Food shopping together has been something that John and I have enjoyed since we first moved in together (3 years ago this month!). When we returned from our honeymoon, we knew that diving headfirst into eating Real Food would cause a shift in our food shopping. We planned our first food shopping trip before we even left Hawaii! There were quite a few changes that we needed to consider. For one thing, Real Food IS pricier. For another, our old supermarket is open 24-7, the one we now frequent is only open until 10. That may seem late enough, but considering I don't even get home from work until 7:30 on a good day, 10 is not that late.
Before Real Food (BRF), we were spending about $35/week at the supermarket and about $20 every other weekend at the Farmers' Market. In total, we were spending about $120/month. The first shopping trip After Real Food (ARF), we spent $120. In ONE SHOPPING TRIP! Yikes! The next week we spent about $100 again. Although we could technically afford it, quadrupling our food budget was not in line with our savings goals. To boot, these expenditures DIDN'T INCLUDE our trips to the Farmers' Market. We needed to re-think things.
We decided to get certain staples at the regular store or online every few weeks. Things like nuts and dried fruit we order from A Nuts. The might not have the best selection, but they have really good prices and service. Paper and personal products we buy from Alice. We still frequent the Farmers' Market every 2 weekends, at least we try to. That's where we tend to get the majority of our ingredient veggies, like garlic, onions, and leafy greens. They sometimes have great deals on fruit as well. Frozen produce, canned goods, grains like macaroni and rice, and dry legumes are purchased at our conventional supermarket when we need them. We tend to buy a whole lot on sale occasionally. We have been going there MAYBE once/month.
That leaves the fresh produce, dairy, eggs, and meat products. That we get at our new supermarket, Fairway. We load up on decently priced produce, usually a mix of conventional and organic. Then we swing to the cheese section and grab a few delicious cheeses. We've found that a good cheese can take an average meal and make it sparkle. Then we mosey on over to the meat and seafood. We'll grab one type of seafood, usually what is on sale, and one cut of meat. We only buy enough for the week, and we don't freeze it. It is only the two of us, so when we bought clams, we bought a dozen. We get 2 fillets of fish, not 5 pounds. Our meat and fish are supplemented by veggies, grains, and sauces. Lastly, we pick up eggs, milk, and butter.
Since we make many of our foods at home, we don't require very much from the supermarket. As we starting paring down the amount we would buy, and exercising enough self-control to only buy 1 week's worth of fresh food, we have gotten our weekly food spending down to....
Yes. Including Fairway, the Farmers' Market, online shopping, and the conventional supermarket, we are spending a mere $50/week. While it is more than what we were spending, it is worth it. The food is much more delicious, we are feeling better, and it is better for us.