Whole30: Cheapskate edition


kirkor

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More random thoughts:

 

  • Shop for marked-down meat
  • Grass-fed? Only if it's on markdown
  • No need for coconut aminos, "Red Boat" fish sauce, avocado oil, macadamia nuts, Penzeys brand spices, and whatever other fancy-pants ingredients you see people using. Do these things taste good? Well ya, of course they do! But they are 'spensive and not necessary for a successful Whole30.
  • Be okay with processing "family pack" protein sources: separating ground beef into freezer-friendly portions, cutting excess skin off, splitting up roasts, etc.
  • Frozen vegetables are amazing! Once steamed or sauted the difference between frozen and fresh is infinitesimal, and they come already clean and cut --- no prep!! 
  • Have a good-sized freezer
  • Have a crock pot, both for cooking in bulk, and for making cheap meat tender and delicious
  • Get used to the little bones in canned salmon ... it tastes better than tuna and has more fat built in
  • There is surprisingly little overlap between "simple", "boring", and "tasteless" ... your palate is not as discerning as you think it is
  • Simple & repetitive dishes means less prep, less cook time, less clean up time; more time to live your life!
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  • Frozen vegetables are amazing! Once steamed or sauted the difference between frozen and fresh is infinitesimal, and they come already clean and cut --- no prep!!

 

 

 

Hi kirkor,

 

I totally understand the convenience of frozen veggies but as far as the cost. Have you found that ounce for ounce frozen is cheaper than fresh or is this one area you more so go for the convenience factor?

 

Thanks!

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Hi kirkor,

 

I totally understand the convenience of frozen veggies but as far as the cost. Have you found that ounce for ounce frozen is cheaper than fresh or is this one area you more so go for the convenience factor?

 

Thanks!

 

Took my notebook with me on my next shopping trip, and crunched some numbers just for you!

 

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I pretty much only every buy cauliflower and broccoli, and it turns out that frozen is 20% cheaper!

 

PLUS, you avoid all that styrofoam-like cauliflower "dust" mess when cutting it up ...

10312194135_8acfba402c_c.jpg

 

So, for me, frozen is WIN, WIN, WIN!

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Can anyone say canned fish & hard-boiled eggs???

 

GIF-angry-eating-Jim-Carrey-nom-nomming-

Well, it turns out my tins of sardines were bigger than the 100mL size rule, and people said the oil inside counts as liquid so it would be a toss-up if TSA would allow them through. *cry*

So I dumped out the liquid in my olives to carry on, but took the milquetoast road and didn't take un-tinned fish with me. ;)

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*BUT* I do have a surprise to show you all later what I packed along with me to make this cheapskate/travel/kirkor-style Whole30 more fully realized. I will set the scene with the pictures, so stay tuned. (will probably be tomorrow after my 16 hours of airports & airplanes).

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*BUT* I do have a surprise to show you all later what I packed along with me to make this cheapskate/travel/kirkor-style Whole30 more fully realized. I will set the scene with the pictures, so stay tuned. (will probably be tomorrow after my 16 hours of airports & airplanes).

My version of a magician showing you he has nothing up his sleeves!

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We have here your ordinary regulation-sized carry-on luggage..............

But wait, what's this??

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A George Foreman grill?!?!?!

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Yes, folks, I definitely "walk my talk".

Do I do this every time I fly? No, of course not. This is a short trip, I didn't need a lot of clothes, and I wanted to show that you can truly make a Whole30 as successful as you want to. I packed this grill in my main carry on, and if you recall the earlier post I had my food for my long day in the purple "personal item" bag which is actually a soft-sided cooler! Also it served as my laptop bag since it turned out to be the perfect shape.

But, even with such planning ahead, THINGS STILL GO WRONG!

I get to my hotel (next to the airport in Toledo Ohio) and there are NO STORES nearby! The nearest Kroger is over 2 miles away, and after the day I had traveling, and with how cold it was outside, I couldn't conceive of walking that far just to walk back with groceries, then cook and eat, etc. The closest restaurant is a Mexican place a half-mile away. I head over there, and stare at the menu for a while. I'm thinking fajitas, hold the tortillas, rice, beans, sour cream, cheese, etc. But then I'm worried of course about what the meat is marinated in, what the veggies are sauteed in, etc.

They have a taco salad, and ok, no saute, but there's still the meat question.

Then I see they have hot wings on the appetizer menu! And, what, there's an oven-baked option?!

I ask the waitress, and she says the sauce is Frank's Red Hot! Woooooooooo

So, I order up the wings and an order of guacamole (made just with tomatoes, onions, spices).

I felt kind of silly eating wings at a Mexican joint, but hey, that's what it takes sometimes.

I also had this "cheapskate" thread in the back of my mind, because here I am on a work trip, with a per diem, so I COULD spend more money, but I'm thinking of this thread and so realize I still need to be a little money minded ... as it was, I about choked paying $4.39 for the baseball-sized serving of guacamole. *grumble* but I knew I needed food.

Last night made up for it as I was able to hit a grocery store and pick up some chicken, ground beef, eggs. etc.

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......oh yes, I brought spices with me on the plane as well. B) 

Travel during Whole30 sucks, definitely. This was my hotel's breakfast offering:

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Stay safe out there, folks.

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Kirkor - I am really enjoying your posts - they give me lots of "food" for thought.  Here I was stressing about going to the ex-in-laws for Tgiving dinner (I will get read the royal act for not partaking in EVERYTHING).....  I have had success with travel, but only by taking all my meals pre-prepared.  Never thought about a GF grill!  

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Final week! (9 days)

 

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So, avocados make an appearance, and we've got a restaurant meal in there.  Normally even when I'm not focused on "being cheap", avocados need to be <$1 for me to buy them.  Well, I was travelling for work and on a per diem, so I went ahead and bought a few at $1.25 each.  The restaurant meal is also a result of travelling for work.  My hotel was nowhere near a grocery store, and this Mexican restaurant was the only place within walking distance.  I was able to get baked wings with Frank's sauce, and an order of guacamole.  The guac was $4.69!!!  :angry:

While I did have these per diem-induced avocado splurges, I still kept to this thread's cheapskate principles and did not use per diem the way some people do, to get steaks and things they ordinarily wouldn't buy.  I kept buying frozen veggies and chicken thighs and ground beef .  You're welcome, dear readers.  :P

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So, to sum up:

 

Spent $185.27 which results in an average of $5.98 per day.

 

And this was with a multi-state road trip, air travel, Thanksgiving, severe lack of kitchen facilities (also used a cooler & ice instead of a fridge for over a week), and other miscellaneous bits that serve to make every Whole30 experience a unique one.

 

Yep, it's like that.

 

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And to look at the data a different way, here is the frequency distribution of everything I ate (only stuff not included is coconut oil, mayo, salsa, and mustard), in terms of "number of times I ate these things during the 30 days" --- I generally eat 2 meals a day, and when I snack it's either olives, pickes, or hard-boiled eggs ---

 
eggs 32
beef, ground 28
pickles 22
chicken, thighs 17
olives 14
broccoli & cauliflower 12
avocado 7
broccoli 6
salmon 6
cucumber 4
pork, steak 4
cauliflower 3
beef, short ribs 2
chicken, drumsticks 2
spinach 2
tomatoes 2
bell pepper 1
chicken, wings 1
green beans 1
pork, ribs 1
scallops 1
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  • 1 year later...

Love the cheapskate whole30!! I read through every now and then for inspiration to stick to my budget. 

yikes, that is some menu, isn't it? If I could eat beans and rice and not blow up like a balloon...among other things....I probably would for the cheapness factor. 

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