You’ve probably heard about The Whole30 by now. While your mileage may vary, I can testify that the Whole30 has changed my life. There is often a misconception that you’ll spend a fortune on specialty items at Whole Foods to be successful on a Whole30 reset. But, I’m here to tell you how to have an effective and cheap Whole30.
Meal planning is key.
Think through your week or month and prepare recipes that might use similar ingredients – if you’re buying celery to put in chicken salads, schedule a chicken soup night to use up the rest of the celery. I buy the huge pack of frozen cauliflower rice at Costco. I serve many dishes over it to increase my veggie intake – taco salads over cauliflower rice, Indian Butter Chicken over cauliflower rice, and I even throw it in chili too! If you want a deeper dive into meal planning go here!
My best deals come from Aldi and Costco. A great resource for shopping guides, like this one she’s published for Aldi, is Melissa’s Food Freedom. Just remember to take your reusable bags and a quarter for the cart if you visit Aldi. It took me a little practice to figure out how to maximize my trips to Aldi but I’m a pro now! We stock up on coconut oil, ghee, pantry staples and their produce is so cheap! Also, did you know that Walmart even has frozen compliant meals? So great for a busy night!
Learn your way around the bulk aisles.
The cost of an average jar of spices is $5-10 but if I fill up a Ziplock in the bulk spice aisle at Sprouts I usually save 75%. The bulk section is also a great way to stock up on nuts and seeds for cheaper than brand-name or packaged. And, you’re eliminating packaging waste!
Speaking of waste… Don’t waste any food. Duh.
The best use case here is how to get your value from a compliant rotisserie chicken, or even better, buying a whole chicken and roasting at home. We use our roasted chicken for chicken salad, buffalo chicken recipes, or just slice off a portion and serve with vegetable sides for a quick weeknight dinner. I pull off the wings and the legs and put those in my husband’s lunch box. Then, I make bone broth to use for soups and stews or to sip on by itself. It’s great for boosting immunity and who doesn’t want that in the middle of a pandemic? Check out this bone broth recipe. It can easily be frozen in a mason jar and pulled out of the freezer as needed.
Another way to get multiple uses out of your fresh spices and eliminate waste is to cut off the ends near the roots, pick out any droopy or old pieces, place in a mason jar of water, and top with a Ziplock bag and place in the fridge. This keeps them fresh for 2-3 weeks. I always use the whole batch of cilantro, basil, or fresh thyme. Another alternative is freezing them in ice cube trays for later use.
And, when it comes to fruit. Mika Perry has Berry Prep on lock. Trust! This technique keeps my berries fresh all week and we never waste any.
Lastly, re-purpose your leftovers. The roasted veggies you had for dinner can easily be combined with some eggs and almond milk for a veggie frittata for breakfast, for example. Adulting at its finest.
They exist for many Whole30 approved brands. If you are interested in checking out compliant emergency foods like bars, jerky or dressings, do your research (AKA Google) and you’re likely to find discount codes for your order.
Eat out on occasion at a fast-casual spot with compliant options.
As they say, the Whole30 is not hard. But it can be intimidating in more ways than one but don’t let fear of budget constraints keep you from what could be a life-changing reset in your (and your family’s) relationship with food.