So we opened our fridge last night (Friday) and literally, nothing was in there.

Fruit/veggie drawers…or whatever they’re called? Empty.

Shelves touted eggs, milk and almond flour. Useless. Well. Useless since we didn’t have chocolate chips to make something sweet.

Some mustard and syrup in the door. More uselessness.

We don’t have a pantry. We have some cupboard space for canned goods but we don’t really buy processed foods so it’s not a necessity. So. Pantry? Empty. Freezer? Some beef.

This is, in them most literal sense, the story of our lives. It happens every. Single. Week. We eat all of our food. And this is called the Hunger Zone, folks. When, on Friday night, our Saturday morning grocery run seems so far away!

But – I DO remedy this on-going, reoccuring problem every Saturday! We try to stick to a weekly budget and it has to last us at least 6 days. That’s a long time for produce to stay fresh so usually I make a mid-week run to replenish certain items. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but – such is life.

So after I hit the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market (I KNOW! WALLY WORLD?) for their (cheaper than everywhere else) organic produce, nut butter and organic canned goods, I hit the Fresh Market for meat, snacks, nuts (to make my weekly batch of pesto!) and the rest of the produce W-World couldn’t provide. Oh, and Enjoy Life chocolate chips. 🙂 Eggs? Those come from Akin’s. They have the best deal and since we go through 5 dozen a week, that can add up if you don’t find the best deals! We also get beef jerky there. Really amazing, organic, almost-no-sugar beef jerky. And lastly, I hit Marshall’s. Believe it or not, they have some amazing paleo, raw snacks! Coco-roons, dried fruit, nut mixes, etc. It’s actually very interesting and worth the extra stop. If you have the self-discipline not to pick up an end table or ottoman while you’re there.

So after 4 stores, 5 reusable bags, and about 2 hours, I get to take my prized possessions home! And here is what our fully stocked fridge looks like!

photo 1
Top Shelf Fun! Sauerkraut, tuna, powdered protein, flours and water! Meat drawer holds my precious bacon,  Justin’s deli meat and on occasion…some goat cheese!
photo 1
Second Shelf: Nut milk, leftovers, tomorrow’s meat   and of course, eggs! We buy up the 18 counts – 4 at a time
photo 2
A stock of probiotics and some superfood (kale) finish off our second shelf…
photo 2
Refrigerated produce – Also, we don’t refrigerate a lot of our produce (bananas, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, avocados and more).
photo 3
Our stock of Perfect Bars take up the room where butter is supposed to go. These are the..well..perfect bar for snack, on the go, to stave off hunger, as a meal replacement, etc. I take them to church when we have long music rehearsals!
photo 4
Meat. You can never have enough meat! I stocked up on $2.99 Tuesday at Fresh market. Chicken breast in our house is like gold! We also go through salmon, beef, and varieties of pork pretty frequently. Buying when things are on sale will save you big bucks in the long run! So be prepared!

We also hit the Farmer’s Market for the first time this season on Saturday! We bought some local eggs and local grass-fed ground beef and beef sausage. They’re starting a Wednesday & Saturday schedule this week so that will be perfect for that mid-week run I was talking about! So – that’s another stop. And my sister was touting the great organic finds at Aldi’s. So. Another stop I need to look into.

All that to say. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes time.

I normally start my meal planning on Thursday, have it perfected by Friday night so that I’m ready to go on Saturday. So even before I set my eyes on a storefront, I’ve started planning my big sweep ahead of time. So…yes, it takes time. But you can figure out a way that works for you! Some people are better at the “little at a time” approach and don’t have 2 hours on any given day to spend shop-hopping!

So for us, this is what a 7-day plan would look like.

Saturday: Slow cooker pork carnitas (burrito bowl with cauliflower rice, etc.)

Sunday: Chicken & pesto (spaghetti squash) pasta

Monday: Pesto meatballs (leftover pesto from Sunday) with brussels sprouts

Tuesday: Summer salad with chicken (click here for easy dressing recipe)

Wednesday: Slow cooker tenderloin with broccoli on the side

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Salmon w/cauliflower rice

And then it’s time to grocery shop again!

Lunches are leftovers, salads, occasional deli meats, etc. Breakfasts are any mix of protein shakes, eggs, fruit, bacon, sausage, veggies…well. Veggies for Justin. I still haven’t gotten there.

Last little tip. Keep your fridge clean and organized. It will help immensely to cut down on waste ($$), leftovers becoming moldy/stinky, etc. When you open it, you’ll know what you have and what needs to go on your grocery list in an instant.

Anyhow – thanks for trooping along on this very long post about food. But it IS very important. And I’m preaching to myself. The results you can get from cleaning up your body are endless. Clarity of mind, bloating relief, skin cleansing, stamina increase, freedom from fatigue…endless.

So do your best. Start small. Start big. However you want. Just start.

Best of “good planning and time investment” to you! Cause when it comes to your body. There is no luck. There’s just work.

HJ

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