I love grocery shopping at Central Market, our “local-ish” (45 minutes away) organic super market!  Today, I’m going to give you a peek at how I stock piled enough food to feed our family healthy, quick meals for two weeks, and gave myself a break in food prep as a homeschooling mom.   Here we go-

Most weeks I love to cook.  I really do.

Granted, preparing food for a household of eight people keeps me on my toes, but I love being a homemaker.

Being a HOMESCHOOLING homemaker is another story! 

Last week, we hit the books again after a brief mid-summer break, and I totally lost my Mrs. Organized Homemaking Mom name tag.  (Then again, I never have been Super Mom, have I?)

Honestly, keeping up with meals as a homeschooling mom is a real challenge for me.  How on earth am I supposed to find time to cook when I’m busy homeschooling four kids? 

Good question.  I surely have been asking myself that very thing lately. 

We survived last week, and I decided to do something about one of my biggest challenges as a homeschooling mom.  (Which, obviously, is getting meals on the table during school days.) 

I gave myself a two-fold challenge:

1. Plan and prep for a 14-day menu plan, and

2. Budget $100 a week for groceries.

This challenge meets the criteria of (at least) two of my challenges as a homemaker: time management and financial management. 

Our family generally budgets $125 per week for groceries and household needs.  If I could make my idea work, we would shave $50 off our grocery budget, I would end up with a menu plan and prepped meals for two weeks.  AND, my homeschooling mornings would be much more stress-free to boot! 🙂

My beautiful bunch of food from Central Market!
My beautiful bunch of food from Central Market!

My Big Grocery Run

Obviously, I don’t keep enough food in my pantry, freezer, cabinets and fridge to feed my ravenous kids for two whole weeks (do you know how much they eat?)  So last weekend I did a really big grocery run.

Friday happened to be our monthly “Family Day” outing, and since we were near the big, organic super market that I love, my husband dropped me off to shop while he took the kids to a park.

I bought enough groceries to feed our family for two weeks; the cost tallied at just over $176, which left approximately $24 for fresh produce at the farmer’s market next week.

I don’t shop at Central Market very often, since it’s a distance from our home and some foods can be a bit pricey. (I really love shopping at Aldi’s.) But this week I needed to stock up on a few organic pantry staples, plus replenish my bulk grains (it’s been a while since I’ve ordered from Azure Standard.)

Here’s what my “big” grocery run looked like at Central Market.

  • Organic tomato sauce (3 28-oz cans @2.99 each)- $8.97
  • Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar- $4.99
  • Organic Applesauce (3 jars @ $2.65 each)- $7.95
  • Organic Coconut Oil- $5.98
  • Organic Arrowhead Puffed Millet- $1.99
  • Fresh, Whole Wheat Tortillas (10 count bag)- $2.59
  • Whole, Organic Groats (bulk @ $1.59 per pound)- $9.42
  • Hulled, Organic Buckwheat (bulk @$3.59 per pound)- $9.89
  • Organic Brown Basmati Rice (bulk @ $2.69 per pound)- $17.09
  • Semi-sweet Chocolate Chunks (bulk)- $2.73
  • Black Beans (1 pound bag)- $1.18
  • Organic Stevia (box of 80 packets)- $3.96
  • Freshly Baked Gluten-free, Multigrain Bread (1 loaf)- $5.99
  • Organic Frozen Broccoli (3 bags @ $2.05 each)- $6.15
  • Organic Corn (2 bags @ $1.68 each)- $3.36
My cute little shoppin' buddy.
My cute little shoppin’ buddy.
  • Organic Peas (3 bags @ $2.18 each)- $6.54
  • Free Range Eggs (1 dozen)- $3.00
  • Organic Plain Yogurt- $5.49
  • Coconut Milk Plain Yogurt (2 @ $2.98 each)- $5.96
  • Organic Heavy Whipping Cream (2 @ $2.38 each)- $4.76
  • Fresh Bone-in Chicken Thighs (3 lbs)- $8.62
  • Organic Whole Milk (1 gallon)- $5.39
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk (2 @ $2.58 each)- $5.16
  • Raw Cheddar- $12.68
  • Organic Yellow Squash- $2.96
  • Organic Carrots (5 pound bag)- $4.67
  • Green Cabbage (large head, not organic)- $1.71
  • Bananas (48-cents per pound)- $2.35
  • Russet Potatoes (non-organic, 8 count)- $4.43
  • Organic Okra- $4.77
  • Organic Red & Green Romaine Lettuce- $5.99

Total- $176.72 

Wheew, that’s a lot of food!  And a lot of money!

It takes lots of yummy, healthy food to feed my growing family!
It takes lots of yummy, healthy food to feed my growing family!

Like I said, I budgeted $200 for two weeks of groceries, so next week I have about $24 to spend at our local farmer’s market for fresh produce.

On Friday, I’m going to show you how I planned a 14-day menu (using recipes from this and this), and then prepped the food to make stress-free meals for two weeks.

And on Monday, I’ll share the menu plan! 

How do you budget for food?  How often do you grocery shop?

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7 thoughts on “Grocery Shopping at Central Market

  1. Cooking with raw and whole foods does take more time but saves money and is healthier. It is well worth the effort. Buying in bulk helps you save even more. You did very well.

    Posted on September 25, 2014 at 9:01 pm
  2. Yes, creating meals and menus out of raw ingredients is quite a challenge! It’s time consuming, which is why I tend to put it off. 🙂

    I definitely agree that food allergies contributes an extra dimension to the challenge! We love coconut flour and use it from time to time, especially in muffins. 🙂

    Posted on September 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm
  3. I can’t wait to see what you make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 2 weeks with those groceries. Hopefully I’ll be able to glean some ideas on saving money. I spend $500 a week on groceries for a family of 5…. organic whole foods. Just my eggs and produce is over $100 a week.

    Posted on September 5, 2014 at 11:24 am
    1. Julie, I hope I can give you some helpful ideas! We do not eat 100% organic, since it’s way out of our budget at this season of life, but we do eat as much organic as we can and try to always stick with healthy, whole foods. 🙂

      Posted on September 5, 2014 at 12:25 pm
  4. Curious to see what you do with those ingredients! It certainly doesn’t seem like enough to feed a family for two weeks. I’ll be watching! 🙂

    Posted on September 4, 2014 at 2:23 pm
    1. Laura, you’re right: there’s NO way I could stretch JUST these foods to feed my family for two weeks! (In my dreams, lol.) I had to combine it with what I had on hand in my freezer, pantry, and fridge. 🙂

      Posted on September 5, 2014 at 12:07 pm
  5. I am excited to see what you are doing. I have lots of whole foods in my house just managing to get it all put together is my challenge. Well, and food allergies. Are you doing anything with coconut flour? I know it is expensive but that is one thing no one is allergic to and there are 11 of us.
    Be blessed,
    Lisa

    Posted on September 4, 2014 at 11:07 am