• I Want Your Grocery Shopping Questions

    October 27, 2012

    Hi, friends! I hope you’re enjoying a fabulous Saturday!  😎

    I did our grocery shopping for the week yesterday afternoon since we were pretty much out of food. Mal and I can rarely make it a full week—it’s more like 5 or 6 days—before our fridge is empty. I know I should just buy more food, but we’re kind of picky about our produce and meat. Mal and I both prefer fresh over frozen, so these foods don’t typically last long before they go bad. I bought some bagged frozen veggies yesterday to see how they’ll work in our meals this week. Maybe we’ll be converted!


    Here’s this week’s meal plan:

    Shopping list*:

    • Bananas
    • Onions
    • Brown rice vinegar
    • Peanut butter
    • Mushrooms
    • Almond milk
    • Ground turkey
    • Italian sausage
    • Butternut squash
    • Chicken
    • Red bell pepper
    • Cod
    • Apples
    • Asparagus
    • Spaghetti squash
    • Potatoes
    • Broccoli
    • Eggs
    • Frozen veggies
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Lime juice
    • Lemons
    • Thyme
    • Scallions
    • Swiss chard
    • Bread
    • Pumpkin pie spice
    • Greek yogurt
    • Walnuts
    • Cooking spray
    • Coconut extract

    Recently, I’ve received a ton of questions about our grocery budget and how it’s changed since Mal and I started eating more of a Paleo diet. It’s definitely increased, but we’re trying our best to keep costs down by meal planning and shopping smart. If you have questions about our budget, shopping, meal planning, etc., please leave them in the comment section of this post. I’m planning to write a post later this week that addresses them all. Thanks, guys!

    *My shopping list doesn’t include all of the ingredients necessary to make the above meals. For a complete list, please see the individual recipes linked above.

    Pin It

    { 32 comments… read them below or add one }

    Amy October 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Now that your Paleo challenge is over, what were you most excited to buy? I did strict Paleo for 7 weeks and thought for sure it would be something bread-related, but it was actually Atkins Peanut Butter Fudge bars (processed) and sour cream (dairy). What were you most excited to buy after your Paleo challenge?


    Penny October 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    @Amy: Probably not much of anything since she admitted to not even doing the Paleo challenge.


    Amy October 28, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Oh, sorry. I misunderstood. Nevermind. @Penny:


    Liz October 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Paleo seems to focus a lot on grass fed meat and the diet that the animals are raised on. Is that something that you’ve focused on when you show? And, if so, do you have any tips for finding quality meat on a budget? I’m obsessed with paleo pad thai too! I’m making it for dinner tonight!


    jodi October 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    hi tina – i’m wondering if you buy special (i.e. more nutritious) food for Murphy or if you stick with brands available in a typical grocery store? thanks.


    Opal October 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Why don’t you just do an extra mid-week produce shop?


    Romy December 4, 2012 at 10:57 am

    My Paleo breakfast Omelette!Omega 3 eggs smcerblad with red onion, green peppers, and red peppers- sliced avocado on top!couple slices of turkey bacon from trader joesStarbucks coffee brewed from home- sweeten it up with Almond Milk and blue agave sweetner! Also I love ice cold coffee on the way to the office- DD or Starbucks..I just tell them not to put anything in it..and carry my little bottle of agave with me! I know i know.. LOL!!


    Laura @ Happy Sugar Haibts October 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Tina, I am quite big on making sure I use all of my leftovers. I just wondered if you ever find you end up chucking anything away or do you try use everything up in some way?


    Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles October 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    How many stores do you usually go to every week? I have trouble finding everything in one place and often have to make trips to other stores every week even if it’s just for a few things. So time consuming.


    Libby October 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I just have to say that I enjoy your weekly shopping list/pics/menu. I don’t eat paleo but I do try to eat clean. I always end up shopping more during the week for fresh produce. No question, but I will enjoy your post!


    Kristen @ Change of Pace October 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I am a crazy meal planner! I really think that’s the key to saving money. That way you don’t make several trips to the store. I would love to know what you do about buying organic, free range, natural, ect… For us it’s always grassfed beef but we don’t buy organic chicken.


    Steph October 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    How do you do your grocery budget? I meal plan every week, but even still I find that my food budget is the one most off my plan. Very frustrating.


    Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness October 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I’d love to hear some more about your grocery budget! I definitely spend more on Paleo foods and struggle with keeping costs down. Also are you able to make only 1 trip a week? I always end up going twice during the week because I run out of fruits, veggies, or meats!


    Julia October 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    My problem is that I may have decided on having a particular thing for dinner, but come that day I may change my mind if I don’t feel like eating it. Does that ever happen to you? Do you just suck it up and eat what you planned for anyway or would you make an extra trip to satisfy your craving?


    meg fitzpatrick October 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Julia – I too do this and try to swap planned meals to suit my mood, or even improvise and make up my own recipe based on what is in my frig from the shopping trip.

    Plus, I go to events most nights of the week for work projects and find it really hard to eat a good dinner – esp. after a hors d’oeuvres and wine until 8 or 9 PM. Does anyone else have this work lifestyle? How do you eat “clean?”


