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I was issued a grocery challenge – grocery shop at Whole Foods Market on a budget, by shopping for my family of nine for under $250. I don’t back down to challenges, ever, and I love puzzle-piecing things together to work in our favor. Find a piece of meat on sale you’d love to take home and use, but you don’t know off-the-top-of-your-head what to make with it? We did our best to walk each aisle of the store just after the tour, to jot down sizes, prices, and ideas.
I know folks naturally assume that Whole Foods Market is more expensive over-all, but, to be honest, it isn’t in all cases! I encourage you to visit your local Whole Foods Market with a pad of paper and pen in hand, a few of your old receipts from other stores, and simply COMPARE. Tip #2 – 365 Everyday Value is the Whole Foods Market store brand that helps save you money.
Tip #4 – Did you find something you need, but the package is too much for the recipe, and you’re concerned about waste? Tip #13 – They offer Sure Deals, too, which are items on sale for an extended period, usually about month or two.
Welcome to Crazy Adventures in Parenting - the fun-filled, crazy life of Lisa Douglas, an Army wife raising seven kids. If you just started following a low-carb diet, don't forget to read my free Guide to Keto & Paleo Diet which includes a print-friendly PDF version! Eating healthy without breaking the bank or spending hours in the kitchen can be a real challenge, especially if you are new to this way of eating (WOE). Disclosure: This post as well as my other posts contains Amazon affiliate links (no other affiliations). Here is a fabulous tutorial from Paleo Plan that explains the whole process of buying local meat.
Here is a complete seasonal chart for each month in North America (vegetables, fruits, meats and fish).
I have Tesco and Sainsbury's member cards and use them to get special offers on foods and home delivery.
Also, shopping online will keep you from buying unhealthy foods or from buying more than you need.
Apart from coupons, there are also special offers, such as buying 3 packages of tomatoes for the price of two. All kinds of low-carb sweeteners, baking essentials, oils and even kitchen appliances: check our my US Amazon Store.
Lidl, Aldi and other budget-friendly grocery stores have good deals on keto-friendly products such as nuts and full-fat yogurt.
Please, feel free to leave a comment with your own tips on where you buy keto-friendly ingredients. Whether you follow the fat fast, intermittent-fasting (IF) or a total fast, you are likely going to eat less and spend less in the long term. Food waste is not just affecting your wallet, it's a global issue contributing to environmental damage and increasing carbon emissions. I often end up with large amounts of meat gravy and animal fat when baking or slow cooking meat. I have a special bag in my freezer and collect all the vegetable scraps and bones until it's enough to make bone broth. Some people can cook anything from available ingredients while others need to make a plan to avoid wasting. I do my shopping every 7-10 days from the supermarket, monthly from the farm and whenever needed from online stores (every 2-3 months). Whether you use an app for your shopping list, or a piece of paper, it's up to you - both will do the job. I grow basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, sage, mint and even stevia. Instead of spending money on expensive ingredients, consider buying a good quality blender like Vitamix as it will pay off in the long term if you make your own ingredients. Desiccated coconut and coconut milk - Here is a great tutorial from Audrey of Homegrown & Healthy on how to make them from desiccated coconut. To cook these cuts well, you should get a pressure cooker or a slow cooker - that's how you get delicious meat that falls apart! As with all meat, opt for unfashionable cuts which are reasonably priced and delicious when slow cooked - the same rule applies to all red meat (lamb, pork, etc).
Organic eggs and chicken can be quite pricey, especially if you buy them from a supermarket. Some oils last for a year or more (most saturated fats) while other last for just a few months (most PUFA).
To get the best value for money, use coconut oil for making treats such as fat bombs or eat it as a supplement - right in your mouth!
It's not just the extra costs but also the misleading labels and unhealthy ingredients these products are often laden with. Here is my list of good deals in the US and here is one for the UK (my Amazon affiliate stores). Baking essentials: baking tray, parchment paper and wax paper, cooling racks, silicone spatula and wooden spoon.
Salad spinner - makes it easier to drain your lettuce but it takes space and may be unnecessary. Always have keto-friendly foods at hand to make quick meals: eggs, cheese (if you can eat dairy), cream (or coconut milk), butter (or ghee), non-starchy vegetables, avocados and meat.
Meg: "I have a whole Evernote notebook devoted to egg recipes I find around the web just for ideas (even the ones that are not necessarily LC).
