Healthy eating for a family of four can be challenging, especially when you have a limited budget to stick to. But I’ve always thought that with a bit of smart-shopping and deal-hunting, just about anyone can make healthy, budget-friendly meals.

So when Whole Foods approached me and asked me if I was willing to create 7 days of Breakfasts and Dinners for a family of four, using only Whole Foods ingredients and sticking to a budget of $100, I was excited to take on the challenge!

I know what you’re thinking: a week’s worth of groceries at Whole Foods couldn’t possibly cost less than $100.

But trust me, it can be done! My grocery bill for this challenge ended up being $99.83. Not bad right?

So how did I do it? And what did I make?

**The Picky Eater’s tips for budget-friendly shopping at Whole Foods**

**Shop the Sales:**Whole Foods has all kinds of sales going on at any given point in time. Look for the Weekly Specials, the Everyday Deal labels on foods, and the sales throughout the store.**Buy in-season:**In-season produce is always cheaper. That’s why for this menu I used squashes, greens, and starchy root veggies.**Cut coupons:**The Whole Deal magazine has coupons and monthly specials. (Whole Foods keeps hard copies outside of its stores, and you can use as many coupons from multiple copies of the magazine to shop with, as well as print them out online)**Buy 365 Everyday Value:**365 is Whole Foods’ house brand, and is often super affordable and cheaper than most of the other brands in the store! The quality is great, and it is perfect for saving big.**Buy Frozen:**Frozen produce is just as good as fresh produce, and it works perfectly if you’re looking to spend a little less, especially on out-of-season items.**Buy Bulk:**The bulk section at Whole Foods is expansive and should be your best friend. You can get everything there: spices, nut butters, oils, honey, maple syrup, grains (like oatmeal and quinoa), pasta, beans, cereals, dried fruits, the list goes on! And you save a ton because you don’t pay for the “packaging” at all.**Know your resources:**Whole Foods has all kinds of saving tips and budget-friendly recipes sprinkled throughout the store – they come in little flyers that you can take with you and use for meal planning. They also have money-saving shopping tips online and budget-friendly recipes!

**Look at all the budget-friendly signs throughout the store! It’s like clues leading you to a healthy, inexpensive meal.**

**The Picky Eater’s Guide to 7 Days of Budget-Friendly Meals (under $100!)**

*Note: I assumed that everyone has cooking oil, honey (or some sort of sweetener), salt, pepper, and milk in their fridge. Also – if since this meal plan includes breakfasts and dinners only, you could spend about $15 extra and buy whole grain bread, nut butters, jam and fruit for balanced lunches throughout the week!*

**Day 1 Breakfast:**Oatmeal with Frozen Berries

**Day 1 Dinner:**Homemade margherita pizza (substitute the green peppers/onions for tomatoes and a handful of spinach; and use mozzarella for the parmesan)

**Day 2 Breakfast:**Omelette with frozen spinach and a side of sliced apples (for the omelette you need: 8 eggs, 1/2 cup spinach, salt, pepper and cooking spray)

**Day 2 Dinner:**Butternut Squash Soup (substitute mozzarella for the parmesan in this recipe)

**Day 3 Breakfast:**Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (use cinnamon and nutmeg instead of pumpkin pie spice, omit the blueberries)

**Day 3 Dinner:**Pasta with Spinach, Tomato Sauce and Cheese (use mozzarella instead of parmesan)

**Day 4 Breakfast:**Banana and Almond Milk Smoothies (you need: 2 bananas, 2 cups of almond milk, a dash of nutmeg and sugar, and a bit of ice/ice water. Blend and enjoy!)

**Day 4 Dinner:**Veggie Chili (sub out the veggies in this recipe with sweet potato and corn)

**Day 5 Breakfast:**Fritatta with onion and herbs

**Day 5 Dinner:**Veggie Quesadillas (sub avocado for the guacamole)

**Day 6 Breakfast:**Super berry smoothie

**Day 6 Dinner:**Asian Stir Fry with Tofu

**Day 7 Dinner:**Chili Wraps (take the leftover chili from Day 4, put it in a whole wheat wrap with some lettuce and salsa and cheese, and enjoy!)

**For anyone who wants to make these meals at home, here is your downloadable Grocery List.******Win a $100 Whole Foods Gift Card for your own healthy shopping needs****

**To Enter:**You can enter in one of five ways (each option below counts as a

*separate*entry):

- Subscribe to The Picky Eater via RSS or via email
- Follow me on Twitter (@pickyeaterblog)
- Like The Picky Eater on Facebook
- Follow me on Pinterest
- Sign up for my free, monthly newsletter (it has healthy recipes and tips – no annoying ads 🙂 plus you’ll get a free healthy meal plan when you sign up!)

**Then post a comment here for each option above that you chose.**

**This giveaway will be open until Friday, November 16th at 11:59pm PST. **I’ll be selecting one lucky winner at random (via random.org) and will contact them via email. I’ll be announcing the winner in the comments of this post on** Saturday, November 17th. **

**Happy, healthy shopping everyone!**

{ 431 comments… read them below or add one }

Just followed you on Facebook!

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I already do all of the above! Would love to try our your meal plan if I win 🙂

Signed up for your monthly newsletter!

I follow you on Facebook and receive your monthly newsletter – LOVE Whole Foods!!

