may be the only state that allows hunting without a license as long as you are actually living off of what you kill.

(Bean) #28

Dairy makes me hungrier (splenda gives me joint pain. Ack). Coffee was surprisingly expensive when I did my calculations. Maybe try a stint of Lion diet and /or your ADF to see if it helps you hit your target weight? Smaller people need fewer calories and you wouldn’t need to game your metabolism? These are the burgers I used for my calculations. I buy boxes of these or similar for my lunches and retain/ use the fat. These are closer fat-wise to most ribeyes, so they might be more satisfying? I am careful to not overcook them and they are pretty tasty. Costco, Aldi, and my local butcher all have a similar version. Anyhow… I’m rambling FWIW. Hubby and I are also eyeing early-ish retirement and want to be in excellent health and conserve our retirement accounts as long as possible.


That is the important thing. Well, money wise. Obviously health, joy and well-being is there too, sometimes time and convenience… So lucky that my food is good at all :slight_smile: But it took some time to figure it out, I guess it’s usually the case when one does a drastic woe change especially when there are other limiting factors. But it’s worth it :slight_smile: Our diet is highly important, obviously and I can’t stop being surprised how people don’t know it or just don’t care about their health (if they should do something about it. taking a ton of pills? yes please. I don’t think they are hedonists enough…).

(KM) #30

Just to point out, I was not comparing whole meat to processed foods. I was comparing whole meat to whole starches / legumes. There really is no cheaper diet than rice or potatoes and beans, unless you forage or dumpster dive. Starches are filling for pennies on the dollar, at least for an hour or two. I’m not saying it’s healthy, but the original question was a thought exercise regarding SNAP budgets. If you’ve only got what you’ve got, it doesn’t make much difference what’s optimal, nutritionally.

(Bean) #31

Yes and no. People use carnivore/ therapeutic keto diets to manage diseases that are very expensive to manage with drugs (in my case a form of RA- biologic meds are shockingly expensive and RA meds trash the immune system), but also diabetes, some cancer, epilepsy, etc. I wanted to see if someone on fixed income could legitimately realize the benefits of this WOE to manage their condition.


Not for me. I get HUNGRY from carbs. Even if I eat them with a ton of fat. Always. Negative satiation effect, it can’t be helped. And if carby food fills either of my family members, it’s long lasting. Carnivore food is what does these stupid 1-2 hours for me sometimes. Too easy satiation. Carbs have a harder time to satiate me (as they don’t but if I eat enough fat and protein, it eventually happens) but the effect lasts super long… (It’s about the mealsize.)
Whenever I ate my lots of carbs, I still ate a similar amount of protein and probably more fat than now to get satiated.
I can’t be the only one but yes, many people seem to get satiated just fine with a tiny carby food for a while.

Beans are more expensive than my meats, I think. So it would just add costs as I would eat unnecessary carbs with extra food to balance it out. Or who knows, never tried to live on beans (it would be a fail, obviously), I just make an educated guess from my experiences.

Some beans with other things may work though. Legumes are my plan C (I would need to accept the overeating or do some disciplined OMAD). Gluten is my plan B as I could keep my carbs very low that way (I would keep it with legumes too as they should be good together amino acid profile wise and very enjoyable as well. if one can handle both well, I can). Gluten is a very affordable item too considering how protein rich and satiating it is. Once I calculated, definitely way cheaper than my meat.

But I don’t remember the case being like that… It is different when one has big health costs that would be cheaper to handle with the right diet. But if we function well enough on a cheap carby diet then it’s different. Or if we just don’t have the money to eat the good diet either way…
If I had some special problem that could have been handled by either expensive medicine or beef, I would need to stay sick as affording either is out of the question. I would spend my money on as good food as I could and meditate and hope for the best.

We still should eat the best we can afford. There are options. Even poor people spend their food money so unwell in most cases… I think my SO and I made it an art form, we really know what are we doing. He eats high-carb as that is his only way and it’s the only affordable diet for him anyway - and I eat close to carnivore on most days because that is best and probably cheapest for me. I mean, I could go a bit lower but would ruin my life quality and will to live. It’s way better to fast more.

(Bean) #33

EU countries have different health care systems than the US. Our insurance/ healthcare is largely privately funded, thus profit, rather than outcome, driven.

(Kirk Wolak) #34

Not in the city. But fallback location involves a farm in a Mennonite community. Where the local butcher is having problems finding people who want to take over.

