Friday, February 3, 2012

IT "MAKES CENTS TO ME" FRIDAY.

Hi everyone,
So I really struggled with what to call this post. I've been noticing on a few blogs, people are keeping track of their spending, some just on food, others on anything they spend money on. So that got me to thinking. Maybe I can keep track of what I spend my money on for the next three months...no strings attached...and then after that, I'll see where I can start saving money.
OH, and I had a hard time coming up with a catchy title...but I came up with "Makes Cents To Me".  My aunt (my dad's sister) helps pay most of the bills, since we're living in her house. She's been so good to us during this really tough time for my little family.  Once certain bills are paid, my father and I have a really limited budget to work with. This budget has to cover food, gas and maybe other incidentals for the entire month.  My "month" started today on February 3rd and will end around March 2nd. Although that might be subject to change. Also, my dad and I are both "in between" jobs, so that adds an element of excitement to the mix. Hey, being out of work is no fun, but it is vitally important not to lose our sense of humor :) :) :)

Here are a few of the items that I purchased this morning at Whole Foods market.  There was quite a bit MORE in today's purchase, but I'd put most of it away, before I realized that a photo would be needed for today's post:

.

My father and I are on a real food journey. We're committed to eating organic food, as much as possible and staying within budget.  We believe that you can't put a price tag on healthy eating/living, especially since the alternative (hospital bills) can be exhorbitant.  If you can't afford organic food, don't worry.  The primary goal is to shop the perimeter of your supermarket, buy fresh produce and meat. Make all of your meals at home.  It will automatically be healthier and save you money.
I know that I'm forgetting to write down some stuff here, because I'm really excited and really nervous about this post. Excited, because I know that it's possible to live healthy on a really limited budget.  Nervous because I am putting myself out there. However, I hope to encourage you because I'm just your everyday person trying to make it work in a recession.  That and I also want to prove that it's possible to live within your means and still be happy :) :) :)

Budget for the month of February: $Not sure if I want to reveal that just yet.  Once the bills are paid, there isn't much left over for food or other incidentals, like the phone ;) :) Maybe later...

Monday spent so far this week: $146.50 (for food and non-food items)

This is what my purchase included today:
--- 3 dozen organic brown eggs
---3, 8 oz packages of Kerrygold Irish butter (for making ghee, which is clarified butter)
---12 oz of organic, cherry tomatoes
---**Martha Stewart Living magazine (a want/not a need)
---**20 oz. organic drip coffee, French roast (a want/not a need)
---2, 32 oz bottles of ultra-purified drinking water with bottle desposits included
---1 jar of Himalayan pink salt
---1 container of Trail  Mix from the trail mix bar
---1 pound of organic, grass fed ground beef
---1 pound of bulk dry rub applewood smoked bacon
---2 Dagoba, organic dark chocolate bars
---1 botle of leave-in conditioner from 2Chic by Giovanni
---1 bottle of Aubrey Organics "rosa mosqueta" shampoo
---1 tube of natural whitening toothpaste
---1 small tub of organic cottage cheese
---organic, salted butter (Whole Foods brand) for Dad
---2 packages of frozen, organic blueberries (really overpriced, but I didn't have a chance to buy the 10 lb. organic bags of frozen blueberries at Costco)
---1.28 pounds of organic carrots
---1.54 pounds of organic broccoli crowns
---1 bottle of Earthworm family-safe drain cleaner (more on this stuff in another post...fantastic product, great price and safe around pets and children)
---2 cans of canned wild salmon
---2 cans of wild albacore tuna
---7.56 pounds of organic, navel oranges
---**2 fresh croissant breakfast sandwiches from the hot deli bar(a want/not a need...but so tasty good when you don't want to make breakfast in the morning)
---Organic silk, dental floss







































THIS HIMALAYAN PINK SEA SALT IS REALLY NICE. I LOVE THAT IT IS PINK. HOWEVER, SEA SALT HAS A LOT OF HEALTHY MINERALS THAT ARE SOMETIMES REMOVED FROM TYPICAL TABLE SALT. FOR A LINK TO SOME OF THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THIS TYPE OF SALT, CLICK HERE.