I LOVE YOUR BLOG! And your website is the greatest! I’m especially excited about learning to season Indian food (I’ve been trying to learn how to season and spice my food and I’m already making progress!) and I’m gaga about the oatmeals!! So good to have the health and nutrition taken into account as well. Keep up the good work!!

Love,

Erin 🙂

Awww thank you so much Erin!! You are the best 🙂 So glad you like my blog and all of the recipes!!

I am following you all five ways! The first Whole Foods in my community just opened about 10 days ago, so I would love to win a gift certificate!

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I get your newletter and follow you on Twitter & Facebook. I love your blog & Whole Foods 🙂

Thanks so much Bobbie!!

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Love your stuff 🙂 Following on FB and via email 🙂

Thanks Robin! So glad to hear it!

I follow you on Facebook, twitter,and receive your emails so I never miss your information! LOVE these budget meals and recipes….will try them all, thanks! Whole Foods is my favorite and this drawing is on my Birthday 🙂 Thanks so much for all you do!

Hehe yay! I’m sure you will love these recipes Michele – and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Hope you have a great time celebrating!

Thanks! Having friends over for the weekend, making your Fuji Applle French Toast Casserole tomorrow morning 🙂 Happy Friday!!!!

Oh awesome! That French Toast is one of my husband’s favorites 🙂 It is delicious – enjoy!!

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I subscribed via RSS, I love your blog! So inspirational! And I love whole foods 🙂

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Woot Whole Foods! 🙂 I am already subscribed to your newsletter…

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Ahhh! I want this so bad as a poor graduate student!

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Great ideas! I already subscribe 🙂

Hi there,

Just did all 5 methods. Got the picky eater plan and it looks pretty great.

I’d love to win the gift card and good luck to everyone!

-Matt

Thanks Matt! Can’t wait to hear how my 7 day plan for clean eating works out for you!

Just subscribed to yournewsletter.

As part of your $100 challrngr I’d also suggest buying one of the many excellent flours they sell at Whole Foods and baking your own bread.

LOVE that suggestion Bruce – making your own bread is healthy, homemade and budget-friendly!

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i subscribe your newsletter. I love all the breakfast & dinner choices you have provided. so healthy yet budget friendly for the family.

Aw thank you so much Dixya!! You are totally right – these are all healthy recipes that won’t break the bank (or your waistline! 🙂 ) I’m sure you will love them when you try them!

Hi I did all five! Am I supposed to write five different comments?

Hi Stephanie! Yes that would be helpful – if you can add one comment per option you chose, that’ll help me out when I’m picking a winner 🙂 Good luck!

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I am subscribed to your monthly newsletter–eager to try your savory and sweet autumn-inspired recipes!

Yayy! Let me know how they turn out for you Amy! Happy cooking!

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I’m always looking for new inspiration to continue feeding my 5 picky kids! Glad to have some new inspiration!! Cheers!

Thanks Steph! 5 picky kids – that must be quite the challenge! I hope my recipes help you out in the kitchen – can’t wait to hear how your family likes them!

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Hello! I have the newsletter–hopefully I’ll win! I’ve been eating very unhealthily recently–college makes it so easy to eat junk food all the time.

Hi Eliza! I totally understand – it was really difficult for me to eat healthy in college too! All those late night study sessions don’t lend themselves to healthy eating! I hope my healthy recipes and tips make it a little easier for you 🙂 Keep me posted on how it goes!

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Thanks Sweta! You’ll have to let me know when you end up trying one of my recipes!

I’m following you on Twitter as @wolverina401…and love the post. Just last week, a friend filled me in on what exactly one can buy at Whole Foods that is less expensive than everywhere else!

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haha! That’s so awesome – what great timing 🙂 Thanks Melissa!

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Hi Everyone!! I’m very excited to announce that Elizabeth has won this week’s giveaway!! CONGRATS Elizabeth!! I’m sure you’ll have tons of fun shopping at Whole Foods with your gift card 🙂 Thanks everyone for entering and for all the support, I really appreciate it!

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Hi Anjali: I just subscribed through email. I came across your website searching for healthy organic meals on a budget. I just moved to downtown San Diego, from Miami, Fla. I grew up on Hispanic food, and eating lots of meat or chicken. Now my body is reacting to years of unhealthy eating (53 yrs old, and 60 pounds overweight). I am also taking synthroid for my Hashimoto’s. I have read that soy is bad for me and also kale, spinach and broccoli. When I try to do juicing, my stomach curls in pain. What do you suggest as far as eating greens and a protein alternative. Beans are really hard on my digestion due to my IBS and gastritis. I take probiotics daily and it has helped but I wish I could eat more beans, greens and other types of protein. Beano does not work for me. Maybe there are some beans that are easy to digest or other methods of cooking them. Any advise would be much appreciated because I also have to be on a budget when I buy groceries.

Hi Gloria! Thank you so much for reaching out to me and for your comment! It’s wonderful to “meet” you 🙂 First off, I just want to say congrats for embarking on a healthier lifestyle – that is the first step! I’d be happy to help you with all of your questions. It sounds like your digestion is the first place to start because if we can improve your IBS (which I believe we can – I struggled with IBS for years and was able to eliminate it completely with dietary changes!) we can make it easier for you to eat greens, beans, and other types of protein. Do you want to email me at pickyeats@gmail.com and we can schedule some time to chat about all of this further? It’ll be much easier to go over in person vs. in this comment thread 🙂 Hope that helps and I look forward to hearing from you! Stay well!!

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