In addition to my other New Year’s resolutions, Joe and I resolved to tighten the budget and try to pay attention to what we’re spending a little better. Living in the city and constantly walking everywhere, it’s so easy to mindlessly spend money while out and about. Going out for happy hour ($30), grabbing a quick lunch ($15), a latte in the afternoon ($3), etc. Not to mention that I had to strategically re-route my walk home from work in order to avoid the money pit that is Walnut Street (Athleta, City Sports, Lululemon, Philadelphia Runner, all within a couple blocks of each other – gulp.) But one area I’m certain I spend the most money is without a doubt groceries. Sure, I typically do one larger grocery trip on the weekends, but then throughout the week I’ll swing by our local specialty market 3 or 4 times. It’s ridiculous.
Finally, Joe and I made a challenge: to spend $100 a week on groceries. Surely we should be able to make it work – there are only two of us after all.
This meant a couple things: Goodbye, Whole Foods. Goodbye, Di Bruno Brothers. Goodbye, Food & Friends $6 pints of Fro Yo. It was time to begin planning meals, creating a list, and sticking to Trader Joe’s.
So I made my list and visited TJ’s – no, I did not walk around TJ’s with a calculator. But I definitely compared prices and sacrificed some “needs” for “wants”. I noticed more than usual how much more expensive organic food is compared to “conventional” and made decisions on what was most important.
Organic Non-Negotiables: Milk, Whole Milk Yogurt, FroYo, Cheese, Chicken, Beef, Eggs, Apples, Spinach. We eat these pretty much on a daily basis and I won’t sacrifice our health for a cheaper price tag. Need a reason to switch to organic dairy? Read What to Eat by Marion Nestle. I’m sorry but you’ll thank me later.
As far as everything else, I’ll buy organic if it’s reasonable.
Other weekly shopping cart staples: Broccoli, Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, Onions, Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Avocados, WW Bread, Nut Mixture, Dried Mango, Prunes, Veggie Burgers, Tofu, Hummus, Wild Salmon, Frozen Veggies & Berries, Peanut Butter (My favorite is PB&Co. The Bees Knees or Mighty Maple – not found at TJ’s so I’ll make a special trip to Whole Foods for these I don’t care), Olives, Pomegranate Juice, Soup, Cereal, Mini Whole Wheat Bagels, Almond Milk
Not bad! We’ll see how it goes this week. Hopefully we don’t begin to run out of veggies toward the end of the week otherwise I’ll panic.
Veggie/tofu bowl + hummus + WW peanut butter bagel as my reward. (Standard lunch)
Have you seen that Taco Bell commercial where they mock the girl who brings veggies to a super bowl party? Okay, that is always me. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when I heard this commercial was pulled. Not to mention I hate Taco Bell with a passion (yes, I just said with a passion), especially KBellHuts (cringe). They are everything that’s wrong with America. No, I am not a complete fast food hater. I am a respectful fan of Chick Fil A, Chipotle, and In N Out Burger. But nothing good can ever come from a visit to a KBellHut. Anyways. Triumph! Small victories. (preach)
Speaking of Super Bowl Sunday, got plans in the morning? If you live in the Philadelphia area, before you indulge on chicken wings, beer, and veggies :), please consider attending my Girls on the Run Donation Yoga Class! This Sunday 2/3 at 8:00 AM at Dana Hot Yoga in Bala Cynwyd. $10 suggested donation - all proceeds will benefit Girls on the Run Philadelphia. Visit Dana Hot Yoga's website to register!
Q: What are you bringing to your super bowl party this weekend?