Thursday, February 04, 2016

Cooking and Saving Update February 5, 2016

One of the areas that I have recently been challenging myself in is the area of eating good, whole foods, and finding ways to save money while doing it. You may remember my introduction to this idea of cooking and saving for one back a while ago. It is a learning curve for sure! My goals when buying food for myself are:

              1. Eat real, whole foods as much as possible
              2. Spend the least amount of money possible
              3. Adapt recipes for one person to eliminate as much waste as possible

Those are attainable goals, right? ;) I know I still have a ways to go, but I really do enjoy finding the best ways to make those things happen. I decided it might be fun to share my weekly findings with you - the deals I found on whole and organic foods, how I used them, and tips for saving and adapting recipes for one person. Hope this helps you! Obviously the deals may not all apply in your area, but it is worth checking out!

This doesn't reflect all the food I bought this week, nor all the food I ate. Trust me, a post of ALL the food I ate in a week would be super long and bore you to tears. I just want to share here what I found for deals and the frugal, healthy recipes I tried.

Here are some of the deals I got this week, and how I will use these items :

Brown Cow Yogurt cups: $.69 each - I try not to eat too much of this because it is full of sugar, but when it is on sale it is an easy, inexpensive snack for work.
Kevita Kombucha: $2.39 each
Stretch Fruit Co. fruit leather strips: $.39 each - easy snack
Larabars: $.89 each - breakfast on the go or post work-out snack
Cadia Organic Free Range Chicken Broth: $1.99 - I bought a couple of these and will most likely use them for making squash soup.
Cadia Organic Tomato Paste: $.89 - can be turned into pizza sauce with a few spices, and I also use them in my favourite tomato macaroni soup...I bought 6 to stock up! Thankfully they are little cans so they don't take up much space.

Deals I found this week on Real Food items, plus how I use them to meal plan and keep the food budget down.

The next step in this saving process is realizing that it is not just enough to buy ingredients on also have to use them! :) I have a goal of trying one new recipe each week that uses real food, and if possible is easy to re-heat and eat left-overs on the go.

Last week I tried making homemade baked beans for the first time. I used this recipe from Simply Recipes and am a little 'meh' with how they turned out. I blame the beans. I used Great Northern, and cooked them for 8 hours on low, and then 2 more hours on high because they just weren't cooking. In the end they are still a tad on the crunchy side, and lack flavor in my opinion. Next time I think I will try a smaller bean.

Also, it ended up making so.many.beans. Seriously, I will be eating beans for WEEKS. Just another way to save on the grocery bill, I guess! :) Next time I will half the recipe.

This week I tried this Pineapple Fluff Salad recipe from Heavenly Homemakers. I know, it is more of a summer-y thing, but it just sounded so good....and it is!! I am pretending it is dessert and treating it as such, but I love that I can eat "dessert" and still be eating real food ingredients and ZERO sugar! I added coconut shreds to mine, and I also think cherries would be yummy! Next time I make it - and yes, there WILL be a next time! - I want to substitute culinary coconut milk in place of the whipping cream and see what that is like. Just an experiment!

I put my fluff in small jars so I can easily grab one for work!
I hope this post is a help to someone looking to make some whole food changes or get some ideas for solo cooking. I know its not rocket science - that would be entirely out of my league, and seems kind of boring anyway. These are just the simplest of changes and ideas that I have in my own healthy living journey, and I hope they can encourage someone else along the way!

I'd love to hear some of your best whole food deals or tips for solo cooking?! Feel free to link to recipes in the comments!

Cooking and Saving for One person -Whole food deals and recipes for the week

This post is part of the Cooking and Saving for One series. To catch the rest of the posts, follow So Sew Organized:

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  1. Thanks for sharing! I want to eat healthier too! I've been sick for awhile and I've found that I really needed to jump start my immune system with probiotics and I've also been trying Elderberry. Its good to know how to save money on these things. There aren't often coupons for the organic stuff.

    1. Both Probiotics and Elderberry should help a lot! Vitamin C would be great too. I wish there were more coupons for things I actually use, but since there isn't, I try to watch sales and get the best price possible instead!

      Thanks for commenting! =)

  2. These are great ideas. We follow a Paleo lifestyle and I find it difficult to save money!!

    1. I've recently been learning more about Paleo. I am sure it isn't easy to save!

  3. The pineapple fluff salad looks delicious. My middle daughter loves pineapple and enjoys cooking--she keeps telling me she is going to be a baker one day. I think the two of us may need to try this one out :)

    1. This would be an easy one for her! Let me know what she thinks! :)

  4. That pineapple fluff salad sounds amazing! I wish I could try it but no cream cheese or whipping cream for me right now. Thanks for sharing your tips and recipes! I'll be back for sure.

    1. Thanks, Inez! Hope you'll try the fluff when you are able to do the creams again. :)

  5. Hey Nicole, good of you for trying to do better cooking solo. Right now for me eating solo would mean not cooking at all. Way way more expensive, I know, and not very healthy. I wish you the best on your journey!

    1. Haha, Gina, that is certainly a temptation, because cooking is really not my thing! I do enjoy learning new things tho and am making myself cook so I don't fall into that trap. Thanks for commenting!

  6. You're doing really good! I'm so impressed by how intentional you're being! <3


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