Low-Carb and Paleo: A Trip to Sam’s Club

Disclaimer: When I’m eating “healthy”, I follow a low-carb, mostly-Paleo eating plan.  My husband follows a low-carb eating plan (with no emphasis on the “Paleo” part), and my kids eat what I’d call “Paleo plus dairy plus peanut butter”.  I’m sharing this information because my shopping trip isn’t exclusively low-carb nor is it exclusively Paleo.  We’re happy with it though.

shopping cart clipart imageWhen I went to Sam’s Club on Monday, I couldn’t help but wonder if folks would be curious about what I routinely buy for my family.  So I thought I’d share a “day in the shopping life” for the Wittekind homestead, for what it’s worth.

On Monday, we desperately needed a trip to Sam’s Club.  I had a nice stock of veggies in the freezer, but it takes a lot more than veggies to feed a family of five these days.  It felt like we needed everything else, so I did what I always do before we go shopping.  I made a list.

It just so happened that for this trip, I was going without my husband, so I had the “list” in my head.  Normally though, I’ll make a detailed shopping list, I’ll save it as a text file, and I’ll put it in a spot that’s accessible to my husband’s smartphone when he’s shopping.  By having a list, we don’t buy (much) more than we “need”, and it keeps us on track for meal prep.  I can’t say enough for making a list and sticking to it.  It really helps come checkout time!

So anyway, two dear friends and I set out to go to Sam’s Club, and I have to say that although I appreciated them taking me (because Fred was home sick), it was much less efficient than I’m used to.  When I shop with Fred, I’m used to a list, and I’m used to him knowing our store’s layout.  I’m also used to him knowing just what brands/varieties we buy.  Because my friends didn’t have this same experience, the trip easily took twice as long as it would have otherwise, and I still wasn’t entirely satisfied with the results.  Overall though, it was “good enough”, and it allowed me to get some fresh food into the house.

And now for the list:

  • 56oz can mixed nuts w/sea salt
  • 2 bottles freeze-dried mushrooms
  • 80oz crunchy peanut butter
  • 80oz ranch dressing
  • 3lb dried apricots
  • 60oz raisins
  • 50oz prunes
  • 2qt half & half
  • 5lb cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2gal organic milk
  • 3lb bratwurst
  • 3lb smoked sausage
  • 40oz deli ham
  • 6lb bananas
  • 1lb organic baby spinach
  • 12oz organic raspberries
  • 2lb strawberries
  • 6lb chuck roast
  • 6lb chicken thighs
  • 6lb chicken breast
  • 3lb chicken sausage w/garlic and mozzarella
  • 1 1/2lb smoked gouda
  • 1lb Switzerland Swiss
  • 1 1/2lb three alarm pepperjack cheese

All told, that trip to Sam’s Club cost me a shade under $209.  I know that sounds like a lot of money to folks who’re used to eating highly-subsidized, grain-based foods.  I’m pretty happy with it though considering I got three “gourmet” cheeses, a substantial pile of animal protein, and a good bit of produce.

Fortunately, I don’t have to buy eggs anymore because my hens are providing a minimum of two dozen eggs per week.  While that sounds like a lot, our family of five has no trouble using up all those eggs.  Those gifts from the hens save us at least $3.50 per week (if I factor in the cost of their food each week.)

So what do I DO with a pile of groceries like that? Well, it depends on who’s eating them.  Breakfast is usually eggs, custard, fruit and “cream”, or flaxseed “muffins”.  For lunch, Kevin (4) and I like chicken thighs or sausage.  My husband eats chicken breast or some kind of sausage, and Abby and Freddie are eating at school right now.  Supper is a protein with fruit and veggies, and snacks are everything from peanut butter on a spoon to cheese to dried fruit and nuts.  It’s not too complicated.  In fact, it’s usually quite predictable.  Predictable makes shopping easy though.

I hope you’ve appreciated this quick look into my shopping cart.  I’m not trying to set an example for anyone; I just thought some folks might be curious.

Keep on keepin’ on!


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6 Responses to Low-Carb and Paleo: A Trip to Sam’s Club

  1. Nick says:

    And how long does that $209 last?

  2. Joyce says:

    What?!? Your Sams Club still carries the freeze dried mushrooms? Ours quit carrying them several years ago and we were disappointed.

    • Yeah, we have the Tone’s mushrooms, but their inventory on a lot of things is unpredictable. In fact, we wanted some cream cheese that showed “in stock” at our club on their site, but it was nowhere to be found once we got there. You win some and you lose some, I suppose.

  3. I shop Costco rather than Sam’s and we’re due for a stocking-up trip soon. I had to laugh when I saw you eat peanut butter on a spoon as a snack. It was an old stand-by at my house growing up but my husband had never heard of it before. He looked at me like I had lost my mind the first time he saw me eating it.

    How is the meat at Sams? The beef and chicken at Costco isn’t bad but the pork is completely tasteless. I’m glad we’ll be butchering our pigs in another month or so.

    • I grew up watching my dad eat “peanut butter on a spoon”. I didn’t do it when I was a kid because I didn’t like peanut butter then. As a grown-up though, I’ll have it as a snack, and my boys (and husband) LOVE it. We don’t usually have bread around here and we still go through 8-10lb of peanut butter per month. I guess there are worse things they could be eating.

      Regarding Sam’s Club’s meat, it’s not bad as far as factory meat goes. If I’m going to get factory meat, I prefer a place like Marsh, but I can’t afford meat there usually, so Sam’s Club works for the majority of our needs. The pork is OK, and the beef is Angus beef that’s pretty good (for grain-fed beef). I get grumpy about the chicken though. There’s nothing I hate worse than getting stinky chicken!

      Are your hogs hard work? There’s nothing better than pastured pork (unless it’s pastured chickens!) YUM!

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