What’s in My Grocery Basket

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2015/07/03 by nikkiledford

Before we talk groceries, I need to make an announcement.

I’m going to be on the radio! Check me out on Monday at 1 pm PST on ESPN radio 1700 AM.

ESPN Guest Announcement

This week’s grocery post is going to be a bit different from the others. Usually, I pick up a bunch of random items for my personal use and then compare the prices of those items at the different grocery stores. In an effort to be a bit more budget-conscious and time efficient, I’ve decided to challenge myself to a once weekly household grocery shop. Those of you who think this is not challenging at all, let me explain….

I usually go to the grocery store every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. Some of these trips are necessary for work and meal planning, but even if I’m there for work purchases, I inevitably end up purchasing a few items for the house pantry. Items that we could likely do without. I would pick up something for dinner or lunch on a whim instead of using the food I already had or I make so many small purchases throughout the week that I literally have nothing to work with day-to-day.

Well that’s all changing (hopefully).

In this post, I will show you a pic of my grocery trip along with prices. I will also share some insights into my mental meal planning while doing these “big shops”.

Ready?! Let’s do it!

What's in My Grocery Basket

What’s in My Grocery Basket…

Organic Frozen Figs – $2.79

We all know that figs are a seasonal gift from the gods. Which is why they go in my smoothies during the summer months.

24 oz. Organic Blueberries – $6.99

Quite literally, the best deal out there for some organic blubes. I’m all for taking advantage of the summer abundance. Now if only I could keep my husband from eating the whole package in one sitting.

Organic Arugula and Organic Power Greens Mix – $1.99 and $2.79

I can use the arugula as a base for salads and sautés, but what I’m REALLY stoked about is recreating a panini I had this weekend in my hometown, Thousand Oaks. We decided to wait out the LA traffic by dining at Stonehaus, a fun winery-inspired restaurant. We tried a fig jam, goat cheese, prosciutto panini (on gluten-free bread of course). It was pretty incredible and it had some arugula in it. Hence, my arugula purchase. The power greens are for smoothies.

Bananas – $.19 each

Still the best deal around. For snacks and smoothies.

Red Onion – $.89 each

For the panini (caramelized with balsamic vinegar) and a big pot of chili.

Sweet Potatoes – $.79 each

The individually sold yams (or Sweet Potatoes as they are advertised) at TJ’s can be hit or miss. They are always the same price but not always the same size. Right now they’ve been getting in some huge yams which make the price very good compared to other places like Ralphs, Whole Foods, or Sprouts.

1 pound of Medjool Dates – $4.49

Another great deal! I plan on using them for cashew milk or potentially some dairy-free ice cream over the weekend.

1 pound raw Cashew Pieces – $5.49

Purchasing raw cashews at any other place will set you back at least another dollar per pound. The pieces are way less expensive and TJ’s always has great deals on nuts. These are also for the cashew milk that I use for my coffee (with turmeric and cinnamon added their anti-inflammatory properties)!

Fig Butter – $ 2.29

For the aforementioned panini reproduction. This butter has figs, sugar, lemon, and salt. I’m in.

Gluten-Free Bread – $3.99

Mainly for panini success, but also useful for hubby’s lunches or post-Crossfit breakfasts.

Sliced Prosciutto – $3.99

Also for the panini… but I can’t promise that they won’t end up like this.

Sliced Uncured Pastrami – $4.99

One of my favorite quick snacks or meals. Just roll ’em up with some mustard, lettuce, and avocado!

Chocolate Bars, 73% with ground almonds and 85% pure dark – $1.99 and $2.99

Because Chocolate.

Organic Half and Half – $1.99/pint

A household necessity for my man’s coffee habit.

Organic Canned Roasted Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce – $1.69 and $1.49

Insider tip, these TJ’s labelled staples are actually the Muir Glen brand. I will likely use them to make some chili!

Organic Roasted Tomatillo Salsa – $2.49

I love this salsa. Great for dipping or mixed in with some chopped chicken thighs or ground meat for a quick meal.

Organic Chicken Thighs – $4.99/lb.

I think TJ’s has the best tasting organic chicken. You can also grab organic thighs from Whole Foods or Sprouts for a similar price.

Organic Frozen Ground Beef – $5.99/lb.

Best price for ground beef aside from buying bulk at Costco (4.99/lb.)

Wild Caught Mahi Mahi Pieces – $4.49/lb.

I love to bread these with some tapioca starch and fry them in coconut oil. So yummy and moist!

Albacore Tuna – $1.69/ 5 oz. can

This is for when the grocery supplies start to dwindle. Last week I made use of my pantry tuna stash by mixing in some shredded carrot, onion, cucumber, shishito peppers (seasonal!), fresh mint and basil, homemade mayo, lime zest, and some Thai Chili and Lime Cashews for a zesty Thai-style tuna salad. It was a winner.

Ground Turkey – $5.99/lb.

Not the BEST quality turkey but it’s definitely budget friendly and easy to use for chili’s, burgers, or tacos.

Frozen Chili Lime Chicken Burgers – $3.49 for 4 patties

These are great in a pinch and they only have whole foods in the ingredients. Something hard to come by in frozen prepared food.

Grocery Total: $95.77 (my goal was to keep it under $100!)



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PUMPKIN FIG OATS //Caught some morning light on my morning bowl of goodness. I made this last week and it was so good (and loved by my child) that I made another batch! I don't know if it's the figs or golden raisins, the coconut milk or the collagen, or maybe it's the banana and the pumpkin that make this bowl of oats absolutely satisfying for a day of leading, teaching, cooking, sweating, loving, and seeking. 
#sometimesibreakfast #sometimesidont #glutenfreeoats #notpaleo #dairyfreeoats INGREDIENTS // one of my favorite activities is going out for coffee. For me, the sights, sounds, and smells of a coffee shop signal rest and I enter into a state of slowing down, more observing and less doing. Lately, I haven't been out to coffee too often because 1. It's expensive and 2. I don't tolerate dairy and I'm not much of a black coffee drinker so at most shops I'm limited to their dairy-free options. While it's nice to have nut milks available, I have discovered that all the other ingredients in these alternative drinks do NOT do my body any good. 
A solution to would be to bring my own homemade milk, but I don't always have some ready or I forget to put a bit in a small container (which then gives me the fun task of toting around a dirty jar in my car all day). These smaller bottles of almond milk are perfect for adding to my coffee when I'm out as most dairy-free milks come in huge cartons and are inconvenient for a coffee outing.  @popandbottle only uses basic, real food ingredients for their almond milk. They even sweeten it with a bit of date! 
I like to think that I always have a choice about what I put in my body. Sometimes I'll have to settle for black coffee, but if I plan a bit, I can still enjoy my coffee outings without ultimately compromising on what is best for me in the long run. SNACKS // kept it really simple today during meal prep. This is a tasty bowl of yams, banana, almond butter, and coconut flakes. FAST FOOD// Roasted all these veggies last night for a tasty quick lunch. Added a new find from Whole Foods. @goodlovinfoods lemon garlic dip. If you like bitchen sauce, you'll like this (!! bonus, they don't use any soy ingredients either !!)

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