Our Whole30 officially started last Sunday – woohoo!
They said it would be hard and that there would be cravings, and to be fair, the kids have asked for either pancakes or mac ’n cheese pretty much every day.
But mostly, I just feel hungry.
I mean, sure, I scroll through Pinterest now and then and think, “Oh man, that looks good,” as I imagine how those fudgy brownies or gooey cheesy pizza would taste and feel in my mouth.
But cravings? Not really.
How I Budgeted for a Whole30 Meal Plan
At the outset of this thing, one of my biggest concerns was how much a Whole30 would cost in terms of food budget, and here’s what we’ve decided:
We’ll budget to spend $250 for the entire month.
That comes out to about $62 a week, which I think might even be hard to stay under, what with almonds, avocados, canned olives, and the cashews I just ordered to keep the kids from starving in the absence of cheap carbs.
Can we do it? We’ll see. Will it be worth it? We’ll see about that too. 😉
Spending money on food is hard for me. A few years ago, our weekly meal plan consisted of beans, brown rice, frozen broccoli, eggs, and chicken leg quarters. And that’s pretty much it.
We simply didn’t have the money for groceries, so we just did the best we could, spending about $20 a week.
When we started earning an income, of course, we started spending more on groceries, and for the last year or two, our budget has been right around $40 a week – typically coming in under that amount in order to save back some money to take advantage of stockpile-worthy deals.
And because of that, we ate pretty well as a family of four on $40 a week.
But now, the Whole30. Yikes.
How We Amended the Whole30 Plan to Meet Our Budget
We ate a pretty meat and veggie-heavy diet before, but with the absence of cheap carbs like brown rice and gluten-free pasta to keep the kids satisfied, we’re spending a lot more on almonds, cashews, and canned olives.
After mulling it over for quite a while, we’ve realized that right now, we’re just not going to have the perfect diet.
Grass-fed beef is hard to find, and a minimum of $5 a pound, which means that until we raise our own cow (hopefully this year), grass-fed beef is pretty much out of the question.
Same for every other kind of meat.
So, our imperfect diet will, for now, consist of the best meat and vegetable choices we can get for a reasonable price.
This week, we tried 80/20 ground chuck and were pretty disappointed. My husband is voting that we go back to 73/27 ground beef, and I vote for 93/7 because I hate all that nasty grease.
His choice is the cheapest, but I’m afraid it’s the least healthy.
So… I guess you could say our meat choice is still inconclusive.
Another note, thanks to the kids: You’ll probably find that our Whole30 incorporates more white potatoes than most others.
White, starchy carbs are not usually on an adult’s über-healthy food list, but again, these kids need more calories, and they can’t eat it all from meat (nor do I want them to!)
Our First Whole30 Grocery Trip
(Sorry for the lack of picture quality.)
- The big bag of grapefruit was an impulse buy at $5.
- The coconut milk was a just-in-case thing. I was planning to make salad dressing using cashews, but if it didn’t turn out, I was going to use coconut milk (the cashew version was delicious, though!)
- The olives are for snacks.
- The asparagus is for me – except for the two pieces I’ll make the kids eat. 😛
- The pork loin was on sale, and I couldn’t resist
- The ground chuck was also on sale, thankfully.
- The spinach cost almost $3, ugh.
- The sweet potatoes cost $.89/pound, and I got just over 3lbs.
- And five avocados, which my son has decided he no longer likes. Oh well, leaves more for Hadassah and me!
But I also ordered a three-pound bag of cashews from Amazon for $21.99, so we’re over budget.
Grand total? $72.07
In the printable area, I’ve added a printable grocery list that will tell you what you need for the menu below rather than what I actually got (because a lot of what’s on the menu is made of stuff I bought last week or the week before).
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Before we get to the actual meal plan, this is what we planned to eat, and for the most part, what we did eat, but Hadassah came down with the flu on Saturday, so we mostly ended up eating bananas and apple sauce.
On the upside, I won’t need to buy asparagus or chicken next week! 😛
Whole30 1-Week Meal Plan for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
- Fried eggs, oranges
- Fried eggs, avocado
- Breakfast quiche with potato crust
- Scrambled eggs, grapefruit
- Hamburger patties, grapefruit
- Sausage, hash browns
- Eggs, Grapefruit
The breakfast quiche was a huge hit with the kids! In fact, they didn’t even save any for me (I’m hoping to get the recipe posted soon).
And the grapefruit is a big hit too. They weren’t too excited about me buying it, and I really thought I’d be the one eating it, but no, they’ve eaten a grapefruit each nearly every day.
- Turkey/potato/kale hash
- Roasted chicken and sweet potatoes with sautéed asparagus
- Hamburger patties, cabbage/carrot/spinach/kale stir fry
- Eggs, pan-fried sweet potatoes
- Italian chicken and zucchini skillet
- Hamburger patties, baked butternut squash, salad
- Leftover pork loin, roasted sweet potatoes, Sautéed asparagus
I made the turkey/potato/kale hash for the Sunday church potluck, and it all got eaten, so I guess people liked it. The kids thought it was just okay, thanks to the kale, but I wanted to make sure they got a well-rounded lunch because there weren’t very many other Whole30-approved dishes in the potluck. To top it off, even though you’re not supposed to have dessert replacements, I took a packet of Beet-Fruit treats for their dessert so they didn’t feel left out while the other kids were eating chocolate cake. They were happy they didn’t have to share. 😉
I don’t have a recipe for the Italian chicken and zucchini dish, but it’s simply sautéing up some chicken breast strips and zucchini and then adding crushed tomatoes and Italian spices. Delicious!
- Pork patties, spiralized yellow squash and zucchini with Italian tomato sauce, and Brussels sprouts
- Turkey sausage, mashed turnips, and steamed broccoli
- Beef stew
- Slow cooker pork loin, sweet potatoes, salad
- Fajita Skillet
- Leftover Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Lemon and Garlic Chicken, green salad
I went digging through the deep freezer at the beginning of the week and found two pounds of ground pork from our last pig. It’s nice to have some relatively lean pork to make sausage with!
The mashed turnips were NOT a big hit. Gabe bought a 25lb bag of turnips a while back, and I’ve been trying to find ways to cook them that we all like and have yet to find one. Gabe likes them deep-fried like french fries, and the kids are okay with that as long as they’re covered with ketchup – which isn’t Whole30 approved.
- green smoothies
- apples with almond butter
Last week, we bought a large back of Almonds at Walmart, and this week, we finished off the last of it in the form of almond butter (which was incredibly easy to make!). That doesn’t bode well for our budget, LOL!
We also ate more green smoothies this week because salad with balsamic vinegar just wasn’t cutting it for me. Thus, the new Dairy-free ranch dressing (coming up Tuesday!)
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