30 Days of Whole30

My Whole30 Shopping Survival Guide

Image Credit: Gina Eykemans

I've already shared a comprehensive peek into my Whole30 experience. And this site has covered the basics, but now let's talk about one of the most important parts of the experience: grocery shopping.

I put together a survival guide with some tips and tricks I've learned along the way. In here, I share my shopping tips, with ways to mind your budget and cut costs, plus a few hacks to simply make life easier if you decide to follow this program. Let's do this!

Basic Grocery Shopping Tips for Whole30

So you've decided to do this thing. Now it's time to stock up on food, but where the heck do you start?

  1. Make a list. I know it sounds really basic, but making a list can be a lifesaver. Before you venture out into the great unknown, sit down and think about what you're going to be making for the week. Write out the ingredients you'll need for your recipes, and round it out with things to snack on, such as carrots, celery, fruits, and nuts. Your list is going to be your guide to cutting down on getting overwhelmed, and it takes some of the guesswork out of trying to remember what you can and cannot eat on-plan. It's way easier to tote around a grocery list than it is to tote around a large hardcover book. Trust me.
  2. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. As a general rule, the fresh stuff is going to be around the perimeter of your local market. This is where the produce, eggs, and meat live. In order to cut down on temptation, avoid venturing down the middle aisles that contain the processed stuff. It's way too easy to get grumpy once your eyes lock with a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
  3. Save some time by purchasing some Whole30-approved staples. In general, the Whole30 plan requires that you make a lot of your basics from scratch. Conventional mayonnaise is out (because it contains soybean oil), butter needs to be ghee, and traditional store-bought salad dressing is either full of sugar or vegetable oil, both of which are no-nos. However, there are some brands that are Whole30-approved that might help you save time if you don't care to make everything from scratch.

Whole30 Condiments and Staples

Image Credit: Gina Eykemans

Budget Tips for Whole30

One the biggest concerns people have when starting Whole30 is how they can make it fit into their budget. I get it; it can look daunting when you're at the meat counter and they're trying to get you to take out a bank loan in order to afford a grass-fed steak.

Luckily, there are some tricks to make this part easier. Here's what I've learned to do.

  1. Take advantage of Costco: If you have a Costco membership, you can really put it to work during Whole30. I was shocked to see how many organic vegetables you can purchase there, and at such great prices! Aside from veggies, make sure to check out their deals on things like grass-fed ground beef or wild-caught salmon. I always make sure to pick up some Wholly Guacamole, avocado oil, nuts, almond butter, and some Wild Planet Tuna. They also have two-dozen organic eggs for the price of a dozen. I'm always really impressed with how much I can get done here, and for a reasonable price tag.
  2. Buy inexpensive cuts of quality meat: Like I said before, the price of grass-fed meat can look a little daunting, especially if you're looking at some of the more prime cuts. You can get more bang for your buck if you stick to things like ground meat, chuck steak, and stew beef. Ground beef is super versatile, and tougher cuts of steak can easily be made tender if you have a slow cooker or a pressure cooker on hand. Spring for a whole chicken instead of buying individual breasts and thighs. This saves money and feeds my husband and I for a few days. Plus, I can use the bones and the chicken back to make my own stock; it's the gift that keeps on giving.
  3. Know your bulk bins: I think the bulk bins tend to be overlooked, but I find some great deals on things like shredded coconut, raw almonds, and cashews. Often it's much cheaper to buy these kinds of items from the bulk bins at your local health food store than it is to buy them pre-packaged. Look into it — you might find some gems!
  4. Make things from scratch: I know I mentioned some brands that make Whole30-approved products in the shopping section, but if you're really trying to save on cash, you can do it by making some of your own basics. Things like mayonnaise, ghee, bone broth, coconut milk, and almond milk can all be made pretty inexpensively.
Image Credit: Gina Eykemans

A Few More Tips!

Image Credit: Gina Eykemans

If Whole30 is something you're thinking about trying, I hope these tips help you navigate it a bit better.

What about you? If you've completed a Whole30, what are the best tips and tricks that you've learned? I'd love to hear them all.