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The PCOS Diet 100 Day Budget Challenge

One of the objections that I often get with regard to following a whole food, PCOS friendly diet is that it is just too expensive. I think that this can be true in many instances but it doesn’t have to be.

I have recently become increasingly aware of my impact on the environment, the amount of food we waste and the desire to live a more simple life. This is something that I have been thinking about for a while now and in the past couple of weeks I have been trying to restore order to our home, our pantry and our lives in general.

With all that in mind, I think it’s time to take a closer look at our diet and budget. Now, I must say that we generally eat well and healthily (with my PCOS and hubby’s Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease). We mainly eat fresh vegetables and meat and do not eat out very often. 95% of our meals are home cooked by yours truly. So, all in all, we’re not doing badly.

But, I know we could do better and we could certainly do better in terms of waste and the amount of money we spend on food.

So, we are taking up the “PCOS Diet on a Budget 100 Day Challenge”. Basically, I plan to feed our family of 4 for £80 per week, buying predominantly free range, grass fed meat and fresh vegetables. That equates to about $120 per week. I know that many people live on a lot less and that this seems like a big budget.
I also know that food prices vary from country to country and city to city. Living on £80 per week feels like it will be a challenge for us but one that I am very excited to take on.

So, here is some background of our family and some of the “rules” I’ll follow.

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My Family

100 day challenge familyTo start with, I’ll be feeding two adults, a 4 year old and a 1 year old (who eats more than my 4 year old).

Hubby (a.k.a Tim) has type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. He needs some carbs with every meal to stop him going into a ketogenic state. He is also lean so he likes to have a lot of calories to help him maintain his weight.

I have PCOS (obviously) and try to manage my carb intake. I am also trying to lose the last of my pregnancy weight so try to mange my calories too.

Gracie is a somewhat picky eater and I have previously “accommodated” some of her whims. This has led to a lot of work and waste so that will stop.

Josh (1 year old) LOVES food and loves to eat. He’ll eat most things I give him but he really enjoys his meat in particular.

My food budget will include breakfast, lunch and dinner for all 4 of us.


The Rules

For the next 100 days, I will only buy and prepare whole foods that also accommodate my PCOS (thankfully they’re also good for Tim’s celiac disease). *Both children still have dairy products such as yoghurts, raw milk, cheese
So, foods that make the list include:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables (organic where possible)
  • Meat (free range and grass fed, if not organic)
  • No gluten or wheat based products (Not good for PCOS or hubby’s celiac disease)
  • Natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, in moderation
  • Dairy such as yoghurts, raw milk, cheese (mainly for the children)
  • Nuts and nut products
  • Only bottled or canned items that have 5 ingredients or less

What’s not included in the budget

Birthday treats – Both Gracie and I have birthdays in the next two weeks and birthday treats and Gracie’s party won’t form part of the weekly budget.

Okay, so how on earth am I going to stick to my budget? Here’s my plan:


The Plan

  • Meal plan every week. I will plan my meals for the week and make sure that I only buy the items I need for my meals.
  • Check the fridge and pantry first: I’ll make sure that I check to see what I already have in stock and plan my meals around that or shop accordingly so I don’t waste money on things I don’t need.
  • Shop local: We have a wonderful farmers market every Friday and I’ll get as much of our weekly supplies from there as possible.
  • Keep tabs: Every week I’ll keep track of what we’ve bought and how much it cost us.
  • Nothing goes to waste: I’m serious about tackling food waste in this house! Left overs will be enjoyed the next day or made into soup. Bones will be used for bone broth and vegetable scraps will be used for vegetable stock. All of the other food waste will be composted.


Right, so that is the plan. I’ll make sure that I report back frequently and share some of my PCOS budget recipes with you.

I’d love for you to take up the challenge, even if you want to the do 10 Day PCOS Diet on a Budget Challenge. If you’d like to take up the challenge too, please leave me a comment below.

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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

85 Responses

85 Responses

  1. i would like to join this if it is still going. my diet has gone completely off track and eating all the wrong things so something like this would really help at the moment.

  2. I am very interested in this challenge. My husband and I were discussing that at the beginning of May. Our monthly shopping has gone up a 30% since I changed to PCOS diet. I am happy, I don’t want to go back but I also want to control my expenses. So, I am in!!!
    I have started to buy week by week and use things left in the freezer for ages before buying new things but I know that’s not enough. Looking forward to see your comments and advises xxx

  3. me please! recently diagnosed, and really struggling with the bloating despite exercising frequently!

  4. I’ve known that I’ve had PCOS for about 8 years. My husband and I are now TTC. I’m so happy to see there is a large amount of information about dealing with PCOS. I’d be interested in your 10 day challenge!

  5. I’d like to do this challenge please! I have weight to lose and find it really hard and slow to lose weight. I want to have a baby!

  6. I wanna join. Have come from a whooping 88 kilo frame to 68 kilos. However, I seem to be stuck at 68 kg for a long time. I want to reach my goal weight of 55 kg this yr. So let’s hope this helps 🙂

  7. So happy to have found your blog. I’ve always struggled with infrequent cycles…little did I know, I actually have PCOS. I would LOVE to learn some new, healthy, PCOS-friendly meals to try! Like you…my small family is filled with picky eaters too! So I’ll take as many suggestions as you can offer! 🙂 Thank you!

  8. I would like to be apart of this challenge as well. I was diagnosed with PCOS a couple of weeks ago. I’m finding myself a little stressed as to what’s the next step and what to eat.

  9. Yes please I need to try this. I was diagnosed 11yrs ago and i have let it try beating me. I need to turn this around before I cave in completely!

  10. I would love to join this. I really need something that will help us. Iam totally stuck on what to make everyday to help me especially. My kids would at least try it once. So interested thank you

  11. I would love to join the challenge! Ever since my doctor mentioned the fact that I have PCOS I have been very down and depressed:(

  12. I would love to join the budget challenge! I am a student and I do not have a lot of extra income so I think this would be a great way to stay on track! And it is only me no one else to cook for so I can do repeat meals if necessary

  13. Hi. I really, really struggle with weight loss and don’t know whether it’s the pcos or that I have the slowest metabolism in the world!! Plus I’ve just had tests back that show I’m not ovulating and I have a fair bit of weight to lose! I think I’d find it harder to ditch the dairy than the carbs, so any inspiration welcome! X

  14. I too would be interested in this challenge. I have pcos and celiac. My wife has diabetes. So I know this wouldn’t either of us. I guess I don’t know where to start as I’ve never heard of this pcos diet before. So any help would be greatly appreciated.

  15. I am very interested in your meal plans and recipes. I also have PCOS and carbs are something I really struggle with. I have a problem with keeping things low carb, but still meeting calorie goals. I usually end up way under my calorie goal if I keep my carbs under 100 (my doctor wanted me to keep them under 60 but that was nearly impossible) and if I keep at my calorie goal, I’m almost always higher on carbs. I love fruit but they are so full of carbs, I guess I don’t understand how fruits are recommended for PCOS diets but you are supposed to stay low carb. I am also gluten intolerant, so that part is easy for me. My husband has high blood pressure and we are both trying to keep sugar down because diabetes runs in our families.

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