Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oh, the irony!

I went to Costco yesterday after a short day at work and lunch with a friend, to investigate their organic/natural/healthy options and get an idea of what kind of prices they had. I had no intention of buying anything because I was completely out of grocery money (literally ran out at the checkout at EarthFare on Wednesday... had to put something back and the guy still had to waive about a dollar for me -- oops! how embarrassing! but I digress...). I wandered around for almost an hour I'd guess, jotting down notes of what I was finding - perhaps I'll put them in another post later. Anyway, as I wrapping up, my hubby called to say he was on his way home from work, and requested that I buy him some bags of chips to take to work with him - he was even willing to pay for them with his "allowance"! I used my "allowance" money that I happened to have with me. The total was $10.70 and I bought 1 box of 50 Frito-Lay brand chip bags.

Today, while his car was being inspected, we went to Harris Teeter to get in on some Super Doubles. The pickin's are often slim on these weeks (harder-core couponers than I were already out to get the best deals first-thing Wednesday morning!), but I found most of what I wanted. I ended up with:

  • 1 box of Quaker Quick Oats
  • 2 bags of Quaker Mini Rice Cakes
  • 1 Polaner All-Fruit Spread (Black Cherry - to mix things up) 
  • 2 small boxes of Kotex Pantiliners
  • 1 pound of Tilapia (2 filets)
  • 2 half gallons of Edy's ice cream (Spumoni and Mint Choc. Chip!)
  • 1 half gallon of Tropicana OJ
  • 2 8 oz bricks of Organic Valley Cream Cheese
  • 2 4-packs of Dannon Light & Fit yogurt cups
  • 6 Yoplait Whips yogurt cups
  • 1 Chobani yogurt cup
  • 1 half pint of Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Blistex chapsticks
A fairly random selection, I know,  but that's what you do when you use coupons.  Get what's on sale, and use it in the upcoming weeks.  Anyway, wanna know the best part?  My total was $10.80.

Now, which purchase is more likely to provide sustenance for a family of two for a week?  See the irony?

Soli Deo Gloria

Friday, February 19, 2010

Organic Coupon Giveaway

One of the only sites I've found that does Earth Fare coupon match-ups is Frugally Farming Family.  I'm still adjusting myself to the "deals" at EF, which don't seem much like deals to me, compared to the amazing ones I've gotten in the last year on so-called conventional foods.  I went ahead and entered their Organic Coupon Giveaway in hopes of some more deals/savings on healthier options for my small family.  Go ahead... if you sneak it in today, you've still got time to possibly get in on the action!

Soli Deo Gloria...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Absolute Organics!

Yeah!  I'm so excited!  My first delivery with Absolute Organics, LLC came today.  Although they came highly recommended from some folks that I used to teach for (that's how I heard about them), I have to admit that I was a little hesitant of exactly what my hard-earned $30 was going to get me.  I'm thrilled to report that I was pleasantly surprised!  I don't have a picture for you, but I'll list off what came:
  • 8 "Gold Nugget" oranges (supposedly seedless... wahoo!)
  • 9 small-ish Braeburn apples
  • 2 heads of Romaine lettuce
  • 4 very green bananas
  • 1 Haas avocado
  • 2 medium-sized yellow onions
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 1 large-ish head of cauliflower
Being as I'm not very used to buying organic produce just yet, nor do I know exact weights for the above items, I can't exactly quantify the value.  However, a quick check on Harris Teeter's "Express Lane" shows that the non-organic value of all this is probably somewhere between $20-25.  And the extra $5-10 is TOTALLY worth it, in my opinion, to have ORGANIC produce DELIVERED to my house.  Additionally, some of these items (particularly the celery, cauliflower and probably avocado) I would not have bought on my own, so now I get to be creative with how to use them, thus incorporating more fresh produce into our diet!  When I signed up, they had me select any dislikes from their complete list of produce, so while Chard and Grapefruit could have been on this week's menu, they substituted them for more of other items since I had told them we don't generally eat those.  They'll deliver again in 2 weeks, and I'm already looking forward to seeing what that delivery will be (though there aren't any contracts, so if I needed to cancel, I could just let them know a week in advance and no problem)!
Summary... while $30 is quite a chunk out of my $70-every-two-week grocery budget, especially since I'm trying to go more organic in other areas too, I think I'll be able to make it work.  It will definitely be good for us to eat more fruits/veggies, and will avoid the temptation to purchase all the nasty pesticide-ridden counterparts since I should be able to almost skip the produce section entirely when I go to the store.
Shameless plug... if you live in the Charlotte area and want to try them out, let them know you heard about them from me, and I'll get some free produce after your second box arrives!  Come on... help a girl out!

