• Weekly Meal Plan & Groceries from Whole Foods {Week 6}

    March 31, 2014

    Hi, guys!

    So, this is the final week of my grocery budget experiment. I had another successful shopping at Whole Foods and came in under budget, so my plan is to continue to shop there on a weekly basis with a trip to Trader Joe’s probably about once a month to stock up on certain items that tend to be cheaper there (i.e. nut butter, almond flour).

    I have to admit, I’m actually really surprised that Whole Foods can be so affordable. Of course, there are lots of tips and tricks for shopping at Whole Foods on a budget, but I thought they would take a lot of time, effort, and planning, which wasn’t the case in my experience. It was actually easy to save money if I put in the effort! My meal planning and coupon cutting maybe takes me 10 minutes each week, and it’s definitely time well-spent. That said, here’s this week’s grocery shopping and meal plan!

    IMG_2381 (870x900)

    Total: $75.29

    This week’s meal plan:

    • Sunday: Tofu Edamame Nuggets + steamed spinach + sweet potato fries
    • Monday: Savory Baked Chicken Legs (from Practical Paleo) + grilled asparagus
    • Tuesday: Chicken lettuce wraps
    • Wednesday: Ground turkey, kale, and sweet potato pasta
    • Thursday: Homemade pizza
    • Friday: Quesadillas
    • Saturday: Out to dinner

    Sunday Monday prep:

    Questions of the Day

    Are you participating in my Cookbook Challenge? If so, what cookbooks are you breaking out this week?

    Previous posts in this series:

    P.S. For the pug lovers: 16 Totally True Facts About Pugs!

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    { 38 comments… read them below or add one }

    Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork March 31, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    It’s unbelievable to me that you were able to get such great deals with only about 10 min of planning! That’s definitely inspiring to me that maybe we can do more shopping at WF.
    Question–this doesn’t seem to include breakfast or lunch (or does it and I’m totally missing it?). And what about snacks?
    Yes, thanks for the reminder about the cookbook challenge! Breaking into the gigantic “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” cookbook by Bittman that my brother got me for Christmas. (We’re not vegetarian, but are light on the meat and my brother said this is just an amazing all-around cookbook). This is right in line with one of my New Year’s goals, so it will help keep me motivated!

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    Tina March 31, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Our weekly shopping includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, and some green juices! 😄

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    Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork March 31, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    @Tina: That’s crazy! Thanks for the inspiration! Definitely going to try it out!

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    Jackie March 31, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I love that you’ve shown it’s possible to not break the bank at WF I always avoid it because of the prices!

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    Becky @ Olives n Wine March 31, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    My husband has actually been doing the cookbook challenge! He made an amazing quiche on Saturday for brunch and chicken enchiladas last night. I love that it is encouraging him to cook more often :)

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    Maggie March 31, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I love that broccoli-cauli soup from Practical Paleo! I made it last week!

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    Tina March 31, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    It’s really tasty! 😄

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    Samantha @ The Faithful Runner March 31, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I really love how you make it seem so simple to save so much money. Thank you for showing us your secrets. :)

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    Shel@PeachyPalate March 31, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Homemade pizza!!! Good call! :)

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    Victoria R. March 31, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Super pumped for the cookbook challenge! Time to do some planning. I’ll be using my two newest ones: Oh She Glows and Sprouted Kitchen.

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    Annette@FitnessPerks March 31, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Awesome that you were able to save and get the groceries you needed in under your budget. That rocks!

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    Allyssa March 31, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Where do you get the Tofu Edamame Nuggets? Or do you make them yourselves? They sound good!

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    Tina March 31, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    They’re from Trader Joe’s! 😄

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    Lisa @ Lisa Living Well March 31, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    What a great idea to experiment with your grocery budget like that. I should do the same with stores in my area.

    I am receiving Angela’s cookbook (Oh She Glows) in the mail tomorrow, so I hope to experiment with cooking from that for the challenge.

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    Kim @ FITsique March 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I’m breaking out one of my Rachel Ray cook books and making a pork tenderloin tonight! I’m so excited, it seems like such a fancy meal!

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    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 31, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I wish we had a Whole Foods around here for me to shop at! I think going into any store with a plan can help you save money – no matter what it is!

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    Jaclyn @ BumpSweat March 31, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Such a timely post. We went to Whole Foods for the first time in a long time yesterday (it’s a little bit of a trek from our house), and I would love to make it more of a go-to place. I was surprised we didn’t break the bank on groceries for the week by including that as one of our stops. I’m looking forward to going back and reading more about shopping there on a budget. Thanks!

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    Julie @ Coastal Runner Girl March 31, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I loved your grocery budget experiment! This is something that my husband and I really need to improve on.

    I think I’ll pull out one of my paleo cookbooks, yay! :)

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    Shelby March 31, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Your series really opened my eyes and gave me some great ideas. I hate shopping at regular grocery stores but have been doing so because of the price. This has helped me see that it could actually be cheaper to shop at whole foods, and a lot healthier.
    I’m still working on meal planning. I can barely come up with one dinner idea at a time.

