Food Budget


aph

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Hi all. I was not quite sure what heading to put this question under, but here goes. Does anyone have percentages of their monthly income that goes to Whole 30 groceries? I saw an example on a budget calculator that suggested 5% to groceries. I spend more than that. I am just curious. I feed a family of 5 and seem to always way outspend my friends. I am always looking for ways to cut back, but feeding 5 is quite costly. I have even thought of buying all "regular" meat and produce for a week just to see the difference in costs. I currently buy mostly organic and all farm meats or wild caught seafood. Thanks!

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I think there are so many ways to do this plan successfully without breaking the bank. You could do a W30 and do all of your shopping at Walmart and/or costco. You do not need to go all out and buy grass fed and organics to improve your health significantly. I probably would keep buying the wild caught seafood because it is so superior to farmed. Your friends are probably buying processed carbs which are very inexpensive and not at all healthful so I wouldn't compare your budget to theirs. Watch for sales and stock up when you can.

One of my favorite sayings is "pay the farmer now or the doctor later". :)

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It takes between $5 and $7/person per day (depending on protein quality and cooking fats) to feed my family Whole30 style. That said, we don't do a lot of recipe "extras" like almond and coconut flour, coconut aminos (every once in awhile) or premade guacamole, etc.

ETA: I live in an area where there are several grass-fed and natural farms and the prices for those items only increase by $1.50-$2 per pound over the "quality" conventionally raised options. Example: grass-fed ground beef here is $4.50-$6/lb compared to $3.50-$4 for lean conventional ground beef.

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I spend WAY more than that. Probably close to 12% of takehome when I'm on a whole 30. I justify it by spending nothing going out to eat and not buying any wine. I buy only organic produce and all grass fed/farm raised/wild caught stuff. I really would like to drop this back down to 6-8%, but I have gotten spoiled by my farmer and have read and watched so much about factory farming that I just can't go there anymore. I will give up many other things before I go back to the way I used to eat.

I also married a man that eats for a family of 5, so that is NOT helping.

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OMG, I dropped $400 at Whole Foods yesterday morning. Granted, I bought 1.5 pounds of crabmeat for a special occasion dinner, plus a bunch of pantry staples (coconut flour, almond meal, coconut oil), etc. but....I think that there is definitely a learning curve here for me. I can get frozen organic vegetables and making one crockpot of beef stew with $20 worth of grassfed beef gets me about 8 meals. So, I will stick to those recipes.

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I'm finally getting my spending back to slightly more normal. BUT my husband isn't here eating with me. Once he's back, all bets are off.

Full disclosure: when he's here and it's both of us NOT on a Whole 30, we're looking at $100 a week or so. He eats a lot. When it's just me not on a Whole 30, it's usually $50 or less. With me on a Whole 30 right now, it's been $80 or more a week. BUT this week I finally have enough leftover bits that I should only have to pick up a few items (please, store, have coconut oil this week!) to last a week.

I don't know. Usually I keep my budget down with beans (always soaked 24+ hours in water/ACV...I make a huge batch at a time when I do and freeze it, and those are sitting in my fridge making fun of me for not eating them), but for now, I just grin and bear it.

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  • 1 month later...

Before Whole30, I averaged $50 a week on food for just me, which is a little more than 10% of my take-home pay. Now, I'm struggling to stay within that, so I think I need to cut back on the quality of my meats... I'm going to prioritize getting high quality eggs and seafood.

I'm also going to try beef liver for the first time today... If I like it, that would be a godsend, because I know it's good for me, AND grass fed beef livers are like $1 each at Whole Foods.

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I currently buy mostly organic and all farm meats or wild caught seafood.

Perhaps you could buy cheaper cuts of organic meat? I'm having mostly beef mince and stewing steak based dishes because they're the cheapest cuts. I'm developing quite a repertoire of stews (and slow-cooked curries too!).

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I spend a lot on groceries, A LOT, but as long as I can make it work in my budget, I think this is a good thing: I'm lucky enough to have a little money to spend, so I would rather spend it on farmers growing those foods I want to have in my marketplace. Americans spend way too little on food, and you can tell by the quality of our food system. Time to invest in better quality.

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I find myself shopping 2-3 times a week, spending more than $200. And this is for 2 people only! But, since I started whole30 we have had one meal out - and that meal cost nearly a weeks worth of groceries! Buying all organic and grass fed is certainly not cheap, but I do believe that I am worth every penny. :-)

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I am looking for some assistance. I join the Whole30 family on 24 March 2013 and I am looking for suggestions and help with eating more healthy foods and keeping my blood sugar nomal. I am a diabetic and I am finding myself hungry more often than usual. I don't like a lot of foods, but I am learning how to try to eat differently.

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Hi Wanda, are you following the meal template? http://whole9life.com/book/ISWF-Meal-Planning-Template.pdf

General advice is you shouldn't need to be hungry on a W30. If you want more specific advice about following a W30 as a diabetic there's quite a few threads and quite a bit of advice in the forum 'Whole 30 with medical conditions' good luck

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am chalking my inability to break the $80/wk threshold (for one person) up to living in the city. I biked out to one of the year-round farmers markets last week -- one of the best in the city -- and I was disappointed to find that the most inexpensive grass-fed ground beef available was $8/lb. I pay $5-$6 at a nearby organic market or at Whole Foods. All the veggies were more expensive than I can find in local supermarkets, too.

Anyone else in Seattle have some tips? I'm mostly eating ground beefs because I can't afford much else, expect maybe the occasional stew meats, when on sale. I'm not a fan of pork, so those cheap cuts are out for me. I just couldn't find any humanely raised pork available at our local markets. Costco is too far for me, and apparently the one nearby is a zoo on weekends. (I try not to drive unless it involves shuttling our two large dogs somewhere.)

