Whole Foods Lifestyle - For those who follow a whole food diet how much do you spend a wk on food?




Dendrobate
06-14-2009, 09:07 PM
I know this is probably a really stupid question but it seems that all the food that's actually good for you is a lot more expensive. DH and I have four young children and we are on a budget so I was wondering approx. how much a week do you spend for an adult who follows the whole foods lifestyle? Also, if you have children who follow the same "diet" of whole foods, how much do you spend on their food a week and what age are they? We have a 10, 9, 4, and a 2 year old. I would like to convert them to a much healthier food plan. I want to convert myself but I am still learning and wondering the cost. Thanks!


nelie
06-14-2009, 10:07 PM
I don't have kids and I generally have a few splurge items so it really depends but in a month, I spend around $300 for 2 people.

I was reading a blog of a mother and child who follows a whole foods diet and her goal is to spend $3.33/day and she does it.
http://melomeals.blogspot.com/

Bulk is your friend if you have good options. Co-ops and Whole Foods generally have decent if not excellent bulk food sections.

Asian markets if you have them again are good options. I can walk out of an asian market with 5 bags of groceries for $20. We have korean markets but also some Indian markets. Oh and spices are definitely cheaper at the Indian markets.

zenor77
06-14-2009, 11:55 PM
Well, it can be more expensive, but it doesn't need to be. A cheap whole foods diet can be a little bit more work in the kitchen, which I think is totally worth it!

Like Nelie mentioned, hit the bulk foods section! Brown rice is not more expensive than white and dried beans are always economical. Have you seen how much food you get out of two cups (1lb) of dried beans? A ton!

The more you make from scratch the cheaper your grocery bill will be. I make all our bread. I used to make yogurt before I started working full time too. Things like whole grain muffins, biscuits, etc. I make from scratch.

As far as produce is concerned, if you shop in season things will be cheaper. Instead of buying the same vegetables you always buy, why not try buying those that are cheapest (which usually means they are in season and fresher.) Buying at farmer's markets or joining a CSA can prove to be cheaper, depending on where you live.

I think the way to make a whole foods lifestyle cheaper, is to sometimes think outside the box. You don't always need a slab of animal protein, a starch, and a vegetable. One pot dishes and vegetarian meals can really help stretch a budget. You'll also be amazed at how much you can save when you don't buy lots of junk like soda and chips.

I think DH and I spend around $200 a month (no kids), but that includes things like toilet paper and we really like wine and micro brewed beer, so that adds a lot.


CountingDown
06-15-2009, 12:00 AM
Just DH and I with an occasional child dropping in. We buy a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. With the soymilk maker, rice maker, yogurt maker ,crock pot, and microwave, we are able to make a lot of our foods from "scratch" Even with two pets, our personal care, cleaning supply and food budget is about $200=$250 per month eating a whole foods diet.

Me Too
06-15-2009, 01:47 AM
I would like to hear more about your soy milk maker, i have been thinking about getting one.
i have some cheap meals in between more expensive ones, like one night i will have my favorite dinner which is a sweet potato and a can of green beans, then next night maybe a large salad with stir fry veggies with wild rice.
like mentioned i buy a lot form our local co op like bulk steel oats, beans, bulgar, and so on.
we don't eat out much, and I don't buy meat or junk food, mostly shop in the produce section fo the store.
eating well doesn't have to be expensive.

nelie
06-15-2009, 09:50 AM
Me Too - You can make soy milk without a soy milk maker. I've never done it but have heard of others who have. I've thought about making various nut milks or grain milks but I never do it. I don't mind paying for the convenience though of boxed milks.

Me Too
06-15-2009, 10:50 AM
I have watched several youtube videos on making soymilk, just seem kind of fun to try.
I guess you canmake any nut or grain milk the same way.
thank goodness i have an old vitamix.
wonder if it would be as good as Silk, which has gone up in price here lately.

Thinfor5Minutes
06-15-2009, 12:33 PM
For the OP: Tosca Reno has several good books on Clean Eating, and one is a book for families with children. I'd recommend checking it out; I know it's available on Amazon.

festivus
06-15-2009, 02:11 PM
I'd like to learn more about your grocery lists/quantity etc. My grocery bill for my husband and I comes closer to 400 than 300 (including cleaning stuff etc). What am I doing wrong?

nelie
06-15-2009, 02:42 PM
festivus - What do you normally buy? Do you buy a lot of convenience items? Normally my grocery bill climbs when I buy more splurge/convenience items.

