Avoid the grocery store, save money, eat well
I'm not sure I'm accomplishing the goals I set for myself with the one-month no-groceries challenge—except for the financial one. This month I intend to 1. Use up perishables in the refrigerator as well as those half-full bottles of salad dressing, jars of jam, and other miscellaneous condiments. 2. Defrost any mystery packages from the freezer and actually use them. 3. Clean out the cabinets including all the ethnic and unusual sauces and spices I’m usually too intimidated to try. 4. Save money for my upcoming trip to Venice. 5. Eat healthfully through the whole process.
So how am I doing after one week without grocery shopping? Let’s take a look. This list includes only the foods I had before the challenge. [Cost of partial items are rough approximations by me. Full items are based on prices listed for New York City on peapod.com.]
From the fridge:
1 Chobani yogurt $1.33
2 servings ham and bean soup with spinach $2.00
1 head of Romaine lettuce $1.50
lots of cheese (but there’s lots more!) $6.00
2 carrots $.35
leftover omelet from brunch out $7.00
2 cups plain yogurt $.77
1 cup of broccoli $1.00
From the freezer:
1 package of chicken breasts $7.50
From the cabinets:
a cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch $.40
2 Handfuls of walnuts $.80
handful of dried cherries $.50
1 LUNA mini $.60
¼ baguette $.45
1 package assorted chocolate covered cookies $20.00
2/3 cup Kind Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters $1.08
1-2 cups of oatmeal $2.00
many tablespoons peanut butter $.50
Looking at the final tally I saved myself $53.78 this week! I use the term ‘saved’ lightly since it’s money I had already spent. But it makes me feel good knowing I didn’t waste that money buying more food while all of this went to waste. Plus, I can take the money I usually allot to groceries each week and put it away for my trip next month.
This week’s efforts definitely paid off in my pocketbook if not in the kitchen—they're both just as full as ever! I have to focus on finishing complete packages of things and get moving on the fresh produce, which is now passing its prime. How did your first week of the one-month no-groceries challenge go? I want to hear your plan of attack for week two. Leave me a message in the comments below or tweet me at @Shape_Magazine.
As an editor at SHAPE I have the chance to learn about the healthiest ways to cook, eat, and live from all sorts of experts but I’m also a single girl living in NYC with a busy schedule, active social life, and chocolate cravings. I’m here to share what works for me—and where I need a little help from you.