How I Save Money Doing A Whole 30

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Last Saturday I put together a meal plan for this month’s Whole 30 and headed off to Whole Foods and Raleys (our local supermarket) to pick up some groceries for this week’s eats. I find it super helpful to have a meal plan so I can make sure I have all the ingredients I will need on hand to cook all of my meals.

SIDEBAR ON MEAL PLANNING: I loosely schedule my meals on certain days based on what’s going on with work (long days = crock pot meals) or my workouts (evening workouts = quick meals where morning workouts allow for more time consuming dinners) but I’m not militant about it.

For example, I may schedule Taco Salad on Monday but if I get home and am more in the mood for coconut lime shrimp, it’s easy to change things up on the fly because I have ensured I have all the ingredients on hand because I made a meal plan, ya know? There’s nothing worse than getting home from a long day at work, starting to cook a dinner that sounds good and then missing an ingredient. UGH!

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Anyway, I mentioned last week that when we do a Whole 30 we usually spend less money on food. Some of you seemed surprised by that, so I thought I’d share a few of the reasons why:

1. I’m not buying any booze.

It’s not like during the other 335 days a year we are going bankrupt on the booze aisle or anything, but usually on the weekends we’ll mix up a specialty cocktail or grab a bottle of wine that looks good and is on sale at the grocery store. These little things add up, and I don’t do this type of impulse purchasing at all when we are doing a Whole 30.

2. I’m not buying snack/treat type foods

When doing a Whole 30 those Hail Merry Macaroons don’t seem to mysteriously hop in my Whole Foods cart like they do at times when I’m perusing the store. I am not tempted to pick up Glutino crackers and Cambezola on a Friday night as a little appetizer and I’m not keeping my favorite Krave (super awesome gluten free) Jerky around the house for snacking. There’s nothing wrong with those foods in moderation, but over 30 days, my spending on fancy cheese definitely decreases.

3. I’m not eating as much and not feeding my cravings

In real life, as I let sugar sneak into my diet here and there, I find that I need to snack every few hours. Generally when doing a Whole 30, because I’m very focused on balancing an abundance of vegetables, meat and healthy fats I feel very satiated. I literally find that about 10-12 days in I’m even eating smaller portions. Our food literally stretches further and I’m not craving a snack a couple of hours after I eat. All of those things have a downstream effect on our food budget.

4. We eat out less
This one sort of speaks for itself. We actually don’t eat out too often anyway, but a lunch here or there at work, weekend dinners when we don’t feel like cooking — all of that adds up.

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Anyway, with all that in mind, I thought it might be fun to document our grocery spending this month so you can see what we spend where. Tomorrow I’ll post our first Whole 30 Grocery Haul — what we shelled out and what we brought home. I thought this might be a fun peek inside our grocery habits this month and may give you some encouragement if you are afraid to do a Whole 30 just because you think it will cost a million dollars. We’ll see how it goes!

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