Grocery Shopping on a Budget

 

A big thanks to those of you that gave input on other ideas to help you to be physically healthy on a budget! Seems like I have a lot of lurkey lurkers these days. Come on out and say hi people! I don’t bite…unless I’m REALLY hungry! (This post will make you REALLY hungry!)

So, yesterday’s post was all about being fit on a budget. Today, as another follow up to the Fit Blog chat, I thought we would talk about food. I am going to start by being totally honest with you. In case you haven’t noticed…I am not a foodie. *gasp* I know, I know. There is a reason I don’t blog about my food (aside from an occasional recipe.) While I like to think I maintain a healthy balance and eat well, some probably wouldn’t agree. For starters, I eat meat. YES you heard me, RED MEAT. Not all the time, but I do. and it’s good. and I am ok with that. and I know you aren’t supposed to start a sentence with and, and you are supposed to start one with a capital letter. It’s ok, it’s my blog and I shall do as I please. I also have sweets everyday, mainly chocolate. I love my sweet tea, too (on the weekends.)

Now that the grammar police are after me, let me get to my point. What kind of fun would life me without chocolate, or cupcakes, or pasta in alfredo sauce every now and then? Not so much in this girl’s opinion. So, When I discuss healthy eating on a budget, it may look a little different than some people’s version of healthy eating on a budget. But, stay with me. These principles can help you even if you don’t eat just like me. If you don’t eat like me, that’s cool, too. Your choice! Not saying it’s good/bad/awesome/stupid. I admire food bloggers because I could never do it.  I just want to be clear that I never claimed to be a food blogger.

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1.) Make a list

Sounds so simple, but is so complicated in real life. It’s so tempting to see the newest thing, or something that looks so yummy because you are hungry (my next point.) Unless it’s something you truly forgot to put on your list and need to get for a recipe, etc. stick to the list. It will stop you from impulse buying!

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2.) Don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach

This is a pitfall for me. When I shop hungry, EVERYTHING looks good and I buy way more food than planned or necessary. This leads to going over budget, food going bad in the refrigerator because I simply cannot consume it all before it goes bad, etc.

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3.) COUPONS and sale papers!

There is a coupon craze happening right now, and I like it! I always clip coupons. Yes, a lot of them are for processed foods, but not all. I can usually find coupons on things like yogurt, butter, cheese, cereal, etc. Also, check manufacturers websites for coupons of mailing lists for coupons. Be sure to get the most bang for your buck with coupons. If you have a coupon for something AND wait until it’s on sale then you can save a lot. Also, stock up a little bit if you can, but not like the creepy people who turn their basements into a panty. weird.

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4.) Make things from scratch

Yes, it takes more time and effort. This one is a judgment call if your time is more valuable to you, or if you are a bad cook. Pre made or packaged things are generally more expensive, but also more convenient.

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5.) Buy in Bulk

This ties in with the coupon one a little bit. Be sure not to be wasteful though! If you have something like a Sams club, etc. near you then take advantage! My family gets great steals from there all the time in bulk and for a great price. You just have to do a little research and math. (Once again, judgment call. If you got a D in math, you may want to skip this on.)

Bottom line in my book is plan ahead. if you make a plan, have a list and coupons, know what is on sale, and shop after eating, I think you are headed in the right direction! Like I stated before, I am by no means an expert in the food department, these are just a few simple tricks that have helped me stay within my budget and shop for food the smart way.

QOTD: What do you do to save money on food while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

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*all of the above pictures are from dining in Disneyworld Smile

Creamy Chicken Casserole

Ok, This is my favorite comfort food, and I have taken it and made a healthier version of it and I made it last night. Yummy!

