Project: Food Budget, Week 15

Don’t know what this is?  Click here…or check out all my P:FB posts using the tag cloud/categories.

Hi again!  Well another week has passed and its time again for my P:FB post. Before I discuss how I did, I realize there is something I forgot to address in my prior posts: when I shop and how long I shop for.  Shout out to the other P:FB bloggers for clarifying this on their blogs and inspiring me to do the same!

Why even discuss this?  Well, having one day a week (or every two weeks if you prefer) dedicated to shopping saves both time and money.  It prevents you from running to the store every night to grab that one thing you just need (and  all those other things you kinda-sorta-but-don’t-really need).  It also limits the amount of time you spend in the temptation zone!  This is another reason why having an organized shopping list (made after checking the pantry for items you need for the recipes in your weekly meal plan…you get the picture) is so important.

Anyway, my food and shopping week runs Sunday – Saturday.  My rule of thumb is to shop at Wegmans and Trader’s and then cook in bulk on Sunday (M if its a holiday).  This allows me to start my week prepared and stocked and not having to worry about cooking every night.  I get to grab and go.  There are, however, weeks where this simply isn’t feasible, usually because I either was away over the weekend (usually for the boy or the biz) or have to stop by Ed Hyder’s (spices, grains, or legumes) or The Living Earth (specialty products).  Both of these stores are on the other side of town so its easier for me to pop by in between work and working out and pick up the handful of products I need.

This week, however, was a huge exception to my rule for some other reasons!  First, I spotted an unbelievable deal on Hip2Save, the site with, in my opinion, the best Coupon Database (a place to search for coupons for anything and everything).  I knew that I just had to take advantage and stock up  on the product asap both because it is on final clearance and because it is a product I use often and genuinely enjoy, especially in these bad boys.

Pumpkin Kale Green Monstah - greenmonstermovement.com

Secondly, I made a bit of a splurge purchase (the most amazingly delish and healthy granola ever) while dining out on Thursday night.  While $2.00 doesn’t seem like a huge splurge, when your budget is only $30, every cent makes a difference.

Finally, I made a Whole Foods stock-up trip (which I only do about once/month) since the new copy of The Whole Deal came out and they had some good sales on products I use regularly and already had coupons for!  As a side note, WF lets you use one WF coupon and one manufacturer’s cpn on their products.  This is called “stacking” in the crazy world of couponing.  Combining stacking with store sales leads to some amazing deals (see the cooking spray below).

Weekly Menu

*Rather than planning specific meals for specific days, I cook in bulk once or twice a week and eat leftovers for both lunch and dinner.  I also eat gleefully devour a green smoothie every morning for breakfast.
*Test recipes for the third Happy Herbivore cookbook are denoted with a * and can include neither a name nor a detailed description.

This week I was extremely adventurous in the kitchen, tackling multiple projects that had (silly enough) intimidated me for a while!  I made almond butter…

Homemade Raw Almond Butter (Oh She Glows)

successfully steamed kale…

Honey & Olive Oil B'Nut Squash (The Wannabe Chef) + Mashed Potatoes* + Steamed Kale + Gravy*

figured out why the Southerners love their gravy (see above)…

and tackled Fruit Crisp!

Wild Blueberry Fruit Crisp (EHH)

I also made some recipes for things that don’t intimidate me.  My ego could only take so much!  ;)

Smoked Cauliflower Soup + Beer Bread (both EHH)

Mama Pea's Crack Wrap (with homemade hummus*) + kale/mashed*/gravy*

  • Quick burgers
  • Curry* over quinoa
  • Quick Sweet Potato Soup (if necessary) (EHH)

Spending Savings

*My budget is $30/wk on groceries and an additional $10 for household (e.g. tissues) and health & beauty items.

From L-R, starting in the back: 1lb pre-cut & washed kale, TJs shampoo and toothpaste, 5 cans Goya beans, 1 russet potato, 1 can Muir Glen tomato paste, 1 can diced green chiles, 5 cans Libby's pumpkin puree, 1 lb organic carrots, 1.5 gal organic soy milk, 5 large bananas, 2lb bag organic whole wheat pastry flour, 1lb frozen peas, 1lb frozen cauliflower, 2.5 lbs cara cara oranges, 20oz pre-cut & washed butternut squash, 1lb raw almonds, 10oz organic frozen mango, 3lbs tofu, 1lb turnips, 1.5lbs pre-cut & washed cauliflower. Not pictured: 1/2lb organic granola, 2 bags chips (given away)/

Food: $33.39
Household/HBC: $6.67
Total: $40.06
Within budget? :)

*A second goal is to save as much as if not more than I spend.  This excludes purchases at Trader Joe’s since coupons are of limited use there.

Eligible Spending: $25.98
Amt Saved: $39.79 (153%)!
Savings goal met? :)

Steals and Deals

Walgreens

Libby’s 100% Pumpkin (15 oz):

= $0.85/lb! Note: these were as low as $0.49 in some stores!