John: "Being single and living in an apartment without much freezer space I can't stock up much. Using quality, healthy, yet often unappreciated foods, shopping smart and effectively planning your meals (so you can use any delicious extra left overs creatively!) we have knocked the cost of eating healthy down and boosted the flavour up! A full week of healthy breakfasts, lunches, dinners and a variety of snacks for you to try and love! Be sure to consult with a medical professional before changing your diet or fitness regime! Whole grain brown rice offers fiber and vitamins and is a low cost ingredient to build a meal around. Use the rice you’ve already purchased for last night’s dinner to make this savory breakfast!
Like other dark, leafy greens, collards are a super food even though they don’t get as much attention, plus they are affordable! You don’t need to follow a precise recipe to make fruit, making it a great choice to utilize any odds and ends of leftover fruit, nuts, and grains you have laying around. Use this recipe as your guide, but feel free to substitute any diced veggies you have on hand. Tofu can be a great inexpensive protein to start your day, even if you aren’t a vegetarian.
Simply bake a potato in the oven or microwave and top with last night’s dinner to really stretch your dining dollar, save time, and eat healthy foods to keep you going!
Thighs are some of the least expensive chicken pieces and also offer nutrients not found in white meat. I love seeing how far I can stretch a dollar and make a seemingly difficult task made easy (or easier). On average, we spend about $200-$250 at other grocery stores already, to include the on-post commissaries. We found out that their 365 Everyday Value brand is pretty comparable to brands you are already buying. Some meats were priced more than double what we were already paying (which, again, reeeeally made me wonder, just what the heck kind of meats were we buying from other stores!?), so instead of using two pounds of ground meat for a recipe, I cut it down to one. I think you will find their prices are a lot closer than you may have believed, if they don’t beat what you’re already paying!


See the end of this post for $100 Whole Foods Market gift card giveaway to help get you started!
There are approximately 2000 products in-house with the 365 Everyday Value brand, and growing. Ask them to repackage the item to the size you need (say, for instance, already packaged cheeses). Similar to other stores, this sale involves the purchase one product to get several other related products for free! Call ahead with your order, and they’ll not only do that for you but devein your shrimp! Here she shares humorous parental war-stories, yummy homemade family-friendly recipes, craft tutorials, hilarious family videos, and so much more. You will find all the information you need, including the keto food list and tips on how to follow the diet to achieve your goals.
I am lucky that I'm one of those people who don't have to worry about satisfying their basic nutritional needs and food for them is easy to get.
This is how it works: whenever you buy a product by using these links, I get a small cut from Amazon which helps me run this blog. If you buy your fruits and vegetables from a supermarket, you'll never learn what is seasonal.
It's not rare to see fresh strawberries in February or pumpkin in June on most supermarket shelves.
Any long-life products (almond flour, flaxseed, coconut flour, Erythritol, stevia, etc.) and meat (in the freezer). I am not a fan of shopping and spending hours at supermarkets, so I don't mind paying a small fee for home-delivery every week. Every time I shop online, I get new coupons on foods I frequently purchase and even some additional sales (on cinema tickets, etc.). It includes free one-day deliveries on selected items and many other advantages as free home movies.
My favourite coconut milk is Aroy-D which tastes amazing but DOESN'T "cream" in the fridge and is not suitable for all recipes. Surprisingly, it's not the supermarkets or farmers wasting most food - it's us, the consumers! Depending on what I plan to cook, I make sure that all the short-life foods (berries, some vegetables, fresh meat) are used within the next few days OR that there is enough space in the freezer to store them for longer.
As a food blogger, I have to plan all sorts of recipes in advance and I find it very useful. I haven't used the stevia plant yet but I'm planning to try and make my own stevia sweetener. No excuses, Nom Nom Paleo have great guides on how to make bone broth in both pressure cooker and slow cooker. I never buy flax meal and instead I buy a large bag of flax seeds to blend or grind until powdered. Frozen berries work in most low-carb recipes, even sprinkled over your morning low-carb granola! In fact, my favourite cuts include oxtail, brisket or pork shoulder which are all reasonably priced.
Even if you are not too keen on eating liver, you can always mix some into your minced meatloaf or meatballs! Also, avoid fish high in mercury and consider sustainability issues - always avoid farmed salmon and think twice before buying shrimp. Instead of using coconut oil for cooking, opt for ghee (find out how to make it yourself) or animal fat such as tallow or lard. I buy all sorts of tea on Amazon and I even make tea from herbs I collect where I live (rosehip, lavender, lime tree, mint, etc). You can try all sorts of berry & herb infused water drinks - try adding mint, rosemary or basil! An immersion blender is useful not just for smoothies, soups and veggie mashes but even for making mayo! Cut any vegetables and place them in mason jars or other containers to make a simple salad and have them ready in your fridge.
