$74.79 for a week of groceries (Without a Shopping List!) + Recipe For Beets & Butternut!



Wondering where all the people that you know went?

Here’s a tip: Don’t bathe, work out, and go directly to the market.  Guaranteed to see at least 6 people you know!


Where are they on the days that my hair is done, and I’m wearing cute shoes and accessories?


If you read the most recent post, you know that there is no shortage of carbs in our home from all of the baking.  I also gained a certain courage about seeing the leftover ingredients as potential, instead of… little bits of dry brown particles taking up space in my cupboards.  So, we went for the veggies and meats.  We also went without a shopping list.

First thing, we stood at the front of the store and studied the weekly/monthly deals.  I circled the 2 meats that were on sale, and then perused the produce in person.  “What’s the best bang for my buck?”  “What’s on sale, and ALSO an economically sound choice?” (not always the same thing).  “What’s less than $3/pound?”  “What is more than $3/lb that will stretch and take on many forms?” (answer: butternut squash)  And, I just stood there for a sort of long time, asking myself these questions.  I selected 5 lbs organic carrots (they taste NOTICEABLY better than conventional… they taste like carrots used to taste when we were little.  I spring organic every time), a head of cabbage, some organic kale, a butternut squash, an overly ambitious number of beets, a big tub of organic spring mix (and… I stood and compared the prices on those… there’s $1 disparities amongst brands… take the time).  I made a mental note to visit the frozen veggies after we looked into the meats.  What did I circle?  Let’s start there.

Did you know that WFM has been in the top 100 corporations to work for in the USA 17 years in a row?  I read that last week.  The employees tend to take pride in their work and love to talk food.  (If they don’t, they probably won’t be there long!)  Point being: I wouldn’t worry about asking them any questions you have.

Our conversation with the butcher went like this, “I’ll have a pound of (whatever beef was on the deals page), please.”

“Are you sure?  It’s not that awesome.  It’s good for stir fry.”

“Well, I’m buying it because it’s your cheapest selection.  I’m on a budget.”

“Oh!” (That’s one answer he probably doesn’t get too often… He switched gears, and got this excited look) Well… I would buy this one instead” he said, pointing to a meat at the exact same price.  “It tastes better.”  And then he went on about how to prepare it with such passion that you would have thought he was eating it himself!


Excited with the prospects,


and with some ground beef and pork also wrapped up nicely, I stumbled upon this deal and quickly put it in my basket!


Some eggs, milk, creamer, and frozen veggies (365 all the way) later… Samaria shimmied up to the table of the gal handing out grape juice packaged in wine bottles.  She felt pretty fancy during her tasting!  Friends, this Oakencroft Farm Grape Juice is pretty spectacular!  I made a mental note to pick some up for a holiday meal for the littles in my life.  Okay… and me.  :-)


Almost ready to check out, and who should we stumble upon, but a gal we’re always happy to see!  Not only a gluten-free-vegan wonder, also a sweet soul!


Sneak peak:


Come again?

After all of the planning and recipe following last week, I dove right into the SIMPLE and QUICK.  Throw some seasoning on the meat,


and grill it or pan fry it,


put some stir fried veggies on the side,


maybe defrost one of those rolls kind-of-quick.





I made the beets


and butternut


in sections through the week by doing this:





and this:





to get this:


which spread out for several salads and sides before I repeated the process!  No need to oil, just put herbs and salt and pepper on peeled and sliced veggies and bake them at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.  I gave my girl a bath while I waited for them to get nice and soft


that first night, and then I threw the steak on the hot pan.

True story: we still have so much food that the next post is going to be about eating inventory before shopping (I’ll keep you posted on some filler purchases), even if 7 days have passed!

Worst feeling in the world is throwing out good food to make room for new food.

I hope these stream of conscious insights help you to think differently, and freely, as you peruse the aisles!  Plan when it’s fun!  Don’t when it’s not!

With a great deal of love,

The Allen Family

LaurelLeaf$74.79 for a week of groceries (Without a Shopping List!) + Recipe For Beets & Butternut!

5 Comments on “$74.79 for a week of groceries (Without a Shopping List!) + Recipe For Beets & Butternut!”

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  2. Chris

    This post was great! I am encouraged. I am feeding 9 over here. GMO free, mostly organic, mostly homemade….grass fed beef, pastured chicken, BUT I am sourcing out our food locally and at Whole Foods! I couldn’t do WF only! I wish though, that I was as good as you are at looking for the specials while in the store there. I just never really know how to do that. Well, it is probably because I am busy with the 2, 4, 7, 10, 12, year olds. (The two older ones take care of themselves…14 and 17 lol!) Yep, that is what it is….I can’t think while I shop, I must have a list already prepared. Oh, but I so want to do what you do.

    Our favorite WF store is by my mama’s house almost 1.5 hours away. But it is so worth every minute!!
    Ok, going to look more on your blog!

    1. LaurelLeaf

      Chris, I really applaud you for loving your family this way. It’s inspiring. I think we do the work one way or the other. Either we put the planning time in before, or we spend a lot longer in the store. Right? Do you seriously shop with all five of those younger children? Thanks for reading!

      1. Chris

        Yes….i generally take all my children to the store with me. We school at home and its also our library day! Its not so bad once you get in the groove! Lol!

        1. LaurelLeaf

          You go, girl! If I knew it was legal to do so (what is the babysitting age?), and I had your ambition, I would buy a big pizza and ask the older ones to watch the younger ones in the cafe. If everyone stayed put, reading their library books, they’d get a bag of the 365 “oreos” on the way home! This coming from a woman who has no idea what she’s talking about as far as seven children go. Thank you for reading, and taking the time to encourage this effort. May you have a day filled with great JOY as you go about building your home. xoxo

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