About the episode:

Today’s episode is the second in our Earth Day series. If you missed last week’s episode about how you can lose fat and improve your performance by eating in a way that can help reverse global warming I highly recommend checking out that show before listening to today’s episode.

Today’s show will build on those principles and teach you how you can cut your grocery bill by eating for the environment AND your goals without inconveniencing yourself.

And today I will introduce three principles that will both help you cut your grocery bill AND follow these principles. It might even make your food preparation MORE convenient.

This show is brought to you by us, Beyond Macros, a nutrition coaching company that helps you make a sustainable transformation through realistic habit changes rather than restrictive dieting.

Make sure you are subscribed to the show on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, if you enjoy the show, please leave a rating on iTunes, and if you want to get leaner, stronger, and perform better by learning how to count macros go to beyondmacros.com/worksheet

In This Episode:

[02:42] About today’s episode.
[02:55] The three principles I have found are KEY to reducing your grocery bill.
[04:23] How to add variety to your meals.
[05:12] How buying frozen fruits and vegetables in bulk can save on produce costs.
[06:14] The last principle of dropping your grocery bills.
[11:30] Some tips on how to improve variety.

Read Full Transcript

Welcome Back to the Beyond Macros podcast! We are the sustainable transformation nutrition coaches and our show will help you make your transformation that lasts with episodes about nutrition, recovery, and the all important art of inner work!

Today’s episode is the second in our Earth Day series. If you missed last week’s episode about how you can lose fat and improve your performance by eating in a way that can help reverse global warming I highly recommend checking out that show before listening to today’s episode. Today’s show will build on those principles and teach you how you can cut your grocery bill by eating for the environment AND your goals without inconveniencing yourself.

The three principles from last week’s show were to
first, eat under 2500 calories per day, unless your goal is muscle gain, your ideal weight is over 180lbs, or you train with loads of volume
second, eat mostly plant protein, keeping protein from meat and dairy under 57g per day
Third, eat at least 5% of your calories from local sources, which is easily achieveable by getting locally sourced pasture raised meat or eggs.

And today I will introduce three principles that will both help you cut your grocery bill AND follow these principles. It might even make your food preparation MORE convenient.

But before we dive in, I want to remind you that we are offering 50% off of our fat loss and performance macros & meal planning programs when you use code EARTH50 at checkout. These programs are designed to teach you what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat it. The programs give you the option to either count macros, learn how to eat according to your macros by eyeballing, or a combination of the two. You will receive personalized macros from a Beyond Macros coach, and you will also receive a personalized meal planning template that translates your macros into easy-to-eyeball servings of food at each meal. You’ll get detailed instructions for how to stick to the plan, plus recipes & meal prep ideas based on your goal, and a bunch of other bonus resources including a 3-month DB training program coach Jackie used to add 2lbs of muscle while dropping 8lbs of fat. The program is designed to complement your current trainign with 3x30 minute sessions per week.

You’ll also get our healthy sweet-tooth satisfying snack ideas or clean fuel meal ideas, our restaurant ordering guide, and travel packing and snacking list to keep you on point on the road.

If you head to beyondmacros.com/earth just click the button that describes your goal and then use EARTH50 at checkout to get your 50% discount.

It comes at no risk, because if you follow the plan for 60-days and don’t see any propgress, we’ll refund your payment. So you might as well give it a go, reach your goals, and start saving the earth you call home.

Now for the episode about how we can cut your grocery bill so that the program is in your budget!
I actually embarked on an experiment to cut my grocery bill to under the price of a chipotle burrito per day, and within a year of eating this way, while also training for CrossFit regionals, I was able to top off my savings to both feel comfortable starting Beyond Macros and while also making a down payment on an investment house.

The three principles I have found are KEY to reducing your grocery bill are:
One) Minimize your cost per gram of protein, said another way increase the grams of protein you get per dollar
Two) Buy in Bulk, and eat food before it spoils, and use your freezer
Three)Meal prep weekly and use your freezer to avoid restaurants for your everyday meals

By following these three principles you will also reduce your environmental impact in terms of food waste. Food waste is the number 3 contributor to global warming where a plant rich diet from last weeks show is the #4 most impactful solution.. And although the majority of the food wasted on earth happens before it hits your grocer’s shelves, you can still can still make an impact with your actions and voting with your dollar!

So let’s dive into each principle for cutting your grocery bill.

First is minimize your cost per gram of protein, or maximize the grams of protein you get per dollar. Luckily, the best way I have found to do this also helps you accomplish principle number two, buy in bulk.

I low-key love spreadsheets, and when I was planning how to cut my daily grocery bill impossibly low I recognized that the foods with the lowest cost per gram of protein, by far, were dried beans, grains, and seeds when purchased in bulk quantities of 10-25lbs. At the time of my experiment I could get 67-75g of protein per dollar through lentils, black beans, and chia seeds when ordered in bulk.

I could also get roughly 40g of protein per dollar from plant-based protein powder, rice, and peanut butter.

So what I would do is make a consistent supply of chia + protein pudding or chia + protein smoothies, and I would cook big batches of bean & rice based dishes for post-workout meals.

I also learned that high quality, free-range eggs gave me another 24g of protein per dollar.

So by getting the majority of my 150g daily protein goal from these low cost plant-based protein sources I was able to invest in eating about 1/2lb of free-range organic chicken per day as well.