I also don't buy meat so that isn't an expense for me.

festivus
06-15-2009, 03:07 PM
I typically buy per week:
a large container of yogurt
1 or 2 loaves of bread
Almond milk
strawberries
cucumbers
tomatoes
thick oats
feta
hummus
pita bread
salad
onions
bananas

Otherwise, I buy per recipes I plan on making, protein will vary, as will other veggies. It seems to add up so fast. But I'm still building up some pantry items, various flours/oils etc.

chickiegirl
06-15-2009, 03:14 PM
I'd say for two adults we're usually $125 to $150 a week. That includes "junk" food and pork products my BF eats (which I don't) and things like organic milk every two weeks at $9.29 a pop.

BUT, the numbers are also driven up because we buy a lot in bulk and I do buy fruit and frozen organic veggies, even though that can get expensive. I think I bought nine boxes of WW pasta the other week because it was on sale for something like $1.57 a box.

Last week, we had so much food in the house I only spent $50. I'm still trying to figure out how to do this on a budget.

We have joined a CSA for the summer and my first pick up is tomorrow, so I can't wait to see what we get. Supposed to be average of nine items for 18-20 weeks and that was $440. All organic for $23-$25/week. I've heard it's a great, local route to go for saving cash and eating organic.

chickiegirl
06-15-2009, 03:17 PM
I also don't buy meat so that isn't an expense for me.

This is an expensive contribution to the grocery bill. Not even x-lean ground beef. It's the naturally raised chicken (no antibiotics) and turkey that are so expensive. But they are the lean meats. *sigh*

nelie
06-15-2009, 03:19 PM
Have you thought of making hummus? Its pretty cheap plus tastes better.

For your salad, are you buying packaged salads or lettuce?

We usually go through 1 loaf of bread every 2 weeks and otherwise don't really buy bread. We do go through about 1 large container of soy yogurt every week. Various veggies/fruits we buy at the asian market/farmer market and then beans and lots of beans :) I still buy some stuff from Costco like frozen berries but I've found some better deals on other stuff and its fresher.

festivus
06-15-2009, 03:38 PM
Have you thought of making hummus? Its pretty cheap plus tastes better.

For your salad, are you buying packaged salads or lettuce?

We usually go through 1 loaf of bread every 2 weeks and otherwise don't really buy bread. We do go through about 1 large container of soy yogurt every week. Various veggies/fruits we buy at the asian market/farmer market and then beans and lots of beans :) I still buy some stuff from Costco like frozen berries but I've found some better deals on other stuff and its fresher.

I buy my frozen fruit at Costco - my husband and I have a smoothie every morning for breakfast. I have thought about making our own hummus, actually. I haven't tried it yet though. I bought a can of chickpeas last grocery trip so I can try it. I get my salad and some of my produce from my CSA, which is $15 a week.

CollegeGirl
06-20-2009, 08:24 PM
There are 3 of us and we spend 90 a week on food, but that includes some convenience and splurge items such as filet mignon that we had for dinner tonight YUM!!

digitalrequiem
06-23-2009, 11:52 PM
I just learned that the amount of your grocery bills really depends on where you shop.

I was in Atlanta this weekend and I visited the Dekalb Farmer's Market....things were so much cheaper than my normal co-op or grocery store. Most of their veggies were 1.99 or less a pound and all of there fish and meats were dollars cheaper per pound then what I normally pay. However, the real difference was seen in the spice section. I bought five 1-cup round containers of loose spice mixtures for about $0.50 a piece. Yes, that cheap.

For the curious, I bought: regular Garam Masala, a Garam Masala mixture for meats, Hot Indian Curry, Chinese yellow curry, and hungarian sweet paprika. Did I mention that I love Indian food? lol.

Anyway, my point is that my normal grocery bill in Tallahassee is about $150-200 for 2 people per week. At the Dekalb Farmer's market, it would probably be reduced by at least $50 a week because of the difference in food costs. I really miss the farmer's market.. :(

chickiegirl
06-24-2009, 09:35 AM
Anyway, my point is that my normal grocery bill in Tallahassee is about $150-200 for 2 people per week.

