Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cost Comparison Results

I promised I would report back. 

Over the past several months last couple years, I have been dismayed at the rising prices of groceries.  I have watched, nearly helplessly, as my grocery budget has had to increase to accommodate this phenomenon.  Every week, I go in hoping I'll be able to keep it under $100, but it always goes over.  I've usually spent $120 or more per week, then gone home wondering what I can skimp on in the budget to continue to live within my small income.

During the 30 Day Challenge, I spent a grand total of $418 on groceries.  That means I fed a family of four, for thirty days, for $14 per day.  That includes the final week when I was cooking for Superman and his boys and the occasional guest from out of the country, while my daughters were with their dad.

My conclusion:  cooking Paleo is less expensive.  And I've been getting way more bang for my buck.  Check out my last grocery trip:

5 lbs. bananas -- 1.73
1.8 lbs. pears -- 1.24
6 avocados -- 1.98
11.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts -- 14.84
4 mangoes -- 2.76
2.82 lbs. zucchini -- 1.95
2 lbs. limes -- 1.00
2 lbs. lemons -- .66
2.3 lbs. red onions --- .58
2.4 lbs. jicama -- .80
2 heads romaine -- 1.76
2 heads cabbage -- 1.46
2 heads iceberg -- .66
3 cucumbers -- .99
cauliflower head -- .94
cilantro bunch -- .25
bag of green onions -- 1.14
large bag frozen shrimp -- 10.97
bagged spinach -- 1.98
4 lbs. baby carrots -- 4.68
parsley bunch -- .44
ginger root -- .40
4 lbs. ground turkey -- 5.16
32 oz. coconut oil -- 5.48
8.17 lb. pork roast -- 11.36
1/2 ham -- 11.84
4 dozen eggs -- 2.72
1/2 gallon coconut milk -- 2.25

Total:  $92.02

This was an amazing grocery trip.  Lots and lots of ad matching...well over $30 worth.  And look at all the meat I bought!  In my pre-paleo days, I would not have been able to afford to buy a pork roast, a 1/2 ham, a big bag of shrimp, 4 lbs. of ground turkey and two flats of chicken breasts all in the same day!

And, here were are at the end of the week and I still have the pork roast, the cabbages and a few other vegetables, and an entire flat of chicken that I haven't even used yet.

Yes, it's cheaper.  Try it and see!  I've learned it's all about making different choices, and it's not as hard to give up dairy/grains/legumes/sugar as I thought it would be. 


  1. hey ms. julie - what's your take on buying organic fruits/veggies, grass fed/non-grain fed meats, etc. etc. ...that's what makes paleo expensive for me! also i too have come to love cooking with coconut oil - but what about grass fed butter? mark sisson's daily apple has a great blog about cooking meat in grass fed butter when you can't afford to buy grass fed meat...just curious to hear the thoughts of someone in the "real" world with a budget similar to mine. thanks again for the insight and an awesome blog!

  2. TWorks, welcome -- and thanks for commenting! I generally buy whatever is easier on my budget. I realize that's not really the same as many paleo/primal eaters, but a family with limited resources has to do what they can to make their life work.

    I use butter from time to time, but I haven't graduated to the grass-fed variety. Again, it's all about the budget bottom line.

    Best of luck with your nutrition pursuits!