EATS: Whole 30 for only $2 a Meal Average

If you know me, you know I love Whole 30. I’ve done it before a few times and I always have fantastic results! When I tell people about it, I usually get one of two responses. The first response is “Oh, that’s too hard!” and the second is “I would but it is too expensive!” I decided to do a one week experiment to see how I could eat paleo for 1 full week of Whole 30 for only $2 a meal or less on average.* I’ve included an in-season shopping list, how I broke the cost down, and when I ate what. When reading this, please keep in mind that I am a household of 1!

Whole30 for $2 a Meal

The Groceries

IMG_7067When I do Whole 30, I shop around the perimeter of the store. I’ll go through the produce section, the meat section, and then grab some eggs. Here’s what I bought for one week of groceries for 1 person at Kroger:

Fruit:

Apples
Strawberries
Bananas
Lemons
Mango

Veggies:

Bell Peppers
Tomatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Avocados
Squash
Spinach

Protein:

Salmon
Chicken
Bacon
Eggs

You can see I saved quite a bit of money by just using the Kroger loyalty program. My main savings were with the strawberries and the chicken breasts. Salmon was also cheaper than normal. I also got some more travel points which is one of the ways I get to travel so much!

Save more money with DOSH!
 

The Math Break Down

 Item  Cost  Servings  Cost per Serving
7 Apples  $3.99  7  $0.57
2 Strawberry Pkgs $1.98  8  $0.25
3 Bananas  $0.60  3  $0.20
3 Lemons  $1.00  3  $0.33
1 Mango  $0.99  2  $0.50
2 Bell Peppers $3.00  4  $0.75
2  Tomatoes  $0.55  4  $0.14
4 Sweet Potatoes  $2.32  4  $0.58
3 Avocados $2.37  3  $0.79
2 Squash  $1.01  4  $0.50
Bag of Spinach  $1.49  4  $0.37
Salmon  $5.61  6  $1.87
Chicken  $7.40  12  $0.62
Bacon  $4.29  1 piece  $0.33
18 Eggs  $2.79  18  $0.16

What I Ate and When with Price:

Monday:

Breakfast: 3 eggs ($0.48), 2 slices of bacon ($0.66), strawberries ($0.25) – $1.39
Lunch: Salmon ($1.87), Mango Salsa* ($0.30), 1/2 Squash ($0.50) – $2.67
Snack: Banana – $0.20
Dinner: Chicken ($0.62) and Sweet Potato ($0.58) – $1.20

Average cost per meal: $1.37

Tuesday:

Breakfast: 3 eggs ($0.48), mango ($0.50), strawberries ($0.25) – $1.23
Lunch: Chicken ($0.62), 1/2 Squash ($0.50), 1/3 Zucchini ($0.17), 1/3 Bell Pepper ($0.50) – $1.66
Snack: Banana – $0.20
Dinner: Salmon ($1.87), Mango Salsa* ($0.30), Sweet Potato ($0.58) – $2.75

Average cost per meal: $1.46

Wednesday:

Breakfast: 3 eggs ($0.48), 3 slices of bacon ($0.99) – $1.47
Snack: Banana – $0.20
Lunch: Chicken ($0.62), Tomato ($0.14), Avocado ($0.79), Spinach ($0.37) – $1.92
Snack: Strawberries (2 servings) – $0.50
Dinner: Chicken ($0.62), 1/3 Bell Pepper ($0.50), 2/3 Squash ($0.34), Mango Salsa ($0.30) – $1.76

Average cost per meal: $1.46

Thursday:

Breakfast: 3 eggs ($0.48), Strawberries (2 servings) ($0.50) – $0.98
Lunch: Chicken ($0.62), Avocado ($0.79), 1/2 Bell Pepper ($0.75) – $2.16
Snack: Apple – $0.57
Community Dinner: Turkey Patty ($0), Spinach ($0.50), Avocado ($0.79), Tomato ($0.04) – $1.33

Average cost per meal: $1.26

Friday:

Breakfast: 3 eggs ($0.48), 3 slices of bacon ($0.99) – $1.47
Lunch: Chicken ($0.62), 1/2 Lemon ($0.17), Spinach ($0.37), Strawberries ($0.25) – $1.41
Snack: Apple ($0.57) and Strawberries ($0.25) – $0.82
Dinner: Salmon ($1.87), Spinach ($0.37), Sweet Potato ($0.58) – $2.82

Average cost per meal: $1.63

Saturday:

Breakfast: 1 egg ($0.16), 2 slices of bacon ($0.66) – $0.82
Snack: Apple – $0.57
Early Dinner: Community Dinner for St. Patty’s – $0.00
Snack: Apple – $0.57

Average cost per meal: $0.49

Sunday:

Breakfast: 2 eggs ($0.32), 2 slices of bacon ($0.66) – $0.98
Lunch: Salmon ($1.87), Lemon ($0.33), Sweet Potato ($0.58) – $2.78
Snack: Apple – $0.57
Dinner: Chicken ($0.62), 1/3 Bell Pepper ($0.50), 1/2 Tomato ($0.14), Spinach ($0.37) – $1.63

Average cost per meal: $1.49

Tips for Food Prep:

  1. Don’t make complicated recipes. Instead, eat simple meals with protein and veggies.
  2. Prepare food beforehand. Cook plain chicken and divide up servings or divide up fruits for portion control.
  3. Always have food with you. Pack lunches and take snacks with you wherever you go.
  4. Don’t be a stick in the mud. As you can see from my week, I still went out twice with friends. We had dinner at home with TV or board games and I was still compliant.

Check Out What I Ate and When:

Get ideas on what to eat and when by checking out my weekly breakdown from the last time I did Whole 30. All 30 days of what I ate and when, complete with pictures, are posted here for a fast reference: 

Week 1 – Check out how I did in Week 1!
Week 2 – Look at all the great, real food I ate in Week 2!
Week 3 – Read about what I ate during Week 3!
Week 4 – I did it! See how I finished up Whole 30.

You can also follow me on Instagram if you’d like to keep up with me and what I’m eating and doing!

Have you done Whole 30? Do you have any advice or tips for people who are new to the program? Comment below to share advice!

Notes:
*The math behind $2 or less per meal is based on the average cost of 4 meals per day.
*Mango Salsa breakdown: 1/2 Mango ($0.49), 1/3 Bell Pepper ($0.25), and 1/2 Lemon ($0.16) = $0.90 / 3 servings = $0.30 per serving