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Last week I described the differences in conventional, grass-fed, grass-finished, and pastured beef. I told you that this week I would be doing a check-in with you to let you know how I’m doing on my $65 per week budget. This way, I can share some tips with you and keep myself accountable.

So, here’s what I bought over the last two weeks:

Week 1: Earth Fare (for Organic items)

2 Greek Yogurts $1.25 ea. ($2.50)
1/2 gal. Organic Whole Milk -for Judah ($3.98)
Used $1/1 Organic Valley tear pad coupon found at Earth Fare
Gal. 2% Organic Milk ($4.98)
Frozen Organic Strawberries ($3.99)
Organic Butternut Squash Ravioli ($2.99)
Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal ($3.68)
Used FREE coupon from mailer
Snikkidy Gluten Free Corn Puffs ($2.49)
Used FREE coupon from online (no longer available)
Kashi Heart to Heart Crackers ($4.19)
Used $1.50 off coupon from mailer
1 R.W. Knudsen Cranberry Nectar ($1.50)
Used $1/1 coupon from tearpad found at Earth Fare
5 R.W. Knudsen Pineapple Coconut Juice ($1.50)
Used (5) $1/1 coupon from tearpad found at Earth Fare
5 R.W. Knudsen Kiwi Strawberry Juice ($1.50)
Used (5) $1/1 coupon from tearpad found at Earth Fare
3 lbs. Grass-fed Ground Chuck ($10.70)
Honey Maple Turkey No-Nitrate Lunchmeat ($4.99)
Earth Fare No-Nitrate Turkey Bacon ($4.29)
Used $1/1 coupon from tearpad found at Earth Fare
3 lb. bag Organic Fugi Apples ($5.99)
(2) 1/2 pts. of Organic Blueberries $3.99 ea. ($7.98)
5 lb. bag of Organic Russet Potatoes ($3.97)
Used Earth Fare’s weekly FREE online coupon
Total: $70.99
Saved $23.65 using coupons!

Since I went over by $5.99 this week I deducted that from next week’s grocery money. This made my weekly budget for week 2 $59.01

Week 2: Ingles & Walmart (for mostly household items and conventional groceries)

3 lbs of yellow onions ($2.98)
3 lbs. Green Cabbage ($1.46)
Potatoes ($3.97)
Organic Baby Carrots ($1.94)
Used $1/1 Earthbound Farms Veg.
Pita ($1.24)
Egg Noodles ($1.53)
Dishwasher Liquid (2.74)
Dishwasher Cleaner & Disinfectant ($3.98)
Dehydrated Onions ($1.68)
Yeast ($4.14)
Great Value Veg. Oil ($2.92)
Coffee Creamer ($3.12)
3 Lunchables $2.93 ea. ($8.79)
Used (3) FREE coupons (-$8.79)
Make-up brush ($5.38)
Total: $39.71
Saved: $9.79 using coupons!

Harvest Farms Organic Raisins ($2.48)
Baking Powder ($1.16)
Minute Maid Orange Juice ($2.50)
Stoneyfield Farms Organic Yogurt Cups ($3.18)
(4) Harvest Farms Organic Chicken Stock $1.08 ea. ($4.32)
King Author Bread Flour ($3.48)
(2) 1/2 pt. Organic Blueberries $2.98 ea. ($5.96)
Total: $14.18

Final Total for Week 2: $58.91
I made it under budget! Yippee!
What I’ve learned over the last couple of months shopping for organic and mostly whole foods:

1) I’m buying much less processed foods – and making a lot of my own “food” – like homemade breads and smoothies besides cooking all meals at home. This saves a ton of money – and it tastes great! =)

2) You CAN coupon shop and buy whole foods – actually it is even MORE important to do so since coupons have higher values and food tends to cost more. I was able to score 11 bottles of juice (which doesn’t expire until the end of this year) for $0.50 per bottle! I don’t have a lot of organic/whole food stores around me but I can speak for Earth Fare in that they are VERY coupon friendly and always have an abundance of tear pads and coupon booklets available!

3) I’ve had this thought of… “I’m running low on food, I must need to go to the store,” but when I look at my meal plan and inventory my fridge, freezer, and pantry I really don’t need anything! Why is this? Well, I think I’ve gotten used to seeing a ton of processed foods and junk food on my pantry shelves and a lot of heat and eat sort of things in my freezer. Now that I have started buying more “food” and less “food products” I am buying a lot less but we’re not really eating a lot less. Sounds kind of weird but those few “food” items make as many meals as all of those pre-packeaged “food products.” We’re eating a lot higher quality too! So, if you are a coupon shopper and you’re making a healthy change like me you might also feel alarmed by the extra space in your pantry… but don’t be! =)

If you are a new reader you might want to read some of my older “My Whole Food Journey” posts HERE.
Have you got questions? Are you on your own quest to eat wholesome and/or organic? If you’ve been shopping a little differently as well and the labels have got your brain in a fog… email me or drop me a comment here and I’ll be happy to help you find the answers your looking for! Sometimes shopping in a whole foods store can be overwhelming and leave you with more questions than when you came in!