Whole30 On the Cheap


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Does anyone have tips for how to do this on a shoestring budget? Where are the cheapeat places to go good quality food, especially protien?

And how do you guys work yoUR budgets for this? Just spend what you have to spend to get all your protein high quality and then whatever's left over is what you have to work with for produce and other things? Or...?

Also I have chronic inflammation so wanted to see if the no eggs and nightshade thing would help, but I feel like I just can't afford to have meat and seafood being my only protein source. I've been having some eggs but still trying to limit........dairy was a big source of protein for me before so now I'm like on meat overload! Lol. So. Not sure exactly what kind of help I need with that or what my question is exactly, but if anyone has thoughts I'd love to hear :)

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My first week on w30 I spent some serious cash because I had to buy a lot of staples like oils and stuff.  Last weekend I went grocery shopping and for just my meat and veggies it was only around $100 (I don't know if this is cheap to you, but for my family it is).  My kids food on the contrast- snacks, lunch stuff, treats- they eat my w30 dinners with me- was around $150.  Seriously, I got a cart FULL of veggies for $22 at a produce market.  For meat sticking with cheaper things like ground beef, chicken legs/thighs, and stew meat helps, plus shopping sales.

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you can get canned fish quite cheaply, or go for freezer packs of cheap cuts of meat.  Find a local butcher, and ask for the stuff that other people don't normally buy, get to know the butcher well, become a regular customer, and he'll probably start giving you free bits here and there.  go shopping near the end of the day, when produce is reduced, it's fine if you're eating it that night or tomorrow.  search out the reduced items that are just near best before/use by dates, and eat the same day.  buy green grocery produce that's in season, it'll be fresher, more local, and cheaper.

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Shop what's on sale. I was low on money one week, but there was chicken leg/thighs for $.29 /lb, cut up sweet potatoes- 2lbs for $1 (on a clearance shelf), asparagus was BOGO.... Instead of preparing a meal plan and shopping for it, shop for sale items and plan for what you purchased, I usually don't do that. If you really need to plan, a lot of grocery stores have their specials online, so you can see what is cheap this week in produce/meats.

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Be very wary of marketing.

Scrutinize pricing labels the way you would scrutinize an ingredients list.    Understand the difference between the unit price and the item price, and how they compare.   Don't make assumptions without data.  

Buy produce from the grocery store's "reduced" section.  Cut away any questionable spots and use the vegetables in soups or curries 

Watch local grocery stores to see if they mark down cuts of beef or fish as they get close to their expiry date.   A grocery store I don't usually visit does this in their fish department, and the markdowns are often substantial.  The fish often needs to be cooked that night, but the fish is typically half price.  Yes please!

Visit farmers markets and farm stands.    Many sell produce for cheaper than supermarket prices.  Buy in to a CSA to bring the price even lower.   Share a CSA membership with a friend or family member to bring the cost lower still.   In season, inquire about "seconds".   You may be able to buy a box of blemished vegetables in bulk for substantial savings. 

Consider buying a side of beef and an inexpensive chest freezer.   You'll pay less for the beef AND the freezer than you would buying that much beef, a pound or two at a time.

If you make a large purchase, such as a side of beef, ask the butcher if they will offer a small discount, such as 3%, if you pay with cash or a bank check instead of credit card. 

Use the whole animal.  Buy the whole chicken instead of chicken breasts.    Make stock from the carcass and anything left on the bones.  

Find a farm that raises grass-fed animals, and inquire about organ meat.  The same farm that sells grass fed filet mignon for $30/lb may sell beef heart, liver, or kidney for $3/lb.  Don't like heart, liver, or kidney?  Dice it small, chop it, or grind it, and add to soups, curries, and chilis.   

Keep an eye out in the meat department of your grocery store for scrap cuts (ends, etc) of turkey. ham, or similar lean cuts.  Use these in soup, or shave the meats over salad.

Tell butchers and fishmongers you are on a tight budget and looking for deals.  

Make friends with folks who hunt or fish on a regular basis. 

Grow your own, wherever you can, even if its just herb plants in an indoor window box.  

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