So one of the things that surprised me as my family started eating much, MUCH healthier then before was that food wasn’t really much more expensive….. Now I won’t lie If I shopped all organic yeah it totally would be!  But then again even with things like farmer market co-ops (please check these out if you haven’t heard of these because there might be one in your area) can really save you money and we hope to be apart of one really soon!

Anyways, I expected this super high food bill going more natural.  See before in the past when I would try to lose weight I ate a lot of “low fat”, “low calorie”, “low carb”, really anything with the word “low”.  I ate “diet” foods as well….  Most of it was processed foods which of course I know now that pretty much any time we take something out, we have to add a bunch of crap to fill it back up like Sodium or Carbs.  So this time I wanted to just go more natural with less fillers! After four kids you really do start thinking about a lot of things.  I have two with food allergies, and two who are also on the brink of puberty.  We all know what a joy that is!  And I just want the best for my children (not saying those out there don’t if they don’t eat like we do).  I want them to be HEALTHY children who LIKE GOOD HEALTHY food!

So anyways, we were down on a lot of items, I had a few veggies at home and about a weeks worth of meat still…. Let me first stop and talk about meat… Another purchase I expected to change…. First I am not a huge humongo fan of things like ground turkey or chicken in the place of ground beef.  While I will tolerate it, let’s face it, it’s NOT beef!  Not even close!  But what I have learned with our new portion size and well adding beans lol I have cut our meat consumption down by half if not more.  For instance say I was making Taco’s.  I normally would cook up about 2.5 pounds of ground beef.  By all means there is 5.5 of us (the baby hardly qualifies as a whole since she eats like a pea size amount of food because we all know most of it does not end up in their mouths but either in the high chair or if you kid is like mine ON THE FLOOR!).  Now that we are eating healthier I purchase  just 1 pound and use things like beans (which I have done this in the past) and brown rice or quinoa as a “filler”.  This works actually very nicely and less meat which also typically mean LESS calories.  Now, we actually are not big ground meat people naturally but one of the other nice things was since I cut down on ground beef that allowed a once in a while purchase of steak!   Now a four pack of steak is two meals for Derrick and I since on the weekends it is just us and the baby!

And of course there is chicken but that didn’t change except again I am now able to double the meals.  I also started buying my chicken in the tenderloin shape instead of a whole breast to make sure we don’t over eat on chicken!  Two tenders are quiet enough!

I have found with veggies and fruit that buying in season saves a ton as well as not buying many processed foods.  You would be shocked at how just not eating things like lean cuisine saves you!  In fact you can cook yourself not only a healthier meal at home for lunch BUT you can have more of it.  Because, if you are anything like me those meals are itty bitty and well I am hungry 5 minutes later!!!!  So save the tummy growl, get off your toosh and cook you some food!  If you want to make more excuses like I just don’t have the time, then you can do what a friend of mine does which is she cooks all her meals for a month in just ONE day.. Yep it can be done. here is the link incase you are interested, the blog actually gives you different menu’s for different types of meal lifestyles.  So there isn’t much excuses!!!!  It even gives you a lovely shopping list! ha! Try me now!  More excuses? ” I am tired”, “I don’t want to” you say…. Well with those you just have to say to yourself, how much do I want this????? If you want it bad enough I am damn sure you will make it happen right?  Well how bad do you want it?

So back to my shopping trip (sorry I tend to get off topic sometimes)… I spent 101 dollars total, and honestly I am okay with that…. I got 2 dozen cage free eggs, 2 bags of grapes, 3 gallons of water, 1 gallon of milk, 1 1/2 gallon of soy milk, 2 heads of lettuce, 2 bundles of mushrooms, 3 tomatoes, a bag of green apples, a bag of red apples, a bundle of bananas, a pineapple, a container of different types of lettuce, big container of raw spinach, 2 containers of black berries, 2 containers of strawberries, 1 big container of Greek yogurt, philly chocolate cups, 3 containers of laughing cow cheese, 2 stalk of celery, 2 bags of bite size carrots, 1 loaf of 45 cal bread, 2 boxes of organic quinoa, 1 box of unsalted natural butter, 2 bell peppers, 4 cans of tuna and a diet dr pepper to drink on my way home (my treat when I go out)!  Now if I was buying a full weeks worth of groceries, just add a few more veggies and about 30 dollars worth of meat or less (depending on sales at Kroger) and you are done which actually would put me BELOW my normal shopping trip of 200 a week in groceries!  In fact I think with a little more smart shopping a head of me I can get our bill down to about 150 AND still eat healthy!  So see you don’t have to eat crap food if you don’t have a ton of money… Heck even if we had to I could spend a ton less and still eat healthy I mean you can make soups make a ton and it’s CHEAP to make!   A huge container of oatmeal last a heck of a lot longer than cereal.  You just have to really start learning how to meal plan and think sometimes outside of the box!  Think to yourself how much crap food do I buy?  If I didn’t get this food that I don’t really “NEED”  how much more GOOD food could I buy with the money I saved?  I personally choose to be healthy what do you choose?