I bought the Himalayan pink salt for my father. It came recommended from our naturopath, as a healthy salt that my dad can consume.  Last month he was in the hospital because he had an arrythmia fibrillation of the heart. The hospital put him on a low-salt diet.  It's not so much about low-salt as it is about "healthy" sources of sodium. So we decided on this for my father.  It is really flavorful, and because of that you use much less of this type of sea salt, than you do with regular table salt. When I make my organic chicken/vegetable soup, I always add a teaspoon of Celtic sea salt. It's fabulous....and provides wonderful flavor.


What else? Well, let's see...the non-food items were a total of $38.34. That is $38 dollars and 34 cents...Blogger fonts make it hard to see the "dot" seperating the dollars from the cents :) :) :)

So I actually only spent $108.16 on food itself. So divided between my father and I for the week, that's $54.08...that's not too bad for the week.  Also keep in mind, that we still have a lot of food in our refrigerators and pantry, so that's going to help cut down on our food expenditures for the month.

Remember, I am new at this...so be kind to me, especially if you have advice/words of encouragement :) :)

These are some Whole Foods market freebies. They have a monthly health magazine, FREE to customers, whether you make a purchase or not. They also have a bi-monthly coupon booklet as well. So look for those two things, when you go to your local Whole Foods store (or any store, look for the store's sale ads).  Whole Foods also has a weekly sales sheet, that I grab as well.  Although today ,there weren't any available.

I am learning how to carefully study the sales ads. Even at stores like Whole Foods, it is possible to eat healthy and stay within a budget. So that's what I'm setting out to do.  Oh, Whole Foods also has a really cool booklet that comes out that includes a few meals/recipes. They each can feed four people for under $20.

Why am I shopping at Whole Foods today? Well, I'm studying to get my California driver's license. I'm in my 30s and never learned to drive...Shocking, I know...but I'm just a late bloomer and that's the simple, plain truth when it comes to my driving. My dad cannot drive for another three months. That is a mandated CAlifornia state law for people who experience a heart problem (like my father did)..so I'm relying on the generosity/loving kindness of my neighbors and church family. So I'm really careful to limit where I shop to save gas.  Whole Foods has everything I needed for this week, so I didn't need to go to the produce market in Pacific Grove, like I normally would. Does that make sense?

In any case, that's my "It Makes Cents to Me" post for this Friday.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and your ideas. I realize that eating organic is not for everyone, whether it be personal choice or because of finances. However, I know we all like to save money. So I'd welcome any thoughts and comments. Just keep it kind towards me and the others who comment here :) :) Also, I'm just a young lady trying to make it work in a recession. You can have "champagne" tastes and still live well-within a soda pop can budget :) :) :)

I'm participating in the following blog-hops this week:

Living Well Blog Hop over at Common Sense Homesteading.

Your Thriving Family. Click here to visit. Or check out the the blog button on my right sidebar :) :) :)

Raising Homemakers. Click here to visit or check out the blog button on my right sidebar :) :) :)

Thriving on Thursdays at Domesblissity. Click here to visit or check out the blog button on my right sidebar :) :) :)

Lil' Suburban Homestead. Click here to visit.

The Homestead Barn Hop over at The Prairie Homestead. Click here to visit. Or click on the blog button on my right sidebar.

There are lots of really cool blog posts. If you have some time, check out some of the other people participating in this link-up :)

That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather :)





26 comments:

aimee said...

I buy a mixture of organic and regular food items--but I would probably buy more organic food if we lived closer to a Whole Foods grocery store:(
Good luck on getting your driver's license--I am very proud of you for pursuing it!
Blessings,
Aimee

Beth said...

