A Whole30 Meal Plan Under $100 (And My First Vlog)
In this post, I talk about (a) the dirty dozen foods, (b) low-cost meals, and (c) a Whole30 week meal plan for 2 adults and 1 toddler. Below is the vlog you can watch as well! I am using a separate YouTube channel where I’ll share meal plans, grocery hauls, toddler activities, adventures in Montessori homeschooling, house projects, and more! I’d love if you subscribe!
I get asked about Whole30 a lot! Often, the holdup is that it’s too expensive. And it certainly can be more expensive than a meal plan that involves a lot of packaged items, breads, pastas, and so on. Whole30 includes a lot of meat, fish, and eggs; vegetables and fruits; and some nuts and seeds. It does not include any dairy, grains (gluten or gluten-free), legumes, soy products, added sugar, or alcohol.
It’s also important to buy the best meats you can afford, along with finding organic versions of the “dirty dozen”: currently, in the United States, this is the dirty dozen:
- sweet bell peppers
- cherry tomatoes
- imported snap peas
That means, if you buy those 12 things, you should buy organic. Again, buy the best you can afford; if that means avoiding the dirty dozen altogether, then so be it!
A while back, I started a document called “low-cost meals”. It’s changed a lot since I first created it, but ultimately, I break down some meals we enjoy and price them by ingredient. Some items are rough estimates (like a garlic clove is about $0.05), and other things, like “a pinch of salt” I just omit altogether because the cost is under $0.01.
If you put together a starter document, I suggest doing it after you meal plan then buy your groceries. That way, you can find prices that are specific to your area. Some places in the country (and world) have very different prices! I also share the prices for grass fed beef and organic chicken, and if you choose to buy standard beef or chicken, then your prices will be different.
Here’s an example of our “low-cost meals” document:
- ASIAN FRIED RICE
1 head cauliflower = $1.50
3 slices bacon = $0.50
2 eggs = $0.50
1 onion = $0.06
4 ounces mushrooms = $0.50
2 green onions = $0.25
2 tbsp coconut aminos = $0.25
Total = $3.56
- CRACKLIN CHICKEN WITH BAKED SWEET POTATOES
1 lb organic chicken thighs, bone-in skin-on = $2.99
1 lb sweet potatoes = $1.00
coconut oil = $0.15
Total = $4.14
- TURKEY CHILI
1 onion = $0.06
1 pepper = $1.00
2 garlic cloves = $0.05
1 lb ground turkey = $2.00
2 cans diced tomatoes = $1.18
3 tbsp tomato paste = $0.25
Total = $4.54
Those prices are for 3+ servings: 2 adults + 1 toddler DINNER. Usually there is enough left over for at least 1 adult’s lunch. Some meals (like the soups and chilis) make enough for 4 adults + 2 toddlers (or DINNER and LUNCH the next day).
THE MEAL PLAN
This meal plan has 7 dinners, enough food for breakfast for the week, and enough extra food to make a few lunches (when there’s not enough for leftovers). I also included some coconut milk, which I use to make lattès, and some extra wiggle room for a variety of fresh fruit.
Breakfast? I figured, for one week, I could have 2 eggs, 1 sweet potato, and a piece of fruit every day. I also included some chicken apple sausage in the plan, as an option for a breakfast side. We also eat skillet potatoes in the morning sometimes, so I wanted to include some potatoes for flexibility.
Each recipe is linked. A few of them are modified. (1) The sweet potato chili, I omitted the peppers, added carrots, and also added more sweet potato. (2) The turkey chili, I left out the beans, since beans are not Whole30-compliant. (3) The pizza spaghetti pie, I use ground turkey since it’s cheaper. I also use pasta sauce, not pizza sauce. There may be a few other modifications that I forgot about; if you’re not sure, just ask, and I can change this post to reflect my responses.
Here are the 7 dinners, with recipe links (as the breakfast and lunch ideas do not need any links):
- dried basil
- chili powder
If you do go through this meal plan, let me know how it goes for you! Comment below with any suggestions you have for low-cost meals that are also Whole30 friendly.