Monday, April 7, 2014

First Week of April with $200 out of $400

$400 per month on groceries. Yes ma'am. Or sir. Whichever you prefer. $400 to shop for all natural/organic products.

Right now, we really cannot afford to buy a whole cow or poultry straight from the farm. It's literally hundreds of dollars. Well, maybe not for 1-2 whole chickens.

Vons, Albertsons, Save Mart, Wal-Mart, and other big chains are starting to carry all natural meats, eggs, and dairy along with their organic produce. Granted organic produce is absolutely not the best quality (its still in the grocery store nevertheless), but you still have to look around. Yes, you can drop $100 per week at a health food store like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. But really, where do we shop to find the best deal?

It depends on what your plan is. Yes, that nasty P word. You must meal plan before you buy anything. Otherwise you will drop that $100 and try to figure out what you're going to make each day. Who wants that stress?

Meal planning usually takes place on Sundays. It doesn't matter what time, but this gives me time to figure out how much and what I need to get me through the week.

It's quite easy and if you have a hard time meal planning, check out plantoeat.com (I am not an affiliate). I did use their free trial, and you know what? It's simply amazing. If we weren't on such a tight budget, I would definitely use them. If you are trying out a new diet, you can search Pinterest, other blogs and websites and actually bookmark the recipe. The best part about plantoeat.com? It even makes a shopping list for you!

After you get your meal plan written out, find a store you like best and watch their sales. I know there aren't a ton of organic produce, meat, or dairy on sale every week, but when there is, pick up a couple extra items if you can freeze them for later. If not, then don't worry about wasting your money.

I personally hate shopping at Wal-Mart, Albertsons, and all those big national chains. I dread giving them such big portions of my husband's hard earned paycheck. So what store <i>do </i>I shop at?

I love Fresh and Easy for their organic, reasonably priced, smaller sized stores. I can get in and get out rather quickly. They always have a large selection of almost everything organic in their store. Some items are priced higher than others, but hey, I'm not buying everything that says organic. If I'm in a quick pinch, they do have organic-not raw- milk. They have organic honey, organic syrup, along with non-organic foods (for when hubby goes with me-bad idea).

As for flour, I purchase sprouted flour at a local health store. We have a Lassen's that carries their whole wheat sprouted flour in the bulk section. I love bulk bins! Especially when this particular flour costs $4.19 per pound (don't tell hubby). My body cannot tolerate white flour (no gluten allergy), so I buy this when I know I will be baking something (tortillas, bread, etc.). I still am working on learning how to bake with this flour, so bear with me!

We also did try drinking the grass-fed milk. My son loved the cow on the front and how can I tell him no to milk? The only weird thing about it was the lumps in your glass (cream tidbits). Other than that, we loved the flavor! Cost: $5.69 for half gallon.

Another awesome find at Lassen's was their selection of One Degree sprouted grains cereals. They had four or five to choose from! :) My tummy was so happy! Add this to the grass-fed milk and my body loved me. Now since this cereal is a little expensive, only I eat maybe 1/2 a cup of cereal. Not kids. I'm not big into sugary cereal and cannot stand the taste of cornflakes, so this was perfect for me. Cost: $5.69 for a 12 oz box.

Early this month, I ran out of laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent! Agh! Not a good thing when your brother is coming from Washington! So for these items, I get my washing soda, borax, and lemi-shine from Winco. They do have organic dairy, but I have yet to see any organic produce besides lettuce. I will write another post on household cleaners on here soon!

What has Jenn bought so far?
Lassen's: Ancient Sprouted Maize Flakes Cereal  $5.69
          Grassmilk, Whole, Half Gallon                   $5.69
Fresh N Easy: Eggs, Brown, Cage Free Dozen     $3.99
          Bananas (Not Organic)       6 bananas         $1.14
          Organic Mini Cucumbers                            $2.99
          Organic Carrots                                           $1.69
          Organic Kale (won't buy again)                  $2.99
          Organic Apples                                           $1.99
Winco: Washing Soda            3 boxes @ $3.15    $9.45 (seems really high compared to the last time I bought it)
       Borax                                                              $3.97
       Fels Naptha                6 @ $.97                      $5.82
       Spicy Tuna Roll    tsk tsk tsk                          $4.98 (how did that sneak in there?)
       Lemi-Shine                 2 @ $3.97                   $7.94 (ouch)
       Cream Cheese (school snack)2 @ $1.78       $3.56
       Non-Organic Baby Carrots (school snack)    $ .98
       Whole Olives (school snack)     3 @ $.98      $2.94
       Sliced Olives                   2 @ $.58                 $1.16
                           Bring your own bag                  -$ .06

                              Grand Total:                            $71.94

                                                 $200.00 (first half of month)
                                               - $71.94

                                                127.00 left for groceries until next week. I always put all my change into the piggy bank to go towards debt at the end of the year (hubby doesn't know this).

That's not too terrible is it? Other than the household cleaning supplies and school snack- I'll have to show you what I made with these three items. Big hit with 5 year olds!

Although my brother is coming into town this week, we also have a 5 year old turning 6 that I have to buy groceries for... all for $127.00 Can we manage feeding three adults and two young kids until the 15th?


Even if you don't have these stores or enjoy swiping your rewards card at other stores, you can always shop for the conventional clean 15 at regular grocery stores. <a href="http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php">Here </a>is the full list of the EWG's clean list. The numbers with the lower number have the most pesticides. Yuck! Eating organic should not be considered a trend.

Clean 15:
andpoint of pesticide contamination:

    Onions
    Sweet corn
    Pineapples
    Avocado
    Cabbage
    Sweet peas
    Asparagus
    Mangoes
    Eggplant
    Kiwi
    Cantaloupe (domestic)
    Sweet potatoes
    Grapefruit
    Papayas
    Mushrooms

Not a lot of these are on our weekly shopping list :( Sad.