and here's my receipt from BJ's Wholesale Club
Before I delve into the nitty gritty I want to share with you what my refrigerator looks like after only spending $105.22 last night and combining it with what we already have. Doesn't look like we're going without. Wouldn't you agree?
Refrigerator is FULL!!! Please excuse how unorganized it is right now =)
Bottom half of freezer is stuffed (the gluten free pizzas are my mom's that she bought) for family movie night on Friday.
The top half of the freezer is full of fruits, veggies, and a loaf of bread from a local bakery that uses organic whole wheat.
The pantry is also full.
Veggies (I prefer to buy as much as I can at the Farmers Market, but depends on the season) such as:
Organic bell peppers
Organic bok choy (once every 1-2 months)
Organic baby green salad
Organic baby spinach
Organic raw garlic
Organic sweet potatoes
Fruits such as:
Organic pears (once every 1-2 months)
Organic whole wheat bread
Organic whole wheat tortillas
Organic hummus (unless we make our own)
Organic natural unsalted pb
Organic superfruit (no sugar added) preserves
Organic low sodium veggie broth
Organic free range chicken broth
Organic saigon cinnamon
1 can of organic black beans
1 can of organic great northern beans
Organic rice noodles
Organic spaghetti sauce
Organic cold pressed olive oil
Organic almond meal (once ever month)
Organic coconut oil
Organic vanilla coconut milk (4 at $2.99 each, compare that to cow's milk)
Organic honey greek yogurt (for Abby)
Organic vanilla yogurt (for Emma)
Soy free, dairy free Earth Balance butter
Apple Gate Farms roasted turkey (lunch meat I buy 1 and advise them to use it sparingly)
Trader Joe's raw cheddar cheese
Trader Joe's sliced American cheese
Frozen organic blueberries
Frozen organic pineapple
Organic frozen strawberries
Organic frozen sweet potatoes
Organic frozen green beans
Organic frozen asparagus
Organic frozen corn
Organic fire roasted salsa
Organic Enviro Kids cereal (1 small box)
Organic Bragg's raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
So Delicious coconut milk coffee creamer
Jay Robb's egg protein powder
Whatever brand of toilet paper & paper towels are on sale
Organic bananas (LOTS) they're on .57 per lb!!!
Organic non GMO brown rice, black, and pinto beans (buy enough to only have to go 1 -2 months)
BJ's Wholesale Club:
All natural ground bison (it's illegal to administer antibiotics and growth hormones to bison & it's healthier & less fatty). A great tip for making meat stretch is to take 1 lb. of ground beef or bison & separate it into 2 baggies. With the bison I'll separate 2 lbs. (comes in 2lb. packages) which will actually make 4 meals.
Organix moroccan argan oil shampoo (usually $6.99 at Walmart and $7.99 at Target for the 13 oz bottle, but at wholesale clubs you can find the 25.4 oz bottle for $9.99!!! My whole family uses this!!)
2lb bag of organic quinoa for only $4.99 (major savings alert!!!)
Grass fed bacon (only when the family choses this as their meat for the 2 week period)
Grass fed beef (only when the family choses this as their meat for the 2 week period)
Raw unfiltered local agave (a bottle of agave lasts us 1 to 2 months, so this isn't a regular stop)
Local raw honey
Every time I make a grocery list, I ask my family what type of meat they would like for the 2 week period. I only buy 2 types of meat during that 2 week period, and the amount that comes in the package I buy decides how many meat based meals I'll make in that 2 week period. I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make a meal list with 10-12 meals on it. From those 10-12 meals I make my grocery list. I write the list in order of the stores. Yes, that does sound like it would take an outrageous amount of time, and yes it did when I first started doing it. But child please, you and I both know good and well that you have your grocery store aisles memorized to a degree. If the majority of Americans didn't they wouldn't spend so much on unnecessary foods!!!! We all know that when we walk into our local Walmart we'll find frozen foods in a particular area. The only thing in a big box grocery store that most people have a hard time finding is organic and natural foods. Wheeeew, ok...now that I've said that, on to the actual shopping day.
I give myself a budget of $200.00, but aim to spend less. When I walk into the store I'm always tempted to buy flowers. The reality is that if my goal is to save money, why do I need to spend $5.99 on hydrangeas that will die in a few days??? So, I grab my will power up by the panties and I head toward the bread section. I LOVE bread, so I'm easily tempted to throw all kinds of breads into my cart, but again if i'm trying to save and tone my body, why am I trying to justify several different types of breads??? My point is, if you're writing your list and filling it with items that you need to nourish your family's bodies, soul, and create a connection to their food, then you need to STICK TO THE LIST!!!!!!!! Be militant about it, don't sway from the mission!! However, while you're in the store create a connection to your store by getting to know where your food is coming from. Look at the labels, talk to the produce girl/guy about when they get their organic produce in so that you can get it when it's freshest. Find joy in the fact that you're doing something AMAZING for your family and yourself while shopping. Don't dwell on the number EVER!! Dwell on the blessing that you're there and are able to provide nourishment, balance, health, and love through the food your going to serve to your children.
The BIGGEST money saver when it comes to groceries is - DUN DUH NA NA - YOU MUST SACRIFICE THE CRAP AND PROCESSED FOODS TO MAKE IT WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You don't have to cut it out completely if you're not ready, instead crowd it out with nutritious, whole, and clean foods if you're ready to make those changes & save money. Matt works with a guy who has 4 kids. He shared with Matt that his family goes through 4 gallons of milk every week and that it's breaking the bank. I said "WHAT!!!!!!! 4 GALLONS OF MILK!!! You mean to tell me that those 4 little bodies are consuming 4 whole gallons???? NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!! Did you ask him if he's ever thought that as the parent all he has to say is no more milk, have some water?" Did you know that:
*According to the National Institutes of Health Fact Sheet on Vitamin D, http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp, vitamin D3 derived from lanolin, (the oily wool of sheep), is the form of vitamin D that is typically added to cow’s milk in the United States. It may also be added to evaporated milk and infant formulas, margarine, and yogurt. Vitamin D2 derived from yeast may be added to certain rice milks and soy milks. Either, but mostly vitamin D3, may also be added to fortified breakfast cereals and fruit juices.*
Would you get the vitamin D by eating the oily wool of sheep? Most likely not!! Why feed those precious bodies with products that COST TOO MUCH, have added antibiotics & growth hormone, and don't really even naturally contain the whole reason most parents feed milk to their children - vitamin d and calcium. HELLO!!!! So here's what I propose. If you're big milk drinkers but want to save money, buy 1 to 2 gallons less than you usually do and replace it with a natural milk & (coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, etc...buy it for it's natural benefits), save the difference and add it to your child's college fund!! Your kids will most likely not like it at first, but when you clean your body of the processed foods, your taste buds will change and the kiddos will begin to like things they never liked before! Trust me, I've seen it and participated in it over, and over, and over again!
The real question to take home is - are you ready to save, make some sacrifices, achieve health, balance, & financial stability? If so, my family is here for yours and remember that we've been through the trenches of debt, bulimia, brain surgeries, deployment, inflammation, major weight gain, weight loss, and all while raising a family. If we could do it, so can you!!!