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yogajen

Can we do this for under $400/week??!!

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My boyfriend and I are doing Whole30 together. Our food bill has gone from $150-$200/ week to $400 per week!

we're buying way more produce and about the same amount of meat, but we're focusing on better quality. We're spending more because we're eating more. I used to have just breakfast and dinner and snack on a bit of granola or fruit in between. Now we're making full meals and hitting the template as best we can. 

We've tried alternating between Whole Foods and other stores when we want to save money, and we're eating out way less. 

We're still feeling the financial pinch. We want to make this a way of life beyond the 30 days, but this is day 15 and we have spent $800 on food already! 

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I'm in the UK, but I buy all my vegetables from the "basics" range - just less pretty to look at but taste exactly the same, and I never buy any pre-cut veg, frozen veg is cheap and quick too

I stick to protein sources such as whole chickens that I roast and then pick from through the week, canned fish and veg if needed (e.g fishcakes are cheap and made from these), I don't really buy things like steak that often as they can be expensive. I don't buy fruit as things like berries can be pricey for how long they last. 

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We had the same sticker shock, initially. Some of the changes we have made were to buy salad/spinach blends, as well as cooking oils, eggs, onions, potatoes, canned tuna and salmon, nuts and some meats (the kind that can be individually wrapped and frozen) at Costco. Just between the two of us we go through a massive amount of salad greens and eggs, so we aren't having any food go to waste, as I might have expected.

My fiancee eats meat, so we buy one big pack of meat, properly wrap and freeze it and then he has individual cuts to cook each night. I am doing my whole 30 on eggs and seafood only, so we go through a HUGE number of eggs on this plan and it's way more affordable with the bulk size containers than the regular dozen carton.

This does mean we hit two stores for our weekly shopping, but it's worth it, because we only have to shop one day, and it lasts. We are also saving money. 

Remember that you're saving by not eating out, and that getting some of the ingredients (like the cooking fats for example) are going to be a big initial cost that will last a week or two. I also try to tell myself that I'm also paying for the experience of spending more time in the kitchen cooking with my partner, instead of staring at our screens and that also  has a value. Maybe grasping at straws there. ;) 

Best of luck!

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My husband and I both eat on the plan and we are on a food budget and we spend less than $200/week and we always have money left over for just in case.  We don't buy organic but try to get as natural and local foods as possible.  Meat is without hormones, antibiotics, etc.  You have to plan your meals for the week and take into account that you may have leftovers to take you to another meal.  Try not to buy more than you need in case it goes bad, veggies can do that. Some types of meals will stretch your budget so you may have to look at those options, like soups, stews, etc.

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My boyfriend and I are both on the program and have been spending an average of about $200/week. This week (start of week 3) we actually had some stuff left over and only ended up spending $100! This includes buying almost everything organic, and all of our meats from Whole Foods!  We do most of our shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's,however, we may make an emergency run to Safeway every now and then if we forgot something.

My suggestion is to read up on sales at Whole Foods and maybe base your meat selections for the week off of that, they usually have pretty good deals and meat is often where the bulk of the cost comes from. Defnitely come up with a meal plan for the week before hitting the store to avoid the "let me just grab this, we'll probably need it," from happening. I also recommend doing some cost comparisons, for examples, a 20 oz jar of pickles is $4 at WF, and only $2.15 at TJ's. I frequent both places, so eventually you start to remember what is cheaper to buy at either location. Also, if you can, Farmer's Markets are an excellent option for buying produce. It's been stormy in California lately, so ours has been closed, but the prices are usually less expensive and the quality is amazing!

As a last tip, repeat meals throughout the week to cut back on having to buy more ingredients. For example, we eat the same breakfast Mon-Fri and switch it up for the weekend, the same lunch Mon-Wed, and the same dinner Mon-Wed. We change it up towards the end of the week to keep it from getting old, but it definitely helps save some $$ not having to buy 6 different kinds of meat! 

Good luck, and keep going!

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You don't *have* to buy organic everything, free-range and "hormone free" this and that (all meat has naturally occurring hormones...). My last Whole30 was done primarily with food from ShopRite and Walmart. Yup, Walmart. Frozen veggies are frozen veggies and "lower quality" stores are now carrying organic frozen veg and other products if that's something you really think you need to have. Meats - buy what's on sale and buy in club packs/large quantities. Keep it simple. Plan based off of the sale circulars. I go to Whole Foods when I need to get a new bottle of Tessemae's and if I'm feeling so lazy that I don't want to make my own veggie noodles. That's. It. 

