Saving Money buying Better Groceries

We're still continuing on our journey toward healthier eating. Please keep in mind that I said, "journey." I'm still making all sorts of mistakes,but am trying to get there....eventually.

This week I spent $31.91 on groceries. I've found it a lot easier to plan meals when I'm buying things I wanted to get rather than just what's on sale.

That being said, I shopped at our local grocery store this week (as opposed to my fave - Target) because they had a tremendous amount of produce on sale. And some of it was organic! Since I didn't head to Target, I wasn't able to buy Grass-fed Milk, so I chose hormone-free milk instead.

I bought 2 packages of pork ribs and a roll of pork sausage. Neither of them were organic or pastured products. The ribs did say they were hormone-free, but I have yet to find a consistent supply of antibiotic-free, hormone-free, nitrate/nitrite-free, and humanely raised pork. I'm counting on our Farmer's market to have quality pork products. And then I'll stock up.

If you can't tell by the picture, I've actually got a menu plan this week. Wahoo! I'll be making bbq ribs, chicken noodle soup (from chicken in our freezer), egg rolls, pork pot stickers, and tons of yummy salads.

I bought 2 pounds of natural cheese. You won't see me buy shredded cheese unless it's absolutely free. I understand that shredded cheeses are real cheese, but they also contain anti-caking agents and sometimes extra salt. I'd rather shred it myself and skip the extra ingredients.

I do prefer to chop my own cabbage (and skip the chlorine wash of bagged lettuces) but I went with the best deal this week.

In the interest of full disclosure, I've got to mention (to my shame) that the grapes are from Chili. I know that's probably the most pesticide-laden item at the store, but I just couldn't resist it. I make a concerted effort to buy grapes from California (love 'em) but it had been so long and the price was calling to me. I did wash them like crazy, but they were gone soon after we walked in the door. Mistakes are still being made, but we're doing well and staying well within our budget. Lower priced weeks like this will definitely help offset any big milk, egg, and meat purchases.


Noelle said...

Grapes are a tough one here, too!

blueviolet said...

I didn't know shredded cheese contained that stuff!!!

Jessica-MomForHim said...

Have you thought about buying chickens and/or a half or quarter cow from a local farmer? Put them in your freezer for the year. I have several friends who do this--it's a big expense up front, but it would only be 1-2 times per year.

Mary said...

I think your food looks quite good. I didn't know about the shredded cheese, either. I typically buy the blocks, but I occasionally do buy natural shredded cheese. Something else to be aware of, I guess. I'm so looking forward to gardening this year. I've placed my seed order with Seeds of Change. My husband usually doesn't do too much of our shopping, but this spring/summer he is going to do our farmer's market shopping for us. I looked into CSAs for about the fourth time, but it is in the $650-$750 range for a pretty short season (5 months) in our area, and since my family is closer to four adults who are either all or mostly vegetarian (two adults, a teen, and a preteen), I would need to supplement the food. Some of the CSA farms sell at the local farmer's markets, though, so I think we can still get some pretty great food.

Tosha said...

I wasn't aware of the extra junk in shredded cheeses either. I guess ignorance is bliss. I am struggling with the whole couponing and eating healthy thing as you were. I'm just too addicted to the savings and hoarding to step back from it right now. Hopefully the summer and having a new yard to landscape and put a permanent veggie/fruit garden in will keep me busy and help wean me. It doesn't help that I blog about coupons either.

Faye @ "" said...

Wow, Angela! I had no idea about caking agents and extra salt in shredded cheese, and my daughter loves shredded cheese. I saw my local Publix is now carrying Organic Valley cheese blocks, and I think I'll have to do the same as you, and grate my own.

Have you looked into joining a CSA or buying club in your area, to get your produce? We joined an organic produce buying club a year ago (, and we absolutely love it. In the beginning, it was hard to try to keep up with 30+ pounds of produce every week, but it wasn't long before we were able to find creative ways to use it all up, before the next pickup. We're really enjoying the wonderful variety, and it's all organic.

Hmm... grapes are a toughie. Myra Goodman, one of the cofounders of Earthbound Farm, refuses to eat conventional strawberries, because the land is so harshly fumigated prior to planting. The pesticides and fungicides aren't isolated to the plant and fruit; they get into the air, the ground water, and surrounding neighborhoods. I followed Myra's footsteps, and in addition to refusing to buy conventionally grown strawberries, I won't buy conventionally grown grapes, either. In my mind, I see a poison "skull and crossbones" symbol on them. Since the main eater of strawberries and grapes in our household is my four-year-old, I certainly don't want her little growing body exposed to such a high concentration of toxins.

By NOT buying certain items, you're still sending a message to the food industry, telling them what you WON'T demand and buy.

Great job with the healthy food choices, Angela :) Keep up the great work!

Morgan said...

It looks like we're going through a similar journey. I've been making an effort to save on groceries the past couple months too.

Does your family garden?

Angela said...

We have a very small garden, but it produces a ton of yummy tomatoes, squash, beans, spinach, peppers peas, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. But only for 2-3 months. :(

I am so excited for our garden this spring! My husband is letting me expand. :)

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Jennifer said...

I have been reading for some time and appreciate your candid reviews and achievable goals! This was such a nice post to read, as I find myself in the same place in my life...coming out of couponing and into natural foods. Thanks for helping to keep us motivated in our own personal "journeys"!!

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!


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