Preparing for Whole30-CHEAP ideas


Taleena Ratliff

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Back to the first page, I have to fight my dog for the broccoli stems.

One thing I was surprised not to see in this thread were the Asian supermarkets. In my experience they are more likely to have a clearance veggie section than most other markets. Often it needs to be processed (frozen/canned/dried/cooked) within a day or two, but that's where I find the most helpful deals. One place I like has a dollar rack, where I've scored goods like five cabbages for a dollar, five avocados for a dollar, a whole jackfruit (I actually detest jackfruit, but it's a dollar!), three pounds of zucchini for a dollar, etc.

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I have been buying my grass fed hamburger at my local co-op. If you buy a frozen pound of hambuger it's $6.99/lb and if you buy it unfrozen it's $8.99/lb. It's the exact same stuff. They apparently just charge more for the convenience that it's thawed and ready to use. But, I always buy the frozen for the savings. If I want to use it right away I fill my kitchen sink with 3-4" of water and soak the package in the water... it will be thawed in less than 30 minutes.

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One more tidbit... I noticed a lot of the meat at my co-op always came from the same few farms. Most of them are within about 2 hours from the city. I picked the farm I seem to buy from the most and looked to see if they had a website. Sure enough, you can buy directly from the farm and they make deliveries into the metro about every 5 weeks. I can buy directly from them and save over 25% off the co-op prices.

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Ditto Ditto on the Asian Market. I just recently discovered the ones here and I love it. The meat quality is WAY better but can be expensive, however for produce the prices can not be beat. I am also fortunate to live in a high ethics city so i can find good deals at my local Mexican or Persian Markets as well.

One saving tip I did not see posted here was COUPONS.

Search weekly for coupon match ups for Sprouts and Whole Foods. On Wednesday is double Ad day Sprouts its the best place to shop.

The past two weeks they have been running a Buy one Get one Free promotion, I was able to score Organic Lettuces and used .75 off coupons on both. Coupons for Organic and Produce are rare but they are out there, just keep your eyes peeled. Also I also meal plan based around the deals I can get.

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Another vote for frozen veggies, although check the weight because some fresh items at our grocery are actually very similar in price/lb as some of the frozen bags. My main market also has a $1 stand that can have great deals on not-so-beautiful produce. I'm usually able to pick up organic-something at 4-8 pieces/ $1 as long as I can be creative enough to throw a suprise fruit/veg into my weekly meal plan :) My biggest tip would actually be to use everything. Save all those little parts - a quarter of an onion, half a serving of leftover chicken, just a bit of unused coconut milk... and make a stew/soup/casserole for the weekend or right before payday. I scan my fridge every 10 days or so and use up all these bits with no particular recipe in mind. I joke with my husband and friends and offer them, "Saturday Suprise" or "Chicken Suprise" - turns out some of these have been their favorite things I've ever served them :) Long story short: You've paid good money for all this meat/produce, get your moneys worth!

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I love love love this thread. I love cooking big batches of stuff to save time because I'm so busy, but I can only eat chili or chicken madras so many days in a row before I get sick of it... so If I make a particularly large batch of something, I gladware some and put it in my freezer. When I'm getting low on food or time, that way I have backup meals, and that way I don't have to eat it all the week I make it :)

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I love love love this thread. I love cooking big batches of stuff to save time because I'm so busy...

I love it for 2 reasons. The tastiest meals I make take ages to cook, so making a double or triple batch saves time. Also, it's great to have something easy in the freezer for those days when you just can't be bothered to cook - without resorting to take-away. Pre whole-30 it used to be bolognese and pasta. Now it's usually stew & something.

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I also feed a family of four---all adults and all big eaters. I need to tighten up on the budget as I have retired this year because of health issues and I'm still young, only 57.

So far, I find I can cut corners by buying lots of bags of frozen veggies at WalMart. That helps with the veggie part. I buy coconut oil when it goes on sale at the local coop, and also buy my raw nuts from the bulk department at the coop. I'm the only one who eats nuts and I don't eat much of it.

I have done the bulk meat thing locally. I buy with two other families and we get 100% organic grassfed beef and pastured lamb for about $9/lb. packaged weight. This compares to roughly $13/lb. average cost if bought at the per piece rate at the farmer's market: $9 for ground meat and up to $18 for steaks. I get my bones for bone broth for free doing it this way, and also can get the livers, the shanks, the oxtail, etc. at low cost.

Pea

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My monthly grocery budget is $300 for our family of 6. I do have part of a pastured pig in the freezer, so that gives me a buffer. We eat eggs & veggies for almost every breakfast. My biggest tip is similar to previous posters - plan your meals based on the best deals that week. I find the themed meals end up costing the most. Most of our meals follow the basic protein veggie veggie format. So a roast, green veggie, and a second veggie.

Also look at the amount of nutrition compared to the price. I love dates & pecans but they aren't a necessity and offer comparatively low nutrition per $/pound. Nuts, coffee, tea, and the sweeter fruits should all take last place on your shopping list.

Use every last bit of groceries. Broccoli stems, beet greens, the center of the cauliflower. Search for recipes if you aren't sure what to do with them. I'm trying to make myself peel fewer outer leaves off of Brussels sprouts, no sense wasting them because of cosmetic imperfections. Save your veggie peels and meat bones in a bag in the freezer until you have enough to make broth. (Separate bags for beef & chicken). Make everything you can at home - kombucha, water kefir, mayo, condiments, etc.

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I think one of the best things you can do for your budget is to reevaluate meals your family already loves. My biggest mistake in my first couple weeks was always looking for a new whole30 recipe. Sometimes, a plain old burger is best. Why break the bank with a recipe that has an ingredient list the length of your arm when you can dump some chicken wings and hot sauce in a slow cooker?

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