Can I REALLY Feed a Family of 4 Gluten Free Whole Foods on $45 a week?
Yes. Here’s How.
Can you imagine being able to feed WHOLE FOODS and GLUTEN FREE foods to your family of 4-6 (depending on age) for just $200 a month?
You’ve probably seen similar articles on how to feed yourself for $20, $30 or $40 a week, but most of those rely on not so nutritious foods. When you multiply it for a whole family, that’s still a lot of money! Also, what if you can’t eat gluten? How are you supposed to keep foods cots down while providing your whole family with nutrient dense groceries? What about the family who is barely getting by and trying to decide between 12 packaged pastries at the dollar store verses $3-$5 for a bag of apples? This might not be the cheapest meal plan around, (close to it) but it’s the BIGGEST NUTRITIONAL BANG FOR YOUR BUCK.
Simplifying also makes life easier when you’ve got financial stress going on. The last thing you need is to worry over which coupons will work with which sales.
This plan is also high on protein, which is great for keeping growing children satiated and giving them the proper building blocks for muscles and bones.
What you need to know:
- This plan will feed 4 people based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. If you eat less and/or you’ve got little ones or babies, this might stretch to a family of 5-6!
- Contains NO GLUTEN. Even if there isn’t any NEED for gluten free food in your family or group of friends, this is especially helpful for reducing cravings and minimizing digestive issues anyway. Read more about why we don’t need gluten in our diet.
- Approximately 1/4 of the calories come from protein, which is GREAT compared to most budget food plans.
- This is all whole food or made from whole foods. The few things that are “packaged” consist of whole foods put together for you in a convenient way to save you time. You can always make some of these from scratch to reduce costs even more if you choose to do so.
- You can make this dairy-free by changing the butter to avocados, coconut or olive oil (use coconut with heat) and getting rid of the cheese. (You’ll save a ton of money in other areas when you substitute coconut oil)
My prices are based on current prices at Aldi and/or Walmart in Southwestern PA.
- Chicken thighs and drumsticks 8lbs. $7.92
- Apples, 3lbs. $3.00
- Bananas, .44 cents/lb. or $2-$3
- Butter, 1lb. $2.69 (Avocados are on sale now for $0.49 each, so 99 cents for 1 lb of equivalent butter! Coconut Oil is $4.99 and lasts longer
- Eggs, 2 1/2 dozen for $5.60
- Potatoes, 10 lbs for $2.99
- Carrots, 2 lbs for $0.99
- Cabbage, 2 heads for $1.98
- Shredded cheddar or mozzarella, 1 lb. $2.99
- Rice, 2 lbs. for $1.50 (contrary to popular belief, white rice is usually better, the brown rice can act like gluten in our gut and mess with proper absorption of critical nutrients)
- Frozen vegetables, 3 bags for $2.67 (Broccoli is best and most nutritious. Frozen is fresher than “fresh” because the vegetables are frozen right after picking, preserving the most nutrients)
- Rolled Oats, 1 container for$2.39 (*Some who are EXTREMELY sensitive to gluten can’t tolerate oats due to potential cross contamination. In this case I would suggest quinoa for a more expensive and nutritious option, or use rice)
- Onions, 3 pounds for $0.69
- Corn tortillas, 120 for $2.97 (2 of the 60 packs)
- Dried beans, 2 pound bag at $1.49 (soak overnight and then cook in crock pot)
- Salsa, 1 jar for $1.69
Total: $44.59 for ONE WEEK.
- scrambled, over easy, poached or hard boiled eggs
- rice (can eat with cheese as a savory dish like grits or add some salsa)
- oatmeal (put in bananas, and mush up)
- fried potatoes (add some salsa or cheese for a kick)
- bananas (add to rice or oatmeal)
- corn breakfast burritos (eggs, tortillas, veggies and cheese and salsa)
- Bean and cheese burritos with salsa.
- Hard boiled eggs and baked potatoes with veggies and sliced apples
- Beans and rice and salsa
- Carrots as a side
- Chicken and rice stir fry (or use beans if chicken is getting low)
- Chicken rice soup with chicken, rice and veggies. Add potatoes for even more substance. (Set some extra broth aside for more soups)
- Pulled Chicken soft tacos
- Potato and broccoli soup (use broth from chicken rice soup). Add eggs for an “egg drop” effect and added protein. Beans are great to add too.
- Chicken and Hash browns with salsa.
- Put a little of everything in the grocery list in a crockpot with some water and season.(except for bananas, corn tortillas and oats)
- hard boiled eggs
- carrots dipped into re-fried beans (make in crockpot)
- tortilla with melted shredded cheese and beans
If you have basic seasonings like salt, pepper, some other spices and herbs and some stevia or birch xylitol (birch xylitol kills candida and strengthens teeth) on hand, the possibilities are almost endless! Add some cocoa powder and cinnamon for a kick. Hot spices really liven up any dish. Try to make typically savory dishes sweet an vice versa. Oatmeal with chicken and cheese and salsa is amazing! Oatmeal cooked with eggs is a GREAT stick-to-your-ribs meal that can be sweet or savory.
Add $5 for some spices at the dollar store and you’ve got a well rounded emergency budget crunch gluten free whole foods meal plan!
You don’t need to follow something like this forever, but this would save my family $400 in one month on groceries if we had to in an emergency. Some family spend a lot more than us.
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With a little extra cash and a few substitutions, you could rotate these basics each month with some other ideas so you’re not left missing out on certain nutrients.
Do you have any yummy meals you use with these ingredients?
Check out Supercook, MyFridgeFood or Allrecipes’s Dinner Spinner app to put in these ingredients and make hundreds of yummy meals with what you have on hand!