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Some call that place Whole Paycheck. :ph34r: We don't have one fancy store in sight for 100's of miles. See Kirkor about budgeting. He can give you the lowdown how it should be done. My actual nearest store is a one pump gas station with a cooler full of cray cray shizz. Soda pops and brewskis. Candy bars and tiddlywinks. We go into town about 2 or 3 times a month for essentials.  Produce.  I have two large freezers of wildgame, beef, fishes, fowl.  We spend a fraction of that but Kirkor has a budget plan all worked out.   

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I'm doing it non-organic, grass fed etc as right now, I just can't afford it. We all do the best we can with what we've got. 

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@yogajen welcome to my world the first week of W30! My boyfriend and I also embarked on this journey together.  Our first week cost roughly $350, but I can now see why this was so much.  I planned out our meals, but we also bought pantry essentials that we would never have pre W30 (spices. Tessmae's, other various condiments, etc.).

We now shop almost exclusively at Whole Foods (when did I become that person?!) and then supplement with Trader Joe's for some items.  We spend $200/week now (this week was $189).  I was able to do this by planning out all meals for the week and buying exactly what we needed.  The only "extras" I buy are a couple extras of brussels & butternut squash zig zags as I know we go through those very fast.  Planning out every meal is time consuming, but I prep on Sundays and it's given us a lot of variety.  We have yet to get bored with our meals and I am beyond thankful for that.  

To give you an idea, part of this week's menu that encompasses the $189 spent this week is shrimp and artichokes over spaghetti squash, chicken wings two ways (lemon pepper & buffalo cayanne), mushroom, tomato and green onion scrambles with bacon, lamb roast with root veggies, and chik fil a "nuggets".  Some may consider the last SWYPO, but I love the recipe and we have only done it once before.  I get many of my recipes from Stupid Easy Paleo - it's a great resource!

Goodluck! 

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Hello.  My grocery bill went up a lot when I did my first Whole30 last January (I am now on my third), too.  I buy most of my groceries at the standard, local grocery store (Hannaford's for me) and pick up only hard-to-find items (coconut aminos, sugar-free bacon) at WholeFoods and special extras (La Croix and LaraBars) at Target on occasion.  I am not able to do all organic or all grass-fed but pick and chose what it important to me and within my budget.  

My grocery bill seemed insane to me at first but then I realized a few things that made me feel better about my bill:

  • While on the Whole30 I rarely (if ever!) throw out food so there is far less wasted money (I used to have things go bad in my fridge or pantry pre-Whole30)
  • I have only gone out to eat once since January 2nd (at a lovely place with a Whole30-friendly menu in Boston, but I digress...) so my dining out budget is FAR less than it would be non-Whole30 ($60/month as opposed to $60+/week).

These savings probably don't even out the new, produce- and meat-filled grocery bill costs, but every penny counts! :)

 

 

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On 1/23/2017 at 7:16 AM, yogajen said:

My boyfriend and I are doing Whole30 together. Our food bill has gone from $150-$200/ week to $400 per week!

we're buying way more produce and about the same amount of meat, but we're focusing on better quality. We're spending more because we're eating more. I used to have just breakfast and dinner and snack on a bit of granola or fruit in between. Now we're making full meals and hitting the template as best we can. 

We've tried alternating between Whole Foods and other stores when we want to save money, and we're eating out way less. 

We're still feeling the financial pinch. We want to make this a way of life beyond the 30 days, but this is day 15 and we have spent $800 on food already! 

Yep,  I'm in the same boat with you yogaJen!  I want to eat like this after the whole30, but I'm going to have to figure out how to do it cheaper.  I've got $180 for 2 weeks of groceries for the whole family. I've been digging into other accounts to make it work. It's just me on Whole30 so that helps. I still try to feed my family mostly Whole30 foods. I recognize ISWF says that people eat grains to survive and now we can thrive. I think our family's budget is somewhere between surviving and thriving.  But I'm pretty creative and innovative, I think I can figure it out!

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I'm not sure where you guys all live, but where I am from, we have this thing called "Bountiful Baskets". Its like a farmers market all bundled up in a basket. Its like $15 and they come around every other week. The only downfall is... You don't know what's going to be in your basket. So you'd have to meal plan after you pick up your basket. Check out their Facebook page (Bountiful Baskets +your state) or Google them to see if they come to your town. I've never been disappointed. They are revamping their system and seeking new vendors, so its not available at all their normal locations. They also have "add-on" baskets you can get for super cheap. Like cases of apples, etc. The picture below was the most recent basket in my location... All that for $15!!

BB.jpg

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