$35/Week – Week 4: Groceries In Review

  • August 13th, 2014

Last week’s shop was a breakthrough.

It was the first time I took a lot of time to compile all the amazing suggestions and put them to good work.

The Internet, I must say, can be an awesome place. Complete strangers were nice enough to spend the time handing out amazing suggestions and advice – not only of what healthier foods can be obtained cheaply, but local shopping information as well. Seriously, Super 88 Market is now my go-to for produce.

It looks like research is backing up the need for a boost in fruits and vegetables, check out this research.

A funny thing happened this week as well – my carbs from rice, beans and whole wheat bread went down drastically. It also took me a whole week and a half to go through my peanut butter. I still have bread left over!

There are multiple reasons for this change:

1. Increase in variety from large boost in produce allowed me a lot more variety. Adding to the “quick and easy” stable was bananas and cucumbers.

2. I found some protein powder I had at work. Smoothies for days. I will be adding a recipe.

3. Heard and read that two renown ultra runners, Timothy Olson (Winner of the Western States 100) and Zach Bitter (100 mile distance record, under 12 hours!) both have relatively low carb diets. Found a couple blog posts from them to back that up. Zach, in particular, eats about 50% fat. Timothy Olson, a lot of chicken. Interestingly, both guys are from Wisconsin… hmm…

4. I cooked up a ton of vegetable omelettes. My eggs were gone rather quickly.

5. I ate out several times the past week. 3 – if you count some candy. One eat out was after a very long run. My complete lack of meat was a downer – and I went out for a burger. Will be searching for a great deal on meat for the next week.

This all happened will racking up the most training run miles I’ve ever ran – 74.1 miles. Maybe some of those famous ultra runners are on to something? I suppose it depends on the person. What do you think?

New record!

New record!


Looking at my list from Super 88 Market (the other stores were all staple buys):

Sriracha – 28 oz. bottle – $3.99
Great. Better deal than other places. Won’t have to buy my favorite hot sauce for a while.

Brown Onion – 1 – $1.03
Great – used a ton of onions in all my veggie omelettes among other things.

Russet Potatoes – Manager’s Special – ~3lb. – $2.00
Great. Tons of potatoes – and used them all. Made a great carb/starch alternative to all the Whole Wheat rice I had been consuming.

Bananas – Manager’s Special – 3 lb. – $1.00
Great. Used them all. Over ripe – so quickly threw them in smoothies. Perfect for that.

Green Bell Pepper – 1.20 lb. – $0.99/lb.
Great. A cheap pepper I could use in omelettes or just by itself with a little sriracha.

Tomatoes – Manager’s Special – 6 – $1.29 total
Not good. I only ate two out of six. A waste – I can’t find myself in love with tomatoes. I need to cut them up immediately, I think.

Cabbage – 1.91 lb. – $0.69/lb.
Eh. Have not eaten yet. Will force myself to try out a recipe. I do like cabbage – but not that much.

Red Cabbage – 1.59 lb. – $0.99/lb.
Eh. Same thing again with red cabbage.

Cucumber – 2 – $1/each
Great. Will buy again – used all the cucumbers – in omelettes, by themselves with olive oil, etc.

Like I mentioned in the previous post, Week 5 is the finale – at least for a while. I’m excited to post a wrap-up that includes all the buys, calories consumed, miles run, body weight over time, etc.

I will be moving at the end of August. And while my new shopping habits are somewhat entrenched, creating blog posts is time consuming. The kicker will be next shopping trip should be able to last until the end of the month (approximately two weeks). Given what I still have in the reserves, I should actually be more than stocked!

I’m also gearing up for a trail 50K this Saturday – and will be running the Vermont 50 in a month and a half’s time. I will post recipes and experiments in this period – but no weekly reports. Week 5 Review coming soon! Oh, and I still promise I’ll drop a couple new recipes. Have thoughts? Please share!

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6 responses to “$35/Week – Week 4: Groceries In Review”

  1. nina says:

    “check out this article” doesnt link to anywhere, should it?

  2. Ms. Frau says:

    I came across you from a link sent by my brother, and read about you on another blog. So I’m always impressed by these challenges, but in yours there was actual valuable feedback, something that is often lacking when Congressional members do this kind of thing.

    Anyway, I was excited to see this was a multiweek thing and see how you were faring.

    I have a suggestion or two: Bananas can be frozen, right in their skin if they are getting overripe. The skin turns nasty and the bananas to mush, but frozen, they are easy to peel and make great smoothies.

    Cabbage is one of the healthiest of veggies, especially for men! Try using cabbage in a Stir Fry. I have a great Chicken Cashew stir fry on my blog, but you can take a look at the general recipe and easily adapt, mix match to what you have and simplify it. The peanuts can stand in for the cashews – they are browned in mine, in oil, but you could just toss them in to make simpler. You don’t really have to marinade the chicken. Sriracha can be used instead of the red pepper. The sauce could be simplified down to the most basic ingredients. Any kind of sugar, a bit of soy sauce and then use a little bit of any vinegar, sherry or mirin, instead of all of them, etc. It is more complex with all the ingredients, but even at it’s most basic, stir fries are a great one pan meal (well, two if you have rice) super easy and quick.

    Another great option for using cabbage is to mix it with lettuce and other veggies (cucumbers, tomatoes, perhaps) in a kind of Asian style salad. Use an Asian dressing or make one. I have an Asian Salad with three dressing options on my blog, too. All can be simplified. One can be made at it’s most basic with peanut butter, a little soy, a little garlic or garlic salt and some hot sauce.

    Another possibility is to go with an Asian Peanut Salad – the one on my blog has noodles, but it can be just veggies. Again, you could simplify the dressing.

    I know this was week four, but I figure you probably STILL have that cabbage in the fridge unless you ate it already. It keeps for a long time!

  3. Ron says:

    too intense is your devotion man… big fan . my #funruns are like 2-3 miles..so we cant even compare..
    but i wanted to ask you if you lend any heed to the maxim “too much of anything is not good/advisable ??”.
    Like surely your health might suffer [in some way] if you run so much .

    • erik says:

      Hey there Ron – thanks for the kind words!

      You’re right – too much of anything is not good. A key to being a better runner over time is consistency – meaning not getting injured. I try to keep that all in balance. Some of the best days I have had were days I decided to not run.

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