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Thanks for stopping by! I'm young, I'm in love with my man, and I'm a mommy. We're busy, but happy. I'll share with you how to eat natural, healthy, whole foods while balancing family life! Learn to love your food, it will love you back!
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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Planning Shopping Trips



I wanted to add more to my budget posts for those of you who find it difficult to find the finances to buy healthier foods. To get started I'm going to show you how I plan my shopping trip before I even go to the store. I'm actually going to write out my list of meals and how I did this today.


Column 1
Weekly Meals
Butternut Squash Lasagna
Homemade Rumbi Voodoo Salad
Veggie Burgers
Quinoa Salad
Red pepper Pasta (freezer meal)
Tai Chicken Lettuce Wraps (freezer meal)
Raspberry Chocolate drops
Vegan Fudge
Cinnamon Crunch

Column 2
Ingredients I already Have (cupboard look through)
Black Beans
sunflower nuts
honey
quinoa
peanut butter
garlic
cocoa powder
almonds
frozen berries/and fresh
lettuce
onion
soy sauce
agave
cumin
avocado
Tomato paste
seasonings (eg: basil, oregano, parsley, Italian Seasoning)

Column 3
Ingredients I need to buy
Butternut Squash
ginger root
2 red peppers
crushed canned tomatoes
vegetable broth
whole grain pasta
carob chips
carob powder
broccoli
tortillas
tortilla strips
almond milk
cinnamon
spinach
fruit (apples, bananas etc)
shredded carrots
Silken tofu
nutritional yeast
chicken
turkey sausage
oats
green onions
crushed red pepper flakes

Okay now at this point I see if I have any coupons for any ingredients that I need. Then I set my budget and I stick to it! If at all during my shopping trip I feel I'm going to go over I drop something. I always try and drop something that is the least healthy and I just get creative with my meals. You'll find recipes still can taste good with missing ingredients :) Today I had one coupon for the Almond milk. Next I'll decide which store I'm going to do the majority of my shopping. I recommend shopping at a regular grocery store that has a bulk natural foods section first before you hit the health food stores. You can get a lot of your organic health food products for cheaper sometimes at a normal grocery store. I had pretty good success with my list at my one store, except for the carob powder and nutritional yeast, but I'm super lucky the health food store is right across the street :)

Here was my total at Smith's

Now I spent another $10.00 at the health food store for the yeast and carob powder, now even I think that is a lot. Now for me I need my nutritional yeast, it can be pricey though. So some advice for all the more expensive items with healthy shopping. DON'T LET YOUR STOCK DEPLETE! Like I did with my nutritional yeast. I had to completely stock up again. If you can fit these items into your budget get a little more each trip, and it won't be such a huge expense.

Also, use your ingredients wisely! If you think you're ready to cut back on some sweetener and sugars than do it, use LESS! It'll save you money and inches :)

Try to shop in bulk sections, the cut oats I bought today were about $1.00 cheaper per pound when I bought them in the bulk section as opposed to the Quaker tub of oats!

Use the freezer! I have two freezer meals planned. I am planning on using them this week, but you can take a day and make healthy freezer meals. On days when you don't feel like a lot of prep work you have a meal waiting to thaw out, or maybe there is a time when you wallet is a little tighter, you already have groceries stored in your freezer!!!!

If you find yourself to be in a super tight budget, buy produce. Veggies and fruits for snacks, and maybe skip out on some meats and dairys. If you couple the veggies with grains and pasta which are less expensive you have a nice one dish dinner for the night without spending a ton of money! Here are some one dish dinners I've made:
Quinoa Bean Medley
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Creamy Asparagus casserole
Tangy Apple Coleslaw
Nutty Crunch Salad
Banana Cinnamon French Toast

Another thought is, try your best not to eat out very often. It's more healthy to eat at home, and it is cheaper!!!

Again I'm going to say, it is expensive to start up initially if you buy everything all at once. It's okay to slowly add healthy items into your cooking. Before you know it they just become part of your regular grocery trips and you don't even think about. Feeling healthy is worth the time and effort, to me, to plan and prepare for some more expensive items in my shopping!!!! You can do it, it's all about prep, planning, and small steps!



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