Yesterday I wrote up my thoughts on finishing my January Whole30. They were fairly mixed, not feeling 100% satisfied with the results but hopeful that I’m on the right track. But I realized today that there was one more benefit that I forgot to mention. Something I hadn’t even thought of until I discovered it by accident.
With it being the first of the month, I paid my credit card bill and took a closer look at my statement. I’ve been using mint.com to track my spending and if you’ve never used it before, I highly recommend it. You can link up your credit card and bank statements to it, categorize each expense and then use it to track your habits.
Well, I found something very interesting.
For the month of December, this was before I started my Whole30, I spent:
- Groceries = $180
- Restaurants = $554
- Coffee Shops = $36
- Total = $770
Now by restaurants, I also mean the quick “fast food” places I buy my lunches at. Places like Protein Bar, Panera, Pret a Manger etc. So it includes both my weekly lunches and the occasional dinner outing with Jake or friends. Coffee shops means Starbucks.
For the month of January, during my Whole30, I spent:
- Groceries = $352
- Restaurants = $140
- Coffee Shops = $4
- Total = $496
As you can see, restaurants and coffee shops went down significantly. Mostly because I started bringing Whole30 approved lunches to work and brewed my own coffee. No more Starbucks lattes. Groceries, obviously went up. Which makes sense. But this month I also started experimenting with higher quality foods. The $352 includes grass-fed beef, organic vegetables, stocking up on paleo staples such as coconut milk and almond flour.
But overall, my total spending went down by close to $300 ($274 to be exact)!And this was all without me even trying to budget. I am in the unique situation where I can spend $350 on groceries, but it wasn’t always that way. Just last summer I found myself out of a job and with a quickly shrinking bank account. So I completely understand that some people might look at my numbers and freak out. But the point is, the number went down.
I found that eating real whole foods, cooking at home and bringing my lunches saved me money. A lot of it. Now, if you’re the type of person who has been buying cheap processed foods and is trying to move to paleo, you might see the number go up. Vegetables and meat will always be more expensive than Rice-A-Roni and cereal. I get it. But if you were like me, that just grabbed something from Starbucks or from the sandwich place down the street, it turns out that the Whole30 has more benefits than just your health.