I sort of ran out of time in January.
For some silly reason, I thought I could cram my Whole Foods in the Fast Lane series into one measly week. Well, I’m not that fast!
So let’s keep talking about whole foods, real life, budgets, and busy motherhood, okay? And this time I’m not putting a time frame on this series. We’ll quit when we’re done! 😉
For a few weeks (or however long it takes), I want to talk about where I buy whole foods. I’m also going to share a menu plan with each “where I buy whole foods” post so you can see it all in action.
You’ll notice two things as I share my grocery shopping trips with you over the next few weeks:
1. I am not a food purist. We eat as healthy as we can, but it’s not all organic or even 100% whole foods.
2. I am frugal but I don’t stress over price-matching and couponing. If a have a coupon for something I need, I use it. If I land a bargain, I stock up.
Plain and simple, I don’t have time to fuss or stress about food or money! I make do with what I have of both.
Okay, on to where I buy whole foods and how I create a healthy menu plan for my family.
What usually comes to mind when someone mentions shopping for health foods? Trader Joe’s? Sprouts? Whole Foods?
How about Aldi and Wal-mart?
Yes, it’s true: I buy a lot of whole foods at Aldi and Wal-mart, and I save a lot of money in the process.
I’m certainly not the first blogger to buy whole foods at Aldi (Erin at The Humbled Homemaker has blogged a lot on this topic), but I can’t resist chiming in with my own experience. Aldi is such a huge resouce for budget-friendly, healthy foods for our family, and I’ll show you why.
Here’s my stash from a recent grocery shopping trip (last Friday, in fact) at Aldi.
Here’s a breakdown of what I bought and how much I
- frozen, organic blueberries ($2.99)
- Stevia (1.99)
- wild caught tuna, 8 cans ($.69 each)
- raisins ($2.89)
- bananas, about 3 lbs ($.44 per pound)
- organic baby carrots ($1.29)
- russet potatoes, 10 lbs ($2.99)
- turkey pepperonis ($2.79)
- organic grape tomatoes ($2.99)
- extra virgin olive oil, 2 canisters ($2.99 each)
I also purchased a few household goods for our family, including paper plates, tissues, toilet paper, etc, which brought this week’s Aldi trip to $53.35.
Earlier in the week, I make a quick run by our local Wal-mart for a few things. Here’s a break-down of that trip:
- Gluten-free Chex cereal ($3.12)
- Gluten-free pop tarts ($2.50 with coupon)
- Ghirardelli chocolate chips, 2 bags ($2.64 each)
- sliced mushrooms, 1 jar ($1.98)
- 1/2 gallon whole organic milk ($3.52)
- large tub natural peanut butter ($5.92)
Wal-mart grocery run: $22.29
So last week, I spent $75.64 on groceries for our family of eight (three adults, four children and a baby). Not bad!
What about the meat?
If you noticed I didn’t purchase any meat (except tuna!), you may be wondering if we’re vegetarian. The answer is no.
My husband is a hunter, and we’re really blessed to have a freezer full of fresh venison and wild pork. I also have a bag of hormone-free chicken and wild caught fish in the freezer from a previous shopping trip, so I didn’t need any meat from the super market for this week.
I also have plenty of rolled oats, organic carrots, celery, organic apples, organic peas and green beans, organic tomato sauce, Silk coconut milk, organic jelly, raw cheese, organic brown rice, and Shoshanna’s Gluten-free Flour Mix in my fridge, freezer, and pantry.
Now let’s see how this works into a do-able menu plan for our family:
- gluten-free Chex cereal
- gluten-free pop tarts
- homemade granola (I made a double batch on Saturday)
- Blueberry Oat Muffins
- coconut milk and organic cow’s milk
- homemade venison chili (Sunday dinner)
- tuna sandwiches (with super easy homemade gluten-free bread)
- Mexican meatloaf cups (with venison)
- Slow Cooker Tomato Bisque
- peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with fresh veggie sticks
- Home-style Shepherd’s Pie (made with left-over tomato soup)
- potato soup
- sliced organic apples
- celery and peanut butter
- Peanut butter Chocolate Balls
- baked potatoes (after Church Sunday night)
- Stove Top Brown Rice & Chicken
- Homemade Pizza
- Black Beans and Rice with Chicken
- Toasted Sesame Salmon
Many of these recipes are included in The Cottage Mama Plans Her Fall and Winter Menu Plan. You can check out our seasonal menu planning ebook bundle for more help with whole food menu plans, or take a peek at my 90 healthy menu plan ideas for busy moms.