shop til you drop

I used part of Sunday night to go online and check the local store ads.  It’s a little annoying, but also really helpful if you are looking for some deals.  It doesn’t take too long to jot down which stores have deals on the foods you want.

I realize I have a little extra time on my hands right now, but if you utilize one day of the week to check ads, search for recipes, and make lists, you can get all your weekly shopping done in 1 day.  I had some requests about summarizing my trips + total cost at the grocery store.  [heavy in text, sorry!]

My goal was to buy meals for 4 nights, for 4 people, plus some lunch + breakfast food for Chris + me, and snacks.  I linked all of the store names to their websites.  Whole Foods has a great website, with a HUGE catalog of recipes.  You can also search the WF website for deals at your store!

I stopped at Sunflower Farmers Market [it’s a store, not an actual famers market] first, to take better note of their inventory.  The first time I was there it was a little overwhelming.  They seem to have the cheapest non-organic produce around.  I try to stick to organic produce that is on sale, but sometimes give in to the non-organic deals.  I got 2 red bell peppers for $.99/ea, a small red cabbage for $.45, and a 3lb butternut squash for $2.26.  They have some pretty cheap blocks of cheese.  I got Monterey Jack on sale for $1.99/lb!  I tried to take note of the prices of their bulk items to compare with the next 2 stores.

Total at this store = $24.21 with tax

My next stop was Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage, which I L.O.V.E.! The staff is super friendly and helpful, the store is organized and clean, and all of their produce is organic and affordable!  I got some organic loose carrots for $.99/lb, org. celery for $.89/lb, and org. sweet potatoes for $1.59/lb.  Maple syrup is definitely a specialty item, but they had a normally $16.99 12.7oz bottle on sale for $8.99.  I could not pass that up and it will last me a long time.  I am glad I held off at Sunflower Market because I definitely found some better deals here.  Things like organic canned pumpkin, rice vinegar, bulk brown rice, and “food should taste good” chips, were all cheaper.  The FSTG chips were $2.75 compared to an on sale price of $2.99 at Sunflower. The canned pumpkin was about $.85 cheaper! Score!

Total at this store = $44.21 with tax.

My last stop, was Whole Foods.  The WF we live by, is the smallest one around.  Bigger WF stores definitely are stocked with more of the 365 brand, which will help you save $$.  When you walk in WF, make sure to pick up their coupon booklet.  I have saved at least $15-20 in 3 trips utilizing the book.  I went here mainly to buy some meat for the week, so I knew this total would be a little more.  I got fresh, antibiotic-free, cage free, bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts for $3.99/lb.  This is $2/lb cheaper than the boneless, skinless.  This is somewhat crazy to me b/c the bone-in and skin-on make the chicken so much more flavorful, with just a little extra work.  I stocked up on 85% lean grass-fed ground beef for $2.99/lb.  This was $2/lb savings, so I got some to wrap and freeze.  I normally go for 90% lean, but this was such a good deal!  Their 365 brand broth was the cheapest I could find, at $1.99/32oz, also organic.  I also wrote down some of the prices of bulk items there, like grains and flours.  When I bake, I prefer to buy flour in the bulk bins.  This way, I can buy what I need, and it is fresher than a bag that has been in the cupboard for 6+ months.  I also got 1lb of Top Sirloin Steak for $8.99 on sale.  I got some fresh organic veggies [organic winter squashes $.99/lb!], a few specialty drinks with coupons [like odwalla], a few KIND bars on sale, cage-free large brown eggs 365 brand $2.69, few snacks, organic valley whipped butter, more of that vodka sauce [from the pasta bake last week] for $4.00 [it was still half off!] and a few other odds and ends.

Total at this store = $66.27 with tax

I did have to stop at King Soopers to pick up Matzo for matzo ball soup this week!  WF would normally have it, but it’s the smallest WF ever =)

total shopping = 142.08

[many items not pictured]

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close-up

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I feel like that is pretty impressive for 4 meals to fill 4 adults, plus some breakfast + lunch food, and snacks for the week.  I’m sure there will be a few fill-in items we might need to pick up, but for the most part that should take care of it.

