Real Food Grocery Haul – Week 1

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Back in the times of milk and honey, a few short months ago, I did all my grocery shopping at one place – our local co-op. It felt good to support a local business and I knew where everything was. It was also very convenient to do my shopping at one store. Turns out we were paying for that convenience – a lot!

We’re going to be sending P to a great preschool in the near future, and that also costs – a lot! We want to pay down our college bills which are – a lot! We would like to save up for a better house in a nicer location, which will inevitably cost – a lot!

Looking at our budget for the last 12 months, our food costs (groceries, coffee and eating out) ranked in 1st place for most money spent. We were spending ~$1200 per month for groceries. Thats a @#$% lot!

Yes, I’m commited to eating real food and as organically as possible and I belive in paying the farmer before paying to doctor, if you know what I mean. But seriously?! Too much for us to continue that way with the goals we have in mind.

So here’s what I’m doing to lower that bill

…but still eat real food and continue to feel good about the food I feed my family.

  • Let go of convenience and shop at 3 different locations for optimum choice and savings: Farmer’s Market, Winco and Whole Foods (they simply have a better selection than the co-op). I’ll reserve the co-op for hard to find spices in bulk.
  • Limit our organic produce to the dirty dozen and take care to wash the other produce thouroughly before comsumption.
  • Grow food in the garden – this has yet to be determined as a viable value. We’ll check back in the fall.
  • Start buying produce in bulk when it’s in season and canning what we use a lot of (read tomatoes).
  • Post weekly grocery haul and totals on this blog.

It’s about to get real folks!

I’m going to let you in on how much I spend for exactly what I get each week at the grocery store/market. This will hopefully give you a good idea about what a real food diet costs and help me figure out where I can save more $$$.

Here are my food priorities

  • Continue to get high quality pastured meat, fats, eggs and dairy (it’s worth the cost)
  • Shop the dirty dozen for organic and get commercial produce for everything else
  • Utilize the bulk section of each store
  • Limit coffee consumption to one serving per day, my usual is two.
  • Continue to work towards eating out less and eating in more.

This weeks haul looks like this

Farmer’s Market = $68
Winco = $49.26
Whole Foods = $88.01
Milk = $9

TOTAL FOR THE WEEK = $213.12

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Just for reference, this is what our refrigerator looks like at the end of the week right before I go shopping. My pantry looks fuller, but is really just disorganized.
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Farmer’s Market Haul = $68 I would love to say I buy all my produce locally, but the fact is it’s just too expensive. I do buy most of my meats, eggs and bread (home baking bread just took too much time) and a few summer veggies that are grown locally in a hot house and are therefore less expensive.
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Winco Haul = $49.26 Not included are the toothpaste, floss and Q-tips.
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Whole Foods Haul = $88.01 I think I’m going to start fermenting my own kefir.
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Everything = $212.13 except the milk not pictured, purchased after the fact. This will last us though the week and a couple items: nuts, dressing, some meat, cereal will carry over.

This post featured on the following blog carnivals: Party Wave Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Tasty Traditions, Thank Your Body Thursday, Small Footprint Friday, Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Sunday School, Family Table Tuesday, Fat Tuesday

7 thoughts on “Real Food Grocery Haul – Week 1”

  1. We completely stopped take-out and eating out all together plus we stopped processed foods. When you realize how much less it costs to make the same thing at home plus you control everything about the dish it certainly puts a different spin on things. Your bank accounts get a lot more healthy too :)

      1. I know and we enjoyed doing that on a regular basis but it is so much more expensive and well I do love to cook so it is a win-win for us :)

        Saturday we are going out to lunch with my husband’s family to celebrate Mother’s Day. When you eat gluten-free as I do it is just easiest to make your own food knowing it is good for you and made with love for me and my family. That is a good thing :)

  2. I am curious what types of prices you find in your area for some of the items you bought this week. Especially the pastured meat and eggs.
    Kefir is about $3.50 a qt here, I suggest making your own.
    Yogurt too! I will be posting a super easy technique for yogurt soon on my site.

    1. Hi Kimara, I get a dozen “large” eggs for $4 a dozen, or $2.50 for the “small” eggs. Ground beef is about $6/pound and a whole chicken runs about $14. I pay $3.75 for Kefir and I’m definitely going to start making my own once I get my hands on some grains. I’m excited to see your yogurt post. I’ve made it before, but found it too runny for my taste. I think if I added a little gelatin it would probably firm up to my liking. Thanks for following and be well! Megan

  3. I struggle with a high food bill too, but I work on lowering it every week, and I am slowly doing so. We do not eat out at all. I used tax refund money to purchase 100 lbs of grassfed beef for our freezer as well as a share in a CSA. I also belong to a food co op, where we get together to buy directly from organic farmers and health food companies at a discount. The only other places I shop are Trader Joe’s and the Commissary (we are a military family), which I have found to have the cheapest prices. I also started a container garden this year (no in-ground gardening is allowed where I live) and I think it will take a little while to make back the money from buying the containers and soil. The heirloom seeds I bought through our co op were very cheap though.

    Also, when I get my CSA box every week, I immediately figure out what items I will not be using right away and work on preserving them. Yesterday I cooked and froze mushrooms and bok choy, and just chopped and froze rhubarb and peppers. I am drying a bunch of mint that also came in the CSA to use for tea.

    I really appreciate your post because most of the posts like this I see from other blogs brag about spending such low amounts ($100/month, for instance) that it is just disheartening. $200 a week is much more realistic, especially in the high-cost area where I live.

    Thanks!

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