Buy fresh vegetables that are in season (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, kale, spinach, etc.) and blanch them until half done but still crispy. Whether you use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker (takes significantly less time), you can make large amounts of meat ready to be used throughout the week. Avoiding restaurants and takeaways will not save you just money but also unwanted ingredients. Depending on the availability of keto-friendly meal plans, you can always pay for a delivery service. Here are some of the recipes on my blog that only require a few ingredients and are easy to make. When I get home I slice off an inch, wrap that meat in bacon - sometimes stuffing it with cream cheese w onion and cooking it up.
As always, you can try the whole meal plan out or simple look through and try out a day or even just a healthy recipe that you like the look of. Simply slice a dill pickle lengthwise and fill with all natural hotdog (or sausage slices). We Aim To Bring You The Best Articles, The Latest Interviews And The Most Motivational Galleries.
Just scan the meat and it’ll give you a whole slew of recipes right there to print and take with you! Sames goes for potatoes, tater tots, and any other item above.) Does the way I did it make sense? I was SHOCKED, because sometimes I found that 365 Everyday Value BEAT store brands elsewhere!
It reminds me of the time we began drinking organic milk and eating organic eggs many years ago, you simply cannot compare the tastes, they are just so different. Now I have to doubt what we were getting, because the differences were HUGE (and I don’t just mean the price), but the TASTE, too. Or instead of doing a big pot roast, I made a big beef stew, using less meat and more vegetables instead.
But first, I’d like to share with you a few tips and tricks I learned during this budget challenge, to help you get the most for your money at Whole Foods.
There’s about to be 70 new 365 Everyday Value products for the freezer section to be released any time now.
To purchase something by the case, it is recommended to call your store ahead of time, and speak to the department’s specialist to ensure the product is available when needed. This special sale announcement gets sent out via email and Facebook blast, and is also located on flyers, too.
While you’re there, check out the fresh-ground peanut and nut butters in different flavors. Since their concierge folks know the store like the back of their hand, they can shop your list lickety-split and have it ready for you when you come!
Visit Kate at The Shopping Mama and her post, Tips to Save Money at Whole Foods Market, for another chance to win a $100 gift card!
Lisa's on a journey to savor every "small" moment, finding the humor and the joy in everything (even diapers and laundry). Amazon offers a free 30-day trial on Amazon Prime and Amazon Student is free for the first 6 months (50% off Prime after)! You can also buy coconut milk on Amazon (apart from Aroy-D coconut milk which is overpriced on Amazon). Even if you cannot use them before the expiration date, you can always freeze them for later (meat, some vegetables such as green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc.). Keep in mind that your plans may change from one day to another: You can be eating out or may not be hungry, so always make sure you can use your leftovers.


I always have vegetables, meat, fish, cream, butter and avocados and make various recipes by using different spices, pesto sauces, etc. I sometimes buy avocados that are not ripen and keep them on the kitchen counter for a few days. I bought a pot of each of my herbs from a local garden store and have been growing them for more than 4 months.
Simply collect all bones from meat in the freezer until you have enough to make bone broth. Focus on eating simple foods: eggs, meat, butter, cheese, seasonal vegetables and some nuts. If you are making nut meal (usually contains more fat and moisture than nut flour) like almond meal, pecan meal, etc., you don't need to pour warm water through the nut mixture. Best of all, blackberries are the lowest in net carbs and I often make a keto-friendly 5-minute ice-cream just like this one from KetoDiet apps (with blackberries instead of strawberries).
If using soft vegetables like zucchini or dairy like cream, add them in the last 30-45 minutes.
Whenever you've got a cut with bone, don't forget to reserve it for making bone broth later on.
Only animals that have been fed grass during their entire life can be labeled "grass-fed." What you really want to avoid is grain-fed meat from confined animals. Melissa from Whole9 has a comprehensive guide to sourcing fish, shrimp and bivalves which explains why wild-caught fish is not always the best choice.
