Wow! It seems like my family has to eat every day, and to keep them fed, I need to shop nearly every week. It's a vicious cycle, and one that I love.
This week, in the week that I've deemed the week of the condiments, I spent $82.04. This was split between $16 at Save-A-Lot Foods, and the remainder at Aldi. I've recently learned that Save-A-Lot foods has great deals on high quality meat (which we eat every day), so I've taken to stopping at that store (one block from my house), prior to my big shop at Aldi.
Normally, I poo-poo the idea of shopping in multiple locations, but $3/lb for grass fed New York strip, and $1.59/lb for Tyson chicken is enough to get me to a second store. I am not one who is a stickler for all-natural/organic/grass-fed, but I taste a difference when I buy higher quality meats. Since the Save-A-Lot foods offers higher quality meats than Aldi (and frequently at a lower price), I am going to continue checking out their selection in the near future.
In addition to my usual purchases, I bought two large bottles of Balsamic vinegar, bottled French dressing, 2 bottles of mustard, Soy Sauce and Mayo. I know we eat a lot of condiments, but this week's haul was a little ridiculous.
What will we be eating?
Last week, we had a brief respite from the heat, but once again, North Carolina is bringing on the heat. I'm hoping to continue eating grilled, crockpot or stove top meals for the most part. We will be eating:
Pulled Pork (from a friend- we brought taco salad with french dressing)
Steak with mushrooms and balsamic onion reduction
Beer Marinated Grilled Chicken Salad/Sandwiches
Chicken Caprese Salad
Teriyaki chicken and vegetables
Asian style meatball salad (sounds weird, tastes delicious)
Grocery Shopping for Health
In general, I find that for peak health, I need to concentrate on high quality sleep, "sufficient" exercise, and eating "well enough." Since I'm still fairly young I've found that I have a good band of latitude for both exercise and eating. That is to say, I can exercise at a very high intensity 4-5 times per week for 20-30 minutes and I don't see much benefit health or looks wise to doing more. Likewise, I can eat refined carbohydrates or sugar 4-5 days per week without feeling much negative effect in my ability to concentrate or perform exercises.
The one area that I don't have latitude is sleep. I need at least 7.5 hours every night, or I'm dragging like crazy. In the past few weeks, stress from work has led me to sleeping more poorly at night. Since my sleep hasn't been as great, I am concentrating more on the other areas of health to help me improve my sleep. Aside from more sex and less caffeine, eliminating sugar and refined carbs helps me improve my sleep more rapidly than anything else. My goal is to use my diet to get me off of nightly melatonin within two weeks.
This week, in order to help me remove those carbs, I bought more meat than normal, and I bought an extra bag of lettuce. This way, I can keep replace the tortillas, pasta, or buns that my guys are eating with lettuce (This means I will eat more meat though because I'm not trying to cut calories). When I made my meal plan, I concentrated on meat/veggie combinations rather than the meat/carb combinations that I usually rely on.
I've gone through a few Paleo/Keto phases in the last five years, so I am very familiar with adjusting recipes to eliminate carbs. If you are strictly following these diets, you will need to spend a good bit of money to keep your calories high enough. Thankfully, I'm not being strict at all (in fact, I'm eating oatmeal for breakfast), so the additional cost of this little experiment is probably about $6 for the week.
What tricks do you have for grocery shopping for better health? Do you find that you spend more when you're following a specific diet?
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.