And because the bulk dried beans & grains would hold forever without spoiling I massively minimized food waste. Because I had a few go-to options for preparing each my meal prep got streamlined and took very little time and increased the convenience of home-prepared meals.

And if you’re thinking “I need variety” I got it with the flavors that I cooked these foods with. For example I would make a peanut sauce with the low cost per calorie and gram of protein organic peanut butter, or I’d make a lentil curry with rice, or I’d make cuban style black beans, or lentils in an italian-style sauce because bulk bpa-free canned organic tomatoes were cheap. I even had someone teach me how to make black bean brownies with low cost per calorie honey, low cost per gram of protein eggs and chocolate plant protein powder, and some price indulgent cacao.

The smoothies and chia pudding could be flavored in never ending combinations of chocolate, vanilla, berries, mangoes, spices, etc.

As you can tell, variety is fully attainable. And as you can tell, each of these three principles to reduce your grocery bill plays together. But let’s now dive in to buying in bulk. I did this experiment in the United States so I had access to Costco and through a google search found other websites selling bulk foods.

When I say buy in bulk I don’t mean going to the bulk section of Whole Foods. You’ll still pay out the yingis there for bulk foods.

I mean finding something close to a wholesaler like Costco, or a wholesaler like IFSbulk.com, and buying a ton at a time.I also recognize this might not be realistic for those of you living in a small apartment in Manhattan, Hong Kong, or Sydney. But I do have a solution- you and some friends from your gym can get together and buy co-operatively. That way you have a reasonable amount in your pantry but still get the substantial cost savings.

Some of the things I found made sense buying in bulk were dried beans, grains, nuts and seeds as well as bulk spices and herbs. These foods won’t spoil and you can literally store them in a box in any closet or corner of your house.

If you have a normal amount of freezer space, I found buying frozen fruits and vegetables in bulk to be a great way to save on produce costs. Frozen foods often have just as much nutrition as their fresh counterparts that have had to be shipped sometimes thousands of miles to reach your grocery store. The fruits also often have more flavor because they’re picked at peak ripeness and flash frozen.

And if you have a deep chest freezer that you’re not already using for wim hof ice baths, then the best thing you can buy is a whole animal from local farmer. I didn’t have this option but it would have changed the game. I could have purchased half a local managed-grazing pasture raised cow for about $5 per pound. Talk about budget friendly environmental impact reduction!

The last principle of dropping your grocery bills is preparing meals. This is also the most important habit I’ve found you can form for making a nutrition plan sustainable. Because Not only does preparing meals from bulk foods drop your grocery bill, it makes your life easier.

At the time I did my grocery bill cutting experiment, I was still doing some personal training, getting Beyond Macros started, and also training 4+ hours per day. Putting in some meal prep time on Sundays and Thursdays changed the game for me.

It also limited how much I was eating out. With so much to do during that time, I constantly found myself at local restaurants and the Whole Foods prepared foods section, and buying packaged convenience foods like protein bars before starting the grocery bill experiment.

The two things that were really breaking the bank and had an astronomical cost per calorie were prepared foods, restaurant meals, and any organic packaged goods with every quality signifier they could fit on the label- you know the type. The $7 packages of gluten free, vegan, cooked in coconut oil, himalayan salt, raw sprouted vegetable chips? Those were out.

The other massive component that made cooking in bulk work is utilizing the freezer. Not only does it help with principle #2 of eating food before it spoils by creating the option to freeze it for later, but it also allowed me to take advantage of deals when they came up, and add some variety to my meals.

Here are some examples of what I mean.

In terms of improving variety, I would freeze a portion of the meals I’d cooked. After about 3 weeks of doing this I had one of each of my typical meals in the freezer and if I got bored of what I’d prepped that week I could freeze it and pull a different meal out of the freezer.

It also allowed me to buy bulk produce at the farmer’s market without worrying about spoilage. For example, I met a fruit vendor who would sell me their leftover fruit they didn’t sell at half price. I’d pick it up after the market and could just freeze it which massively dropped my cost of fruit- which is one of the most expensive things I was buying.

And if I noticed a sick deal on good quality meats, I could stock up and just chuck them in the freezer.

The hands down best part about all of this is that with a little bit of planning up-front, the habits I put in place became second nature while saving me money, saving the environment, and fueling my performance.

And if you want to get on a plan that can help you do the same I recommend checking out beyondmacros.com/earth to get 50% off our macros & meal planning program. The offer expires April 26th, and we have a 60-day beyond confident guarantee. This is your best chance to get started on your transformation that lasts with no risk.

And if you want to check out the spreadsheet I made to help me plan out the best calorie and protein sources I’ve linked it up on the page at beyondmacros.com/earth as well.

I hope you enjoyed this short series on how to reduce your environmental impact through food, without having to go to extremes. If you did, please share it. The more people who hear an easy-to-implement and inclusive solution to global warming that is fully within their control, the better.

And with the weekend coming up, I encourage you to get out in nature and build up your love for the more-than-human world. This will be a nice motivator and reminder to take action on what I’ve taught you over the last two weeks!

Thanks for listening, and I look forward to seeing you again next week with an interview I did with Ryan Fischer about going from homeless to running one of the most successful CrossFit gyms in the world, having his own brand, and podcast on the shrugged collective.

It’s also got some great tips for you coaches who are listening, so make sure your subscribed. Until then, much love, and have a fantastic weekend in nature.

Resources Mentioned

beyondmacros.com/76

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