The Cost, Part One

If you know me, you know I generally have no problem telling other people how to run their lives. As I get older, I get more honest. It is time to be honest with myself.

I said I would document how much I spend on food this month. I wanted to do this because so many people say that eating healthy is too expensive. To have this mean anything, I had to look at how much I’ve spent on food this past month so I could compare. It’s time to put things into perspective.
  •        I shop at Market of Choice. I’ve tried going to Safeway, but organic fruit costs less at MoC and I trust the meat at MoC.
  •        I’m on my own now and still getting used to being completely on my own, i.e., buying food and necessities.
  •         It was my birthday this month. Lots of celebrating.
  •         I went out a lot this­ month – probably more than usual.
  •         But no excuses, right?

So after adding up my grocery and dining out expenses, including random trips to MoC, drinks, ice cream, protein bars, lunch, whatever, I came up with the rough estimate of: $500.

Which seems like a lot. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. (Maybe I should keep track of these things) I could tell you the exact percentage of my paycheck that entails, but I do leave some things private. I don’t like that total (and honestly, it’s probably more), and I’d like to decrease it by 20%. It’s about $16.66 a day to feed me, drinks included. I can do better.

So I had my first Whole 30 shopping trip yesterday. I probably didn’t go out armed with as much of a plan as everyone else, but I did have an idea of what I wanted to get. The first stop is a place I haven’t been to in years.

Yesterday, I went to Costco. I am not interested in 99% of what is in Costco. But I was curious to see if I could find anything on my shopping list – I did! (and it helps to have a friend who has a Costco membership who’s also doing the Whole 30)

Organic Tomato Paste – Ingredients – organic tomatoes. Bingo! 12 pack split with superfriend. Cost =$3
Avocadoes – A big bag of them for $7.99. They’re not ripe yet, but they will be someday!
A big bag of fish (Mahi Mahi to be exact) - $16.99. I’m not sure what to do with them, but they’re frozen and individually wrapped. I know I’m supposed to eat them.
A big bag of almonds - $9.79. 3#, I think. I divided them up into Ziploc bags when I got home.
A big bag of garlic – split with superfriend. $2.40. If anyone wants to make out soon, you might want to take a rain check. I have a lot of garlic!
A big bag of lemons – split with superfriend. $3. Again, not quite sure what I’m doing with all these lemons.
A big container of salad mix - $3.99. I know for sure that this costs more at MoC, and the one I got is still organic – good! I need to eat all this. I’m bad at eating my greens.
A lot of chicken - $21.92. OK, this was my big find of the day. Costco has big packs of Foster Farms chicken that has 2 breasts per pouch and like, 6 pouches … for $21.92. I cooked up a couple pouches last night and put the rest in my freezer. This was a good deal.
Total Costco (food) expenditures: $69.08.

So I’ll be using a lot of lemons, garlic, avocadoes, and chicken in the next week. I had to get something to go with all that, so onto Market of Choice, where I can feel all uppity. Here’s what I got:
  •         Apples
  •         Almond butter
  •        Coconut Aminos (in lieu of Soy Sauce, will be trying these tonight)
  •        Sardines
  •        Kale
  •        Yams
  •       Bananas (3, they were on sale)
  •       Flaked coconut (from bulk section)
  •        Pistachios (from bulk section) (I ate some today, not all, which is a step in the right direction)
  •        Peaches
  •        Broccoli
  •        Sunflower seeds (bulk section)
  •        Bell Pepper
  •        Small steak
  •        Eggs (dozen)
  •        Balsamic Vinegar
  •        Coconut oil
  •       Red Curry Paste
  •        Coconut Milk (x2)

For a grand total of: $57.45
Total for the day: $126.53

Not bad for one day. I got a lot of the oils/condiments/weird stuff I’ll be using the whole month. I’ll need to go back in a few days and get some more produce. But I’m feeling good about this. I’m also open to suggestions for other places to try (WinCo, Albertsons) … whatever has the best deal for the best quality. Unless a fruit or vegetable has a strong peel, I’ll probably want to get it organic. But I probably won’t want another big shopping trip until payday at the end of the month. It takes a lot to feed this shrinking girl.


April said...

I used to do all our shopping at Market of Choice, but then we did a little research and realized that we were spending TWICE the US average amount on groceries. Ouch. We've cut prices down by about a third by switching to Winco & Trader Joe's... woohoo!

I definitely recommend Winco (although the drive is a bit long).
I write up our grocery list for the week, then check this website:


to see what's okay to buy non-organic (onions, avocado, cabbage, broccoli, banana, etc.) then I get all that stuff at Winco where it's wayyy cheaper.

& then I get most of the rest from TJ's, and finally random weird ingredients from Market of Choice.

Looks like I have the "telling other people how to run their lives" issue too... hope this is more helpful than annoying ; )

Foxygen said...

It was helpful, April! Thank you!