Weekly Meal Prep and Groceries Pt 1

So Pat and I are settling into somewhat of a routine.  Which hasn’t really been that hard since I haven’t started work yet. But a routine all the same.

This week we did our weekly grocery shopping, for the first time.

Before I get into what we bought, and what has been done with it in terms of prep and recipes I’ll give you an outline of our different habits, because this made our choices, and list making and entire experience very interesting.

My method:

I save money by trying to plan my meals through the week, making a list, shopping sales, buying a lot of frozen foods, and freezing my foods.  I eat leftovers, and try to not waste foods.

Pat’s method:

Pat has no method.

Other considerations:

I prefer buying minimally processed foods- even if that comes at more of a premium.  I also prefer cage free eggs, fish that is caught sustainably, and beef that is grass-fed.

Pat pokes fun at me for this- due to the fact he essentially grew up in and around the grocery business, and has a background in business.

His main concern is the bottom line with regard to cost  Which I agree – budget is important -it truly is, but I also feel quality is important too.

Another fact to consider is Pat and I have very different eating habits, and patterns.  Pat has certain dietary restrictions, so that also significantly impacts buying and preparation.

Last Saturday night Pat and I came back from the boat so that we/he could have Sunday to unwind.

And unwind we did, I ran my 10 miler, then after that, we had brunch, went to Potter Park Zoo, then did our grocery shop.



But the zoo was really nice – we really enjoyed ourselves, and Pat loved it because at Potter Park they let their Peacocks rome around the zoo freely.  It’s also a great zoo because for as long as I can remember the animals always look happy and well maintained.



After we left the zoo, we went right to Kroger, equipped with our carefully discussed grocery list that we formulated at brunch.

Pat said going into the trip saying “let’s just do the shop and see how much we spend, then we can improve from there”- but he was extremely skeptical that we would be able to stay on track with our goal.

The basics of our list was as follows:

fish, meat, etc

fruits & veggies


paper products


Because I made the list, I knew what was on it, so every time I put something in the cart Pat would ask: “I do you know where we are at”…. because he was keeping a running total in his head.

We had really good luck at the meat counter, we were able to snag 1 1/2 lbs of wild caught salmon for 3.99, some tilapia and chicken with really good deals.

At the checkout we had a full cart, and I had kept a fairly good running tally in my head because I put a majority of the items in the cart, and knew that a majority of the items were on sale.  Pat did not, Pat saw a cart full of items, and was getting a little…well he was a being a bit of a grocery curmudgeon.

When I told him that my estimate was that we were only going to spend $110 – he literally laughed out loud and said “yeah, right… we’ll be lucky if we get out of here under $150”.

Our total came to $109 and some odd change, we saved $41….

I had never felt so much vindication when the cashier told us our total.

This did result in a semi inappropriate victory dance – but I have no regrets.



We came home with:

1-1/2 lbs wild caught salmon (on sale for 3.99/lb)

1 1/2 lbs tiliapia (on sale for 3.99/lb)

6-7 greek yogurts- all on sale from $.80-1.50

2 bags of Corn chips & queso (my cheat snack)

1 large bag of paper towel

1 large thing of toilet paper

1 box plastic utensils

1 razor for Pat

1/2 lb bag cherries

2 pints raspberries

1 pkg bacon

6 potatoes (2 russet, 2 sweet, 2 golden sweet)

1 bag lemons


4-5 bags frozen vegetables

1 bottle of wine


All of that for $109, and that was with some “non-essentials” added in – wine, razors, & queso.

AND we are more than halfway through this week, and we are not going to eat all of this food – meaning- we will likely not have to buy as much this coming weekend – however this may be “in flux” as I have not started work yet, and therefore I am not religiously packing a lunch.

I know $109 may seem like a lot to some – which is why this blog isn’t about budgeting – it’s about nutrition, health and lifestyle.

Naturally Pat and I make a concerted effort to not spend excessively – but we also aren’t eating balogna sandwiches either.

Overall I think it was a really solid first effort.

From that loot we so far managed:

Broiled salmon with roasted golden yams, and broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots

Chicken breast with lemon, potatoes hasselback, and broccoli and cauliflower 

Tilapia tacos

And lots of yogurt and fruit snacks 

Overall it was a good first week- I think in coming weeks we’ll go through more food because I’ll be religiously packing lunches for work.


  1. Your initial comments made me smile – your method and Pat’s method. Yep – guys and girls most definitely grocery shop differently. Love how you were able to get healthy food for such a great price.

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