Aug 31, 2008

My Not so Frugal Trip to the Grocery Store

I've mentioned before that I have lowered my grocery bill from $140 a week to an average of $70 per week for the past few months. I use coupons, plan meals according to what's on sale, and have cut back on the more expensive cuts of meat. But yesterday's trip to the grocery store was a real shocker! In two weeks, prices of things I normally buy have sky-rocketed! Some examples: Kroger brand coffee has gone from $4.99 to $8.49 a can. $2.05 for a quarter of a watermelon! Canned vegetables, normally priced at .49 to $.69, were "on sale" for .89! Boneless chicken breasts - $5.99 a lb! A 3lb bag of dry cat food has gone from $3.49 to $5.99. So despite my best efforts, I spent $106 at the grocery store yesterday. I was really angry at myself because Kroger had sent me a $10 off $100 coupon, and I didn't even think to bring it with me, since I had no intentions of spending $100! To make things a bit more difficult, Jeff and I started a new diet yesterday. The gist of the diet is to eliminate all things white (sugar, white flour, potatoes, rice), eat no trans fats, reduce other fats drastically, and reduce red meats. We plan on eating little or no "processed foods", but get back to eating fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins (chicken, fish when I can get Jeff to eat it, legumes). We will also eat a minimal amount of whole grains - oatmeal, high fiber bread, other high fiber cereals. Jeff will also have eggs (hard boiled for lunches, scrambled and soft boiled for breakfast), but I don't eat eggs of any kind (never have, never will - yuck!) A few years ago we both did beautifully on the Atkins diet. I lost 130 lbs (yes, that's right!) and Jeff lost 75 lbs. But there is no way we can afford to do a high meat diet, and at our age (mid-50's) I do worry about the high fat content (though that's silly, since both of our cholesterol counts dropped dramatically on that diet, and it was recommended by our physician.) So it's going to be about portion control, lower fats, more fruits and vegetables, less meat, no sugar or white flour, higher fiber. I think to make it work we'll add at least one meatless meal a week, and possibly two. We love Dreamfield's pasta - high in fiber, low in carbs - and I make my own tomato sauce from garden tomatoes - so a pasta meal once a week will probably be our meatless meal. The other key, of course, is exercise. Jeff has a wonderful workout center where he works, and he plans on getting back to his 3 x week exercise program there. I plan on starting back on my treadmill 3 x week for now, and will join his gym for the aquatics exercise program later in the Fall. Last night we had a wonderful dinner of salad - romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, radishes, green peppers (garden), tomatoes (garden) topped with a small boneless breast of chicken, cut into cubes. For dessert we had fresh watermelon and cantelope cubes. It was great! The melon was sweet enough to curb any sugar-cravings. Today I'm planning on cooking a pork roast, and I'll serve it with steamed cauliflower and brocolli. For dessert we'll have more melon, topped with a bit of low-fat yogurt. Yum! This is the kind of food I love, so I wonder why I don't eat this way all the time and avoid this "I have to go on a diet" syndrome!

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