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Affording Groceries

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Does anyone have any suggestions on how to afford or where to find better prices on nuts, seeds, vegetables?  I find that I can't eat quite as much as I probably should because I only have one grocery store option; Albertsons in rural Montana.

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First of all, we recommend limiting nuts and seeds on a Whole30, so don't make them your primary fat source (nuts and seeds are fats on a Whole30).

You'll tend to find the best prices on produce that is currently in season. Check out this seasonal produce guide to point you in the right direction. 

 

You may also find good deals on frozen vegetables.  Just make sure it's just vegetables (e.g., no sauces) and that any mixed frozen veggies don't include off-plan foods like corn or peas. 

 

Check out this article for getting the most value for your money in the grocery store.
 

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I'm rural, off the grid.  I have a one pump gas station.  No GPS coordinates.  Alby's is all that I have, too.  I have to travel to get there.  Their nuts are just plain nuts.  Spices, nuts, oils are all high priced.  You can get by without nuts and seeds.  So make a list and ratchet down from the most important to the least.

 

You need proteins. Do you have your own beef in the freezer,  wild game and access to fishing?  Protein, vegetables and best dietary fats.   The trifecta of a Whole 30.   Everything else is a luxury item that you can do without but not those three things.  As you know, fresh fruit is usually so old by the time it gets here it doesn't last but a few days.   Frozen berries are often my best option. 

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I guess I need to do more research on the best dietary fats.  I can't even eat fruit, because I had been told not to.  I eat it and my face and scalp explode in sores/acne.  Im hoping the Heutterites are in town today!  

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I don't live in the US but when we travel we seek out Albertsons as they seem to have beautiful produce, an excellent freezer section for frozen veggies and a decent meat department.  You do not have to buy organic or grass fed, you buy what your budget will allow.  I buy organic bananas and I get my bones for broth from animals that were properly raised.  That's it...the rest is conventional.  And that is just fine.

 

Skip the nuts, seeds, dried fruits, speciality condiments like coconut aminos, fish sauce, coconut flour etc.  Get some good spices and seasonings, your veggies, meats and fats and you're all set!

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I guess I need to do more research on the best dietary fats.  I can't even eat fruit, because I had been told not to.  I eat it and my face and scalp explode in sores/acne.  Im hoping the Heutterites are in town today!  

Fruit is definitely not necessary on the Whole30. Vegetables are far superior nutritionally to fruits so it's not a huge dietary loss to not be able to eat fruit.

My best friend used to live in rural Saskatchewan and the Heutterites used to supply eggs and chicken to them.  I wish I had access to that kind of farm fresh food!

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I guess I need to do more research on the best dietary fats.  I can't even eat fruit, because I had been told not to.  I eat it and my face and scalp explode in sores/acne.  Im hoping the Heutterites are in town today!  

Note, fruit is optional on Whole30.  There are lots of people (myself included) who choose not to include fruit in their intake.  There is nothing in fruits that you cannot get from veggies in higher and more available quantities.

 

Your better dietary fats are those from animals (think tallow, schmaltz, lard), fats from plants (think coconut oil, avocado, olives) and the fats from eggs, fattier meats etc.

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And Yes!  I have a freezer full of grass fed beef from my ranch, but beef and my stomach don't get along!  do I eat a lot of chicken which is really low calorie.  However, I feel great.  This is only day 5 for me but im doing fine. I really appreciate your response.  

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And Yes!  I have a freezer full of grass fed beef from my ranch, but beef and my stomach don't get along!  do I eat a lot of chicken which is really low calorie.  However, I feel great.  This is only day 5 for me but im doing fine. I really appreciate your response.  

We don't care about calories here, just adequate amounts of protein, veggies and fats appropriate to your context.

 

If you are interested in trying to be friends with beef, you might consider trying a digestive enzyme to help populate your gut with the bacteria required to break down red meat.  Folks who don't eat it often can have some trouble with it at first.

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Other fats include ghee and clarified butter.  

If fattier meats aren't your friend, you could also go for more oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc.

 

ETA: let's not forget homemade mayo as a possible fat. I personally like it best made with extra light olive oil (don't use extra virgin olive oil: too bitter).

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Here's a partial write-up of mine and my husband's Whole30 budget experiment.

 

We went without nuts for the 30 days because of the cost. They would have been nice to have, but they weren't going to keep our tummies full and happy like  meat and veggies would. Same story for fruit. We did a little bit, but if I had to choose between vegetables or fruit, I chose the vegetables. Our meals were built around whatever meat or produce was on sale that week. Cabbage is usually a good, affordable option for veggies. We also did broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. When frozen vegetables were on sale, I would buy bags of frozen spinach. I also opted to make my own coconut milk because it was cheaper than buying cans and because I could use the leftover pulp to make coconut flour.

 

My biggest tip is to just get in the habit of watching the sale ads each week and try to focus several of your meals around the hot plates concept. More variety generally equals more cost so look for vegetables that you can use in multiple ways and for multiple meals.

 

Also check the coupon policy for your Albertson's. The one near my home still offers double and triple coupon deals which is REALLY helpful when buying pantry items like canned goods, oils, nut butters, etc. Do a web search for "couponing" and your town name. There are tons of blogs that track the local sales and then show you how to match coupons with what is already on sale so you can maximize your savings.

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I am a long time whole30'er and I can't remember the last time I bought nuts, and I have a 1 lb bag of almond flour in my freezer that has been there since last Christmas! I use it for a binder in meatballs and meatloaves, so I only use a T or so at a time. I shop at Costco (not sure if you have access to one where you live) and I pick up spices and other things at a local market. I have a budget of 240 a month for me, my 4 year old son and my husband. I rarely if ever buy coconut aminos, and a lot of the other fancy things that are compliant I just don't pick up. I do have tahini in my fridge, but I haven't used that in months either as well as a jar of almond butter. 

 

I do canned olives, berries and fruit in season, I purchase whole pork loins and whole pork shoulders and break them down myself. I have a place near by that sells large portions of various meats (Cash and Carry) and I have been known to pick up meat there and break it down -- they even sell 1/4 goats and 1/2 hogs. I run a pretty tight ship finance wise, and I do a lot of frozen veggies -- compliant mixes and single veggies, and I get my salad and fresh veg at Costco. When veg gets a little long in the tooth, I make soup of it or roast or grill the veg. It is doable, just takes a little planning. I am hoping next year we can put in a garden and that will save $$$ on veggies and I am planning on freezing or canning, and doing ferments for sauerkraut and pickles. (we live in a condo right now with zero backyard and a miniscule kitchen and we are going to be moving.)

 

I also don't buy coconut milk, I depend on olives, fatty meat, eggs, mayo, the occasional avocado (if on sale) and coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oils for my fats. 

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Came up empty yesterday on a probiotic.  Sounds like online is the best bet?  Everything was milk or whey based at Albertsons.  I saw sauerkraut and pickles on the natural list?  Anyone have any comments or suggestions here?  Is making your own ok?  

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You can absolutely make your own fermented veggies, go nuts! I made "dill pickle sauerkraut" last winter and it was SO good. Just cabbage, carrot and zucchini shredded and then seasoned with dill and of course the massive amount of salt for classic fermenting. It turned out beautifully!

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