Budgeting and clean eating do not seem to go hand in hand. Most people think you have to choose one or the other. While it is true, you may not be able to do everything you want in the area of clean eating, it is possible to still eat healthy and stay on a budget. I was able to stay within my budget and complete a month on the Whole30. I feel great and was able to accomplish all of my goals while still being in compliance with all of the Whole30 Rules
Before we begin, let’s review the rules:
Also. check out the Whole30 Rules Vs. Recommendations.
- Set your Priorities
Now in the area of budgeting, setting priorities is important because when money is an issue, you simply can’t do everything. Some sacrifices have to be made. First of all, take a look at the rest of your budget. Is there any area that you can pull from to put more money to groceries? I would say, make your groceries your priority area. Investing in your health now will go a long way in the future, as you will be paying less on doctor bills.
With that being said, let’s talk about organic and grass fed meats and organic produce. This is a recommendations on the Whole30 and not a rule. This is one that can make or break your budget so I would seriously consider where your priorities lie when you begin and make decisions on what is important to you.
First of all, all priorities will be set based on how much money you have to spend on groceries. If you can’t afford to buy anything organic or grass fed, that’s ok! You are still going to experience the great benefits of the Whole30. If you do have some wiggle room, here is how I prioritize:
- Grass-fed/organic meats
- The Dirty Dozen Produce
- Cage Free and organic eggs
- The rest of produce
Again, choose what is important to you and where you feel comfortable making compromises.
- Meal Plan
Each week I sit down and plan out my meals for the week. I ask myself some key questions:
- What will I be cooking for dinners?
- What do I need for breakfasts and lunches?
- What staples am I missing in my kitchen?
I make a list based on those questions and the recipes that I am trying to make. Throughout the week, I am flexible with what I have each day but I pull from the recipes I have planned for the week. This goes a long way in budgeting and in keeping you on track for your Whole30 because you are most likely to cheat if you don’t have a plan or if you are hungry and have nothing “clean” to eat.
- Grocery Shop with a list
Now that you meal planned, you have your grocery list. Stick to it! This is so simple but hard for so many. If you are serious about budgeting, you can’t impulse buy, it will be the end of you. Ask yourself, do I really need this? Can I do without? If you can, don’t get it.
- Shop and plan with “In season” food
If you look for recipes that use produce that is not in season, you will be paying for it. On the same note, sometimes it is best to get fresh produce and sometimes frozen will work just fine. For example, if you are making a vegetable soup, chances are, frozen will taste just as good and you will save time and money! So make sacrifices where you feel comfortable
- Stretch your food before going back to the grocery store
Get creative with the food you have. Before heading back to the grocery store, look in your freezer, pantry and fridge and see what you can make with the ingredients you have. Some of the best (and worst) recipes come from people getting creative so use your food, don’t be wasteful and cook with what you have. If you don’t you will end up throwing a lot of good food away. For example if you cook a recipe that calls for ½ a head of cabbage, find another recipe that uses cabbage so you cook with it and don’t throw your cabbage away.
Likewise, double up on your recipes. A lot of times, this doesn’t mean that you need to buy twice as many ingredients; it just means you will be using the whole head of cabbage instead of half. Make you food in bulk and EAT your leftovers! This will save you time and money! Waste not want not!
The Whole30 can be done on a budget. It isn’t easy and takes some planning… but then again so does the Whole30. So set your priorities, know thyself and do your thing! Don’t let your budget stop you!