Ooookay, sorry for the lack of photos.  I guess I could have brought my camera to the store to make it more interesting!!

Easy easy yummmmy dinner:

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serves 4:

1lb top sirloin steak, or similar

2 red bell peppers

1/2 small red cabbage [can add the whole cabbage if you like]

1/2+ lb fresh snap peas [goes better w/the asian flared meal than plane green beans]

1/2 small yellow onion

6T rice vinegar [asian food aisle]

3T honey

3T low sodium soy sauce

s+p to taste

2 cups uncooked brown rice [short or long grain]

Get the rice cooking first, as it will take about 55min total.  Add 4 cups of water to a large pot.  Add 2c. rice and a little EVOO.  Cover, and when it boils reduce to low for 45min.  Cool with cover on for 10min and fluff with fork.

I chopped the cabbage and peppers into strips, finely chopped the onion, and left the snap peas as is.

Whisk honey/soy sauce/rice vinegar in a bowl.  Pour a few spoonfuls on top of steak to coat.  I also added a little pepper, and salt/parsley/garlic spice mix to the steak.  Be careful not to over-salt, as soy sauce is full of sodium!

Place veggies on a foil lined pan [to help with cleanup!]. Pre-heat oven, to broil.  Pour remaining sauce mixture on veggies and toss.

Pre-heat grill when rice is about 45min in.  You can always leave the rice covered, off the heat, for longer than 10min if your timing on the rest of the food is off =)

I had 2, 1/2lb steaks, which needed about 6min/side on the grill + heating time of 5min + letting the steak sit after grilling so the juices don’t run out 3-5min. Total steak cook/prep time = 20min.

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After you turn the steaks over once, put the veggies in the oven for 5-10min watching so they don’t burn.  You want them to be slightly browned and slightly soft. 

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Fluff the rice, take the veggies, out, and slice the steak into strips.  CHOW TIME!

I also broiled some ciabatta bread with a swipe of butter and the salt/parsley/garlic spice mix.

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We each had about a 4oz. portion of meat, which was more than satisfying.  The veggies + rice were super filling, and healthy!  There was plenty to feed the 4 of us, and more than enough leftovers of the veg + rice, that I will be eating for lunch! 

Total meal cost = 19.61/4 = $4.90/person

This included everything: the full cost of the ciabatta, which we still have 1/2 of, rice vinegar which I didn’t use much of, and the full cost of the 2lb bag of brown rice, which I still have 1/2 of.  The only things I did not buy were the honey and soy sauce.  Pretty affordable, with leftover pantry ingredients that will go to good use!

Phew…okay, done! Hopefully you found this helpful, and not extremely drawn out and boring!!!

Happy Tuesday!

Ashley

p.s. I also picked up a FREE loaf of honey whole wheat bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. Natalie had a coupon!! Yummmm – I love their minimal ingredient list!

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They stamp a flower on top of the loaf =)

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6 comments:

Sarah Jam Eve said...

You should google coupon mom and check that out too, she has a list of the weekly ads and combines it with any coupon available that you can print. Not a ton of organic stuff available but I have found some good deals. King Soupers is on her list. http://print.coupons.com/Couponweb/Offers.aspx?pid=11540&zid=bm91&nid=10

Kath said...

Love reading about groceries :)

And cool to see another kind of GH loaf!

MackAttack said...

Wow that is an impressive haul! Are those FSTG crackers? I haven't seen those before. yum!

ota.bars said...

Thanks for the comments!!!

MackAttack - they are FSTG chips! Taste like tortilla chips but better!! Lots of varieties =)

alice said...

ashley! your pics are getting better and better =) and i am loving the cheap and yummy meal.

btw, are you going to be putting a full website up soon? i want to help you promote when it's ready! =P

CinnamonQuill (jenn) said...

Late to comment, but I really enjoyed this post. It is inspiring me to tryyyyy to stay within some rational amount next month. Er, this month, considering it's now October. Keep the shopping reports coming, please!

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