In this post, I go on and on about my shopping trip tonight (which was budget-conscious due to my current self-imposed austerity measures).
If I could go back in time to 1999, knowing what I know now…. I’d be paleo, of course!
But more to the point of this post, I would not have opted to go to a private law school, without financial assistance, and taken out a mortgage worth of student loans to pay for it. A law school education is a fine and decent thing. It’s proven useful. But it’s not worth financing $140,000, or whatever it is I spent for three years of tuition, ramen noodles, and beer. Cut to the future, and 10+ years out of lawschool (oh gosh, it’s 11 now), and I am still not filthy rich, like I was sure I’d be by now. Ha.
Now, I know I can’t complain TOO much. I know very well there are many people in a much tighter spot than me. I have a house that has my name on the deed, and a car that runs without being held together with string and bubble gum. My bills get paid on time. I have my health (knock on wood).
But I still feel the need to budget. In fact, I just figuratively cut up all my credit cards. If I can’t pay cash for it, I can’t buy it. This means no more multi-hour meandering trips through Nordstrom Rack. Alas!
It also means that I am paying attention to the prices of food I am buying.
Tonight, I went shopping for groceries at Whole Foods. Say what?! Yes, if you’re like me, you can spend a lot of money in any grocery store, and WFM is one of the most tempting. But I think I did pretty well, and got groceries for days of meals. Note: EVERYTHING I bought was a fruit, a vegetable, or a meat/egg item.
What I bought:
- $2.49 – Organic Carrots 2 lb. bag
- $3.99 – Organic grape tomatoes (two packs, each at this price)
- $1.69 – Parsley, one bunch
- $4.34 – Organic broccoli, a couple of heads
- $2.99 – Green kale
- $2.99 – Black kale
- $2.49 – Frozen brussels sprouts (two bags, each at this price)
- $5.99 – southern raised pork bacon
- $4.99 – Ground turkey (two packages, each at this price)
- $2.99 – Hearts of palm, one can
- $4.45 – Bell & Evans chicken thighs (two packages, each at this price)
- $5.49 – Cage free eggs (18 count) (ON SALE!)
- $2.99 – White mushrooms
What I’m going to do with it:
- Right now, even though it’s 11PM, I am cooking food for the purposes of being leftovers for lunch/dinners, thus saving the $7 to $10 lunch I’d buy downtown. The chicken thighs are roasting with about half of the organic carrots. I chopped some fresh garlic (pantry item, always stocked), olive oil (pantry item), salt, pepper, and other “shake-on” seasonings. I tried coriander, oregano, and a few others. Tomorrow morning, I’ll dish up a couple of chicken thighs, carrots, and then bring along some fresh parsley, which adds a great fresh green taste and keeps the dish from being drab. And maybe a couple of leaves of kale & a few grape tomatoes for a little side-salad. Mmmm…. already looking forward to lunch.
- The ground turkey I am going to brown up with some chipotle adobo. This is a pantry item in my house, but to buy a small can is around $1.50 or so…. And it packs a punch in terms of flavor. The turkey then becomes filling for burritos for my husband, and a protein for my lunches/dinners. I’ll serve it with brussels sprouts steamed and tossed in a little butter, and/or the broccoli steamed or roasted with garlic.
- Eggs are for breakfasts. I fry up 4 per day, on low heat so they don’t get rubbery. Two for me, two for husband. I eat mine with a kale. Maybe a few dried almonds or fruit.
- The bacon, and the mushrooms, are a wee indulgence. The bacon will get fried up for recipes, or kale-leaf wraps. Or just because I want a slice of bacon. The mushrooms are for an omelette/fritatta. Actually, a bacon/mushroom/kale egg creation is sounding pretty good right about now. Same thing with the hearts of palm. It makes a salad sort of special/different. When I am not feeling jazzed about salad, I’ll break out the hearts of palm and/or bacon, and it’s a whole new story.
What I didn’t buy/what I passed up (and why):
- No strawberries. Why? Because I can wait. See, I am on the mailing list for my local WFM, and I happen to know that organic strawberries will be on sale on Friday for $1.99. TIME TO STOCK UP. I’ll be chopping the tops off of berries and freezing them.
- No fancy cuts of meat (this time). The chicken thighs and ground turkey are both economical, high protein, and perfectly good, especially dressed up. I know from experience that there WILL come a time when I am ITCHING to go waste time and money at Nordstrom cRack, and I’m feeling deprived, but instead I’ll go to the store for a couple of nice steaks and grill them up as a delicious consolation prize. Is it wrong to replace retail therapy with food therapy? Perhaps. Don’t care.
- No prepared foods, no fancy water. How did I avoid the delicious prepared foods? I ate dinner before I went grocery shopping. Easy. Tonight I had no temptation. And since I was not getting to-go food, there was no excuse to get fancy to-go sparkling water.
- No pasture-raised eggs (this time). Usually I buy a particular brand of eggs that costs about $7.49/dozen. I think they’re delicious, and worth the extra money. But today, the 18-pack of cage-free omega 3-eggs was on sale for only $5.49, so I couldn’t resist.
OK, this was fun (for me) but now I need to go put away my chicken/carrots for lunch tomorrow. In the event that you’re still reading after that long dissection of my shopping excursion, you might be a nerd like me. Or you’re just bored. But if you happen to post about what you bought and what you did with it, let me know. I love reading about what other paleo people are up to. 🙂