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I also struggle with this. I feel a family of four adults, me; my spouse who eats a LOT of food; my 21 and 23 year old sons, who consume like a gigantic swarm of locusts. I keep detailed records of what I spend (since I just retired this year and I am working on mindful spending) and so here's the first week of April:

4/1: Trader Joe's: $123.09 (Mostly for frozen side dishes like fried rice, polenta, etc that I can dump on their plates along with the meat and veggies.

4/1 Natural Food Coop: $57.25 (Most fermented foods and bulk items)

4/3 ShopRite 138.22 Meat, dairy items for the family, household stuff, bottled water (Gerolsteiner)

That's all in a full week: That's 318.56.

The second week in April:

4/8 Hannaford $37.50

4/10 ShopRite $83.11

4/11 Large meat order from grassfed/pastured farm (84 lbs. of meat roughly at $6.50/lb) $141

4/13 Price Chopper $121.34 (mostly a large lox and bagel spread for family and three guests plus some staples)

Total: $382.95

Part of my problem is that it would be cheaper if my whole family just ate what I ate! I have to buy "my" stuff AND their stuff!

Looking at it above in black and white, the meat is actually the cheapest part of what I buy. I don't do badly at the farmer's market when I go, either. *sigh* I have no easy answers.

Pea

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I can't afford much grass-fed meat. Ground beef is $10/lb at Publix. I buy organic produce at a local all-organic market, but their meats, too, are very expensive. I can't see paying $10 for a 2.5 lb chicken. No farmer's market to speak of, we are the major grower of winter vegetables for the country, and our soil is nothing but sand, so all of it is loaded with chemicals. And you can't source pastured anything in a place that has no grass.

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Maryann, Inyoni farms has nice greens and zuchinni and he is certified organic. He has a stall on 3rd st and Vanderbilt road every Saturday. I try to buy from him and Food and Thought. I can't afford the grass fed beef at Publix or WF at $9 plus dollars a pound but Costco has grass fed ground beef in a 4lb package for $16.99(lil over $4 a pound) and they also have organic whole chickens for $2.49 a pound and two chickens costs around $23-25. I kinda balked at first but I can use a whole chicken to make stock and use the meat from that to make a huge pot of chicken soup that equals several lunches for us.

Jimmy P's sources good pork but at $15 per lb.. no thanks, even though it tastes like heaven. I splurge like once every couple of months and buy two pork chops from them. I like their beef bones for making stock. I still need to hit up the Asian market on Pineridge to see if they have chicken feet, if not then I will just buy online. Chicken feet makes for some divine stock.

I've also started gathering stuff to start container gardening. I wanted to join Colliers Community Garden but I swear half the people in this town are wishy washy. I've sent several emails and they've said they have plots available but never answered any emails regarding whether I can rent one for the growing season starting in October. Annoyed!

Florida does have pastured beef, piggies and chickens but the sources are too far of a drive. Northern parts of Florida have better land for raising animals.

Florida is great if your a tourist but it sucks monkey balls for residents, especially in the southern parts. People think we are lucky to live here, if only they knew how frustrating it is, especially when trying to source the type of foods you'd rather put into your body. I hate when people to say to me, "OMG you are lucky, perpetual sunshine!".

Ugh.. okay I will stop ranting now...

/sigh

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It takes between $5 and $7/person per day (depending on protein quality and cooking fats) to feed my family Whole30 style. That said, we don't do a lot of recipe "extras" like almond and coconut flour, coconut aminos (every once in awhile) or premade guacamole, etc.

ETA: I live in an area where there are several grass-fed and natural farms and the prices for those items only increase by $1.50-$2 per pound over the "quality" conventionally raised options. Example: grass-fed ground beef here is $4.50-$6/lb compared to $3.50-$4 for lean conventional ground beef.

This is about right where we come in cost wise to feed our family of 4. I spend about $600-$700 a month on food including oils, etc. We eat very little food outside the house since starting eating this way.

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I know I am spending way too much right now, but we are not eating out for lunch and weekends now, so I figure this month will balance out. I also 'donated' my play money back to the house this month to cover a bit extra. Hoping to figure out how to lower the cost for next month as I really like eating this way I.e. eating my food values.

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We have a lot of food in the house that might not be convenient or highly favored by anyone, like the odd cuts from out last big bulk purchase of beef. I think I am going to declare a food moratorium for the next week and just cook from the panty and freezer.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tonight I will be making steak (for all of us), polenta with veggies (for family), frozen veggies and raw arugula salad for me.

Pea

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Omg! I am so envious of you all that can get grass-fed ground beef for $4-5 a lb! It costs upwards of $8 around here.

And a free-range chicken that's allowed to eat whatever it wants? Over $20. Easily! Two dozen pastured eggs at the farmers' market is $9.

I am going to ask my parents to look out for the grass-fed ground beef for me (and themselves!) next time they go to Costco.

I do think it's less expensive to feed everyone the same. For sure. At first I figured I'd do this myself first but now I'm realizing that if we were all eating mostly the same food I'd be spending less on the other stuff I usually buy.

I can't believe how much money I spent yesterday on food. I need some of that $4/lb grass-fed ground beef! It's gonna be all ground meat and chicken thighs next week for sure.

I keep telling myself we are saving money because I'm not going to the coffee shop and buying lattes for me and baked goods for my kids, I'm not getting take-out and I'm not buying all the dairy I used to buy (which was a lot and grass-fed).

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