Hi Heather, I think you're doing an awesome job with your healthy eating plan. I had never heard of Himalyan pink salt. Thanks for telling us about it! Have a blessed wknd. You are a very special lady!
Beth

Jenni said...

Love the post title! :)

A Primitive Homestead said...

If you have even just a small space you could grow some of your own veggies. Inside of my rock gardens I grow peas onions peppers tomatoes mint & basil during the summer months. I chop my onions & peppers to freeze. Dry the mint & basil. Can the tomatoes. I recently purchased a very mini green house on wheels to start my plants from seeds over the next few weeks. Seeds are cheaper than plants & give so much back. Just an idea to ponder. Way to go. You will be driving soon. Blessings!
Lara

Camille said...

Dear Heather ~ You are doing a great job of seeking to be healthy and take care of yourself and your Dad in a wise way. I'm cheering you on! Keep looking to the LORD through it all. :)

Blessings,
Camille

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

@Aimee - I feel really blessed to have a Whole Foods in my town. There are also two Trader Joe's in the area, too...and a farmer's market. So I'm taking full advantage of all of these resources :)

@Beth - Thank you :) :)Have a blessed weekend, too :)

@Jenni - Thank you :) :) It just came to me while I was struggling to find a different post title :)

@Lara/A Primitive Homestead - oh, backyard gardening has been my dream for awhile. My budget is really tight. So the first thing I have to do is figure out the cost of materials and then save for it. I'm going to try for container gardening. I also have deer to contend with...they roam everywhere here...

@Camille - thank you, friend :) :) I really appreciate your encouragement and support ;) :)

Thanks for visiting me, eveyrone :) :) Love and hugs, Heather :)

Annesphamily said...

Heather I peeked at the previous post! You are so beautiful!Looking fab in sunny California! If you have a moment send your new address via e mail please. I was going to tell you a story about getting a drivers license past the age of 16! You are a remarkable young woman. Keep up the healthy living. Your budget seems to be doing very well. Love and blessings to you and your precious dad and your aunt for allowing you to have a home! You are very well loved! Anne

Sharon said...

Dear Heather,

First I want to say how proud of you I am for the weight loss! You go girl! That is awesome and I bet you are feeling so much better:)

Once Farmer's Markets open (Hmm, they may already be in CA) you can often find excellent prices on produce, organic meat and eggs. Be sure to check it out.

A source for some organic foods, spices, bath and body products and cleaners is www.vitacost.com. I often shop there and shipping is a flat-rate of $4.95.

Great shopping! Everything looks and sounds wonderful!

Have a blessed weekend!

Sharon

Melissa said...

I don't know if all Whole Foods stores are the same, but one of the coupon saving sites I visit, Southern Savers, www.southernsavers.com, does coupon matchups for Whole Foods stores.

If you go to the page, there'll be some tabs across the top that says Grocery Store Deals, and look under Other, you'll see Whole Foods.

She writes down the items that are on sale from the Ad, then lists if there's a coupon to match with the sale price, to save you even more money. It looks like a lot of them are printable.

I don't have a Whole Foods close by me so like I said I don't know if the sale items are the same, but couldn't hurt to check it out.

I also see a lot of printable coupons on the Whole Foods website, you might want to check out and see if there's anything you were planning to buy anyway, might as well save a little bit.

Under Her Wings said...

Wow! You were a pretty thrifty girl buying all those healthy foods. We have such a large family that we can hardly afford to eat everything organic, but we do as much as we can. Our daughter has chickens, so we eat those, plus we buy our beef from a grass fed farm, eat a lot of venison, etc.

Nicole said...

I love the blog title as well! Great job and great post! Love the pink salt too.. I'm out of sea salt so I need to get some more today.. will look for some today! Thanks!

Have a blessed weekend!

Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy said...

I love the title :) And really, that's an impressive haul for $100 at Whole Foods. Not bad at all!

Susan said...

What?! Coffee isn't a "need"?! o_O
Just kidding ;)
That salt is pretty. My husband loves sea salt. I'm going to have to try that pink one.
Love the name you picked for your blog :)

Hugs,

Susan

angie said...

