It’s the beginning of the month which means
make it rain money payday! Time to stock up on some higher priced items I think are worth spending a little more money on than their cheaper counterparts.
While I wish I could afford to buy everything organic, with a limited budget, I simply can’t. I really have to prioritize what’s important to me; that is, what is worth spending more money on, and what isn’t. At the beginning of every month I make the 45 minute trek to the closest Whole Foods to pick up some of my favorite items that I can’t find anywhere else, or are simply cheaper at Whole Foods than at the standard grocery store. My savings are probably less than what I spend in gas to get there, but don’t tell my husband that.
I know what it’s like when money is tight, but I’m willing to fork over a little more money for these things… and so should you!
First off, if we bought meat on a regular basis, local, organic meat would be on the top of this list! That being said, going meatless one or two nights a week can save you quite a bit of money! Try it 😉
1) Maple syrup (Not Pictured)
Hands down my favorite grocery item. My dad grew up in New York and would settle for nothing but the best. These days it’s not only the ONLY thing I top my pancakes with, but it’s my sweetener of choice for other things like oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, etc. It’s vegan and unlike standard table syrup, it’s high in manganese, zinc, calcium and potassium. In fact, a 1/4 c of maple syrup has more calcium than milk and more potassium than a banana*! Take that high fructose corn syrup! Tip: Heat a little for 20 seconds in the microwave to make it go further!
2) Kerrygold Butter (Not Pictured)
Kerrygold is a full fat butter made from grass fed cows. Happy cows = better butter. Not only is low fat butter processed in a dangerous manner** but it doesn’t taste half as good as this stuff. (If you want to know more about the way cows are treated here in America, I suggest a little documentary called Food, Inc.)
3) Organic Quinoa
As a vegetarian, quinoa (keen-wah) is one of the best things I feed myself and my kids for protein. It’s one of the only plant based sources of complete proteins. It’s naturally fat and cholesterol free. 1 cup of quinoa contains 15% of your recommended daily amount of iron, 21% of your fiber, 118 mg of magnesium, 31 mg of calcium, 318 mg of potassium and 2.02 mg of zinc (according to USDA nutrion database)! Wowsa! Plus, have I mentioned it’s crazy easy to cook and taste delicious in chili. My chili. You should probably check back this weekend for that recipe, just sayin’.
4) Local, raw honey
Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, contains 18 amino acids and lots of vitamins and minerals. Local raw honey can also help relieve seasonal allergies! My husband has been taking it in the spring for years to aid in alleviating his seasonal allergies.
5) Organic cane sugar
I use this purely for my coffee and (some) baking. Maple syrup gets expensive in coffee every day, 2-3 times a day. I buy organic becausr standard table sugar is usually made from genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets. Buying organic is the easiest way to avoid nasty GMOs!
6) Organic Coconut Oil
The most expensive thing on this list at $9.99, but it goes the furthest. The benefits of coconut oil is a post in itself, but includes escema relief, increases proper thyroid functioning, all natural conditioner/makeup remover/toothpaste, is an antibacterial and antifungal, a healthy cooking oil full of heathy body benefiting fats on and on… Plus it’s DELICOUS! Tip: Buy nonrefined virgin organic coconut oil, it’s good for using in and out of the kitchen.
7) Organic Bread Flour/whole wheat flour for baking
Organic Flour is free of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and GMOs. Whole Grain flour is higher in fiber, lower on the glycemic index, and higher in vitamins than white flour. It contains some folate, B vitamins (1,3,5) and riboflavin.
8) All Natural (organic) Whole Wheat Bread
Bread is so good for you, medical issues aside. In addition to the reasons listed above, all natural bread is free of dough conditioners and preservatives (it’s best kept in the fridge or freezer!). White wheat is also bleached with chlorine gas. Gross. A chemical that is very harmful to the body. I keep a loaf of whole wheat in the freezer for grilled cheese and PB&J and make a loaf in my bread machine for all other bread needs.
9) Not Beef bouillon
As a vegetarian, sometimes vegetable broth doesn’t meet the flavor mark. It’s all natural and super duper tasty.
10) Fresh or Frozen (local, when available) organic fruits and vegetables from the “Dirty Dozen”
Organic, local, season fruits and vegetables not only taste better, but are better for you. They are free of GMOs and nasty pesticides that are detrimental to your health. Buy them whenever possible! If you’re like me, most of your local farms do not offer organic produce. I choose organic over local, but local options for everything not on the Dirty Dozen list.
Frozen fruits and vegetables in many regards is just as good as fresh. If frozen shortly after picking, freezing maintains many of the nutrients the produce originally contains. I avoid cans for most items, especially tomatoes. Canned tomatoes are lined with BPA, which is toxic to reproductive systems, developing brains and is known to disturb behavior processes.
11) (bonus) Multi-grain, low sugar, GMO free cereal
Because it taste better than cheerios and is GMO free, that’s why!
Menu for week of:
February 28- March 7
Fried Quinoa (rolled over from last week)
Meat-less Meatballs and lemon pasta (rolled over from last week)
Sundried tomato and spinach Pasta
Quiche and breakfast potatoes
Buffalo Meatball Casserole
Chili (Recipe coming soon!)
Green smoothies, grits, eggs, cereal, oatmeal, toast, Greek yogurt with granola
Chocolate Covered Strawberry & Chunky Monkey Smoothies, Greek yogurt, bananas, applesauce, homemade organic bread, baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon and maple syrup, popcorn
$108 on groceries ($3 over because I’m making desserts for church this week)
$41 Whole Foods
Grocery money remaining for the month- $271 ($90/week)
“I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”