Most of us don’t have money trees growing in our backyard (and if you do, I want to be friends and I want your address!), so budgets and food costs matter while on Whole30 and in your post-Whole30 life of Food Freedom.
It is also important to be able to afford to live your Food Freedom the way you need and want to. I am all about working hard to stay on a budget and have been since the beginning. We are a family of five (three hungry growing kids and two adults) and we definitely have a food budget. Since being introduced to Whole30 in Fall 2016, I have been trying to find ways to follow Whole30 (and bring many Whole30 meals to the dinner table for the rest of my family) while not breaking the bank!
Over time, I’ve learned some tricks to continue cutting costs which has allowed Whole30 and Food Freedom to be a part of my life for the long haul. Here are my best tips and tricks – I hope they help you save some money while living the Whole30 life!
I am lucky enough to stay home with my kids which allows for a little more prep time in the kitchen. Prepping your own food, sauces, and other basics is a game changer for the budget savvy. It’s rare for me to buy veggies already prepped (chopped, diced, cubed, washed, spiralized or generally tied up with pretty bows etc.) Occasionally, if there is a sale, I will buy pre-riced cauliflower as a back-up veggie. The only thing I buy already prepped is the large containers of spring greens and baby spinach to use for salads. I eat salads with most of my meals (including breakfast!) I find that if I don’t have my greens ready to grab and go, I don’t eat enough veggies.
Make your own nut butter
Nut butters are amazing but can be IMHO so expensive when on a budget. I get a large bag of compliant almonds, use the food processor, some coconut oil and some salt. A few minutes later, I have several jars of compliant delicious fresh almond butter! It’s that easy!
Make your own bone broth or stock
Making your own nutritious and delicious bone broth is inexpensive and easy! I tend to use a fair amount of bone broth in cooking and also for drinking, especially in the winter months. Put water, chicken bones, veggie scraps, bay leaf and an onion chopped in half, salt and pepper in a crockpot and voilà – you will have bone broth after 24 hours!! If you don’t have chicken bones, you can often get them at a butcher for very little cost or even free. The recipe I use for bone broth is here.
Make your own sauces like dressing, mayo and marinades
Prepping your own stuff doesn’t stop with veggie! Homemade dressings, sauces and other basics are huge money savers. Every single week I prep homemade mayo and a salad dressing (usually dump ranch or a Waldorf type salad dressing). I love having them on hand to add as a fat or to make a sauce.
Buying pre-made marinades, salad dressings and mayo that are Whole30 compliant can quickly increase the grocery bill. Mayo literally takes about 1-2 minutes to make and marinades can also be quick and packed with flavor to mix-up the food boredom blahs mid-round. My personal favorites for dressings are Whole Sisters dump ranch and Waldorf dressing (although I use it on all salads). For marinades, I enjoy balsamic glazed chicken found here and for mayo use my own recipe found here.
Choose where you shop
I have a Costco membership and find that I often buy items in bulk because it saves tons of money. I buy most of my chicken and organic ground beef there along with coconut oil, Extra light EVOO and almonds. Check out this Costco blog post for tips and tricks.
Thrive is also a fantastic cost saving membership. You can get so many Whole30 and Paleo staples there along with other fantastic deals. You are able to get 25% off your first order when you sign up for a free trial membership with our Everyday Whole affiliate link.
Use what you buy
I used to totally overbuy when on a round of Whole30. I would have so many great recipes, get all the stuff and run out of time to make everything. I have found that when this is the case, I’ll plan a different recipe that isn’t as time consuming. I save veggie scraps for stock, chop up veggies that are on their last leg for frittatas, or get creative and put my ingredients into Google to see if there is another recipe I can make without wasting ingredients.
How do you save money while on a round of Whole30? Share your best tips in the comments!