Sounds good to me :) You're getting a great start! Never heard of Whole Foods, but then again you all have stores we don't here in rural KS. For us, we average around $200 or so a month in groceries, for a family of 5, and it includes a lot of cooking from scratch. When there's an extra bit of income, I hit sales when possible--like the other day I bought 7 turkeys, 12 to 13 pounds each, for 49 cents a pound. One time shot, totally worth it. I'll have to spend less for other groceries, but we have plenty of meat for a while. :)

BTW...totally don't blame u on the driving. If I could get by with it, I'd ditch it all together...cars and upkeep are so expensive!! And every time I have to get my license renewed it means a visit to the eye dr for a new pair of glasses so I can see the stinking eye chart thingy at the DL office. So that's another $300 or so on top of the $20 license! (I'm very very very near sighted and severely astigmatism, and even with glasses barely pass the eye test, and each time it's stronger and stronger and barely pass).

Grandma Becky said...

Good thoughts, Heather. We eat as healthy as possible too. I don't usually buy organic veggies. I make sure they are in the US, especially frozen foods. Organic, to me, is more expensive than regular fruit/veggie. Alot of Trader Joe items I buy are and they are reasonable priced. I love that store and go there once a month for my favorite cereal that my system can tolerate. Coupon clipping and using them when there are sales are the way to go, which I do as much as possible. Hope things go well with your learning to drive. My daughter didn't get her's til her 20s. Hugs and Happiness from Oregon.

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

@Anne/Annesphamily - I would love to hear your story of driving after age 16. I'll email you soon with my addy.

@Sharon - I'm not sure if we have a Farmers Markets store here in my area or not. We do have Trader Joe's and a live farmer's market downtown every week, plus lots of local farms that sell direct to the public. I do shop at Trader Joe's too. It depends on what my needs are...Oh vitacost? That sound great. I'll definitely check it out!! Thanks for the tip.

@Melissa - I'll check out the site you mentioned. Yesterday, all the Whole Foods store had a sale on organic navel oranges for $0.79 a pound...and I bought a lot...and that kind of sale was valid throughout the entire U.S. I haven't check out the Whole Foods site for coupons yet...that's a good idea ;)

@Under Her Wings - I feel really blessed to be able to afford organic. When we can't afford it, then we buy natural..but for me, it's really up to the individual.it just happens to be a personal conviction for my family that organic is best, when we can afford it. My BIG thing is that people buy fresh ingredients, and no processed foods..because the quality will always be better, even if it's not organic :) :) We make all our meals at home, too...it's better for us and saves us money :)

@Nicole - I tried some of that Himalayan pink salt today at lunch. It's a great flavor :) :) Celtic sea salt is also really good, too.

@Anne/Modern Mrs. Darcy - Thanks for the c ompliment :) :) :) We used to buy lots more fruit and veggies each week, but found that a lot of it was going bad before we ate it. So I've scaled down a bit. It'll be neat to see how this works out :) :)

@Susan - I hear you on the cofee :) :) It's one of those things, that I really love to drink...too much..so I have to scale back :)

@Angie - I would love to hear more about you feed your family for that amount of money and what you get for the money. You should write a blog post about that. I would LOVE to learn more... :) :)

@Grandma Becky - I really like Trder Joe's too...and hteir produce is always nice. I realize not everyone can afford organic..we barely can afford it..but I think no matter what one buy's, it should be FRESH...and local, if possible :) :) That way you know where it comes from, too :) :) I bought some AWESOME Brussel sprouts at Trader Joe's awhile back. They looked beautiful and tasted so yummy :) :) Where do you find coupons for stuff at Trader Joe's? I'm going to start going to the company websites of the various products I buy and look for coupons ;)

Thanks for visiting me everyone ;) :) I love hearing from all of you :) :)

Kristina said...

