Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Food I Buy – With Pictures

About two weeks ago I wrote about how expensive food is when you’re trying to eat “clean”, and some of you commented in agreement.  My friend Kathy asked if I’d be willing to share what I buy, so I took pictures throughout the week to show you where the grocery money goes! 

My budget for each week is $120 – that includes all food, all personal care, all household, and all baby items.  I have started using cash (so that when it’s gone, it’s gone), but the week before last we desperately needed diapers so I used $20 extra to buy them in bulk when Target had a sale.

{I eat a lot of high-protein, high-veggie meals on Somersizing, otherwise our grocery bills wouldn’t so high. It’s a lot cheaper to eat beans and tortillas!  lol }

Here’s how I spent $100:

At Weis, my total was $21.32 after coupons and sales:


I only bought the Smart Taste pasta because it was free after coupons (it has preservatives in it and I will use it to make pasta salads this summer for picnics and stuff).  Some of the expensive items were the cheese, organic milk, and 100% natural deli turkey meat. I was able to get the cream cheese, the mayo (also not clean), and all of the pastas for free after coupons.

Produce is so expensive at Weis, so I buy whatever is on sale.  That means we eat different fruits and veggies every week – this week I only bought Romaine lettuce and some Granny Smith apples there.

We eat a lot of eggs (I eat them a lot in the morning, and the three of us eat hard-boiled eggs as snacks).  Eggs are totally a wonder-food that are often overlooked!

At Aldi’s, I spent $41.24:


There are plenty of things that aren’t clean in this photo – remember we’re on the 5-year plan! :)  My husband can easily eat around 3,00-3,500 calories a day in the summer since his job is so labor-intensive, so he goes through a lot of snacks – more than I can physically make for him.  (And those of you who know Chris are laughing since he’s only about 150 pounds soaking wet!)  So the chips and pretzels and store-bought bread are for him, as are the marshmallows for homemade Rice Krispie treats.  You will also notice pepperoni and turkey bacon (not clean because of preservatives). 

However, I was also able to get wild-caught salmon, spinach, mozzarella, and a bunch of fresh produce, in addition to some other pantry staples. 

We do not eat a lot of organic foods at this point other than organic milk for me, organic yogurt for Luke, and organic produce when it’s on sale (like this week; I bought organic spinach for $2.99).  It’s definitely something I’d like to improve on but the the cost is astronomical! 

At Rite Aid and CVS I only spent $1.90 after coupons, sales, and Extra Bucks (*there are two packs of wipes missing from this photo*):


Extra items:

- Whole milk gallon (for DH) and two newspapers: $6.49
- 2 jars of extra-virgin, unrefined, cold-pressed organic coconut oil from Amazon, thanks to a tip from Money Saving Mom: $11.83 (I had free shipping)
- Strawberries from the field: $14 for about 12 pounds
- Lids/pectin for the freezer jam: $4.97
    (Not shown is a container of pureed frozen berries, plus 3 baby food jars of jam and a huge Tupperware of fresh berries that was devoured before the picture. :) Btw, if you want a great lower-sugar jam, use the Ball method – it’s fantastic and SO easy – no boiling! I am so glad Kimba outlined it on her site – I had always used Sure-Jell in the past.)

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My total for the week: $101.75.  Close enough! :)

If you’re wondering what we eat…

Breakfasts: Cereal for DH and eggs or cereal for me

Lunches: Sandwiches for DH and leftovers or salads for me

Dinners last week:
Monday: Taco Salad
Tuesday: Asian Grilled Salmon (amazing recipe I will post next Tuesday); spinach/romaine salad with onions, peppers, mozzarella, and tomatoes; rice for Chris
Wednesday: Grilled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches w/Bacon and Onion; cukes on the side (no bread or BBQ for me)
Thursday: Leftovers (I was out picking strawberries)
Friday: In NYC, dinner at a friend’s house
Saturday: More leftovers, lots of jam over vanilla ice cream because that’s when I made it :), desserts at a friend’s house

(It was an odd week for us but it gives you a glimpse.)


Hope this post is helpful to some of you!  We have a long way to go but we’re making progress!  It is frustrating sometimes to know how much cheaper our grocery budget would be if we bought a lot more processed foods with coupons, but I know this is so much better for us.  I do plan on posting more about In Defense of Food later this week so stay tuned! :)


P.S. I appreciate the fact that nobody stopped following me this time when I posted something close to my heart!  haha I have had a few e-mails and calls already regarding the post below and I am so thankful that God was able to use my “tough times” to encourage others!  Feel free to e-mail at any time! :)


  1. Wow! You do pretty well for that budget! I'm guessing you coupon, right? :) I really need to start shopping for better food - thanks for sharing!

  2. You did awesome on that budget! Keep up the good work!

  3. What a great post! I enjoy seeing how people who are trying to eat well budget and spend their money - especially since I am on the same journey! In Defense of Food is one of my all-time favorite books! Looks like you're doing a super job feeding your family well.

  4. Wow! You really did great on that budget! Did you coupon at all? I should start taking tips from you!

    Have a great day, hun!

  5. i'm super impressed! i was a coupon queen... i say "was" because with a newborn and a 16 mo. old i'm not sure there will be a whole lot of time to prepare it all! but i will sure try! i love all your jam making. i must try it! you are a wife of noble character - keep it up, girl! : )

  6. Hi Jessica! I'm following you now from NFF. I would really like to use coupons the way you do and you have definitely inspired me with this post to try to do so! I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts. :)

  7. Hello! I'm so glad you stopped by my blog and I like your name too :) Great minds think alike!!

    Hope you have a great day....I'm now following you :)

  8. This was a great read. I keep forgetting to try Aldi's out. We have one just up the road here in Omaha and I've heard you really can save there. We also FINALLY have CVS opening here, miss them from New York. Kudos to you for having the guts to post your tampons in the picture, lol!


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