$100 Paleo Grocery Challenge – Rules & Trial Week

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This was the first week of my $100 Paleo Whole Foods Challenge.  I’m going to refer to it as my Trial Week, because it wasn’t as planned as I had hoped.

I got this idea from another website, 100 Days of Real Food.  They chose to do $125 a week, bu included lots of dairy, so I figured I could outdo that.

Since that site doesn’t have to do with paleo, I had to make a new list of rules for my challenge.

What we CAN eat:

  1. Whole Foods:  products of nature and not industry.
  2. Lots of Fruits and Vegetables:  organic when possible.
  3. Seafood:  wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised.
  4. Meats:  locally raised, lean and grass-fed is best.
  5. Eggs:  limit to 6 per week.
  6. Beverages:  limited to water, all natural juices, almond milk.
  7. Snacks:  in moderation… dried fruit, seeds, nut & Lärabars.
  8. All Natural Sweeteners:  use minimally, honey, 100% maple syrup & fruit juice concentrate.
  9. Healthy Oils:  Olive, Avocado, Walnut, Flaxseed & Coconut Oils.

What we CANNOT eat:

  1. No Grains.
  2. No Dairy Products.
  3. No Legumes (including peanut butter).
  4. No Starchy Vegetables:  potatoes included.
  5. No Refined Sweeteners.
  6. Nothing Processed i.e. out a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has ingredients you cannot buy, eat, hold in a raw state.  (The other website said 5 ingredients, but some Lärabars have more than 5 ingredients.  I’m saying you have to know what the ingredients are,  what they look like AND they must meet the allowable food standards.)
  7. No Deep Fried Foods.
  8. No “Fast Foods.”

The good thing about going paleo is that you can customize it.  These are pretty much standard paleo rules, however, if you want to allow yourself the occasional grass-fed butter and cheese or whole grains, that’s totally up to you.  I recommend READING multiple books on paleo if you are interested in making the switch.  You have to remember that foods on the NOT allowed list are there for a reason.  You’ll have a better understanding if you do some research.  I have read The Paleo Diet (sort of boring), It Start with Food (only half so far, but VERY good) & Eat Like a Dinosaur so far, along with countless internet articles.

We read “Eat Like a Dinosaur” on Friday night. Harley loved the story and was super excited about eating like a “dino.” He refused “non-dino” food even the next day. Carter was indifferent, but eats anything I give him.  I shared this with the authors, Paleo Parents, and they posted it on their Facebook page!

I will also be making an exceptions list.  While I would love for my husband to drop everything to do this with me, it’s unrealistic.  He has made great strides in moving toward a better diet and I’m very proud of that.   I think switching from Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies for a snack to Bananas is a vast improvement.  We both have made significant changes to our diet, he’s just a little behind me.  I’m going to allow $25 for non-paleo food items, but I’m also going to try to make them as “healthy” as I can.  In time, I’m like to reduce that amount.

Husband & Kids Exceptions LIMITED:

  1. Dairy:  cheese and milk.
  2. Grains:  preferably whole grains, bread, pasta & rice.
  3. Peanut Butter.
  4. Refined Sugar:  for his coffee.
  5. Pop.
  6. Ketchup (Organic, no HFCS).

As I said, he’s moving toward cutting back these things, but isn’t ready to completely give them up.  I’m patiently pushing to get rid of the bad stuff.  I still have trouble with willpower too, I won’t hide from that.

Let’s take a break for a second…

Kid in underwear learning to do a handstand. Awesome.

Let’s get to grocery shopping!  Admittedly, this trip didn’t go quite as I planned.  Mostly because I went to a new city and awesome new stores for part of it (Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s & People’s Food Co-op) in addition to my regulars (Meijer & Horrocks).  Next week, I won’t get to go to the awesome new stores. *sad face*

My cart at Meijer. Lovely and completely covering the yucky pop. 🙂

Let’s go over the non-paleo friendly foods and household products first.

Non-Paleo Foods & Household Products, not all are pictured.
Cherry Dr. Pepper (5) 2 Liters 5.00
Organic Soft White Bread 2.99
Whole Grain Wheat Bread 2.49
Organic Ketchup 24oz. 1.99
Kerrygold Whiskey Cheddar 3.54
Kerrygold Kilarnee Cheddar 2.80
Kerrygold Dubliner Vintage 4.29
Kerrygold Butter (2) 5.98
Lärabar Über Apple Turnover 1.00
Lärabar Peanut Butter Jelly (2) 2.58
Total: $32.66

Went over the $25 food limit for the kids and husband exception, but again, I was at special stores that I don’t visit ever, so it was a little treat.   I bought Kerrygold butters and cheese which come from grass-fed cows in Ireland.  (By the way, Scott tried the butter last night and the first thing out of his mouth was “Oh my God, this is amazing!”).  I also bought whole grain wheat bread for the boys and organic soft white for Scott.  Improvements. Overage: $7.66

And then we have some new household items, which aren’t part of the food budget.

