comparing buns

Week #2 Grocery Shopping: Since we didn’t use up all the food we bought for Week #1, (we had enough leftovers from one of our meals for next week) we figured we could be a little more lenient about our food purchases for Week #2. This week we decided to buy food that we knew would be more nutritious even though it might cost a little more. Besides, we still had almost enough salad left to last another week (if the lettuce doesn’t spoil).

One complication, however, is that Jim will be out of town for two days. I’m not going to police his eating during this time, so I figured that I would just delete his portion of the food money for these 2 days.

Result? After deducting $4.50 in coupons we were still $9.22 over for Week #2. The biggest culprits were meat. We bought lean, organic ground beef ($3.89/lb on sale) and brats ($3.79 for 5). Both of these meals may produce leftovers, however, OR we may invite our son for one of the dinners. (If we were being super fastidious about this I figure we could subtract at least $2.50 as his food stamp dinner contribution.

Nutrition accommodations:

  1. Jim found a manager’s special for whole grain buns (for the brats). It wasn’t that much more than the cheepo, white buns.
  2. We did buy a higher quality of bread (for grilled cheese sandwiches).
  3. We bought organic, fat free milk.
  4. The aforementioned lean, organic ground beef

While we did splurge on upgrading the quality of some of our food, we still sacrificed some moral principles for the sake of cost.

Moral compromises:

  1. Eggs: We bought the cheapest eggs ($1.59/dozen) instead of the organic ($2.49) or ideally, cage-free ($3.99) eggs. Sorry, Foghorn Leghorn.
  2. The above eggs were packaged in unrecyclable Styrofoam. Sorry, Mother Earth.


  1. It’s hard to shop this way. It takes a lot of concentration, planning, and calculating.
  2. It also takes longer to shop. (Part of this is because both of us go so we can push two carts – one for the items we’re counting for meals and another for things that aren’t food or are already counted in my breakfast/lunch calculations. I keep a running total on a calculator while Jim calls the price out to me. We consult. And then of course there’s the time to take the photo. J
  3. Jim is a careful shopper, but he said this project cramps his style. He usually doesn’t plan out every meal but rather observes what looks interesting or is on sale and buys those  item or will pick something up for later use.
  4. We’re not eating as much variety since we’re trying to use things up before buying another item.

Bonus: The store had free samples of guacamole and chips. I tested them. They passed