Ever see the show Extreme Couponing? People buy a bunch of stuff and pay very little. Pretty cool. I’m not one of these people, but I do like to shop on the cheap food-wise, at least to a certain degree. I’m willing to eat based on what is on sale and I’m willing to try new things if it’s a great deal. What I’m not willing to do is spend 10 hours preparing food to save $10. I’ll pay the extra dollar an hour to have my free time.

Anywho… here’s today’s trip to the supermarket. I crunch the numbers based on calories/dollar even thought that obviously isn’t the only concern. If it were I’d eat Ramen like I did in college. Some foods may have high calorie/dollar amounts but are important for nutrient density considerations.

total cost units Total Calories Calories/$
Tuna $5.00 10 cans 1200 240
Salmon $11.99 1 package 1300 108
Salsa $2.99 1 package 140 47
Cottage Cheese $5.97 3 packages 1980 331
Kale $1.99 1 bunch Who cares?
Ground Beef $5.64 3 lbs 3480 617
Apples $1.03 2 apples 110 107
$34.61 8,210 237


So I could eat for about 3.3 days if I eat 2,500 calories/day. I’m not sure I’m taking in that much right now (I’m just a little guy) so it might last a little longer, but it works out to about $10/day. It’s also unrealistic since there is no way in hell I’m eating that much salmon and tuna over the next three days, but you get the point. This was a low carb trip, usually there will be some sweet potatoes and maybe some brown rice in there which would increase the realistic meal-making ability. Since the last week of my life was chock full of pizza, ice cream and a little birthday cake (and it was glorious!) I’m going a little lower carb than usual.

The cottage cheese, beef and tuna were on sale, so I scooped them up while I could. Omega 3 eggs weren’t on sale of any kind today, so I left them out. This is one example of being willing to eat based on what is on sale. Thanks to the rest of Gilbert, Arizona’s citizens’ shopping habits, the healthy eggs are almost always on sale since they’re close to being passed-the-date. Not today, oh well.

I’ve added kale to my menu lately after reading one of Don Matesz’s posts over at Primal Wisdom. I kind of discovered it’s value by accident when mimicking one of his meal plans for high-carb eating. It seems to be packed with nutrients and tastes good when I make it with salmon. Maybe I’ll show you how I do that sometime.

Healthy Shopping on a Budget – is Matt an extreme couponer?
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