Preparing for Whole30-CHEAP ideas


Taleena Ratliff

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Definitely watch ads for cuts of meat that are on sale, and ditto vegetables. There are often random things marked WAY down. If you get a ton of something that isn't going to be consumed right away, make it into something that can be frozen (for example, if I got a metric ton of tomatoes, I would make a huge batch of tomato bisque and freeze almost all of it).

Chicken thighs and whole chickens can be money savers, we can usually get flank steak and pork shoulder roast pretty affordably. If you have time, definitely spend a day price comparing stores to figure out where to get what. It's taken us almost our entire 30 days, but we've basically realized we should get produce at Costco, meat at Costco or Trader Joe's, nuts at Trader Joe's, and any herbs, spices or anything like that at our neighborhood grocery. Those are the places that have the best prices around us; I'm sure that varies a LOT place to place.

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Oh, also, eggs are a lifesaver when you're on a budget. So, definitely keep them in mind. We do scrambled eggs and a veggie OR scrambled eggs with DIY pork sausages and a veggie, OR an egg bake with veggies and sausages for breakfast every morning.

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Also keep an eye on target and wall-mart ads... They usually have nice produce and turn it quickly

Farmers markets are a great bet if you have them locally.... Also google your area for food co-ops

I eat a lot of fresh roasted turkey to stay on budget.... Look for local ads when they go on sale, usually they have them cut and sold in 1/2 breast or thigh portions, just make sure they are not from the " butter injected/basted/marinated types"

We have a local Penn-Dutch market, that is very economical , so look locally for large markets and check their coupon flyers every week....

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I'm with CAK911 on the eggs! they are cheap and filling. I have a reasonably small budget for food per week as well and veggie scromlets have saved me so many times. This being said tho I am a single girl so if I'm broke and a scromlet is all I can afford for a week, then that's what I'll eat. In that sense I dont have to worry about others getting bored or "over" whatever I make.

I've also found growers markets for fruit and veggies are usually cheaper than supermarkets most of the time. And ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken and pork) are all good options for saving money - and theyre versatile. you can combine them with a range of spices and make so many different things.

Good luck!

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Eliminating packaged foods and snacks will really save a lot of money. Some of the most expensive things are non Whole30 compliant ( cereals, breads etc). Focus on the veggies that are on sale each week and whichever meats that are on sale. Also, I suggest getting yourself a sharp knife and watching videos on youtube of how to cut up a whole chicken into parts (if you don't already know how). It is SO much cheaper to buy a whole chicken rather than just breasts. If you get comfortable cutting up the whole chicken you can use the breasts one night and freeze the rest of the parts.

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The slow cooker is your friend - you can buy the cheapest cuts of meat and slow cook them until they're scrummy. Mince meat is also pretty cheap, and quick too cook! Also sardines, a can of those as your protein is pretty cheap! Just buy anything that's on sale in bulk - there've been weeks where I eat broccoli or carrots of something for breakfast lunch and dinner lol!

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I'm going to put a plug in for cabbage. It is so good for you, filling, goes a long way, and is inexpensive. You could stretch a butternut squash by making it into soup. I haven't checked yet, but someone on here told me the best deal on coconut milk is at Walmart. While shopping at my regular old grocery store today I bought a 1lb bag of organic unsweetened coconut flakes for $3. Something like that is a good inexpensive fat source.

Roasted carrots with cumin are inexpensive and delicious!

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Yes, I love the peeled stem! Not to say that you can't eat it unpeeled, but it is very tender when you take the "bark" off.

When I was broke in college, we did a LOT of stir-frys. Sliced chicken or cheap cuts of beef with a bag of frozen veggies. Back then we used to use MSG-laden seasoning packets, but now I make do with just oil/ghee and chopped ginger or garlic. Marinade the meat in saltwater, or evoo, lemon juice, & herbs ahead of time to tenderize it.

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If you are going to steam the broccoli, don't bother peeling it - just go ahead and chop the stem up (no more than 1/4 inch thick), putting it on the bottom of a pot. Put the floret pieces on top of it. Pour in enough water to cover the stem bits, cover, heat to a boil, then turn down to low until the florets are that beautiful green color. It's perfect every time!

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Last night I made some hamburgers. I used 2lbs of ground beef, added an egg, 21 seasoning from TJ's, salt and pepper. I used a 1/4 measuring cup and formed the patties then browned them in coconut oil, removed them and added in onion, red bell pepper and mushrooms.. sauteed until tender then added the burgers back in with some chicken stock, covered and let cook for about 10 minutes, served with green beans and sliced tomatoes. My husband LOVED it and we had enough left for both of us to enjoy for lunch.

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Those are some great tips. A few more

1. Costco has great deals. If you've got a friend with a membership, you can get good deals on coconut oil goodcmeatscand more!

2. Amazon: you'd be surprised what you can get for less there!

3. Large cuts of cheap meats: brisket is a great cut, tasty, delivers lots of flavor and large quantity for less. It takes some time to cook, but you can eat on it for quite a while. Whole turkeys, are also pretty inexpensive when its not thanksgiving and they also have a ton of meat for the price, you can cut it up like a chicken an cook parts as needed, freeze the rest

4. Ground beef... In this case. Be careful, it's not always the highest quality meat. But if you can find an affordable meat source you trust, this is a really inexpensive option

5. Canned tuna, salmon. Great quick source of protein keeps well and is very affordable: check your labels though not all canned fish are created equal.

6. Veggies are not very expensive, but buy in season and you will get the best prices.

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I stroll past the meat fridges every time I'm in the supermarket to check for meat that's close to its sell by date and has been reduced.

I've become a master at slow-cooked stews. Stewing beef (that you have to cut up yourself) is particularly cheap here (Tasmania, Australia). I usually make a double-batch of stew and put the second in the fridge/freezer for another meal. One of the supermarkets here regularly has cheap pork, lamb and beef 'offcuts' which are irregular sized and slightly fatty pieces but stew up beautifully.

I shop around online and in person to check which supermarket/fruit & veg shop has the cheapest of my favourite veg (eg. avocados).

Also, try butterflying a whole chicken - I did it last weekend and produced the most moist breast meat I've ever cooked. Still perfecting my flavouring/seasoning on that one!

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I second the meat that is on manager's special because it is expiring. I have been known to buy out stores of their expiring meats. Also, opt for sweet potato and squash over most fruits, as they are cheaper.

If you have a grocery store or market that does any rewards or frequent buyer programs, participate in those too.

In the long term, if you stay on the paleo path, buying bulk meat is a tremendous way to save money. We have a half hog and quarter beef in our freezer and it has cut our food budget down more than anything else I've done. But, I know that's likely not going to help you in the immediate. We had to save a long time and use tax return money to pull off the initial expense.

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