Friday, January 20, 2012

Goodbye Grocery Store!

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! 


  1. First of all, I LOVE your blog. I can't tell you how many of your recipes I have bookmarked in my Paleo folder. Also, thanks to your Jan. 12th post, I now have a very healthy supply of 60% off ground buffalo. :)

    I have to say, you are braver than I am. I don't know how I would manage what you are about to attempt with "Goodbye Grocery Store". I am excited to hear how it goes for you and to learn any tips/tricks you come up with along the way! Best of luck!

  2. I'm not ready to jump on this wagon...yet! But I'm excited to hear how it goes for you! Who knows? Maybe I'll be ready in month or two!

  3. You are so welcome, Carol! I love hearing that others are benefiting from the work I put into this silly little blog ;-)!
    Annie, I am really excited to start this challenge, and share it with all of you and hopefully all learn something new and beneficial!

  4. This sounds like a great idea. We get a large chunck of our veggies through our csa already, but not sure if I can convince the wife to go through with this. I just know it will cost more. Can't wait to see your updates.

  5. Where do you buy your KerryGold butter??

  6. Go for it, lady! Its a great idea and another great way to keep us all reading!

  7. I love Kerrygold and could eat it straight up (and do). That was one of my first thoughts.
    I've been wanting to do this but my hubby and teenage boys will not make the transition. It's actually more expensive trying to fit in both lifestyles.
    I'd have to make sure I have enough EVOO and Braggs,and ingredients to make some condiments.

    1. I could eat it straight, too! I love it melted in my coffee with a little pure vanilla or cinnamon, mmmm! I just can't imagine paying SO MUCH more for something I don't enjoy nearly as much. If I can get to the point where that is all I buy at the grocery I would be perfectly ok with it!

  8. I love your blog, too!!! I am looking forward to hearing all about your successes (and the challenges). I can imagine doing this with the produce while in Japan, but not with meat... however, if I DID? I'd get excellent quality meat as they grass-feed their animals and humanely kill them over here. It's just insanely expensive (thus the reason they eat so little meat)... so, I'll wait for when the military moves us back home! Meanwhile, I'll have to buy meat at the commissary. I'll take notes from your blog and learn through your experiences. :)

    1. I have heard from friends who have been stationed there that the meat is SO good, but SO expensive! All you can really do is make due with what you have and make the best of it! I always wanted to be stationed in Japan for a while, but I think it would get difficult really fast!