That’s a great point. I remember some soups mom would make when things were tight…

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #35

Note for future reference: It may be called “chili,” but it neesd to be hot! :hot_pepper: :hot_pepper:


I meant I didn’t see the OP writing about expensive health problems where the really right diet can help.
Not being healthy is often expensive everywhere and it’s not like healthcare is free just because one lives in the EU… Lots of things are, others not and some surgeries cost more than someone’s income in their whole life, possibly. Healthcare have a cost anyway, even for healthy people, it’s just usually paid by the employer but not everyone has one or that may be themselves. Yes, the amount is vastly different from what a sick person in an unfortunate country must pay, just saying. As for a poor one, even the tiny cost can be bothersome. And the huge one with some bad health problem is just not affordable.

(Alec) #37

There’s a really interesting question in there about the mechanisms for satiation. I am currently on holiday with my family, and I am struck by the quantity of food they eat… it is frankly enormous: massive piles of chips/fries, massive piles of pasta, massive stacked high burgers, huge pizzas, and then when they are “finished” they “need” to have a dessert.

And then there’s me… I eat less than half the quantity they do (after an 8k run!), only meat of course, and I am done, full, satiated, can’t fit anything more in.

So, is there a different satiation mechanism going on here for carb eaters vs fat/protein eaters? Do carb eaters only get satiated when their stomachs are literally physically full, and maybe do us meat/fat/protein eaters get a satiation signal through chemical means, not physical/full feelings?

Anybody know if there has been any research on this or whether these mechanisms are already well understood?

(KM) #38

That seems likely. I could nibble endlessly on something like flavored potato chips, not really even noticing anything but the intense flavor hit. “Full” wasn’t even on the radar.

(Harriet) #39

There are an awful lot of very stupid rules attached to welfare. And then there’s different laws surrounding native Americans and hunting.


I am sure some people have it bad. (But having a full stomach and satiation has nothing to do with each other for me, I suppose it’s true for many others…)
But… People are different and their diets are different too. My SO who is a very convenient example when I talk about high-carbers… Well, he gets satiated by less food than I do and it lasts way longer. He just needs and eats more per day (except when I don’t behave as I easily leave him behind by far). I would STARVE on his food :smiley: WAY too much carbs and not nearly enough protein for me there. The fat intake is lovely, more than mine, probably but it depends on the day. There is a big difference between a breakfast made by him and one made by me, for example - but both are the same satiating for me. 90% carbs or 10? Doesn’t matter, apparently.
But it does A LOT to me. I just don’t know what is it for the average person… It seems most people gets satiated by carbs way better than me, people ate carby during history, we saw people eating a sandwich or two and being fine (how they do it I can’t imagine :D)… But (just on this forum) I heard about people being hungry on high-carb too… But why don’t they eat differently then? I got high satiation on high-carb every time, I needed it so I just ate until it happened, whatever I desired or had. I overate epically several times because carbs have that effect on me. They make me hungry and they are triggering too sometimes so I easily ate a ton after reaching satiation. I can eat carbs and fats in scary amounts as I don’t reach a stop sign unless 1. my stomach gets full but that’s near impossible without using soups or something 2. I start to feel unwell and heavy due to massive overeating 3. I just get bored of eating. Sometimes I wonder what could have happened if I didn’t eat so much protein all my life… I NEED that for satiation. It was bad enough on high-carb without that problem… That can be the problem for your family, maybe? Not getting enough protein? But it easily can be just the carbs. It’s actually weird. The body gets energy galore and it still gives us hunger signs. No matter if we got all the nutrition we possibly need - but this may be less common, I don’t know but I have it.

And we know people who are just fine on high-carb, no overeating ever… I don’t believe all are hungry a lot, it wouldn’t make sense knowing people. (And there is my SO who gets satiated somewhat worse on low-carb. But it was so bad he only tried once, I just know that the super rare low-carb meal isn’t more effective than his carby ones and too much fat - percentage, much fat without the carbs - causes problems like nausea and delayed satiation so he overeats and regrets it.)

Oh and plant net carbs make me hungry on keto too. Some of us are more sensitive to the carbs when it comes to satiation and hunger. Maybe my SO is fine because he doesn’t eat insanely high carbs - but it’s always high. But carbs satiate him - at least in the presence of some fat and protein. He needs way less of those. So maybe we just have our lower limits for satiation regarding the macros - if we totally oversimplify it. But no, there are the people who just need their calories, the minimum fat and protein and that’s it. So HCLF and LCHF both work for them. It makes perfect sense, add the body the essentials, energy can come from carbs and fat alike… But due to the hormonal effect of carbs (and who knows what else, not me), it’s often not the case. But why it is for some people? Whenever I think about how most people eat, how people ate during history - all those carbs and multiple small meals - , I wonder what would have happened to me if I was forced to eat that way too. As now… It doesn’t work. I am starving that way. I never could eat a sandwich and get satiated for a while. Could I? Maybe in the morning when I had no need for food anyway (the sandwich definitely made me hungry way earlier though, I hated breakfast and stopped when I got big enough for it).