Grocery Geek: The Mid-Month March Report

grocerygeek-gceThings have been crazy around here. What can I say? Hockey? Hip pain? Homeschool? I’m all about alliteration today. Obviously. Suffice it to say, I have been lacking in the time to write department.

Slowly but surely the fog is starting to clear. Hubs is getting the hockey thing under control. Dr. Gary is taking care of my hip — praise the Lord. (It’s a dysfunctional sacroiliac joint, in case you were wondering.) And school is fun and good — most days.

With a crazy week schedule comes a new resolve to reserve certain days for me to devote to writing. Hubby and I have been crafting that this week, trying to figure out what to do when, where people need to be, and the most important question of all, what we’re going to eat!

I end my Whole 30 today. Reentry starts tomorrow. I’m hoping everything is fine. As I mentioned in my updates this past week, it’s complicated.

So, here’s how the grocery shopping went down this past two weeks. Keep in mind that I feed 8 people, ages, 50, 40, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, and 4.  Five of the six eldest are male. Nuf said. My target price for groceries is $800/month. Here’s how it shook down last month.

Here’s the mid-month report:


march gg eggs

I went to the store for eggs. Imagine my surprise and delight to find organics marked down to a buck fifty. They had about 2 weeks to spare on them before their date. I bought 7 dozen. Oh yes, I did.

Total spent on eggs: $10.50


march gg costco

I did a sizeable freezer cooking plan at the beginning of the month which necessitated a trip to Costco. Since most of these purchases weren’t on my diet (like cream, cheese, tortillas, pasta), I tried to buy enough to last us awhile. When I’m not eating certain things, I tend not to realize when we run out.

Total spent at Costco: $300


march gg walmart sprouts

To fill out what I needed for freezer cooking, I headed to Sprouts and Walmart for the produce and odds and ends.

Total spent: $80

Trader Joe’s

mar gg trader joe's

Date nights during the Whole30 have consisted of dinner at Chipotle and a run by Trader Joe’s. I’m going through a lot of coconut milk and cashews for me and a lot of bread for the kids since I don’t want to bake.

Total spent at Trader Joe’s: $30

Abundant Harvest Organics

mar gg aho

Our first produce box of the month contained all kinds of goodness, though I’m staying away from the turnips now that I know they don’t agree with me. That root looking thing is a bit of horseradish. Fun!

Total spent: $40

Sprouts again

mar gg sprouts 2

This Whole30 has had me running out of vegetables like no body’s business. Since I’m buying more for me, the family is eating more as well, especially bananas. It’s a total win.

Total spent: $66

Trader Joe’s again:

march gg trader joe's 2

We finally ran out of eggs and cashews so back to TJ’s for more.

Total spent : $47

Abundant Harvest Organics

march gg aho 2

The produce box this last week was pretty green with not too many fruits to choose from. I guess that means a trip back to Sprouts in a few days.

Total spent: $37

Total spent this month: $610

Eating paleo, even for one person, is not cheap. While I see lots of the benefits, I don’t see how it’s sustainable from a financial standpoint. That said, I do want to incorporate more whole foods, protein, and produce into our family’s diet. It will just take some clever spending.


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  1. I’ve been dealing with sacroiliac joint dysfunction for about five months now. Exercise and stretching helps, but my number one help has been this SI belt:

    I highly recommend it. But, just a warning, I lovingly refer to it as my “muffin top maker” because it really does add some extra love handles. 🙂 Oh, the things you do to stay out of pain.

    If you need someone to talk to about the whole SI stuff, feel free to message me. 🙂

    • @Heather H, Hey thanks for the recommendation.. I’ve had SI issues for a long time. I do have a D.O. who is able to manipulate it back into place but he cracked a rib so no manipulations at this time.. It’ll be good to have this on hand if & when I am having problems.


    Took me a while to find a demo of this. Apparently it’s
    total secret. Here’s a write up of something similar.

    Works for me. Fist on the side that isn’t working right.

    It’s actually pretty freakish. Obvs ask your doctor but I get relief worth months of a chiro. My entire back unlocks magically.

    The trick is to retrain your muscles to keep in alignment. Suggest new shoes if yours are old. Self release doesn’t take the place of fixing the root problem but it sure does help!