Soli Deo Gloria...

Monday, February 01, 2010

EFTP/F Challenge Update - week 4

Theoretically, this is the last week of the Eat From the Pantry Challenge.  That being said, I'm still working through my lists!  I don't know if that means I've done "too much" grocery shopping this past month, "too much" stockpiling for the last 9 months, or "not enough" eating this month.  I'm not going to worry about it, though.  I'm just glad that I haven't had to throw anything away (although, I was going to take some salad dressings and condiments to church yesterday morning to offer to anyone who wanted them, as I've got way too many and they are nearing their "best by" dates - but church was canceled due to snow/ice).  So, I'm going to chug along, eating mostly from the pantry and trying to add as little as possible for at least another few weeks.
This week was a typical wacky week for us,  but we did make it through a few items on the meal list and cleared a few things out of the pantry/fridge/freezer.
Monday:  I had a Pampered Chef party, so Isaac ate a can of soup and some bread while I ate Santa Fe Meatloaf or something snazzy like that, that I didn't have to prepare!
Tuesday:  Isaac was studying and I went to Bible Study, and since I got home from the grocery store only 30 mins before I had to leave, he ate a bowl of cereal and I had some yogurt with granola (finished up a box!)
Wednesday:  After going to EarthFare, I made Hot Dog Noodle Casserole.  Felt dirty while eating it, since hot dogs are full of high fructose corn syrup, but it was pretty yummy (not to mention it serves the purpose of getting my hubby to eat broccoli!)
Thursday:  I was more than happy to let Isaac eat leftover Hot Dog Noodle Casserole while I was at my new Zumba class.  Since I only had a few minutes before running back out the door to pick my mom up from the airport, I made a smoothie to drink on the way.  SlimFast Chocolate shake + 1 banana + handful frozen blueberries and strawberries / blender = yumminess!
Friday:  Used a package of Mahatma Yellow Rice (it's been free at the grocery store several times this year, so I've got a bunch) to make Golden Rice Casserole with a few tweaks.  I added a grilled chicken breast, used a leftover 1/2 can of corn that was in the fridge, and some "fresh" green/red/orange bell peppers that I froze a while back.  The saffron in this makes it a hit at our house.
Saturday:  For what is now the 3rd week in a row, I made Fiber One pancakes and scrambled eggs.  Of course, we went all out for the "dessert" pancake... mine included chocolate syrup, strawberry flavored high fructose corn syrup  jelly, and whipped cream!  As opposed to our normal cereal, the pancakes break up the monotony of an otherwise boring day at home, cleaning and studying.  I'm so ready for Isaac's test to be over next weekend so we can plan a few social events!
In the afternoon I made Lentejas a la espaƱola!  I'm so excited about this!  I bought the stuff a while back (and hid it from my hubby), but hadn't found the right opportunity to make it until now.  The snow/ice outside made soup a good plan, and the stuck-in-the-house-studying gave me the time.  It was way yummy, and the surprise factor was way fun :)  He posted a good pic here
Sunday:  Snow day from church (strange!), but since we had dinner plans with my parents, I spent some time in the afternoon preparing some Heavenly Potatoes and Ham.  I used Russet potatoes instead of Red b/c I had a bag of them that I needed to use.  I put it in an 8x8 and an 8x6 casserole (instead of a 9x13), and will probably freeze one after eating the first tonight with some veggies.

Soli Deo Gloria