Project: Food Budget, Week 19

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Tip of the Week

I have a confession to make: I love grocery shopping.   As in, I often get lost inside of a store for hours on end just browsing and exploring.  Grocery stores are like black holes: they suck me in and before I know it two (or more!) hours has past and I didn’t even realize it!  In fact, I often joke that I should start a concierge grocery shopping business!  <–any takers?

This love and the many hours spent shopping have paid off, however, in the form of savings.  More specifically, on more than one occasion, whilst aimlessly wandering the aisles of Wegmans, pondering the best way to spend those last few dollars or which items I need to remove from my cart in order to make budget, I’ve stumbled upon something wonderful: coupons!  Thanks to my pensive ways, I’ve found coupons hidden on tables, end caps, and blended in with the prices!  One time, for example, I found a stack of coupons for free organic frozen veggies.  You can bet I grabbed a handful!  Another time I found a store coupon for an additional $1.50 off the blemish cream I needed and already had a manufacturer’s coupon for!  <–Doesn’t “blemish cream” sound so much fancier than “zit cream”?  Both times, and many others, the coupons were just sitting there, waiting to be used but placed strategically enough that most people, in their hurry and obliviousness, would miss.  It was equal parts sneaky and genius on Wegmans’ behalf.

So my tip this week is to take your time!  Wander around the grocery store and be aware of what’s around you.  Try going at an off time so you aren’t battling crowds…and so you don’t look too crazy while stuffing handfuls of coupons into your bag/binder/accordion file/etc.  Relish in your freedom to shop and in the varieties of goods available to you.  Discover something new, whether its a new treat to love or a hidden deal.

Meal Plan

*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.

My photos are undoubtedly lacking this week.  I’m still figuring out this lighting/exposure/ISO thing and the couple of days where I could shoot in natural light happened to be blindingly overcast in the way only New England dreary days can be!

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal

Tofu Scramble with kale, orange pepper, & black beans + orange w/ AB

Lentils* + sauteed kale <– I was obsessed and ate this combo for 3 meals!

Veg Sandwich featuring carrots, avo, and spread* (the red stuff closest to the bread).  Also eaten multiple times!

My new go-to snack: microwave-baked sweet potato topped with AB + cinnamon

Pen*s Penne a la vodka* with roasted b’nut squash + peas.  Phone pic.

Spending Savings

*My budget is $40/wk for groceries, household, and H&BC items, with the latter two categories ideally only costing $10 combined.

Wegmans: $18.36
Trader’s: $20.05

Total: $48.41
Within budget? D:<

I’m up and down! I expected to go over this week because I needed some bigger ticket items like vanilla extract (I even went with the cheaper one!) and cinnamon and coconut oil (at a rock bottom price)!  I also got a little carried away buying greens (chard, dinosaur kale, and romaine), more, in fact, than I actually needed (I underestimated how far the dinosaur kale would go)!  I’m travelling this weekend though so its kind of a relief knowing that I have fresh food even if I can’t shop Sunday!  I’m also lowering next week’s budget to $35 since I need a Brita filter.  =/

*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: $18.36
Amount Saved: $ 6.98
Savings goal met? 😦

Again, I’m not too upset about this since I did score some awesome deals and bought mostly fresh foods and/or things that I needed but didn’t have coupons for.

Steals and Deals

I hope you like the new layout inspired by Healthy Life Deals!


Alter Eco Organic Pearl Quinoa: $4.99
$1.00 Alter Eco cpn
and $1.00/Nature’s Marketplace purchase of $3.00+ (Wegmans 7 Weeks of Great Savings booklet)
Total price = $2.99

Spectrum Coconut Oil (refined): $6.99
$2.00 Spectrum cpn (no longer available)
and $1.00/Nature’s Marketplace purchase of $3.00+ (Wegmans 7 Weeks of Great Savings booklet)
Total Price $3.99

I also received 2 free boxes of tissues thanks to the 7 Weeks of Great Savings booklet.

Trader Joes’s

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

Toothpaste: $2.20
Avocados (4-pack): $2.99 <–cheaper than $10/10 at S&S
Organic Romaine Hearts (3-pack): $2.79
Organic Onions (2lb): $2.20
Alcohol-Free Pure Vanilla Extract: $3.99
Ground Cinnamon: $1.99 <–my favorite cinnamon!
Bell Peppers: $1.29/piece

That’s it for this week folks!


Kait xo

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