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  • Shopping for food

    I am preparing to start eating the primal diet. I am a student living at home and my food has always been bought for me. Since I am just starting to buy my own food, I have no experience with planning meals for a weeks time. I was hoping you all would be willing to share an example of what you buy for a weeks worth of food at the grocery store. If possible I would also like to know some estimates on how much you spend on a weeks worth of food for one person.


  • #2
    If you want to make things much, much simpler...when you go shopping, just buy real food. Don't buy processed foods, and by processed, I mean things like pop-tarts, potato chips, doritoes, hamburger helper, cookies, brownies, soda or any beverage. Drink water, tea, or coffee.

    Buy lots of fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, nuts, etc... It's hard to say wht it will cost per week...$100? When you go shopping, look what's in the carts of the obese masses...don't buy that stuff!

    We don't know anything about you other than you are probably an 18yo female.

    Some universal advice I wish I'd gotten when I was 18: Avoid things in which the major ingredients are sugar, flour, and vegetable oil.


    • #3
      I buy a lot of vegetables, meats, eggs. For my condinents, I buy miso. For a snack, I buy olives. That's pretty much the only thing that brings me to the center of the store. I eat pretty much the sane thing every day so I spend about $50 a week on food. I live near a lot of ethnic food markets so I get my produce and meatsinexpensively. I don't buy organic or grass fed.
      F 28/5'4/100 lbs

      "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


      • #4
        Originally posted by PinkBow View Post
        I am preparing to start eating the primal diet. I am a student living at home and my food has always been bought for me. Since I am just starting to buy my own food, I have no experience with planning meals for a weeks time. I was hoping you all would be willing to share an example of what you buy for a weeks worth of food at the grocery store. If possible I would also like to know some estimates on how much you spend on a weeks worth of food for one person.

        Congratulations on your healthy choices. I find a small to medium-sized grocery store (the large stores take up too much of your valuable time). I visit the fresh vegetable and fruit section (this fills half my buggy). The only aisles I go down are two: Toilet paper/paper towel & laundry soap). Then I visit the dairy section (milk, cream, yogurt, cheese, eggs), and then the meat section. Takes me about 20 minutes to shop, 10 minutes in the lineup, :30 seconds to pay, and 2min to load my car. I make a separate trip to the health food store for supplements every 60 days. Voila! That's it. Very simple and effective.

        I shop only for myself and my husband (we are empty nestors), and I will spend anywhere from $80 - $180.00 -- depending on what the butcher has of interest. I shop at a small, Italian store and the butcher has lots of grass fed options.

        Hope that helps! Good luck!
        F, 48, 5'10"
        Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
        Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

        Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.


        • #5
          My costs vary a lot an I happen to SUCK at managing my money well so I won't get into that part.

          I start at our local health food store (Natural grocers by Vitamin cottage)
          I hit the produce section and buy anything that looks tasty (and I also recommend the 'try one new thing each week that you've never tried before' approach to fruits/veggies that you've never had), grab bacon and/or chicken (I have a half a cow in my freezer so I don't have to buy that), grab some half and half for my coffee (I had to down size from cream cause it just costs too darn much right now!) and check the markdown bin for discounted milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.

          Then a box of eggs (haven't had to do that for a while cause I've been getting some from a friend!) and I go down the spice aisle and grab a bag of anything I need (buy your spices and herbs out of the bulk section of your store if they have one, I can buy a bag the size of my fist or bigger for the same cost or less then a jar of spices is. Then I buy the one dollar spice jars they sell and just refill as needed!) and maybe duck around the corner and grab a bag of plain whey protein powder (I like to add it to smoothies when I'm too lazy to make 'real' food).

          Then I stand in the middle aisle for a few minutes and contemplate whether I want any canned tomatoes, sushi wrappers, or indian food sauces (my other 'too lazy to cook' item. Not perfectly primal cause there is some veggie oil and sugar in most but if it means I don't end up eating a box of cheap mac and cheese instead I call it a win!)

          Thats it for that store. Then I bounce over to the big box grocery store (City Market, a Kroger store) for the last few things.

          Check the produce section for any random thing, berries on sale, and/or mushrooms (these are things that are just too darn expensive at the first store). I also check for marked down produce. Sometimes I can score a nice bag of lettuce or spinach or something that just needs to be lunch today!

          Next up is the fish counter, again I look for the markdown bin first. As long as I'm gonna eat it today or throw it in the freezer (and yes you can refreeze it just fine) I don't mind if it's short dated. Sometimes I buy stuff thats on sale.

          Last thing to down to the dairy case for cottage cheese and yogurt (I like the type I can get at this store better) and cheddar cheese (I eat too much dairy and need to work on cutting it back but...) And done.

          I guess I usually spend around $100-120 all together but I don't go shopping every week either. (My mom or friends will often grab me something here or there as needed in between my trips). Then the trick is don't go shopping again until you eat all/most of that food!


          • #6
            Mark Sisson has assembled a Primal Blueprint Shopping List . Click and have fun.

