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Caitlyn

Whole30 on a budget

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My fiancé and I are putting ourselves through school, and we have a one year old. As you can imagine, our money is very tight. We try to keep our grocery budget to less than $80 a week, and it's making me wonder whether or not we would be able to do Whole30, as many of the recommended foods tend to be foods that are more expensive. I would love to hear from you all about ways to do Whole30 without breaking the bank.

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use the dirty dozen / clean 15 for produce and buy what's in season (locally grown if possible, but not a deal breaker) buy whole chickens instead of parts and roast. (and use it for multiple meals! We can make a good chicken last 3-4 meals with our family of 3.) some things aren't as financially feasible all the time

If you really like a certain fruit or veggie and it's not in season, try the freezer section. Some have additives but some don't. These are easy to cook and eat. And avoid shopping the aisle if possible.

For non perishables, try buying on Amazon. Sometimes you'll get a better deal that way. And don't be afraid to look at the local ads for the store. Sometimes you'll find amazing deals on produce and meat for the week. One time, blackberries here were 4 6oz containers $5. Not that I'm advocating so much fruit but deals like that are out there

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I can't afford grass fed meat so buy whatever is marked down in the grocery store.

Just make sure it's compliant. I bought chicken once (while not on w30, thankfully!) that had carrageenan in it. You'd think chicken would just be chicken (and maybe saline if brined)

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Do you have a farmer's market/fruit & veggie stand near you? Ours just started opening up and the produce is SO much cheaper! I'm in CA though, so we might be early because of the nice weather. 

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Do you have a farmer's market/fruit & veggie stand near you? Ours just started opening up and the produce is SO much cheaper! I'm in CA though, so we might be early because of the nice weather.

The farmer's market near me in San Diego is the exact opposite. While I do understand that "small scale/local/organic/etc etc etc" carries a certain cachet to it, the prices are crazy high. Like, the people that shop at this farmer's market must think that Whole Foods has awesome competitive prices. (for those who don't know, Whole Foods is a chain of grocery stores that has natural-type foods but is very expensive ... some people nickname it "Whole Paycheck")

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Here's some budget friendly suggestions:

 

1. Buy frozen vegetables at WalMart or Aldo's. WalMart now has Wild Oats and may even organic veggies. Let's say you eat veggies with lunch and dinner and you go through 2 bags/day. Each bag will cost approximately $1.70. (I did the research). So that's $23.80 a week. Sometimes things like string beans are on sale in the market for 99 cents/lb. in which case you can save some money on fresh veggies. Buy onions for about $3.00 for enough for a week, and carrots, another $3 for a bag. Total veg. cost: $29.80.

 

2. You can buy a large, pastured, organic chicken for $22. Boil the chicken in water until falling-off-the bone tender. Shred the chicken and set aside, Cut up an onion and some carrots, simmer nice and slow for lovely chicken soup. Throw in a bag of your frozen greens for extra nutrition. Add some chicken to each bowl, have soup for dinner, save the bones. Soup: 1 meal. Next, use the cooked chicken in a stirfry wth your onions, carrots, and frozen greens. Meal #2. Finally, use the bones and all the veggie scraps you have (onions skins, carrot tops) and make another batch of broth. 

 

3. If the 3 of  you eat 6 eggs/day for brekkie, buying organic Omega 3 eggs from supermarket will cost you about $10.50. 

 

4. Buy ground beef ($3.50/lb. in my market in upstate NY) about 2 pounds, for meatballs and ground meat chili. $7.

 

5. Buy a bone-in pork butt 4 lbs. for $1.50/lb. and make pulled pork. Save the bone and add it to chicken bones for richer broth: $6

 

Total for all this: $75.30. You can save more if you don't buy the organic chicken, and you can get the frozen veggies down to $1.08/bag if you don't buy organic. 

 

It's lean for sure, but using every scrap (like bones and veggies scraps for broth) is key!

 

Good luck on your whole30 journey.

 

Pea

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The farmer's market near me in San Diego is the exact opposite. While I do understand that "small scale/local/organic/etc etc etc" carries a certain cachet to it, the prices are crazy high. Like, the people that shop at this farmer's market must think that Whole Foods has awesome competitive prices. (for those who don't know, Whole Foods is a chain of grocery stores that has natural-type foods but is very expensive ... some people nickname it "Whole Paycheck")

 

Interesting! Mine is more of a "stand" that is out in the country right on the farm so that's probably the reason for the low prices. I can definitely see how an actual farmers market with multiple vendors can be more expensive! And I've never shopped for produce at Whole Foods but I can only imagine lol!  

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Budget note: I find that shopping twice a week cuts the waste and my food costs. I don't really do plan ahead cooking except for crock pot chicken twice a month.

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