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

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Old 06-14-2009, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default For those who follow a whole food diet how much do you spend a wk on food?

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!
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:07 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:55 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:00 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:47 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:50 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:50 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:33 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:11 PM   #9
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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?
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:42 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:07 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:14 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelie View Post
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*
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:19 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelie View Post
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.
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