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Saturday Savings {CE Day 1}

Let me start by saying this – shopping for “clean” foods was a bit harder than I thought! Items that I thought would surely be fine either had far more than 5 ingredients (one of the CE standards), or had ingredients listed that I couldn’t pronounce! For example, the “healthier” version of kids yogurt that I had been buying and feeling good about, because of it’s lack of HFCS or artificial flavors or colors still had a heck of a lot of preservatives added. Or the shredded cheese I had planned on buying had something like 15 ingredients listed between all of the “anti-caking”, “anti-mold” and even color added. I wasn’t as surprised by the yogurt thing, but the shredded cheese shocked me! Plus, I was bummed about not getting to stock up on it.

Next week I plan to hit a farmer’s market or two and stock up on local veggies. I also plan to buy more than I need so that I can freeze some of the extras for use later this fall and winter. Also, it should be noted that this week was a bit higher than I wanted for the first trip of the month, but I also ended up buying some items that will last well into the month (like flax seed, yeast and honey). Nick and the boys are out at Sam’s Club picking up milk right now, which will add about $9 to the total.

Aldi:

Eggs – 5 dozen

Roll of paper towel

Old Fashioned Oats – 2 containers

Donut Shop Blend Coffee (I’ve become a bit of a coffee snob, and only like buying Starbucks coffee, but I tried this Aldi coffee last week and found it acceptable! Plus, it’s $5 a bag cheaper!)

Dates

Cheese sticks – 2 bags

Butter

Strawberries – 1 pound

Kiwi – 2 packages of 5 each

Hy-Vee:

Local honey (Lesson in always figuring out cost per ounce – the medium sized bottle ended up being cheaper per ounce – not the largest like you would assume!)

Whole Wheat Flour

Brown Rice

Raisins

Paper lunch bags

Jar of yeast

Flax Seed (Any tips for grinding, by the way? Will my food processor work?)

Organic vanilla yogurt – 2 containers @ 2lbs each

Organic Quinoa (I’ve never had this before, so this should be an adventure!)

Chicken Leg Quarters – 6.9 lbs

Mozzarella – 8oz block

Cantaloupe

Iceberg Lettuce

Baby carrots – 4 pounds

Green Grapes – 2.38 pounds

Seedless watermelon

Price Chopper:

Boneless Skinless chicken breast – 2.36 pounds

Ground beef (80% lean) – 3.53 pounds

Frozen veggies – 5 bags @ 1 pound each

Dish soap

Avocado – 2

Organic salad mix – 1 pound

Lemons – 2

Mushrooms – 2 packages (By request by the boys!)

Surprises: I already mentioned the yogurt and shredded cheese, but even some of the solid cheese surprised me. Most of the “yellow” cheeses had some sort of color added! I wish I had thought to check the cheese ingredients at Aldi when I grabbed those cheese sticks, because those have some gross ingredients listed too. Darn! Learning experience for sure…

I had also planned to buy lemon juice to use for flavoring foods, but that had an ingredient list of 7 or 8 and most of them were words I couldn’t pronounce, so I went with actual lemons. Earlier this past week I checked the ingredient list for some fat free half and half and was shocked to discover preservatives listed! There were fewer ingredients (and I could pronounce them all) in the Coffee Mate Natural Bliss creamer I ended up picking up. I’m sure these are just the first of many food buying surprises this month.

Grand total: $114.85

(Here’s hoping my theory of this being the biggest week is true! )

I’ve already hard boiled a dozen of the eggs to use as snacks, and baked a couple of loaves of bread. Next up is doing some meal prep to make things easier throughout the week!

  • September 1, 2012 - 1:42 pm

    andrea - A few tips I’d suggest:

    Yogurt – buy plain yogurt in big tubs, then flavor it yourself. Adding a little bit of maple syrup to plain yogurt makes it taste wonderful, and sort of like vanilla yogurt. We get very big (4 pounds) tubs of plain yogurt at Costco for about $4. We also flavor it with natural jam/jellies.

    For grinding flax seed,the food processor doesn’t do a very good job. A blender or coffee grinder do work very well though.

    For cheese sticks, we buy big 2lb blocks of white cheddar and just cut them into sticks or cubes ourselves.

    “Baby carrots” are actually just highly processed regular carrots. It’s usually cheaper to just buy regular carrots and peel them yourselves. Also, the ones with peels on stay fresher longer. We get ours in bulk at Costco for a good price. (We eat a LOT of carrots, so buying 8 pounds at a time works well for us. They also keep well, so we only buy them about once a month or six weeks.)

    If you can find lemons on sale for a really good price (usually in winter, when they’re in season) you can buy a bunch, squeeze them, and freeze the juice into ice cube trays, then put into a ziploc to just pull out one when you need it.

    Using regular milk instead of creamer in your coffee would probably be healthier. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • September 1, 2012 - 2:00 pm

      Helen - “Using regular milk instead of creamer in your coffee would probably be healthier”

      Probably, but I’ve tried it and can’t get used to it 😉ReplyCancel

      • September 2, 2012 - 9:18 pm

        andrea - What about actual cream? Most “creamer” is full of sugars too.ReplyCancel

        • September 2, 2012 - 9:27 pm

          Helen - Yes, but then all I do is add 3 teaspoons of sugar to the coffee – so it’s a wash 😉 I can’t do coffee without sugar, and I can’t give up my coffee. It’s sugar I will gladly allow!ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2012 - 2:14 pm

    RoseAnne (Mom) - I buy large tubs of plain greek yogurt (although you do have read the ingredient list even on that) and add a little honey and some real vanilla extract. It’s delicious and I use far less sweetener than commercial. The greek is more expensive but if you add fruit it ends up having a consistency closer to commercially flavored regular yogurt than adding fruit to plain regular yogurt. The greek is also higher in protein so you are satisfied with less. There is a difference in brands though as far as taste goes – some are more sour than others.

    I tend to buy flax seed that is already ground because the only coffee grinder we have is used for coffee and I didn’t want to have one flavor affect the other. Make sure you keep ground flax in the freezer though – it will go rancid quickly otherwise.

    Learning to make your own salad dressings and mayo will really cut down on the nasty stuff too. Once you have a few favorite dressings it becomes very easy to whip up a batch.ReplyCancel

    • September 1, 2012 - 2:21 pm

      Helen - I normally do buy greek yogurt, but the brand with the least number of additives was $2 a container more than the regular vanilla, and the protein difference ended up only being a couple of grams. As fast as we go through yogurt, I have to make cuts somewhere (and in other places too, obviously) in order to keep the budget on track.ReplyCancel

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