Tag Archives: Grocery

Grocery Series Part III: How to save money

1 Jul

In the past year my shopping habits have changed drastically. I used to shop in order to save money. I was still eating “healthy” but I mainly focused on couponing and getting the most food for my  money. Now I’ve changed priorities and realized that if I am going to look for ways to save money, compromising on what I put in my body is probably not the best way to start. According to Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food), Americans spend the LEAST percentage amount of their income on food compared to other nations. Coincidentally we are the most unhealthy…..

I’ve already talked about ways to prioritize what to buy organic and how to eat local, but I will admit these foods are still more expensive than conventional and industrial raised products. But are you willing to sacrifice quality over quantity? Here are some things I’ve cut out to save money to put into ethically raised animals and local produce:

1) Dairy

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{Moo Cows better to look at then to drink from}

I know, I know…dairy is supposed to be good for you (calcium and stuff). If you eat Paleo dairy is out- but that’s not the main reason I nixed it. Industrial dairy has been processed to the point where it’s doing more harm than good in my opinion. And organic dairy is expensive. I buy Austin organic milk and that’s it. I’ve given up cheese, yogurt and milk myself.  I know we all love our Chobani, but that $4-5 a week adds up! And don’t even ask me where I’m getting calcium. There are plenty of other sources! Google it.

2) Cereals and processed snack products

Cereal

(source)

I read in Omnivore’s Dilemma that a $4 box of cereal takes 4 cents of commodity corn to make. Cereal is ROBBERY IN A BOX. And can we just take a minute to think about what nutritionally cereal does for you? Oh that’s right, nothing. When health claims start appearing on boxes of Lucky Charms, we’ve really gone off the deep end as a society.

I know it is delicious (and you can get it cheaper using coupons). For me, it’s a food with no brakes, so I simply can’t afford to have it around at all.

Same goes with all those snack bars, protein bars, granola bars infused with fiber. I know! I used to buy them! But it makes more sense to use that money for more nutritionally sound and un-processed food.

3) Frozen Meals/Canned Soup

I used to buy lean cuisines or smart ones, or canned soup for lunch all the time. They are pricey as well. Now I make enough dinner every night to bring leftovers the next day.  Now that I really think about it…….

4) Anything processed or packaged at all.

If you’re buying processed food, don’t tell me you can’t afford organic. Don’t even get me started on soda.

 

Other ways you could assess if changing the way you eat and shop for food would work….can you cancel cable? Why is watching your favorite sitcoms more important than what you put in your body? (*To be fair, I’ve suggested this multiple times to my fiancé, but still get a resounding NO. He’s not on board. If it was just me there’s now way I would have TV).

What about spending habits elsewhere? It’s important to look at your budget and where your money goes before deciding it’s “not worth it” to care about what goes into your body. I know for me, I really need to stop getting sucked into “blog food fads”. LOL Almond flour, Larabars and fancy nut butters also are a money suck. But there sooooo gooooooood :(  If I can cut back on some of this I would have more money to buy local organic produce (I still buy a lot from the grocery store- hey at least it’s not soda).

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{yummy but big money suck}

How do you feel about prioritizing what you put in your body over other life expenses?

Is eating organic realistic? Why or why not?

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Grocery series part II: What to buy organic

20 Jun

In part I of my grocery series I talked about some of the groceries I regularly buy. I’m very conscious if what I put in my body, but I don’t buy everything organic, we’re on a budget! And organic doesn’t necessarily always mean better.

I prioritize when deciding what to buy organic. First are my non-negotiables:

alwaysbuyorganic

Ever since informing myself about industrial farming, I choose not to support the practice and buy meat from the grocery store. As said before, we buy grass fed meat and chicken from a farm whenever we can. Sometimes I buy the whole circle chicken from Tops when it’s on sale.

photo

We picked up this chicken today..it was KILLED TODAY! How’s that for fresh? Yes, we paid for the freshness too. But I just think about what I’m supporting and it’s alright. I don’t buy it that often. Like I said I settle for the natural raised at Tops a lot.