Whole Foods

Earth Balance Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk (1/2 gal): $2.50 (sale price; reg. $3.49) – $1.00 cpn (Nov/Dec Whole Deal) = $1.50 ea = $3.00/gal
Nasoya Tofu (1lb): $2.69 – $1.25 Jan/Feb Whole Deal cpn – $1.00 cpn found here= $0.44
Spectrum Canola Oil Spray: $4.39 (sale price; reg $5.39) – $1.00 cpn (Nov/Dec Whole Deal) – $2.00 cpn found here = $1.39
Arrowhead Mills Organic Whole Grain Pastry Flour (2lb): $3.49 – $1.00 cpn (Nov/Dec Whole Deal) – $1.00 cpn(Dec Eating Well) = $1.49 = $0.75/lb

Wegmans

Cleaned & Cut Butternut Squash (20 oz): $2.99 – $1.00 cpn (Dec Menu Magazine) – $1.00 eCoupon found here = $0.99
Cleaned & Cut Cauliflower (12 oz): $2/4 – $1.00 eCoupon from above = $1.00
Muir Glen Tomato Paste: $1.19 – $.75 cpn found here (use zip 62946 if necessary) = FREE
Goya Beans: 4 at $0.79 and 1 at $0.89/can – $1.00/5 cpn found here = $3.05 = $0.61/can

I also scored two bags of potato chips (given to roomie) and two bags 16 oz ags of frozen veggies thanks to cpns in the latest 7 Weeks of Great Savings book available to Northborough Wegmans customers. 

Trader Joe’s

*These are everyday prices from the Shrewsbury, MA store.

Organic Carrots: $0.89/lb
Bananas: $0.19/piece (cheaper than $0.49/lb if you get big ones)
Raw Almonds (1lb) = $4.49 <–this is the cheapest per lb price I found anywhere
Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo (paraben-, SLS-, and SDS-free): $3.99
Peppermint Toothpaste with Baking Soda + Fluoride: $2.29

Company of the Week

We share the awareness that the most satisfying foods find the harmony between pleasure and nutrition. We know that creating delicious and wholesome food means fully embracing sustainable agriculture. We recognize that you are honoring us with the trust to nourish your family. And we make the commitment to earn that trust, every day.

I’m a sucker for a good manifesto and MAN…that is good!  I only started looking into Earth Balance because I knew I would be stocking up on their soy milk for the ridiculously low price of $3.00/gal (the cheapest I’ve found it elsewhere w/o coupons is $5.98/gal).  Luckily, I liked what I saw.  In addition to being a part of the Non-GMO Project, EB supports US agriculture by using only US soybeans.  Now since soy is the 2nd largest crop after corn, this might not mean that much but since the milk is verified through Non-GMO, I’m hoping it means that these US soybeans are not from huge, industry-owned farms.  A girl can hope, right?

I’d have more respect for the company if they were independently owned but sometimes I have to compromise on my list of ideal wants in order to stay on a budget.  That is what has happened to the food culture of our current society, although I think myself and the other P:FB bloggers are doing a pretty darn good job of showing that you can eat well without breaking the bank.

To learn more about Earth Balance, click here.
To learn more about the Non-GMO Project, follow link above.

Also, don’t forget to check out the other awesome P:FB bloggers for this week:

Yoga/beauty/savings/life,

Kait xo

I have no affiliation with Earth Balance or any of its affiliates and was not compensated for this post.

10 thoughts on “Project: Food Budget, Week 15

  1. You are a budgeting rockstar!! Way to stick within budget AND save so much with your coupons.

    And 100% agree with 1 trip per week to get what you need. Otherwise, temptation abounds.

  2. Wow – you are amazing with the couponing! This was great for me to read. I am really trying to get into the world of coupons so I appreciate seeing how things work out in real life like this. Thanks!!

    • Thanks! I have a friend who showed me the ropes and I’ve just taken it from there. Its a nice little mental challenge for me. Please don’t hesitate if you have any questions! I’m certainly still learning and there are some things I won’t compromise on (e.g. I am brand-loyal for certain things) but I definitely do well all things considered. :)

  3. Wow! Yes loving your post this week. Haha I was thinking of mentioning to forgo the precut veggies to save money but I see you got great deals on them with coupons.

    I also did not know about WF stacking coupons. I’m going to have to remember that!

    Gonna check out your coupon links too. I’m only just beginning.

    • Thanks! I love your enthusiasm. I usually forgo the pre-cut veggies (except for the kale because it $2.49/lb bag which is more than you get out of a head for $2.00) but lucked out this week!

      I haven’t been couponing that long but I am just addicted to the mental challenge. Its like a big game. Some people do sodoku and crosswords…I coupon.

      Most places will let you stack 1 manufacturer’s cpn and 1 store cpn. WF just does it more regularly with their Whole Deal.

      Two great resources for “learning” how to coupon are hip2save and passionforsavings. They aren’t natural foods but they give you a great foundation plus the coupon policies of many stores.

      Good luck!

      • I thought of you tonight when I bought the baby spinach in the large plastic container!

        I checked out hip2save last night, and will check the passionforsavings out next.

        See ya next week!

  4. Pingback: Project: Food Budget, Week 16 « yogabeautylife

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s