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    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast March 31, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    We do a mix of Whole Foods and Trader Joes as well. Our grocery budget has definitely jumped since moving here this summer- I’m not sure if it’s WF, or a higher cost of living here (outside NYC) or my hungry pregnant belly. :)

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    Alex @ Kenzie Life March 31, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I’m glad things are working out so well shopping at WF! I don’t know if I have the willpower to shop there for everything anymore. During my last semester of college in Philly I had this amazing WF really close by, with a huge bakery that had a lot of vegan options and a fresh pasta bar, along with amazing local hummus (what’s the plural of hummus? I don’t know)–like pumpkin and chocolate! I spent way too much money there! However, I’m still on my Trader Joe’s high and it works for me right now, with a monthly trip to Whole Foods for certain items I can’t get elsewhere. Have a great week, Tina!

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    ERika April 1, 2014 at 2:15 am

    do you decide on all the meals for the week, or does Mal contribute weekly in your planning too? I find when my hubby helps with the planning it takes a lot longer than 10 minutes, especially if we are trying out new recipes :)

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    Tina April 1, 2014 at 7:40 am

    I usually do most of the planning, but Mal will suggest one or two meals for the week. I also only plan meals that I know he’ll like, so it usually goes pretty fast! :)

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    Amy April 1, 2014 at 6:28 am

    I am in for the cookbook challenge. I made Chinese Pork Dumplings from The Frugal Gourmet’s on Our Immigrant Ancestors. Such a great book for traditional foods prepared the way Grandma used to make them. I also have Whole Foods envy, there isn’t one within 4 hours of me!

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    Sophie April 1, 2014 at 6:41 am

    I love the fact it only took you an extra 10 mins to save extra money… it doesn’t have to be long but planning and being savvy makes a huge difference! Thanks for sharing the experiment :)

    Sophie

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    Megan @ The Skinny-Life April 1, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Wow I can’t believe you were able to conclude that whole foods was so affordable! I definitely believe that meal prepping is key to sticking with a budget and coupons too.

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    Sara April 1, 2014 at 8:46 am

    This funny infographic made me think of some of the discussions on here about trader joes vs. whole foods! I like “Will they notice if the food started out frozen?” Haha! It’s more for Washingtonians but still comical: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/trader-joes-or-whole-foods/2014/03/21/33a0232e-b144-11e3-95e8-39bef8e9a48b_graphic.html

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    Reynaul April 1, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Love this on Whole Foods! I love Whole Foods and I try to tell my friends that if you do it right, Whole Foods doesn’t have to be “whole paycheck”! :-) I am participating in the cookbook challenge and so far the books I have lined up to use is Curtis Stone’s cookbook, Giada’s Feel Good Food book and I picked up Oh She Glows yesterday at Costco.

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    Molly April 1, 2014 at 11:25 am

    What’s this?! – Ground turkey, kale, and sweet potato pasta – Sounds DELICIOUS! Post this recipe…please?!

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    Tina April 1, 2014 at 11:30 am

    It’ll be on CNC soon! 😄

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    Molly April 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    @Tina: :-D Hooray!

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    Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit April 1, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Broc-Cauli Chowder with Bacon sounds incredible!!!! I really wish I had a WF closer to me.

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    Susan S April 1, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    That is actually my “project” tonight. I’m pulling all the cookbooks off the shelves for a bit of reorganization and looking through for inspiration. There are some on the shelf that are going in the donation pile – they’ve been taking up space for too long!

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    Livi April 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    That is such a great deal! Whole Foods is awesome :)

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    Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) April 1, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by Whole Foods on more than one occasion. This week they came in cheaper than my previous week at Food Lion. For me it’s about sticking to the list, having a meatless meal or two and focusing on the perimeter instead of the interior aisles. I see how it gets a pricey reputation, but it doesn’t have to be!

    I’ve loved reading about your challenge! :)

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    Kinnereth April 1, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I still prefer shopping at Trader Joe’s. Now that I’ve read about your success I’m willing to put in the effort to try Whole Foods again. My husband jokingly calls them “Whole Paycheck” (he used to work there!)
    I am cooking from my cookbooks! I pulled out the good ‘ol Betty Crocker Cookbook to make my mom’s split pea soup. We have been having chilly, rainy weather and it just sounded perfect!

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    nickee April 2, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    So funny. I was thinking the same thing this past weekend. About how affordable WF was. I walked away with healthy groceries plus a fresh green juice for the week that totaled $60 (I was only shopping for one person) but that’s honestly how much I would spend at a regular grocery store too. It only gets really expensive if you start buying all the fancy and “in” stuff. otherwise its really not too bad at all :)

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    Chelsea April 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Very impressive budget! I would love to get our monthly food budget under $500; however, even with coupon clipping and shopping sales- we (two person household) always end up right between $550-600! I know you’re not drinking now, but prior to your pregnancy, did you factor in alcohol and toiletries into your monthly grocery budget?

    Reply

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