Tom’s Strawberry Toothpaste 3.99
Tom’s Wintermint Toothpaste 3.99
365 Conditioner 32oz. 5.99
365 Shampoo 32oz. 5.99
 Total: $19.96

And lastly, I have a family potluck on Sunday, so these are added expenses like “eating out” would be.

Family Potluck
Carrots 3# 1.99
Brussel Sprouts 1.83# @2.49/# 4.56
Pecans 5.93
Meijer Bacon 12oz. 2.39
 Total: $14.87
Applegate Farms Bacon 3.99
96/4 Lean Ground Beef 1.29# @ 3.99# 5.16
Whole Pork Tenderloin 7.42
Boneless Pork Loin Ribs 4.39# @1.99/# 8.75
Al Fresco Chicken Sausage (4) 12oz. 12.00
Bulk Chicken Maple Sausage 1.03# @ 5.99/# 6.17
Meijer Italian Sausage 18oz. 2.89
 Total: $46.38

I did some stocking up on sale items so I definitely think I can continue to bring my bill down.  Those Al Fresco sausages were $2 off a piece.  I took advantage by buying 4 packages.

Fruits, Vegetables, etc.
Organic Romaine Lettuce 3.69
Radishes 1.11# @ 0.99/# 1.10
Cauliflower (3) 4.87
Broccoli (2) 2.98
Organic Kale (2) 4.00
 Total: $16.64

We are seriously working on trying new vegetables and sadly, I wanted to buy broccoflower that was on sale but it was all gone!

Bananas 2.14# @ 0.49/# 1.05
Golden Delicious Apples 3.58# @ 1.28/# 4.58
Fuji Apples 3.20# @ 0.88/# 2.82
Organic Bananas 5.91# @ 0.69/# 4.08
Comice Pears 1.96# @ 0.99/# 1.94
Strawberries 2# 4.00
Raspberries 3.00
Blueberries 1 pint 3.00
Bananas 2.46# @ 0.44/# 1.08
Organic Fuji Apples 2.37# @ 1.99/# 4.72

This list looks long because bananas are on here 3 times.  I bought regulars at two stores and two prices.  I try to get them in varying degree of yellows/greens to ensure they ripen at different times during the week.  And organic bananas were on sale so I bought some.

Misc. Paleo
Lärabar Blueberry Muffin 1.00
Lärabar Banana Bread (2) 2.00
Lärabar Apple Pie (2) 2.00
Lärabar Carrot Cake (3) 3.00
Lärabar Chocolate Coconut (2) 2.00
Lärabar Jocolät Mint 1.49
Organic Fruit Wraps (5) @ 0.49/each 2.45

And the grand total for Paleo Friendly Groceries… $107.23

I was over by $7.23.

Dang.  The good news is a lot of the bars and meat were cupboard/freezer stock purchases because of sales and new things to try from new stores.  I see what I can do to improve for what I’m going to officially call week 1 next week.

But did you see how much FOOD I bought?  Seriously.

I try to buy things only if they are on sale or REALLY need them.  My ultimate goal would be able to buy meat in bulk from a farmer and buy mostly organic foods.

Do you have any suggestions or thoughts for my shopping trip?


8 thoughts on “$100 Paleo Grocery Challenge – Rules & Trial Week

    Kay said:
    March 13, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I think I am going to have to take some lessons on shopping again…been shopping the same way for 30+ years and change is hard, but we all need to eat better. If you don’t bring it into the house, they can’t eat it. I do have a different sugar Scott should try that is SO much better than white! I will try to remember to bring you some.

      Fit.Fat.Fut. Addie responded:
      March 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      So true! I won’t be buying more cereal for the boys after their current boxes are gone. I’m not going to waste what we already had. Wish I could just get him off the sugar, but baby steps!

    Kimberly Wright said:
    March 13, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Challenge accepted ;-). I’ll try to purchase everything you did here and stay within the same range. I’m not going shopping until next week though. I want to avoid the crazies on pay day so I’m waiting a week.

    Angie Tobias said:
    March 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Love this post. Love these foods. Looking forward to future ones 🙂 And would be especially happy if you chose to come grocery shop here again…… justsayin.

      Fit.Fat.Fut. Addie responded:
      March 14, 2013 at 8:07 am

      Thank you for taking me and I wish I could go every week with you! I’d spend all of my grocery money on gas though. Boo. Maybe we’ll have to do it like 3-6 times a year. 🙂

    Katie B said:
    March 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    So what are some different meals that you are going to make? :o)

      Fit.Fat.Fut. Addie responded:
      March 14, 2013 at 8:10 am

      We did spaghetti squash and homemade sauce last night for dinner, but I already had that stuff to use up from the week before. 🙂 I have just been winging it. I did plan to eat some salads and I’m making carrot soup tonight. We had the sausages the other night for dinner with eggs and fruit. We have a lot of go to meals that I feel are probably boring to everyone haha. I’m trying to branch out a bit more.

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