Thank goodness someone's numbers are higher like mine. I was wondering what I was doing wrong to be so far off everyone else!

CollegeGirl
06-24-2009, 02:16 PM
Digital, I live in atlanta and we do all of our produce shopping in that farmers market and those like it!! I love love love going there, its more fun to me to shop for food than clothes now!

LandonsBaby
06-25-2009, 02:40 AM
This is an expensive contribution to the grocery bill. Not even x-lean ground beef. It's the naturally raised chicken (no antibiotics) and turkey that are so expensive. But they are the lean meats. *sigh*

Oh goodness, yeah. Meat, eggs and dairy are the biggest expensive for us. I'm looking at getting organic, free range meat from a local farmer and that is going to cost me even more. I spend at least $400 a month for two of us, and he eats out quite often.

Thighs Be Gone
07-02-2009, 12:51 PM
We have a family of four. My budget includes all household food/sundries expense--including gas and is $200 per week. If I really tried, I could probably drop it to $125. We eat tons of fresh produce and fish and eggs. Turkey is also one of our favorites. We do however, buy on sale. We eat what is in season and cheapest that week. I love summer!!! We do not eat red meat at all.

We rarely eat out but if we do, it also comes from above budget.

men7al
07-02-2009, 01:00 PM
I have a daughter and she loves junk food..SO if I suffer everyone suffers..I think there should be a bummer sticker that says"oh mommy is doing other diet and we are all going to die" LOL

so far..I buy fresh food and stuff..I don't know how to cook lol..than I have to see online how to cook it..beets wtf..is not as bad..but I did lose 2 lbs this week and I have to say..I ordered slimforce7 and so far..will wait to get rip off like millions did.
my list is apples.plums,banannas,oranges,spinch lettuce..all the crap you wish tasted better lol.

But..I have to say I spend more buying fresh..for some reason fruit is NOT CHEAP..nor veggies.less than 200 bucks and when I buy junk is 110 bucks.I used to be 115 lbs before I had my daughter and gained weight bc..of stress/work blah blah..than I hit my mark 145 lbs..and my goal is to lose it even If I have to die trying lol jk..

nelie
07-02-2009, 01:03 PM
men7al - do you have an asian market in your vicinity? We are lucky to have quite a few good ones and I can tell you that produce is cheap. It is not unusual for me to buy tons of fruits and veggies for under $20.

Thighs Be Gone
07-02-2009, 04:21 PM
ditto nelie...

I buy whatever produce is on sale. There is always something in season, nice looking and pretty cheap. My favorite? Maybe not. Healthy all the same.

tommy
07-02-2009, 06:33 PM
Agreeing as well that if you buy what is not only in season but on sale you can really come within budget. For example- blueberries are touted as wonder fruit, but at least in Southern California they are at best $2.50/small basket, which is one serving. Watermelons can be had for $4/decent sized one and yield 20 servings. When I see neighbors with fruit trees (in So Cal that is very common), I offer to trade a plate of cookies maybe for some picking. Usually they are not even using much and say "just take some". I get my limes and lemons this way. Also having a good knife and learning a few basics can take you a long way. Buy a bigger piece of cheap lean meat (for beef something like top round or eye of round), slice up in cooking portions and freeze for future. Granted if you are going organic or grass fed it is harder, but remember the grocery store butchers are mostly union- don't pay $50/hr for a few minutes of cutting. I totally agree on the Asian markets- though organic is not even a concept there. Farmers Markets if you shop selectively can get you organic cheaper.

BUT........the BIGGEST problem is buying stuff you do not effectively use. Planning is key, making soups out of veggies before they go limp or pre-cooking them (simmer in broth or just water) will allow you to toss them in food and keep their best qualities; slicing and freezing fruits before they get over soft, etc

giselley
07-06-2009, 01:47 PM
I don't buy meat either. Knocking that out of the grocery bill really reduces the cost.

wendyland
07-14-2009, 05:55 PM
I spend $125 - $150 a week for a family of five, but my kids are fairly young. 10, 5, and 2. I love getting produce and eggs from the farmers market, but I mostly shop at Trader Joes or a big chain store.