The only disadvantage of tallow is that it solidifies fast at room temperature, so you really need to make sure you eat your meal hot. Their coffee is overpriced, the quality is poor and the serving size enormous (even what they consider "small") making people consume huge amounts of carbs when sugar and syrups are added. Additionally, you will be eating VERY clean, just like if you were to follow my 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge! A large slow cooker allows me to cook meat, vegetables and even desserts for the whole week. Cups are not the same in all countries and it's always better to use scales for certain foods. I use it in my keto wraps, on top of lettuce leaves, omelettes, in salads and with cooked veggies. It takes just a few minutes to make and adds a lot of flavour to salads, vegetables and meat dishes. Keep in mind that even if you get a completely low-carb meal, chances are it's cooked in vegetable oil. Natural Ketosis meal plans which I have reviewed in my post here, are a convenient and affordable option for busy people (beware that not all meals are paleo-friendly).
Since most recipes feed at least 4 I usually pick 3-4 main dishes and a couple side dishes and make sunday my cooking day. Feel free to swap like items for like items, depending on what’s on sale or what you have on hand. You can create a similar taste and texture as Greek yogurt by simply draining excess water in plain yogurt through cheese cloth. Top with a fried egg to add protein (though if you want to keep the recipe vegan as it is written, do not add egg). We were more than ready and willing to take on this challenge and make it happen, we just knew we needed time to really soak in everything they had to offer, and pour over their selection carefully. The indian rice nearly stole the show with the stew (but the tender, flavorful meat won), and the beef with broccoli knocked us out.
Last week we bought six 1lb blocks of cheese at $1.99 each, which beats our store brand’s regular price! Be sure to hit “download flyer” so you can view both the front and back to see the sales! I don't own all the kitchen equipment I listed in this post in which case I recommend them based on the reviews on Amazon. Crops are usually more expensive at the beginning of their season, as there are not as many available.
I rarely buy anything out of season - it's too expensive and the produce often lacks quality.
If you manage your own business, sign up with a wholesale retailer such as Costco and get all the benefits for a just small membership fee.
Now it's pumpkin season, so I'm going to make loads of pumpkin puree and use it throughout the year to make delicious keto-friendly recipes. I just pour it through a sieve to remove any pieces of herbs and use it for cooking just like I do with butter, ghee or lard.
After 1-2 days in a slow cooker and less than an hour in a pressure cooker, strain and refrigerate or freeze in small containers ready to be used in soups, stews or vegetable dishes (pureed or simply cooked in the broth).
Here is a useful guide to help you understand what you should be searching for when sourcing your meat. All they need is to be seasoned every now and then and their surface stays naturally non-stick without all the chemicals of the traditional non-stick pans. Apart from regular food containers, Alexis from Lexi's Clean Kitchen shows how to pack your lunch in a Mason jar.
Ultimate keto buns, Chocolate granola, Baked salmon & asparagus with Hollandaise, sweet or savoury waffles and many more are all convenient meals for busy people! This allows me to buy in regular size portions instead of having to pay extra for single portions. That way, I control the amount of oil utilised for frying vegetables and eggs, instead of trying to delve some out with a spoon. Then look no further than this great ‘budget-friendly‘ (low cost recipes) meal plan that will hopefully help you lose some pounds and reveal a flatter stomach! For example, if the recipe calls for broccoli, but you have another veggie you like on hand, go ahead and make the switch! Also, the meat prices weren’t exact above, I simply rounded for some of those, so my math might be off by a few cents above. I grew up in a village and we've always had our own animals: chickens, geese, pigs and rabbits. Even if the veggies don't look as appetising as 5 days ago, they are still tasty and nutritious!
If there are any meat juices left, wait until the fat solidifies and scrape it off the top. Ideally, you should get your eggs and chicken from your farmer who raises his chickens according to organic, free-range standards - no need for labelling! To maintain your cast iron skillet, clean with hot water only (no detergent) and wipe with a paper towel until dry.
Even if you don't have one, check out these recipes - some of them don't require an ice-cream maker.
I use zip-lock bags rather than containers and divide the vegetables into 1-4 portion bags depending on what I plan to use them for. My slow cooker has literally been a life saver since I've been busy working on my new cookbook, especially on those days I spend in front of my computer editing photos and writing the book. They also offer a complimentary curb-side pick-up, too, and they will also deliver within a two-mile radius. When I slow cook meat, I use the leftover gravy to cook vegetables such as cabbage - just like with bone broth. All I need is cabbage, a cup of bone broth and a pan to make a delicious side to meat dishes.
Products that are labeled "organic" must be accredited by a certification body and you should be able to find this on the packaging.




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