Joe’s Garden – Fall Produce

My brother Forrest works as a farmer at a local farm Joe’s Garden. My mom and I have been stopping by once or twice a week to get produce after our walks. Joe’s has the most perfect peaches and nectarines of anyone in town. They are juicy and sweet, and I’m going to miss them terribly when they are gone! This week I also bought some acorn squash, some purple pears, cilantro and apples.

They have tons of ugly pumpkins and squash too right now. It’s a pretty awesome place to go to get in the fall spirit! Fresh local produce is reason #5,450 that I LOVE Washington!

Say hi Forrest!

 

 

 

Sunday Budget

Ok last week I mentioned my goal of reducing our grocery bill down to $67 a week, this week I want to share how things turned out. First off I want to clarify that each week doesn’t have to be a perfect $67, but I would like it to even out to that by the end of the month. Also I’m trying really hard to reduce my artificial ingredients, today at Target this proved to be difficult.

Ok so to start with last week we spent:

$52.88

This included the $22 for our Door to Door Organics box. The other $30 was basically spent on Milk, Cliff Bars, Smart Ones Meals, Bottled Water, and Fruit. We had a fair amount of food still so we really didn’t need to buy much.

Today we went to Target. Now I have heard mixed reviews on shopping produce at Target but I have always been pleased. They have a mix of Organic and non organics, they usually have everything I need in stock (like Kale even thought King Soopers, Safeway, and Whole Foods were out). They also have GREAT fruit prices. (see their ad here)

Today on Ad they had:

1 lb Strawberries: 2 for $5

1lb Fuji Apples: $1 a pound

Annie’s Organic Mac n Cheese: $1.25

Kellogg cereals & Breakfast Bars: 4 for $10 plus a $5 instant Target Gift Card

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So we spent $80.93 today, if your curious here is the (approximate) breakdown:

-$20 on Fruits and Veggies

-$16.00 on Almonds, Organic Peanut Butter, Bread, and Dark Chocolate

-$12 on Cliff Bars (Also Organic and Natural)

-$7 on Dairy (Cream Cheese, Milk, Ice Cream (ok its fat-free sorbet)  (Havent made the switch to Organic in these)

-$5 on Weight Watchers Smart Ones Meals (for Mr. Gaunt, the Kashi Organic ones are TWICE as much…grrr)

-$13 on Cereal and Oatmeal (I have switched to Organic Kashi Oatmeal, but the Cereal deal was too good to pass up)

So basically out of our $80 only $24 of it was spent on items that are not “Clean Eating” material. Now not all of those were Organic, but they were natural ingredients. I am VERY happy with this! And we remembered our bags! Yay! now I just have to use up all these good foods before they go bad. I read somewhere that no one should eat anything that wont expire in a month.

Oh and I have a TON of Sweet Potatoes, any ideas for HEALTHY (no candied Yam ideas) recipes? I’m pretty sure we will make sweet potato fries, but I would love to bake something with them. In my head I’m picturing a Sweet Potato and Peanut butter bar…lol…how could I do this? Anyway sorry if this post was boring, I found it really comforting to break down my bill into nutrition like this. Try it! I will be doing this every Sunday evening.

Look What Was Left On My Doors Step…

Ok I don’t really have a door step, more just a hallway. Needless to say when I got home from work this was waiting for me.. I was actually nervous on my way home thinking about if I would be pleased with my purchase. In case you didn’t know I have a huge hatred for excess packaging. I think it stems from my mom refusing to buy us Squeeze-it Fruit drinks because they were garbage individually packaged in a plastic bottled wrapped in a cardboard surround and then shrink-wrapped together. I can hear her saying it now “It’s just a ridiculous amount of packaging!” ha! I’m not even that environmentally conscious, this is more about space. I dont want to fill up half may garbage can 5 seconds after I put in a new bag. It’s obnoxious and insulting. I dont want your damn packages! I have even gone to using re-usable grocery bags because I was sick of the giant bag of bags under my sink.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah my worry that my Door to Door Organics box would be filled with excess packaging. Have you purchased apples at Costco recently? They are wrapped in a ridiculous amount of hard plastic…WTF?! Anyway I was VERY pleased when I opened my box and found only one of those cardboard fruit trays, and that’s it! Also DTDO has a great recycling program, this is taken directly from their website:

“Every box, bag, ice pack, piece of paper, and most other non-edibles that we send you will be picked up from your house at your next scheduled delivery. Firstly, we will reuse any items that have certain qualities, like our cardboard boxes. There are also items like the large plastic bags that cannot be reused for health reasons, and we actually us Eco-Cycle to pick these up and have them turned into durable decking.”

