Thursday, April 11, 2013

Eat to Live Back to Basics Part II

let's talk about saving money while shopping...eating healthier is more expensive.  period.  but, i bet over time you will save money by not going to the doctor and purchasing medicine as often. 

first of all, i don't expect y'all to throw away everything you have in the kitchen and spend a ton of money.  start small.  what is it your family eats the most of?  snacks?  find healthy alternatives.  i recommend eating the rest of what you have {unless you are a hoarder :} then replace with healthier alternatives!  just ran out of mayo?  research a healthier version or make your own! i've heard it's easy!  we are still making adjustments after years of purging junk from our lives.  it's an ongoing process.

there are a few things i like to remember when about healthy eating and about being hold onto your hats, here's a look into how my mind works! 

1. shop on the outside of aisles to find foods that are the most beneficial for your health.  think fruits, veggies, dairy and frozen {skip the frozen pizza and tv dinners}.  i do not purchase canned foods with a few exceptions: tomato products, some beans, some broths {never ever bouillon cubes!} in cartons and a tiny amount of tuna.  

                                    do not even think about it!

sometimes, we get a craving for maccaroni and cheese.  it's an american staple after all. so, here is our go to healthier version:  

annie's has good healthier options with no preservatives or artificials if you choose to eat grains.  they carry mac and cheese, cheddar bunny crackers,  and fruit gummies.  i have seen annie's products at some wal-marts, every one is different.

other things i purchase on the center aisle is apple sauce {look for no added sugar!!!!}, natural prunes, veggie chips {sometimes}, olive oil, spices, 100% jelly or spreadable fruit such as polander's or smuckers, almond butter, natural salad dressings, olive oil mayo {need to investigate a healthier option soon} and gluten free noodles. 

2.  when buying produce, fresh is best. {growing your own is even better!!}  farmer's markets are wonderful and the best deals can be had right before closing time!  who wants to cart all their product back to the farm?  when buying local you can ask how the food was grown and the middle man is cut out! my dad informed me that in CA local farmers were caught marketing their goods as organic when they were not.  overall, i think most people are honest but as always, use wisdom out there!

organic is always my first option but not always budget friendly or available.  next in line is conventional {non-organic}.  if they don't have anything that looks appealing i go to frozen foods {often this is my choice for asparagus}.  the only time i purchase canned fruits and veggies is for our emergency stock pile of food.  

of course now, we need to be concerned about GMO* and irridation*  dangers of food irridation*.

3. there are very few coupon sites for natural and organic foods: mamabosprouts* is one.  also, whole foods often publish coupons in their weekly or monthly? ads.  their store coupons can be combined with manufacture's coupons to save your more money.  when you purchase a case of an item you get a 10% off of that too.

sarah roe from money saving queen* does weekly match ups that show you how to save money at whole foods and other stores.

4. here are a couple of blogs that can save you money by listing sales, on-line deals etc.  i'm sure there are a few more good ones, let me know if you find anything! savingnaturally* & thegreenbacksgal*.

5. in my humble opinion never, ever buy vitamins at the health food store unless you are in a bind or just need one item.  i could not believe our Calcium was 50% more at whole foods than at Vitacost!!*  we purchase our health and beauty products at*.  shipping is always $5 {free with orders over $49} and their prices are awesome.  if you are a new customer and use any of these* links i will get a $10 reward :)  i will do a post about which vitamins are best very soon.  and, if you use the link you'll also get a $10 credit to use with an order of at least $30, i believe.

6.  don't be bashful about emailing companies whose brands you frequently purchase.  tell them you love their products and ask for some coupons!!

7.  look in the bargain bins!!  natural food isn't always popular at the local stores so we often find healthy options in the sale bins.  we also purchase sacks of ripe bananas for about $1.50.  they freeze well for summer snacks and make great banana bread!  

8.  a big way to save $ is to buy in bulk.  we purchase our bulk items from azure standard*.  they deliver once a month to most areas, i would recommend calling them to see if they deliver to your neck of the woods.  we like to purchase 25 lbs. of brown rice flour, dried beans, organic whole oats, organic cornmeal, bob's red mill products, organic fruits and veggies {25 lbs. of carrots at $25, for juicing}.  their prices on health and beauty products are not better than vitacost fom what i've seen. 

we store most our bulk items in a nice shiny metal {clean} trashcan to keep items fresh and pest free. i have large pretty jars on the counter with the flour etc. and mountain man fills them up as need be.  the beans and lentils get stored in the freezer.

there are many other local food co-ops around so it may be wise to check around.  

9.  we save a lot of money by not buying snack food.  we do however go all out for road trips!  anyway, natural snack foods are expensive so we try to choose less expensive healthy snacks.  a piece of fruit with almond butter, organic popcorn {bought in bulk from azure}, a piece of ezekiel bread or leftover pancake with real butter, raw honey or jelly and organic baby carrots with hummus. many of our snackie foods can also be used for lunch.  more to come soon about food options.  

i know this must all sound overwhelming but remember one step at a time!  bring a few healthy items in the house to introduce to your family every week or two.  remember, if you don't have junk food in the house you won't eat it!!  i often set a veggie tray out when my kids are hungry and it's empty in no time!

coming soon: recipes, lunch ideas, vitamins, meat, healthy dairy options, sugar and good fats.

until to live.  

{should i confess my dad is in town and we shared a piece of chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert...or should i keep that to myself? :}


  1. Wow, I had never heard of irridation! What will it be next? I googled the symbol so I could check my foods. Well, maybe the ones I buy from now on....I'm a little apprehensive to see if the food in the fridge is...

  2. Great advice! You know, there is a berry farm close where you can go pick your own asparagus. Soon, it'll be strawberry season and last summer, we picked tons of blueberries and blackberries. My kiddos loved to go berry picking. I'll have to find out if it's organic.

  3. LOL! May I just say I love your confession at the end ;)

    Thanks for sharing this I am really excited for the next post! My husband and I have been on our journey towards better eating for awhile and I LOVE hearing other peoples tips/stories and what they do for their families!


  4. Asparagus is in season here now, so we have been making soup and freezing it...delicious...I use non fat milk, but with kids I think you need whole milk. Our lettuce and kale is all ready for eating, so we have been using it everyday...sandwiches, salads, everyway we can! Strawberries are ripe too...that's our dessert and snacks...fruit...we have 5 fruit trees. I love to grow my own or go to the farmer's market. Great tips for all to see!!Have a great day!!


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