We are striving for natural foods here too. We tried two recipes that are linked on my blogpost today. Salt is in everything too. I have to read labels on natural products too.

Rebecca said...

We eat organic as much as we can. The choices aren't always there and that is a challenge. I also rarely eat meat...some chicken, but not much beef or pork. I saw a show last week on how pregnant hogs are caged for the entire duration of their pregnancy. They can't even turn over in the pen...

Such inhumanity all for bacon.

Can't do it!

GREAT POST my friend. Love that pink salt. I use it!

xoRebecca

farmgal said...

Great post, very much enjoyed reading it and I will look forward to your journey. I do a food storage friday post, I do find it very helpful to track things weekly.

Sorry to hear about your dad, hope that he continues to feel better, it sounds like you have a wonderful family with your aunt helping and I look forward to reading more about your life on the blog and will sign up for email delivery of your posts..

Have a great day, gotta to get back to making french onion soup now

Farmgal

Lil'Suburban Homestead said...

Wow you are in the process of so many changes.....I find it very difficult to balance health with budget and I thought your post was awesome let alone your goals towards being healthy are inspiring! Thanks for linking up to The Ole'Saturday Homesteading Trading Post at Lil'Suburban Homestead! Good to see you as always ;)

Jessica Heights said...

I'm so glad that you explained a bit about Himalayan pink salt...I had never heard of it before! Does it taste like regular salt?

Faye Henry said...

Such an interesting post, dear..
I really enjoyed reading it all.. We don't have whole food stores here in Eastern Canada yet but I would love it if we did..
It sounds as though you know what you are doing.. smile..
Blessings..

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

@Kristina - oh, I'll go over to your blog and check out the recipes ;) :)

@Rebecca - We don't eat bacon often, but when we do...we get bacon that's not full of junk. You can buy an organic bacon but it's super spendy. I eat lots of veggies, too :)

@Farmgal - your food storage Friday post sounds really interesting. I'll have to check it out. I want to start canning, but I can't afford equipment yet..but I do have a nice freezer, so I want to learn how to maximize the space :)

@Lil'Suburban Homestead - It's not easy eating healthy on a budget..right now, I just want to know what I actually spend on food...then I'll see where I can tweak the budget.

@Jessica Heights - I put some of the pink Himalayan salt on my hamburger this afternoon for lunch. It tastes real similar to table salt. There was ajust an ever so subtle difference, in my opinion...but I think it tastes basically the same. It's got a really nice flavor to it :)

@Faye Henry - I don't know if I know what I'm doing...but I'm learning :) :) I'd love to grow food in my backyard...but that's a dream away off yet :) :) Do you have a farmer's market in your area? Those can be some nice places to buy fresh produce, too :)

Hey, I LOVE having all of you over here to visit ;) :) Please come back...you all make me smile with your comments :) Love and hugs, Heather :)

Anne @ Domesblissity said...

Hi Heather! I want to thank you so much for linking up last week to my "Thriving on Thursdays" linky party. The party will be starting again in just over 12 hours so if you get a chance, I'd love to see what you've been up to this week. It's always nice of you to stop by and say gidday!

Anne @ Domesblissity xx

becky3086 said...

Well, we, unfortunately, have no farmers market, no Whole Foods stores and no Trader Joe's. We raise our own chickens for meat and eggs but they aren't organic because the food I feed them is not organic.
I do have a garden which is sometimes organic when the bugs leave it alone.
I wonder if you have read this article? http://www.naturalnews.co...Monsanto_sweeteners.html

Anyway, I think you are doing a great job. You got quite a lot but it would never feed us for a week (family of 3) but we, just as you said, would have lots of food still at the house too.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Hi! I'm following you now too!!! Thanks for the Energizer plug- I work for them :)

I love the cuties (clementines). My mom makes muffins with them using the whole cutie- skin and all in the blender. Here is the recipe http://movingontothepast.blogspot.com/2012/01/whole-cutie-bran-muffin-recipe.html