How rad is that! I love this company more and more! Ok onto the goods I got this week. As a reminder I spent $22 this week on this box (remember its Organic which is slightly more expensive). Now I have yet to do an actual price comparison (which I do think I will do) but the convenience and variety and quality of this product really seem worth it.

In case you were wondering (I was) the veggies were all crisp and fresh looking (the carrots still had dirt on them…love that!) and the ripeness of the fruit (I was also wondering this) is about two days away. Although it would have been nice to bite into a kiwi, I’m glad that they wont rot tomorrow. Also it gives me a day or two to decide what to do with them. Overall I’m very pleased with this all so far.

Door to Door Organics!

So I’m not sure if I have mentioned it on here, but I really wanted to do a CSA box this summer (in case you don’t want to click that link, a CSA box is when you pay around $400 in early spring to a local farm and you get a delivery every week of their produce) but I had a lot of questions and concerns about the quantity and variety of my food. We were going to split on with Ms. G, and we still may but until then I found something pretty darn sweet.

Its called Door to Door Organics and they are based out of Colorado, Kansas City, Michigan, and some smaller states on the east coast. Basically what you do is purchase a WEEKLY or BI-WEEKLY produce box and you get a mix of organic local produce (whatever’s in season) and some imported stuff (whatever’s not in season). The best part is you only pay AFTER you get your box of goods, and they send you an email the week before spelling out exactly what you will get in your box. They also have an option to substitute out items, add more items (like Artichokes were $1.85 this week extra) and make a list of I LOVE and I DONT LOVE so they customize it for you.

I’m getting the Bitty-Box ($22.66), and my first box will be delivered to my house on Wednesday, and it will include the following:

1 lb Zucchini
1 lb Yams
1 ea. Sweet Baby Broccoli
1 ea. Red Leaf Lettuce
1 ea. Carrots with Tops
2 ea. Kiwi
2 ea. Fuji Apples
3 ea. Blood Oranges
2 ea. Bartlett Pears
1 ea. Avocado

I love that you get just one or two of each item. This will definitely reduce waste in our house. We can also at any time increase the size of our order. It’s all very user friendly, where the CSA box wasn’t so much.

We are trying to cut our grocery bill back to $65 a week, I buy a fair amount of organic food as well as some other pricey items (fresh fruit, nuts) but our bill was a little through the roof. So I’ve decided to give you all a SUNDAY SHOPPING update to break down what I bought and what I spent. Im also really going to try to shop bargains while staying healthy.  Also meal planning is really going to be a must. This is going to be a challenge!

Oh and this is a great list on why you should go organic for produce

I leave you with a sweet picture of my little Liam….love him!

Weekend Round Up

The weekend is over…sad…but I had a good time! I spent Friday with Pro in Fort Collins and then yesterday I went to a little birthday gathering for Jill and got to see my lovely Kells Bells. Today I went to the Farmers market with Mr. Gaunt (and got a TON of peppers that one farmer gave to us for free) as well as a lot of other produce and pumpkins and gourds! Yay fall! Then I spent the afternoon grocery shopping with Kelli and got some sweet grandma sweaters as Savers, as well as a pit stop at Merle’s for drinks and appetizers!

Sweet Tea Vodka Arnold Palmer

Sweet Tea Vodka Arnold Palmer

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

Yam Chips and Guac

Yam Chips and Guac

Tonight Mr. Gaunt and I made fresh green beans (sauted in olive oil and garlic) as well as Whole Wheat Panko Tilapia and salad (with peppers of course!):

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