  3. May u go grocery shopping with you if I’m ever in California? Ha ha ha. This is my favorite post you have. It is interesting to see what you buy & then turn around

  4. Sorry about that. Technical issues…now back to our show.

    …and make all the meals & recipes with it. Glad your diet is over. I felt bad for you, but I’m glad you did it for you & us! Enjoy eating real food again. Be careful & go slow, ya never know what your body may do. Enjoy you weekend!

  5. One of the things I love about your grocery geek posts is that the pictures show so much real food. I recently read Peter Menzel’s “What the World Eats”, and it was fascinating.
    Also, giant shout out to Trader Joes for being 2 blocks from me. Those weeks when my husband needs the car every day and I can’t go to Aldi, TJ’s is so nice for us.

  6. thankful Dr Gary has found what is going on with your hip pain. PTL! praying you can find relief.

  7. Patricia says:

    Maybe I’m missing something – but now I see all the food you buy, what do you make with it – do you have a menu that we can see. I can buy lots of good food but I’m stimied with what to do with it. I’m trying to get by with spending only $130 a month for myself (I’m a 66-yr-old retired gramma) which includes lunches for my 3-1/2 yr old granddaughter twice a week – those lunches are super healthy as are the snacks on Mon & Thurs. I need to figure out menus that can sustain me throughout the month, while staying within my budget. I have to keep to the budget since I am on a tight fixed inome.
    Thanks for any help you can give me. Also don’t have any healthy food markets in my small village, but senior bus takes me to a larger supermarket and walmarts.
    I’ll take any guidence I can get.

  8. YAY grocery geek! I’ve missed you. I hear you about affording paleo. I do feel better when I eat that way, but it’s hard to do it, financially, with a family. Takes a lot of creativity, which I’m up for, but sometimes can be exhausting! lol. Thanks for sharing your journey…I’ve been trying to do more whole foods for about three years now…it’s an ongoing process. Best of luck with your hip! Chronic pain stinks!

  9. I’m from Minnesota, and I cannot possibly imagine being paleo in the wintertime, even though my husband and I can afford it (no kids yet). A lot of the produce just doesn’t taste good in the winter. We did have a successful and very cheap paleo experiment this summer, since all we had to do keep happy was grill tons of vegetables and a little meat each night.

  10. I too find these grocery geek updates my favorite posts… and I love seeing all the whole REAL food in them.. Its funny because I get a little high when I see real whole food, and lots of it.. like others get that high when they see sugar candy.. say their favorite Snickers or Dark Chocolate bar.. 😉

    Those eggs… You can keep them for months & months..though I know you wont with all those menfolk there.. Eggs do not go bad by the Sell By date.. I raised 5 kids but only 1 was a boy and he didnt eat like a horse until he hit about 15 or 16, thank God! Feeding him(23 now) & his dad now though is like feeding a small army… so I do sympathize. I dont usually cook for him since hes on the go at all times & he takes care of his own food most of the time.

    I wish I had your stick-withit-ness regarding your diet.. Im in my early 50s and for the last 5 or 6 years I’ve not been as able to stick with any diet I set my mind on.. Im blaming it on menopause.. Oh yes I am! Im better now than I was a couple years ago & Im still moving towards goal! I’ll get there! I do better every day!

  11. What will you do with the horseradish? I live in southern Illinois right across the river from St. Louis. Farmers grow a ton of horseradish in the river bottoms – in fact a town near there is the horseradish capital of the world. I guess it had to be somewhere.

    I feel so fortunate to have several chicken raising friends, one in particular who doesn’t know what to do with all the eggs she collects! I make 3 egg quiche for my husband’s breakfast or just hard boiled eggs, most weeks.

  12. I am very thankful that you are getting some relief for your hip pain. Being in pain really stinks! And I am super thankful for the grocery geek being back 🙂 I missed the posts.
    Over the last year, I have switched to buying only chicken and beef raised w/o added hormones and antibiotics. It means I buy a lot less meat b/c of the cost, but I feel it will make a difference in how my family feels now and in the future.
    Today I went to the produce stand. I went early so I could get fruit/veggies off the “uglies” table. Each morning, they go through the produce and pick out the not-so-fresh looking items, mark them way down and consider them “uglies”. Well, I bought 3 sweet potatoes, 3 large apples, 8 tomatoes and 6 squash for $3. I wish I was off some during the week so I could go more often and therefore be able to keep a running supply. But today I am grateful for the bargains I found.

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