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Budget challenges and meal planning for the week


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So I keep myself on a pretty strict budget for my food - as well as other things. And with the changes I've made this month I didn't account for having to buy some different things than before... And my budget is suffering a week before the next big shopping trip. Now I know better and will make some adjustments next time for better priorities, but in the meantime I need to get through the week without spending many dollars at all. I am probably ok, but I have this mentality that if I don't have 101 choices for food in a given day that I might choose something bad. I should really give myself more credit than that, but I know me:)

So I have plenty of protein, in theory. Tuna and crabmeat and salmon and chicken and some compliant turkey burgers in the freezer. I am very low on veges and greens and I have only 2 pastured eggs left. I have some commercial eggs that my sister bought when she was here and I've resigned myself to that. I'll use my remaining pastured eggs for mayo. I have half a can of light coconut milk and a bit of coconut manna, so anything with those options is out. I have enough ghee to get through the week, I think. I have coconut oil and olive oil.

The veges on hand are:

2 heads cauliflower

2 leeks

A couple of onions and a couple of scallions

1 small zucchini

1 bag frozen green beans

2 med sweet potatoes, already roasted

Frozen onions and peppers, about half a bag

I also have about 10 avocados, I'm not sure how I managed to buy so many lol

So I'm thinking that if I get some general raw veges like tomatoes and cukes and then get a big pkg of spinach, I should do ok.... I could eat raw veges and mayo with some sort of meat or fish 3 times a day I think and not get tired of it.

I might also get a turnip and throw the cauliflower and leeks in a pot to make some soup. Not sure how that would be without some good coconut milk to make it nice and rich.

Any other thoughts?

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If you are in a pinch, I would suggest stocking up on some more frozen veggies. I really like cabbage and find that I can make it go a pretty long ways. I have recently been rough chopping up the entire head and I will throw some into a skillet or steam it with some other veggies. You could also eat it as coleslaw.

Just look at it as a challenge. Look up different grocery stores around and find the ones with the veggies on sale or look for the markdowns on veggies that are going bad in the next couple of days.

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I agree with the frozen veggie suggestion. My Kroger puts one lb bags on sale for 88 cents from time to time and I stock up with a ton of them, mostly broccoli, green beans, brussels sprouts and broccoli. So great to have for a quick meal topped with a little ground beef and marinara. Cabbage is a great value too just like LauraB said.

It doesn't sound like you want to, but depending how tight your budget is, perhaps you could afford more produce if you bought conventional eggs. Seems to me a good trade-off but I am curious what others in this forum suggest. I know quality protein (grass-fed beef and wild caught fish) is supposed to go before organic veggies, but not sure where pastured eggs come in the list of priorities.

We have been improving the quality of our foods all year, but gradually. Now I buy grass-fed ground beef and wild-caught fish exclusively plus Omega-3 cage free eggs (not organic) but I still get conventional chicken. Our steaks are usually lean cuts of conventional beef. I buy organic greens 90% of the time. Other veggies and fruit it varies but most is still conventional. Budget is an issue and I keep changing things out a little at a time so it's a pretty gradual shift in budget funds for higher quality groceries. We eat out less than we used to do so that helps balance the higher grocery bill. My family ate at Moe's last night and I just drank water and ate later at home. That alone saves us money. :)

Here is a nice document I found on the FDA website during my first Whole30 that lists the lowest priced veggies and fruits for the US and also by region of the country for each quarter of the year. The data is a few years old, but should still give you some ideas on how to stretch your budget. The price per lb lists begin on Page 9.


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Thanks guys!

So I decided that since I didn't get to the beach or go hiking today, I should walk across town to the natural food store, because I had a few jars to return and I wanted to bring back the sardines that I didn't care for. 3 birds, one stone. Sunshine, exercise,and getting the good food I require for the week. Looking rather silly in my Ms. M&M tank top and my vibram five fingers, off I went across town. It's about 2.5 miles or so to the stores. I went and returned things to the natural food market and then picked up a couple more things at the regular grocery store next door. Took me about 2 1/2 hours between walking and shopping and I have a couple of new blisters to show for it:) but a wise choice as I found my attitude getting better and better as I went along. Part of this was having to walk through a less fortunate area of town between my house and the stores. I'm walking because I choose to, not because I don't have a car or gas money. I'm buying food to fuel my body, I'm not worried about where my child's next meal will come from. I've actually been in both of those places in the past as a single mom, so I found myself becoming more humbled and feeling more blessed the longer I walked.

I opted for the following, although now that I've read the posts here I wish I had gotten some cabbage. I might go to the farmers market right by my house later and get one and shred it up, they are very bulky and I have a great dressing for cabbage salad with shrimp!






Coconut milk

This should get me through the next few days and I'm going to use the frozen vege suggestion to help with the budget in the future and not be caught with very little produce again.

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I do the ISWF version of what to buy highest quality and when to have a more relaxed standard. I buy the grass fed beef (not grass finished) at New Seasons (local Oregon company) when it's on sale and really stock up or I purchase Kookoolan pastured chickens from the Farmers Market. It's a seasonal chicken because they can't pasture chickens here in the winter, so I am stocking up for the freezer. I bought a small apt sized freezer and keep it out on my deck full of meats and frozen veggies which I also buy organic when on sale. When I can handle it financially, I buy grass finished. I do the same with chicken, pork and any other protein. I focus most of my budget on the highest quality protein that I can afford. The next step is that I follow the clean/dirty guidelines for what to buy organic and what to relax on so I have more for the good protein. I don't buy organic avocados, but always buy organic berries, etc. Yes, it is a sacrifice and really, the bottom line is do the best you can with the finances you have.

Here is a link to the dirty/clean list put out by PBS.


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