$100 paleo challenge

$100 Paleo Grocery Challenge & Whole 30 – Week 1

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First official week of the $100 paleo grocery challenge!  Who’s excited!?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about or want to know the rules, check here.

I’ll start with a workout brag though.  I did 30 miles on the stationary bike Saturday.  Whoa buddy, did my bum hurt after.  It took 1:47:10 and I got a lot of reading done, which is the only good part about being on an indoor bike.

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Getting ready for a long ride with my kindle.  I’ve been reading “It Starts With Food.”

I can’t wait to get outside and ride.  My new helmet came last week!

After the ride, Carter and I went grocery shopping with my in-laws.  Harley and Scott were at the Monster Truck Show.  I knew Sunday was going to be busy with family dinner at my grandpa’s, so I wanted to get it out of the way.  We went to Meijer and McCord’s Market.  (Note:  There are a couple non-paleo items in the photos, I’ll address them later.)

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Meats Week 1
Meats
 Ground Beef 1.20# @ 2.99/# 3.59
Smoked Pepper Salmon 6.49
Fresh Salmon 1.35# @ 6.99/# 9.17
Angus Round Steak 1.87# @ 2.49/# 4.27
 Total: 23.52

I looked at the salmon and realized it wasn’t paleo/whole30 compliant.  Preservatives.  Blast.  Another lesson learned, make sure you READ INGREDIENTS!

Also, there is a corned beef brisket for Scott.

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Vegetables Week 1
Vegetables
Parsnips 1.78# @ 1.10/# 1.96
Broccoli 6 bunches @ 0.88/each 5.28
Brussel Sprouts 1# 2.25
Green Peppers 5 1.39
Grean Beans 3.19# @ 0.49/# 1.56
Summer Squash 1.81# @ 1.79/# 3.24
Red Peppers 4 2.13
Avocados 4 (after $1 off coupon) 1.79
Cabbage 2.62# @ 0.14/# 0.37
Pears 2.06# @ 1.28/# 2.64
Broccoflower 2
Organic Spinach 2.5
Tomatoes (after $1 off coupon) 1.5
Stir Fry Mix (after $1 off coupon) 1.5
 Total: 30.11

If you don’t shop the marked down produce rack at your grocery store, then you should.  If your store doesn’t have one, that blows.  Also, if you are lucky enough to have a Meijer to shop at, check for MPERKS!  Coupons for produce is rare.  Meijer has got your back.  Super easy, sign up with your phone number, no rewards card to keep track of, just type into the keypad at the end of your transaction to see the savings come off.

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6 packages of broccoli! 88 cents a piece! They’re lucky I didn’t fill the cart.
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Fruit Week 1
Fruits
Fuji Apples 3# Bag 2.5
Braeburn Apples 3# Bag 2.5
Green Grapes 1.92# @ 1.29/# 2.48
Bananas 8.45# @ 0.39/# 3.3
Pears 2.06# @ 1.28/# 2.64
Limes (Bag) 2
Lemons (Bag) 2
 Total: 17.42

Overall, I’m very satisfied with my shopping trip.  I didn’t get to write a list either, but I generally try to buy things that are on sale.  I actually clipped the mperks while I was shopping.

Paleo Friendly Grocery Total: 71.05!

Under budget by $28.95!  Overage will be saved for bulk ordering.  I’m going to order from the local co-op coconut chips and whole almonds so I can make my own coconut milk, coconut butter, almond milk, almond flour, etc.

And I didn’t get to buy Scott’s pop for in the non-paleo groceries, but there’s plenty left from the $25 I allot for him to get it.

Non-Paleo Groceries
Yukon Gold Potatoes 5# Bag 1.79
Corned Beef 9.19
Meijer White Bread 0.99
 Total: 11.97

Scott really liked the Organic White Bread that I bought at Trader Joe’s, but I couldn’t find an organic bread at Meijer.  Oh well.

After we got all of the food put away, Carter and I went back to my in-laws to hang out.

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Carter is such a great helper, scrubbing the parsnips and carrots for grandma! He finally got a haircut too.
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He was worn out after such a long day with no nap.

I didn’t get to take pictures of any meal prep other than what I made for family dinner on Sunday, but I did make up a bunch of other vegetables too.

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For family dinner, I made Pecan Bacon Brussel Sprouts, Roasted Parsnips & Carrots, and Roasted Green Beans.

I’d like to add that we didn’t use everything from last week, so I definitely got plenty of groceries.

I’m out of time right now to write about the Whole30, so I’ll try to fill you in on that tomorrow.  Pretty proud of how this trip went, especially with not planning.

What do you guys think?

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$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.

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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…

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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*

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

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

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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.

Household
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
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Meats
Meats
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.

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Fruits, Vegetables, etc.
Vegetables
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!

Fruits
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
$30.27

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
$13.94

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?