-1/2 rotisserie chicken
-1.5 cans low sodium crema of chicken soup
-1 8 oz container lowfat sour cream
-1 pakage wheat Rotini noodles
-ritz crackers (or any crackers)
-smart balance light butter

cook noodles according to package directions and heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix shreads of chicken, cream of chic. soup, and sour cream in bowl.
pour noodles in bottom of 13x 9 pan, put some butter on top (however much you want)
spread chicken/sour cream/cream of chic. soup mixture over noodles, top with crumpled crackers. I only put crackers on the part I am going to eat b/c it gets soggy otherwise.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. enjoy!!!

today was my first post race workout. I was starting to feel blobish so I needed to do something. I did 20 min. elliptical and 25 min. stationary bike for a total of 45 minutes cardio. I did a pretty light workout, just wanted to ease back into things. May do a short run this weekend, we will see. I am still a tad sore!!

Bleh and Greek Yogurt

I realized the title of this would lead you to believe that I thought Greek yogurt was bleh. well…it kinda is and kinda isn’t, but that’s not what i meant! first the bleh part:
It has been nuts at my house. Sinck husband, sick dog = no workout yesterday. I had my gym clothes and everything…it just didn’t happen. I also had to pack because today the teacher’s leave for a conference in Birmingham. SO, that means I won’t be back till Friday night so I won’t have a new post until at least Friday, sorry! I will be hopefully running twice on the treadmill at the hotel gym though (at least this is what I did last year.)
The greek yogurt part. I tried this because I heard it was good for you, lots of protein, etc. I was nervous about it because I heard it has a strong sourish taste, like sour cream, which I do not really like. So I bought one, it was vanilla bean. Let’s just say I had to add a lot of cinnimon to it, but it still wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It definately wasn’t yummy, but maybe it will grow on me. I am going to give it another shot and try some different flavors and brands and see what I like best. You should try it!
I had taco soup last night at a friend’s house and I was surprised I liked it because it had beans and tomato in it, but it was realy good! I am getting the recipe from her and I will post it here.

Eating Healthy

My husand and I have really been trying to eat more healthy. I am SUCH a picky eater though, so it’s hard. Here is a sampling of things I won’t eat:
1. Seafood
2. Salad
3. eggs (except in cakes and things. I have eaten omlets before but not often)
4. Most veggies
5. mustard, mayo, tomato, (things on a burger)
6. things used for flavor like onions, mushrooms, etc.
7. a lot of sauces/dressings

I know I know. How did I grow up outside of New Orleans and don’t like seafood. I don’t know! I just can’t stand the smell therefore I can’t eat it.
So this is where I have a problem, I don’t like most healthy things! So it has been a struggle for us to eat healthy. Any good ideas for recipes that don’t involve the above things? Oh, I will eat corn,potatoes, green beans…but thats about it for “veggies”

I have however come to love a lot of fruits. I just enjoyed a yummy yoplait smoothie after my 3 mile run today.
I add my own protein powder

and just because she is cute and was posing

so, seriously, anyone have any recipes or websites to share with me?

P.S. GO SAINTS!

I never thought this day would come…

Ok, so I am a self proclaimed junk food adict. I love sweets, sugar, soda, pizza, hamburgers, mashed potatoes, and anything with cheese (well, almost, I hate broccoli YUCK!) I always heard people say things like “when you start to eat better, your body feels better and you won’t want to eat the bad things, and you will crave good things.”
Well, I never believed this, I mean who doesn’t love a good burger and fries or milkshake? Well, I have started to get to where this really does apply to me! I honestly NEVER thought it would happen. I have by NO MEANS “arrived.” I still don’t like veggies that much and I still love junk, but I crave it less, and crave better stuff more. Also, not even that, but I will say “hhmm a milkshake sounds so good” but then I will think “wait..that will be a ton of calories and make me feel so gross when I run tomorrow.” etc. It’s like I actually think before I eat (sometimes). For instance, when we were in Disneyworld for the 1/2 marathon, we ate SO BAD, greasy, yummy, food. Well, by the end of the trip I was CRAVING fruit. FRUIT! me!!! It was so odd but true! I defiantely still have a ways to go, but I feel like I am on the right track, and it feels great! Realizing how differnt foods affect my runs or just my day in general really help me to not be so sluggish!
So, give it a try. If someone like me can notice a difference, I know you can, too!!! Now if I could just figure out a way to like salad….