    Joanna October 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I’d be curious to know if your planning makes up for it, or if paleo is just more expensive period. I read this article a while ago and it definitely biased me – http://www.learnvest.com/2012/10/the-best-diet-for-your-budget/


    Joanna October 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Oh and I should note that I’m not affiliated with that site in any way. Just a curious and conscious eater who has a tight budget!


    Amanda Jewell October 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Great timing; I’ve recently had to reduce my costs and need to learn how to budget food better. Do you meal plan lunches ever into your grocery lists? Or do you just rely on leftovers/winging it? Do you buy certain pantry staples online to reduce costs? How do you feel about buying in bulk? How important are local produce & products to you?

    Thanks for the post Tina!


    Aubrey October 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    How do you use everything you buy when cooking multiple meals a week? We find that if we cook once, that in order to use everything, we have to eat the same thing all week. It gets old by Thursday.


    Cinemarie October 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Hi Tina,
    I’ve had this question on my mind and have researched the net for a satisfying answer for years! Since you’re asking for questions on the subject, I figured I could ask you, you are so good at making things clear and simple 🙂

    About meal planning, how do you do it? And I don’t mean, I take a sheet and I write down all the meals we’ll have for a week – which is what every web site says – I mean duh! that’s the easy part! 😉

    I mean, how do you decide what you’ll eat all week. Do you have any pattern or reasons behind what gets ‘picked’ for meals on a certain week? Do you try to, for instance, think of what veggies you’d like and then find recipes with these specific veggies so you can make the most of the same ingredients? Or do you try to have a balanced amount of, I don’t know, red meat vs fish or chicken, I’m totally making this up as I go… lol

    I just find that it’s hard to pick recipes for a week and not end up buying a whole lot of extras I don’t know what to do with…

    Or I don’t have any inspiration to choose recipes – I can look at a site with recipes and get totally overwhelmed and give up… hence the question about if there is a theme or pattern, or a reasoning behind how you choose your meals for the week…

    sorry this is a long question, phew! I hope it makes sense (english is not my first language…:)

    I thank you in advance for any info you can share with us on carrotsncake 🙂


    Penny October 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    So if you’re not eating a Paleo diet and dont’ like to be boxed in….why keep referencing it? You said you started eating “more of a Paleo diet”….how you are eating is also more like Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet….so why label it and just say you eat clean? It isn’t Paleo so don’t call it that. Yeah I get sensitive about people calling things what they aren’t. But it IS more like the http://www.eatcleandiet.com….or just call it “healthy eating”.


    Jen October 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

    @Penny: Sounds like you’re the one with the problem. get over it.


    Lisa October 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I meal plan as well and find that it saves me a ton of money every week but my question is on snacks. That is where I spend a lot of money is buying chips and easy snacks for the family to grab on the run. How do you get around this if at all? Or do you make every snack?


    Dana October 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    hey Tina –

    I left a comment a while ago with questions about your weekly Sunday pre-cooking for the week – just thought I’d throw that in the mix of q’s because in my world I need to do this.

    I’ve been trying for a long time to come up with a 1x/week shopping strategy – I work 8 to 5 and generally train 1-2hrs/day. Time is tight! Like you, we are more about the fresh food…would love to see strategy for using more pantry & frozen foods (it’s just another pantry too, right?!) to actually make it through the week.

    Looking very forward to seeing what you have to say!


    meg fitzpatrick October 27, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    How do you find and organize coupons, and then use them for planning your week and shopping? I am trying to save money by using them but find I get overwhelmed plus buy stuff I normally wouldn’t.

    Also, if you have time, please go to my website and open the animal paintings tab. I’m a painter and you’ll find a pug in the gallery. I love all the photos you post of Murphy…he’ so handsome and cute.


    Annette@FitnessPerks October 28, 2012 at 12:13 am

    We totally buy spinach in bulk because we drink lots of spinach smoothies 🙂 Also, we buy frozen berries. Such a saver!


    Kelsey Reidl October 28, 2012 at 9:07 am


    Agreed, frozen berries are SO much cheaper – but lack the nutrients found in fresh picked ones !


    Katy October 28, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Do you count cleaning supplies, toilet paper etc into your grocery budget?


    Emily @ www.main-eats.com October 28, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Looks like a great trip to the store!!!


    kristle October 28, 2012 at 9:16 am

    i also prefer fresh produce, and i’ll admit that’s where most of my money goes. i always read that frozen will save you money and it still retains its nutrients. i’ve found for stir fries, i don’t miss the fresh at all. its a good step to reduce my grocery bill. plus i buy a big container of plain yogurt every week and use frozen fruit to sweeten it as i portion it out for each day of the week


    Sarah October 28, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Do you have rules about the quality of food you eat? For example- do you buy only organic meat or only organic veggies?


    Cara @ I Don't Believe in Diets October 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    How stocked does your freezer tend to be? I know you said you prefer fresh meat, but what about veggies?


    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: