The Daniel Plan on a Dime

Lisa Fontaine

When Pastor Rick introduced the updated Daniel Plan in early 2014, Julie and her sister Jana were inspired to make changes to their diet and begin transforming their physical health. The sisters carefully planned their menu and headed off to the store with their shopping list only to discover an intimidating truth: healthy food can be expensive. “But even with limited money, we learned how a little creativity could help us purchase food for The Daniel Plan without breaking the bank,” Julie explains.

When it comes to eating healthy, the biggest challenge should not be shopping for food.

If you’ve searched for healthier food choices at natural food markets or grocery stores, you might feel like healthy eating is out of your reach. High prices, limited selection, and sheer frustration may be cause for second-guessing your decision to improve your diet. For Julie and Jana, that was reason enough for them to put their creative shopping skills to work. They were experts in stretching their food dollars every month to feed their families, and they knew just what to do to make The Daniel Plan work within their means.

With a new plan in place, Julie and Jana set out to shop for the first part of The Daniel Plan meal program: Detox. Their destination was a location most people would consider an unlikely place to buy healthy groceries—the dollar store. Typically known for bargains on everything from party goods to cleaning supplies, the dollar store is where Julie and Jana found most of the groceries they needed for the detox meal plan. In a short amount of time, they loaded their cart with whole food items from The Daniel Plan list, including fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, canned and dried beans, condiments, spices, soup broth, ground flax meal, and even cooking spray. Following the detox program, Julie and Jana expanded their shopping list to include additional items from the regular meal plan. Greek yogurt, cheese, unsweetened applesauce, oats, tortillas, and coconut milk were just a few of the groceries from the dollar store shelves that rounded out their healthy diet. Another option for budget-conscious Daniel Plan food shopping is local ethnic markets.

Julie and Jana are using The Daniel Plan as a key element in their physical health transformation. By making a few simple changes to their shopping habits they proved that even on a tight budget, participating in The Daniel Plan is possible. There’s no need to waste time cutting coupons, searching through store advertisements for specials, or traveling to a half dozen stores to check items off your list. Although it’s only been a few weeks, Julie reveals, “Knowing where to shop has helped me drop a few pounds without dropping a lot of money.”