Are you going to go to the grocery store next month? Guess what, I’m not. Yeah, you read that right!
Though I have steered away from processed foods for some time, having made my own breads, baked goods and treats from scratch even prior to giving up grains and sugars, my perspective on food has changed drastically. Though I am still very budget conscious, my perspective on frugal has shifted; I would rather buy less of a quality item and find ways to stretch it than a larger amount of a low quality item.
After doing a lot of talking, my husband and I have made the decision that we are not going to go to the grocery store for a month. We already find local, high quality sources for much of what we buy, and we want to challenge ourselves to find more. Granted, right now, in the dead of winter might not be the best time to be starting this, but we will give it a go!
So here are the rules we have set forth for ourselves:
1) We will NOT spend money in a grocery/big box/convenience store on anything we will eat. Paper goods, toiletries, etc will still be purchase when they are needed.
2) We will seek out local sources for what we can, and resort to outside source last. If we cannot find the quality we want locally we are willing to seek out online/shipped sources (Like this awesome deal at Tropical Traditions, or US Wellness Meats, or even Amazon if needed) that will provide us with what we need.
3) We will stick to our Paleo/Primal tenants. For us this means: No Grains, No Processed Sugars, Limited High Quality Dairy, Limited Paleo Sweeteners (Honey/Maple Syrup/Dates/Figs) and Carbs in the moderation that our bodies thrive (Steven does better with a higher carb than me, and we will maintain those amounts).
Though we have the expectation that making this shift may increase the amount we spend on food a bit, we are hoping that the reduction of spur of the moment purchases will offset these. I won’t be buying the package of dried fruit to occupy the kids in the cart if they are never in the cart, right.
Knowing that this is a testing month we are giving ourselves a bit of wiggle room on the budget. I am going to buy the amounts that we need, and see how much that is. In other words, rather than trying to stick to a budget, I am going to allow our bodies to determine its needs. It will be a process of experimenting and learning, but I think it will be a good shift and bring us more insight.
With all this said, I will be spending the next week preparing by sourcing everything we will need. Though I won’t be starting for another week, I plan to do very limited grocery store shopping. Additionally, I will not buying ahead what I would be using. There is however one exception to that rule:
I will be ‘stocking-up’ on butter before the challenge starts for a couple reasons. First, I love KerryGold Butter! I love the flavor and have yet to find one I like nearly as well! Secondly, the local pastured alternative is nearly 5 times more expensive. With as much as we use, that cost will add up very fast. For the sake of my wallet (and my taste buds) I will be buying a couple pounds ahead for the month, but I will not go into the grocery store during the month to buy any. Does that make sense?
And of course, I will be taking you all along for the journey. I will update weekly on what I have purchased, from where, and the cost of my purchases. Though I don’t think I could go without the grocery store forever, I am really hoping that we gain insight into local products, as well as find a better way to fit the quality needs into the budget. So here we go!
What do you guys think? Are you up for the challenge? I would love for others to join and share insights as we work though this!