Organic or grass fed meat is pricey but in my eyes worth it. I’m not going to get into the disgustingness of industrial farming. If you’re interested the book Omnivore’s Dilemma is a good place to start. Besides, I save money other ways (more on that next in the series).

I also don’t really buy dairy for myself. I buy organic whole milk when it’s on sale or I have a coupon for Austin. I rarely get yogurt anymore since I follow a mostly Paleo diet. Everyone loves their Chobes…..but it can add up! Eggs are a must. I know $3.50 seems like a lot but I think about it like this: where else can you get four servings of protein for 3.50?

Next for the always organic is lettuce and greens like kale. They are easily contaminated.

Tier two includes fruits and veggies I may not regularly buy but try to get organic when I can

buy organic most of the time

If I feel like it’s too much and/or they don’t have it available organic,I’ll make a decision. Either get the regular or just find a different recipe.

And that’s pretty much it. Anything else,including anything on the ‘clean 15’ list I get conventional. Unless it’s cheaper/the same amount. Whole 9 has a nice little list I like to follow.

As you can see I don’t buy a whole lot organic. There have been a number of conflicting studies regarding organic and whether or not it’s even better for you, so I don’t sweat it. And no I don’t need to spend 7.00 on organic toilet paper to wipe my behind with or organic shampoo or any of that mess. Priorities!! I know for a FACT though the practices that go on in order to produce industrial meat so I’m willing to prioritize the money. Next post I will talk about saving money on organic/local food.

Grocery Series Part I: What’s in my cart?

9 Jun

I’ve decided to do a short blog series regarding my grocery shopping and food purchasing habits for anyone interested. For anyone who’s not interested….#sorrynotsorry.

This is what works for me…..remember everyone’s different. I want to start off by giving a glimpse into my typical grocery cart on Sundays. Now I say typical but I will put a disclaimer out that it was a lighter week in terms of things purchased.I still had some things left over from last week’s trip. Austin and I just went shopping Tuesday….I was pushed back a day from the previous week because of Memorial Day, so usually I would buy more than what’s here. Also, next week starts my CSA membership!!! But nonetheless I thought it would still be helpful.

The first stop was Aldi’s. Not the best for quality but it’s cheap! For those of you that don’t know…Aldi’s is a discount grocery store that sells off brands. Sometimes I get produce and snacks for Austin there but I don’t buy meat or dairy there.

Then I went to tops to pick up the rest.

Here’s the loot:

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Veggies and fruit:

Broccoli
Cauliflower
Squash/zucchini
Baby spinach
Peppers
Sweet potatoes
Plantains
Green apples

lemon
Carrots

Organic milk: I don’t really use this, but Austin likes whole milk. Dairy is one if the things I TRY to buy organic when possible. But I don’t really eat that much dairy. More on that in the next segment on groceries!

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I am trying out this new spice blend for curries!

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The brand of coconut milk I buy! No added sulfites

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Proteins:
Canned salmon…I’ve never tried this ! I am going to make Practical Paleo’s salmon cakes with it.

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It was cheaper than frozen salmon.
Chicken.. Tops had it on sale. No it’s not pastured but at least it’s antibiotic free. Vegetarian fed means nothing.

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You may notice I’m lacking in other proteins…that’s because yesterday Austin and I took a drive out to the farm to pick up 10 lbs of grass fed ground beef. I also got pastured eggs at the farmer’s market yesterday. I already talked about eating local in a previous post…I’ll go into more detail in the next post of the series about organic.

Other:
Nuts- going to try and make almond milk, cashews for Austin to snack
Corn chips- NOT for me
Spices
Olives
Tomato sauce

So I spent $25 at Aldi’s and $30 at tops. Not too bad. But I spent $66 on the meat yesterday. That meat will prob last almost two months.

Normally I spend about $80 a week not including the meat. I’m not going to cut corners on what I put in my body. Normally I get more fruit, but I’m trying an experiment to see how I feel when cutting back on fruit. Can’t wait for the CSA next week!

There you have it! Next week: what to buy organic

What staples do you get every week? 

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