5 Keys to a Frugal Whole 30- Whole Foods for Less!
Whole30 is a choice to begin to live a healthier lifestyle and take better care of your body. I believe that this choice should be available to anyone, no matter income level. So, the Frugal Whole30 series was born!
Whole30 is a way of eating that involves ZERO processed or convenience foods. And, can therefore take a LOT of your time (and often, a lot of money) if you want to do it successfully.
I put this little prep guide together for those of you who REALLY want to make this shift of eating healthier, but feel that finances and your budget (or lack of budget) are keeping you from feeding yourself better. Wellness is one of our family values – and for me it’s mind, body and spirit. I totally understand wanting to include better eating under that umbrella. And, I think good and healthy food choices should be a human right – not based on wealth. So, enter the frugal Whole30 menu.
I want to make this as easy as possible. I’ll be including a couple actual menus I made for our family and a grocery list – including the cheapest ways to buy those groceries. So, stay tuned for that.
Right now, I wanted to get you started out on the right foot and help you to get some food prepped and ready to cook so that when 5pm rolls around and your kids are asking “what’s for dinner,” you’re ready to put together an amazingly satisfying but frugal Whole 30 dinner! (And, to not have you scarfing up your kids’ leftover chicken nuggets!)
PRE-PLANNING: PICK YOUR SHOPPING DAY
First things first, we usually do our grocery shopping on Friday. Pick a day that works for you. If you can swing it, try to do this without the kids. I’ve noticed that if we take our kids with us, it never fails that we end up spending more because the kids are asking for this and for that throughout the shopping trip. And usually it’s pizza, and cookies – not things I actually want in the house! If you’re able, leave those little beasts at home. If you don’t ever buy the cookies, then you won’t have anything to be tempted by in your house when you’re feeling like you might die if you don’t have some sugar. Like now!
STEP 1: MAKE A MENU
Seriously. You have to. But, don’t worry – I’ll be sharing a couple of menus with you in the next 2 weeks along with a shopping list. The work will actually be done for you. And, on Wednesday, I’m posting a video of my actual menu-making process which is guaranteed to cut your grocery bills! Once you get the hang of what you like, it will be easy to do it yourself!
Benjamin Franklin says, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This could not be more true when it comes to Whole30. You are going to go some very REAL sugar detox cravings. That sh!t is real, friends. Plan for it, so you’ll always have frugal Whole 30 compliant food ready to help you get through those super hard times.
One last tip, plan your menu according to what you have going on that day. If you’re the carpooling chauffeur on Mondays, don’t put an elaborate meal down for that night. Make sure it’s a Crock Pot or Instant Pot meal. Or, better yet, make or prep the meal the night before so you’re ready to get it all together in 15 minutes come dinner time!
STEP 2: GO SHOPPING ONLY ONCE A WEEK
This may seem strange to those of you who shop every evening after work to get fresh ingredients for your dinner that night. Don’t do it. You’re going to spend WAY more if you shop this way, then if you shop once a week. Trust me. We’ve cut our grocery bill by about $400 a month with this trick. Only shop once. If you forget something, than make due without it. Or borrow it from a neighbor – I’m sure they’d like to meet you anyway
STEP 3: SHOP AT ALDI.
I hope you have an ALDI near you, because ALDI has changed our lives and our grocery budget for the better!
Whether you buy organic (their organic selection is huge at this point and I’m able to get most of my grocery shopping done in one place) or not, ALDI has almost everything you need to succeed at Whole30.
Oh, and buy their organic, bagged, chopped kale. Trust me, you’ll eat so much more kale if it’s washed and chopped for you already. So, stinkin easy.
STEP 4: SHOP AT FOREIGN FOOD MARKETS
These are the places to buy things like coconut milk (at asian food markets) and olives (at middle eastern markets) as well as spices. Spices are MUCH cheaper at these markets than in the grocery store.
STEP 5: PREP FOOD AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK
I like to always make sure I have some potatoes and sweet potatoes cooked so they’re always available for me to eat for any meal of the day. I LOVE potatoes and they always leave me feeling filled up and satisfied. (Potatoes totally get me through the Whole30.) Cook them at the beginning of the week and you’ll always be ready for a satisfying treat. Even just potato and ghee with a sprinkle of green onions. YUM!
Make your own ghee. Seriously. It’s not hard. I promise. We cook down 2 lbs of butter at a time and put the extra in a mason jar in the fridge. Buying premade ghee will be a total budget buster. Buy the best butter you can manage with your grocery budget and cook it down. (You will need some cheesecloth to sift the dairy solids out of the golden goodness you end up with). We cook almost everything in ghee – eggs, veggies, potatoes, etc. So, so good.
Cook one of your dinners in the Instant Pot (or Crock Pot if you don’t have an Instant Pot) at the beginning of the week and then use this dinner on the weeknight that it’s nearly impossible to get dinner on the table. We ALL have those nights. This will totally set you up for success with the Whole30 as well as save your budget. You won’t be desperate for drive thru because you’ll have an amazing home cooked meal ready for you at home just waiting to be heated up! #momwin #momoftheyear
Alright, you’re ready to totally conquer your frugal Whole30 this year, all while cutting your grocery budget. Even if you’ve already started, these tips could help you get your next week set up to allow for greater ease, less frustration and more cash leftover in your pocket!
Get ready for the tiger blood my friend. It’s coming!