Capsule Kitchen Challenge

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Andrew and I are doing the 333 Capsule Kitchen Challenge. I love challenges like this but usually I do them by myself. This time, however, Andrew and I both thought we would get something out of this challenge and we are doing it together! We aren’t getting the same things out of doing this but it still works. He is trying to lose some weight and make some changes to his dietary habits while I am doing it mostly for fun and to simplify meals and shopping.

The best thing about our list (according to ME) is that I can get ALMOST every single item at Aldi! I make a weekly trip and quickly go through the aisles with my list and get out of there with less time wasted, no impulse purchases, and less money spent than if I went to a big grocery store or somewhere tempting like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. As I said, simplicity and saving money are the main benefit for me, as I have other things I would rather be doing than grocery shopping and fretting over what to make for dinner every night. The items I can’t get at Aldi (Zeviamacadamia nuts, almond flour, coconut milk, and protein powder) are on automatic delivery from Amazon Subscribe and Save.

We’ve been doing this for about 2 weeks now and are making some adjustments as we go. One thing that helped is that I have started getting one gallon of raw milk every week. From that I can make cottage cheese, whey, yogurt, heavy cream, and sour cream! I was able to take sour cream and heavy cream off the original list and add something else and out of one item (whole milk), we get 6 things. Awesome!

Here is our list:

Raw milk (I get this as a milk-share CSA)

cheddar cheese

mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

cream cheese

broccoli

kale

spinach

carrots

frozen berries (mixed or single berry, depending on what I get at Aldi)

apples

turkey deli meat

chicken

beef

salmon

tuna

shrimp

macadamia nuts

bacon

sausage

pepperoni

tomatoes

protein powder

eggs

coconut milk

pork rinds

avocados

onions

coffee

Zevia Caffeine Free Cola

Almond Flour

Peanut Butter

cauliflower

Some of the things on the list are eaten every day or more than once per day while other things might only be used once per week. The soda, for example, gets shipped every two months (24 cans) but it’s something we love to have every once in awhile so it made the cut. It’s not something either of us tend to abuse, so there wasn’t any compelling reason to leave it off the list. My chocolate bars, on the other hand, do get abused so I’m abstaining and they aren’t on the list (Dear Self, please forgive yourself for cheating and eating half a chocolate bar last week. Thank you, Self). BTW, I get 10 bars every 5 months and that is a GREAT way to make sure I don’t go overboard. Once they are gone, I don’t get more until the next delivery. If I eat them all in 2 months. Subscribe and Save can be a good commitment device, as is this entire challenge!

If you want to try this, just remember that you are in charge of what it looks like for YOU. Some decisions we made:

  • all spices, oils, butter, maple syrup, and raw honey are not included as they are used in less than 1Tbs increments for flavoring purposes
  • same for flax seed and chia seed as they are used (by me) in 1Tbs increments or less to thicken my hot smoothies
  • we have decided that each visit to Aldi can include a vegetable not on the list (peppers, zucchini, cabbage, squash, asparagus) for variety
  • we can eat out once per week. I haven’t taken advantage of this yet but Andrew has
  • we can buy any kind of chicken or beef as long as the only ingredient is chicken/beef. That’s why the pork products are listed separately – they have ingredient lists.
  • the spirit is more important than the law

The challenge is supposed to last for 3 months (Jan-March). After that, we’ll see. But for now it’s simple and fun!