July 8, 2012

Pantry Challenge Week 1 Report

This week I have learned a little bit about my grocery habits.  For one thing, I have tons of food in my house!  Grocery shopping is my favorite hobby, so any time I ran out of things in the past I would instantly put it on my list, instead of seeing if I could make do without it.  Now, I am really scrutinizing my grocery list.  For example, I have been out of coconut oil for 3 weeks already, but I am not going to order more until next month.  I have some beef tallow in the freezer I can render, and we have plenty of olive oil and butter.  Also, we're out of regular mustard, so I am using dijon instead.  I think that's the key to success- looking at what you have versus what you need (or want) to buy.

I've also realized how many convenience items we really consume, and I'm okay with it, since I don't eat most of them.  Since I don't eat flour tortillas, I don't see why I should slave away to make them.  My husband and son want them for breakfast, so I buy them.  I am totally fine with using boxed mixes to make a nice dessert for company, since I won't eat it anyway.  Why would I spend my time making something so unhealthy from scratch when I could be outside making money instead?  Plus, I already have to make all my own food from scratch.  Eating Paleo means you have to cook it yourself.  I am not going to make 2 meals completely from scratch so that I can meet my own health goals and please my husband.

So, why doesn't the rest of my family eat Paleo and save me the trouble of cooking separate meals?  My husband doesn't think he needs to, and I am not going to force my kids to eat Paleo if Daddy doesn't.  We don't have serious diseases or behavioral issues, so I don't stress about it.  Also, I look at the progress we've already made.  My family eats alot more vegetables than they used to since I've started the Paleo journey.  I have healthier snacks for my kids, such as nuts and seeds, dried fruit, and hard boiled eggs.  And at least 50% of their meals are gluten free. I've recently discovered potatoes are the cheapest food to feed your family, in terms of dollars per pound.  And when you grow them yourself you save even more money!

I think I can reduce our spending on these convenience items by spending more time looking for coupons.  My husband is a creature of habit and he likes what he likes.  I am making a list of the convenience items we use and I plan to spend a few minutes each week looking for coupons for those items. 

Here's what we've eaten since I last updated:

July 6: lunch was a Crockpot Mexican Stew, dinner was leftovers for me and Chicken Fried Steak for hubby plus some fresh fruit
July 7: lunch was Grilled Steak and Broccoli; dinner was leftovers and fresh fruit
July 8: lunch today was bacon cheeseburgers (no cheese or bun for me) and fruit.  Tonight, for a birthday dinner, we're having pulled pork sandwiches (no bun for me) using some frozen pulled pork, a fresh lettuce salad, watermelon, and gluten free yellow cake.  I have never made it before, but the raw dough tasted great to me. I will let you know how it goes over with the rest of the group.

Spending update:
I have asked my husband's grandmother to get ice cream, fresh lettuce, and hamburger buns for our party tonight.  I estimate it will be around $15.  Also yesterday I realized I am going to have to order vitamins.  I only have enough to last another week.  Since Vitacost gives you free shipping on orders over $49 I am ordering a 5 month supply of multivitamins for myself and a few other things for my husband.  Multivitamins are a necessity for my family, especially in this season of life.  So that will bring our monthly total to about $190.  I am hoping to keep it under $300 for the month.

Be sure to visit Good Cheap Eats for more Pantry Challenge reports!

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