Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, May 6, 2013

How I Handle Grocery Shopping

When we have conversations about getting healthy and/or losing weight, someone will always say it: "Buying healthy food is just so expensive!" No one will argue that one. If you really do your homework, there are some inexpensive healthy items. If you wanted to eat clean on a budget, you would stick to these items: eggs, broccoli, plain oatmeal, in season produce, etc.  However, that just will not work for me. I really need variety. I don't want to feel like I am restricting myself too much--especially if I'm just maintaining my weight. So, I don't mind buying whatever is needed for the my Clean Eating meal plan.  It is very hard to get started in the sense that you need to buy new pantry staples like whole wheat flour, almond flour, sucanat (brown sugar substitute), rice vinegar, brown rice cakes, whole wheat clean bread, whole wheat pitas, etc.  However, once that dies down, you really begin to see that it's not that expensive at all.

Something that has really cut down on cost for me is that I'm only drinking water. I used to buy Diet Dr. Pepper like it was nobody's business.  I also liked to buy Snapple's Diet Half Tea Half Lemonade. I would buy packages of Crystal Light. So, just not buying liquids at the store helps a lot.  Also, with FitOrbit and even now with Clean Eating meal plans, all of my food gets eaten. None of it is left to waste.  My list of foods is just so simple. I've always got berries. I've always got green veggies. I've always got nuts. (Nut-related jokes are welcome.)

My friend, Lindsey, asked in a comment to a previous post what to do if you eat 15 tortilla chips and you have the entire bag left, but you don't have tortilla chips as a snack again.  Here is my strategy on that:  I have a leftover grapefruit. I bought one too many at the store a week ago. It needs to be eaten. (This is actually true.) I need to look for another place in my meal plan where fruit is used and just substitute it.  Looking at Wednesday, I am supposed to make Apple Tuna Salad. I don't NEED the apple in it. I will cut the apple from the recipe and I will have the grapefuit on the side of my Tuna Salad.  Just look for a place in you plan that calls for fruit and substitute it. If I was dieting on FitOrbit, I would look how how many calories a grapefruit is and I would make sure the caloric intake was similar.  Back to the tortilla chips. You can find a place in your meal plan that uses complex carbohydrates and substitute.  In my plan that would work on Wednesday when I'm supposed to eat a rice cake with almond butter and a banana. I can have the banana dipped in almond butter and some tortilla chips.  I do this all the time.  I haven't made any of these swaps in the past two days, but it will happen. That reminds me...I have an extra sweet potato too!  The point is, this is actually another cost-cutting technique.  Another idea for leftovers is to offer it to your family. Colby always loves when I have extra pineapple. I cut it up for him and he eats it whenever. Same with my leftover Amy's Lentil Vegetable Soup and broccoli...

Moving on.

I go to the store every two days. I know. I'm crazy. FitOrbit and Clean Eating magazine gives you a weekly grocery list.  However, that didn't work for me. I would end up buying the wrong amount of something and have to go back. I would buy too much and beg Colby to eat it.  Or, my produce would not look so good toward the end of the week. It's also a lot of food to prep and think about, because I'm not just thinking about prepping dinner now. I'm thinking about FIVE MEALS PER DAY!  I like to think about all of that in smaller spurts.  This is just what has worked for me.

This is hard work. This is dedication. This is time. I do it because it's important. You can name any other important thing/person in my life and I could give you reasons and examples of how I make time for that thing/person.  It's the same way with being healthy. It has to be it a priority. I thought about that for YEARS and never really got how people were able to do that. I am a full time teacher in an intense department (language arts). I am a coach. I umpire on week nights and weekends. I am a wife. I am a stepmom to a twelve-year-old girl who is also a very high priority. I'm not saying I'm busier than anyone. I'm just saying I had to make it a priority just like anyone else.

So, having said all of that, here is my process.
  1. Look at next two days of meal plan.
  2. Ask Colby & Alexandria if they will choose to eat any of the meals/snacks also.
  3. Make list in the Notes app of my iPhone
  4. Go to store.
My List

What I Bought #1

What I Bought #2

Nature's Market @ Dillon's {LOVE}

The Nut Scale {LOVE}

The All-natural Flours & Pantry Items {WHOA}
Here is the cost of my Sunday morning trip (May 5). I was prepping for meals Monday & Tuesday. Colby wanted probably about half of the meals, so you could figure that all of this isn't just for me.  I know this number will shock you for 2 days of food.  I thought about waiting to show you a receipt when I didn't have to buy staples or when blueberries (EXPENSIVE!) weren't on my list, but no.  That's not real life. I had to buy staples (whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten) and I had to buy expensive produce.  Whatever.  I'll be real and show you.

I will probably do a few more short grocery posts showing my receipts so that we can see a pattern. I'm often asked how much it all costs. I guess I could do us all a favor and pay attention since it's the #1 complaint about eating healthy.

1 comment: