Meal Planning: Whole30 and Affordable Paleo

Today I start my first Whole30.  Although really, until the past few months I was doing Whole30 almost all the time.  The hardest parts so far (in preparation) has been widdling back out the small amounts of white rice, sugar (stevia, honey, and agave), soy lecithin and seed oils that I’ve become lax on.  I never eat them in quantity, but after over a year living Paleo I know that “trace” quantities in some mainly Paleo-friendly foods don’t hugely affect my system.  But, they’ve all been creeping back in to a point where I really need to kick them back out to adjust my system and retrain my taste buds.

I thought (and a couple Tweeples did too) that it might be helpful, for those of you who aren’t sure what Whole30 is or how to implement it, to see what our shopping lists, meal plans and plates looked like.   From the shopping we did this week, we’re able to plan out two weeks’ worth of food (although we will have to get a few things next weekend).  Our planned dinners are as follows:

6/13 Monday: Kids eating leftovers, adults Intermittent Fast
6/14 Tuesday: Grilled chicken kabobs (squash, pineapple, onions) with kale
6/15 Wednesday: Spaghetti (squash with organ meat and ground beef sauce)
6/16 Thursday: Breakfast for dinner: Duck Egg Scramble
6/17 Friday: Thai Basil Beef with cauliflower rice
6/18 Saturday: Dinner out for Company summer party
(will get more eggs, lettuce, berries, and apples from Famer’s Market Sat, est $40)
6/19 Sunday: Dinner out for Father’s Day (Brazilian Steakhouse)
6/20 Monday: Stuffed Zucchini with pureed turnips
6/21 Tuesday: Meatloaf (organ meat), mashed cauliflower and sautéed turnip greens
6/22 Wednesday: Fajita roll-ups (grilled flanksteak, squash,  onions)
6/23 Thursday: Pork backbone, applesauce and roasted cauliflower
6/24 Friday: Hamburgers, with guacamole, sweet potatoes and salad
6/25 Saturday: Kids with family, date night!
6/26 Sunday: Leftovers or hotdogs
6/27 Monday: Breakfast for dinner: Make your own omelets
6/28 Tuesday: Curried carrot soup with grilled chicken

I’ll keep track of my breakfasts and dinners and try to report back so that you can get a full picture of what my week really looks like.  Breakfast will be the following on repeat: greens, eggs and meat (bacon or chicken sausage) or a smoothie.  Lunch is even more so: Salad with chicken breast or canned salmon or leftovers.

In order to prepare for the above, here’s what our grocery list looked like (don’t be scared, you don’t have to go to so many stores – it’s what we’re used to doing):

Farmer’s Market ($42):

  • 3lbs apples
  • 1/2gallon raw apple cider (kids)
  • 2qts strawberries
  • 4lbs yellow squash (keeps a long time)
  • 4lbs baby zucchini (keeps a long time)
  • 4lbs cauliflower (keeps a long time)
  • 1bag arugula
  • 4dz pastured chicken eggs

Trader Joe’s ($44):

  • 1qt blueberries
  • 1 pineapple
  • 2 lemons
  • a metric ton of Bananas
  • 2 bags of TJ’s new “bits and pieces” from their fruit leathers (kids)
  • Olive oil
  • Uncured bacon bits
  • Coconut, hemp and almond milk
  • 2 bags frozen spinach
  • Frozen wild tuna steaks
  • Dates

Costco ($187):

  • Carrots
  • Baby Carrots
  • Nitrate-Free Chicken Sausage
  • Antibiotic –free chicken breasts
  • Flank Steak (2)
  • London Broil (2)
  • Wholly Guacamole (3 pack)
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Canned wild salmon
  • MaraNatha roasted almond-butter
  • Pecan, Walnuts, Almonds (bag each)

We already have (leftover from other weeks) 1 bag of kale, 2 bunches of turnips, 1 spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes ($22).  We also have natural hot dogs, duck eggs, beef bones, ground beef, beef liver, and pork backbone from Polyface ($89).  Matt will be able to make homemade granola, jerky (London broils) and a huge batch of applesauce.

For 17 days, 5 people* our cost to feed a person is $4.98 per day (including carrots with guacamole, apples with nut butter, and berries with coconut milk for snacks).  That’s less than feeding them 1 meal at a fast food restaurant.  And this food is both healthier for us and the environment!

Does it take work?  Yes. Does it take time? Yes.  Are we healthier as a result? Yes.  If you’re considering Paleo, the only question that’s really left is, are you willing to take the time to do the work in order for your health to benefit?

*we often feed 7 people because uncle +1 in the basement, which balances our “eat out” nights

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  • What do you put in your smoothies? I’m tired of eggs and spinach for breakfast–need a change!

    • I usually have frozen fruit around (right now I have blueberries, pineapple, banana, and mango) and mix and match them with coconut and almond milk and especially hemp milk. I like banana, mango and pineapple smoothies. Stacy loves one with almond butter and banana. I also do strawberry blueberry and mango blueberry.

      There are tons of paleo smoothie recipes around. Stacy recommends the non-whole30 almond joy smoothie from lifeasaplate.

    • OOh, coffee, coconut milk and frozen bananas are also awesome 🙂

  • Sarah Brown

    Thanks for sharing, interesting stuff. I’m recently back to work after mat leave, so am considering how to better manage my sudden decrease in time for supper prep. I do love cooking (which is new since paleo!), so will probably do some bulk weekend cooking…

    • Matt also bulk cooks on Fridays because we provide food for my grandfather and deliver on Saturdays.  He’ll usually do hard boiled eggs, jerky and a faux granola or muffin batch too.  Having those healthy Paleo snacks ready and available are KEY to our success throughout the week!

      Good luck when you go back.  Definitely make bigger meals so you can have leftovers for lunch. 

  • Shirley @ gfe

    Great post! I love the Whole30 concept. Love the new photo of you all, too. 🙂


    • Thanks Shirley!  You’ve gotta get a feed going from your posts into Twitter, it’s my only source of keeping up these days 🙂

      Thanks for noticing the photo, too.  We’ve got a new header coming soon but I just really needed some site simplification!

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  • nice, i’m also on 30 day challenge

  • Genevieve

    I heard a rumor that Costco carries Almond Butter but I’ve never seen it any of the ones near my house… But now that I see you can get it, I’m going to bug my local stores to carry it!!  Thanks for this.

  • Brett

    I wish I had that much money to spend on our groceries.  We have $200 a month for our family of 5.  That is $1.33/person/day or $0.44/person/meal.  Would love to see someone plan a Paleo menu plan on that :).

    • Kassie

      I do it just fine with Paleo on a budget like that. You really have to do your homework and shop around.

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