1 Week, $100 Dollars: Whole Foods Market for the Family on a Budget

Here’s the challenge: feed a family of 5 on organic meals from Whole Foods Market for a whole week. Think it sounds impossible? So did I. After all, our grocery budget sometimes pushes $250/week, and that’s shopping the cheap aisles of our ho-hum local grocery store. So, when Whole Foods Market contacted me and served up the challenge, I was more than ready to hop on it and see if it was realistic at all. Turns out, feeding your family on organics for a week isn’t just possible, it’s an entirely fun way to challenge yourself, save pennies, and help care for our world one dollar at a time.

Wanna take the challenge?

Read on to discover how I fed my family on $100 last week, then get in on the $100 Whole Foods Gift Card giveaway at the end of this post!

SHOPPING LIST

  • 2 onions……………………………………$1.99
  • 3 cloves garlic……………………………$1.72
  • 3 lbs, Apples……………………………..$5.97
  • 3 lbs Sweet Potatoes…………………..$5.97
  • 1 lbs Butternut Squash……………….$1.99
  • 1 tomato………………………………….$0.98
  • Fresh Basil……………………………….$2.97
  • Yogurt…………………………………….$3.39
  • Jam…………………………………………$2.69
  • Peanut Butter……………………………$4.79
  • 2 loaves Ezekiel Bread………………..$7.58
  • 2 dozen eggs…………………………….$4.29
  • Milk………………………………………..$3.98
  • 1 pound  Bulk Pancake Mix………….$2.98
  • 1/2 cup bulk organic sugar………….$0.99
  • 3 packages Ramen…………………….$3.57
  • 1.5 lbs White Cheddar………………..$7.99
  • Prepared Pizza Dough………………..$2.99
  • Canned Pizza Sauce……………………$3.29
  • New Frozen Fried Rice & Chicken….$5.99
  • Frozen Blackberries…………………..$3.99
  • Red Pepper & Tomato Soup………..$3.00
  • Cheddar Cheese………………………..$7.99
  • Soba Noodles……………………………$1.99
  • Beef Bones……………………………….$4.50
  • 3 lb Pork Shoulder…………………….$8.97
  • Hamburger Buns……………………….$2.99
  • 2 slices Uncured Bacon……………….$2.14
TOTAL SPENT……………………………………$111.68

MENU PLAN

Breakfast

  • Baby Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup

    Mix Whole Foods Bulk Whole Grain Pancake Mix according to package directions.  Spoon onto a hot griddle by the tablespoon. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of frozen blackberries, 1/4 cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook until boiling. Serve blackberry syrup over pancakes. 
  • Cereal & Milk

  • Blackberry Yogurt Smoothie

    1 cup frozen blackberries, 1 cup vanilla yogurt, blended until smooth with just enough water or milk to create a sippable consistency.
  • Soft Boiled Eggs & Toast Soldiers

    Soft boil  eggs (my favorite photos and instructions here). Toast Ezekiel bread until crispy, slice into thin pieces for dipping into egg yolks.
  • Tomato & Basil Omelet

    Mix 3 eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a hot, well-oiled skillet. Cook until set. Remove, sprinkle with fresh diced tomatoes and basil. Serve and enjoy!

  • Cheesy Scrambled Eggs on Toast

    Scramble eggs. Top with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Serve over toasted Ezekiel Bread.

  • Hard-boiled Eggs

Lunch

  • Ramen Noodles

  • School Lunches all Week

    Peanut Butter & Jelly Tea Sandwiches

    Sliced Apples

    Yogurt packed in reusable containers

Dinner

  • White Cheddar Cheese Pizza with Basil

    (Slather Whole Foods Pizza Dough with spaghetti sauce, top with cheddar, bake at 400 degrees)

  • Frozen Fried Rice & Chicken

    Ready-made for those extra-busy weeknights.  Grab and go straight from the freezer dinner’s section of Whole Foods. 
  • Red Pepper & Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese

    Ready made soup served with Cheese Grilled between Slices of Ezekiel Bread
  • Pho, Beef Broth & Soba Noodles sprinkled with Fresh Basil

    Simmer beef bones all day in garlic-spiked salt water (a la this post here). Toss in soba noodles just before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped basil. Serve with chopsticks.
  • Kahlua Pork on Whole Foods buns with Roasted Acorn Squash

    Slow Cooker Meal! Toss pork into a crockpot (a la this recipe right here). 30 minutes befor serving, drizzle slices of acorn squash with coconut or olive oil and salt & pepper. 
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes topped with Leftover Kalua Pork & Plain Greek Yogurt

 Top Tips for Shopping Organic on a Budget at Whole Foods

  • Look for a Produce Department representative & ask them to trim any vegetables to the size you need. For instance, if you only need 1/4 cup of broccoli, ask them to cut off that portion of the veggies and go home with just as much as you need. The remaining portion will either be donated to a local homeless shelter, put into a Whole Foods veggie mix, or composted.
  • Ask the Fish & Meat departments to marinate or season your meat for you. It’s free! Even better, the Fish Department can cook your fish for you while you shop, meaning you can head home with a fully cooked meal for no additional cost!
  • Get to know the Bulk Aisles! Many of the best deals come from this section, because you can buy or try only just what you need, without paying exorbitant prices
  • Sign up for the weekly Whole Foods emails. These weekly emails come straight to your inbox, and include all of the sales for the coming week. You can find the sign-up forms right by the customer service desk, or click here to do it right from the comfort of your own casa. Better yet, by signing up for the Whole Foods email newsletters, you’re helping the company meet their goal of becoming a paper-free entity within the next 2 years.
  • Grab a copy of the monthly Whole Deal magazine and check out the regular feature on Budget Meals and Recipes. Or visit the Whole Foods website for more budget-conscious food ideas.

Ready to take the Whole Foods 1 Week-100 Dollar Challenge?

Here’s how you can win one $100 gift card to Whole Foods! Up to three entries per person. The winner of the giveaway will be announced by November 15, 2012.

  • Leave a comment & tell me your BEST value-shopping tips or experience
  • Like Cheeky Kitchen & Whole Foods on Facebook
  • Follow Cheeky Kitchen & Whole Foods on Twitter
  • Post about this giveaway on your own Facebook or Twitter account with a link to this post

Shop Organic! Spend Wisely! Save the World & Your Red Hot Bod!

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