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 :)