            But that's a long list. You're better off making a menu for about a week and breaking that into ingredients and shopping for those.

            Here is what I'm eating this week (if I'm a good girl):

            Breakfast: 1 cup coffee with milk; 1 berry smoothie with whey powder; 2 hard-boiled eggs
            Lunch: 2 cups homemade chicken soup; broccoli, homemade applesauce, herbal tea
            Dinner: 1/2 can salmon, frozen vegetables, tea.
            Snack: chocolate

            Shopping list:

            1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
            Stevia extract packets

            bag frozen blueberries
            can coconut unsweetened coconut milk
            1 banana
            Whey Powder
            Green tea
            dozen eggs
            Salt (with optional kelp flakes for iodine)

            4 pound whole chicken
            Vegan vegetable buillion cubes
            Soup veg: Carrots, celery, turnips, frozen green beans, a few frozen peas, onions, flat-leaf parsely, mushrooms (optional)

            Frozen broccoli
            Applesauce (For homemade, apples, cinnamon, honey, a little apple cider vinegar)

            3 6oz can salmon (expensive)
            Frozen veggie of choice (green beans?)
            Herbals teas: Wild sweet orange, green teas, ginger-lemon.

            Almost all of what I buy is organic, sustainable, grass-fed, fair-trade, local, no extra processed ingrediants. But it's expensive and time-consuming to buy all your food like that. If you can't get the super clean stuff, don't stress. Just try to stick with the non-processed stuff and the non-grains.

            good luck!
            5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.


            • #7

              I agree with wahts above but also think to throw in my favourite.

              Buy some seeds and grow a few large producing veggies for the garden. I have two large pots full of great soil, loads of worm castings for fertilizer. I grow Celery, Silverbeet, Beetroot and purple carrots.
              With the cellery and silverbeet i can harvet a stem or leaf from each plant, only grow four or so of each, when ever i need them. Stir fried, steamed, added to salads, you name it.

              I also have five minature fruit trees and some berry plants growing, next year should be a great fresh fruit year.

              If you dont like those type of vegies, grow your favourites and enjoy.
              Ana-Tane = (Cave Man)


              • #8
                One more thing. Since you are still at home, I suppose you will be dipping into the household groceries bought by your parents? I would start from there--see what is already there in the kitchen, and then start from there.

                And depending on your meals are cooked at home, you can ask the preparer to put stuff aside for you at an earlier stage. For instance, if broccoli is being made for dinner (with some proceeded sauce), ask for the steamed broccoli to be put aside for you. Just plain.

                When I lived at home and was trying to eat healthy (ugh, CW), my mother was good at putting stuff aside for me. And then I woudl go to the store and buy the extras.


                • #9
                  Amazingly, I can sort of recall how I started. For a week, write down seven dinners you want, seven lunches, seven breakfasts (if you eat three meals per day), add any beverages that your parents don't keep around (organic coffee? herbal tea?). That will give you a jumping off point to start your week's shopping list.

                  As you get more used to doing your own shopping, watch for sales and specials. If you live in an area where some items are hard to come by, learn to search Amazon. If you live near a Costco, maybe invest in their membership - honestly, just what I save on Organic coffee alone pays for my membership, and they often beat Amazon's prices.

                  Good luck!
                  "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


                  Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


                  • #10
                    Get about half a pound or a little more of meat per meal that you'll be eating meat. Meat was always the hardest one for me to figure out. It shrinks when you cook it, there is bone and other waste, so half a pound ends up less than that.

                    It's okay if you don't purchase the right quantities at first. You can always go back to the store to get what you forgot. You can always freeze extra meat. Stuff that's starting to get old can be cooked and then frozen and it'll keep longer that way.

                    Ask for a spice rack for Christmas. It's nice to have the labeled jars. Then refill the jars with spices from the health food store in the bulk spices department. It's a fraction of the cost of buying filled jars. Those bulk spices they now sell in the grocery store are actually way more expensive than the regular jars. Read the labels on spices because nowadays they are faking the spices with fillers and sugar and other fake stuff.
                    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PinkBow View Post
                      Since I am just starting to buy my own food, I have no experience with planning meals for a weeks time.
                      I'd learn to love liver and eggs, as well as fresh plants & vegetables and occasional fruit and nuts.

                      Breakfast:- Dab of coconut oil in the pan, start heating it. When melted whack in large handful of spinach (it reduces down a lot, honest) or 4oz of mushrooms cut up before the oil went on. While the oil is getting going start beating two eggs (I use large) in a bowl with pepper to taste. When the spinach has reduced to a covering at the bottom of the pan, or the mushrooms have started to sweat a bit, pour on the eggs. Cook to your taste and eat!

                      Lunch:- Tinned fish and salad.

                      I'll have to come back to this as I'm off round a friend's for some anti oxidant laden Carmenere.
                      Why use a sledge hammer to crack a nut when a steam roller is even more effective, and, is fun to drive.