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.
To 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.
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:
- 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.