Whole30 Budget Update - Half Way Point

Well... we've done it... We're half way through our Whole30 and we've officially gone over-budget. We're "OK" with this based on a few reasons.

  1. It's an investment in our health.
  2. It's only 30 days. (We don't have to ever do this again)
  3. We may have overspent on buying meat in bulk.
Whole30 half way
Whole30 half way

Investment in our health

The education we're getting in cooking at home, not eating out, grocery shopping, reading labels, etc. is priceless. We're armed with more information about food, how our bodies react to food, and why we should stay away from ingredients we can't pronounce.

Until a few years ago, I hadn't given two thoughts about the food I was eating. Never. I just ate what I wanted, when I wanted. While I know now that getting started eating healthy can pretty much be a second job, it's worth it.

I'm starting to feel the benefits of feeding my body nutritionally. Yesterday afternoon (day 11) I realized that I actually had energy at 2:30 in the afternoon. Previously, this would be where I hit a wall and wanted nothing more than to take a nap.

I can start to feel myself becoming more productive during the day as well as have mental focus and clarity. All things I hoped to gain from going through this 30 days of no ice cream Whole30.

It's not that hard, and I haven't really had many cravings, other than just being bored with some of the staple foods that we've had on hand (chicken breasts, Wholly Guacamole mainly).

Our main issue at this very moment is waiting on a shipment of Tessemae's sauces. We prepared for the Whole30 by purchasing meat in bulk from a grass-fed beef farm, but we neglected to anticipate the need for sauces (BBQ, Ketchup, Mayonaise, etc).

Plain chicken breast gets pretty boring when you're eating it nearly every night, and while we'd like to spice things up with some steak, pork chops, or hamburgers (without the bun of course), we couldn't fathom making those things without some saucy-ness to go on them.

We're kind of stuck in a rut of needing to find, new easy to make meals, and being tired of cooking and cleaning all the time.

Our Whole30 Budget Part II

View the first post and our Whole30 spending here. Since then, here is how our spending has went.

Tessemae's $34

  • BBQ Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonaise

Hy-vee $74

Trip #1

  • Organic Mushroom Stock
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Jalapeno
  •  Baby Carrots
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Yellow Onions

Trip #2

  • Baby Carrots
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Lara Bars
  • Cashew Butter
  • Organic Baby Spinach
  • Organic Romaine Hearts
  • Cashews

Trip #3

  • Black Olives
  • Golden Sweet Potatos
  • Sweet Onion

Trader Joe's $22

  • Potatoes Roasted with Peppers (NOT WHOLE30 APPROVED)
  • Dry Roasted Salted Cashews
  • Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Frozen Asparagus Spears
  • Bananas

Menards $4

  • La Croix Cran - Rassberry Sparkling Water

Costco $51

  • Baby Carrots
  • Avocados
  • Organic Eggs 24 count (3 packages)
  • Organic Baby Spinach
  • Wild Planet Albacore Tuna

Whole Foods $48

  • Coconut Milk (Canned)
  • Strawberries
  • Banana
  • Avocados
  • Tessemae's Zesty Ranch dressing
  • Cashews (Salted)

Summary: The hardest part of shopping on the Whole30 is reading labels in the middle of the store. I've spent so much time googling "whole30 approved (fill in the blank with minor ingredient I can't pronounce). In the case of the potatoes at Trader Joe's (above) Kelsey read a few different packages and ended up grabbing something that wasn't approved.

I assumed they were approved, cooked them up that night, and about half way through, scanned the ingredients and found out we couldn't eat them... So... that was a waste of money. It's a struggle making this process efficient the first time around.

All in all Here's where our food budget sits during our first Whole30.

Part I Spending: $465 Part II Spending: $233

TOTAL SPENT SO FAR: $698 ($98 over budget)

I'm hoping that we severely over estimated the amount of meat that we needed for this month and that some will carry over into next month. But, even still, we're probably set for week 3 of our Whole30 but will have to buy even more groceries next week too.

whole30 smoothie
whole30 smoothie

And, Kelsey has lost a few pounds already (not the best when your pregnant), so we've added in some extra calories to her diet to keep her and baby growing at a healthy pace. Coconut milk, 1/2 avocado, banana, and a cup of berries adds 850 calories to her diet! (But, that's also pretty spendy... rough estimate... $5 per smoothie?)

I'm not complaining about this. Baby needs to grow, Kelsey needs to grow, and this is the best solution we've found to get in more than enough healthy calories. The complications that we've had with this pregnancy have already caused us worry, and then the news of weight loss was almost a deal breaker for us to finishing the Whole30. But, we took some time to strategize, and figure out the best alternative in the 850 calorie smoothie which is Whole30 approved, tasty, and a great caloric supplement.

The next thing we need to do is figure out how to balance eating healthy, having a life, and sticking to our food budget next month.

How do you balance being healthy and living on a budget?

You can read what Kelsey has wrote about our Whole30 experience here.