I went out this morning and bought a bunch of food. Here is my haul:
- 1 whole chicken, from the Farmer’s Market (for this recipe)
- 8 sweet potatoes (smallish, for baking to serve as a side and possibly doing an egg/sausage/sweet potato breakfast bake)
- 6 chicken breasts, premium, no antibiotic etc. brand (on sale, so I saved $5.00 and they are already in the freezer for future use)
- package of mushrooms
- 4 parsnips
- Chobani plain yogurt (for this recipe, and breakfast)
- ground cumin (I was out of it)
- Bacon (smoked, uncured, nitrite free)
- dozen eggs, from the Farmer’s Market (local, free-range, etc.)
- tomato paste
- tomato sauce
- 3 thin cut sirloin steaks (for this recipe)
- 1/2 lb pork sausage bought at the Farmer’s Market, from Brown’s Family Dairy (I didn’t know they had pigs!)
I spent $56.21 without tax. I have the rest of the ingredients needed for these meals, plus a few sides and some leftover chicken thighs. For two people, I anticipate that we can eat for 6 days, which will most likely cost me about $75 counting all the stuff I already have, excluding spices. If we were eating out for lunch alone, at not-too-expensive places where people generally eat for lunch, we’d spend about $120 here in Oxford ($20 max each day for both of us, for 6 days). I know that I can get my grocery bill down even more, but this is my first attempt at serious meal planning. I’ve always wanted to do it, and I recently downloaded the mint.com app for my phone and am really trying to stay within a budget. I’ve budgeted $400 per month for groceries and household items like toilet paper, toiletries, random impulse-buy lipsticks, candles, etc. Basically anything you could get at a Wal Mart but not all from there. As I have mentioned, I like to start with the Farmer’s Market for food, stop by Kroger, and then go to Wal Mart as a last resort and/or for household stuff. I realize this takes some time, but I prefer it this way.
Here’s my menu. I’ve tried to think about how many leftovers we’ll have so that they’ll last. While leftovers aren’t always what you really want for lunch, you can eat it fast and be fine. However, I’ve found that having new things for dinner is better than leftovers for dinner. In the past, I would have just gotten take-out from somewhere because the thought of eating whatever is leftover in the fridge would be just too much… And it would inevitably be Wendy’s or something horrible. Since changing my lifestyle (and some recent reductions in my stress level at work that leave me much more happy and productive at night), I’ve made a point to cook at night as much as I can. My husband and I often hang out and talk while we cook, so cooking for dinner is pretty nice at my house.
|Saturday||Leftover Paleo Pot Curry||Nom Nom Paleo’s Slow Cooker Chicken|
|Sunday||Baked Eggs in Spinach or Egg/Sausage Frittata||Sautéed Chicken Thighs and Garlic Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash|
|Monday||Salad (romaine, avocado, turkey, cheese) or leftovers||Leftovers (Curry, Garlic Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash)|
|Tuesday||Leftovers||Swiss Paleo’s Bacon Wrapped Minute Steak, mashed parsnips, sautéed mushrooms|
|Thursday||Chicken Makhani leftovers||Breakfast for Dinner!|
You’ll notice I don’t have breakfast in the table. I don’t often eat breakfast. Is that bad? If I do eat breakfast this week, it will most likely be some yogurt, berries, raw almonds, and raw honey, only so I use up all the yogurt I just bought (I’m being stingy like my mom). Since I got a Keurig for Christmas, I’ve been able to take coffee to work, but that’s about all I can swing in the morning. You might also be wondering about dessert. Well, I tend to just take a little spoonful of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter when I want something sweet or a few chocolate chips. Never more than two spoonfuls or handfuls in a day though.
This experiment’s goal is two-fold, to prove that I can stay within my own budget and also to prove that primal eating, even with more expensive items, can still be affordable.