Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Great Finds and some Dessert Hummus!

Today was a delicious day, even if it included some Nabisco goodies (Halloween Chips Ahoy? YUM!) though I really try to avoid these things at our lengthy work meetings.

I had a nice 40 minute cardio workout to counteract the effects of all those yummy little treats and then scavenged the fridge for some healthy dinner... which was a big ol' sweet potato, God's greatest vegetable invention. They're like candy!

New finds that I loooooove....

Ok, so I might be a bit biased because I work for Kraft, but I normally don't "endorse" our products...specifically the Oscar Meyer stuff. Too processed. However, they just came out with a line of awesome deli meat that is right off the chopping block. Look at the thickness of this meat!

This was my first time trying it... and wow. It's a bit pricey (About $4 here in Ohio), but luckily the boss man gave me a freebie coupon to try this stuff out. Of course, I asked him for ALL the coupons he might have on hand... I would make sandwiches with this stuff every day if I could. Or just eat it out of the container!

Also on the menu for today was dessert hummus, from Food Makes Fun Fuel. Thanks for the recipe, Ian! This was delicious (once my blender stopped crying from the thickness...eek!)!!

His looks a little smoother and creamier than mine, but it was still tasty on a graham cracker! Inside the mix is natural peanut butter, chickpeas, vanilla, and maple syrup (I used sugar free), plus chocolate chips.

Which brings me to my next "new find I love".... Sugar Free Chocolate Chips. These taste exactly like regular chocolate chips, but without sugar or aspartame. Definitely a fan.

Mmmm... Hershey's knows how to treat a girl right.

Well, just a short post for tonight. I'm having drinks on my porch in this lovely weather with my best friend, who conveniently lives across the street!

What is a recent favorite find of yours?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Ravaging Tuesday

I woke up this morning to find myself feeling a little strange... Do you ever feel very full but hungry at the same time? I can't explain it! It makes me confused about what to eat for the day.

The 2 little wheat and sugar-free-syrup pancakes that were my breakfast choice didn't hold me over very long this morning... so I picked up a Larabar on sale at Kroger's during one of my stops today. I usually opt for the chocolate or peanut butter flavors of these sorts of things, but today I swapped that out with a lemon bar... AMAZING.

I love the short ingredient list! Somehow there were 22 grams of sugar packed into this baby, but I'm sure it's all natural. We'll let that slide.

Speaking of ingredient lists... Have you ever looked at some of the ingredient labels on products you thought were harmless in your cabinet?

For example, the syrup I ate for breakfast today:

So...water is just about the only natural thing in this crap. Sodium hexametaphosphate? Hmmm... Maybe eating regular syrup or just honey might be better. But it's sooo yummy.

Check out this label... this one is surprising. Bread crumbs?!

Yikes. Lengthy. And why must there be high fructose corn syrup in such things? Might as well just make my own bread crumbs!

I've very excited about my plans to make this tomorrow, thanks to Evan at Food Makes Fun Fuel! DESSERT HUMMUS! It's like a dream come true...

Here's a picture from his blog, and hoping mine is just as beautiful and cookie-dough-looking...

Question of the Day: Do you think it's better to go for sugar-free options (ones that don't have more fat, anyway) or do Splenda/other artificial sweeteners, or just go with a little bit of sugar and avoid all the fake stuff?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 7... FAIL

SO I wote in my post this morning that the ultimate test would be today... a cookout with my family.

I told myself I could have a dessert or two, as long as I controlled myself. Well... I had a little bit of the baked apple crumble that was served with our meal, and I was going to only eat 1 piece of chocolate cake (it was a birthday, after all. My Grandma said there was a new law that we have to eat birthday cake on someone's birthday!) if everyone else ate one. Well, at the last second I caved and had that second piece with a small glass of milk...It was just too delicious with its sprinkled nuts and caramel drizzle! I couldn't resist! I was going to have complete control until my one aunt said "Ok, I'm caving! I'm taking a second piece if someone else does!" and, naturally, I was all over that one.


Sigh... so close.... but the point is, I did demonstrate self-control the rest of the week. I'm not going to make excuses for today, but I will certainly be good this week! I have actually enjoyed the healthy foods I have eaten. Greg and I will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary next weekend, so I will let myself indulge a little... however, he has lost a good amount of weight and is not going to try to get junk by any means nor will we order a dessert if we go out to eat. At least, that's not the plan.

Damn chocolate cake...

Days 5, 6, and 7!

Well whaddya know!! I did it!

I can't believe how well I controlled myself for 7 days straight. I had those giant, glorious cookies sitting right in front of my very eyes for 2 days in a row and I didn't even drool a little. (ok, a little...) I have an open bag of Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix open in my cabinet that I didn't even glance at twice during the week.

So that means, aside from the very obscure amount of sugar that I had this week, I have met my goal. Again, I did have a tiny amount in certain things such as my Tic-Tacs, Cheerios (they have less than a gram!), and I had a pinch in my coffee this morning while experimenting with making milk froth for coffee. Yeah, that was a fail anyway.

Noon will mark the grand finale... a cookout at my Aunt and Uncle's house for my Uncle's birthday. My Aunt is quite the cook and is always whipping up something new and yummy. I think I should allow myself one or two sweets, because the test will be seeing if I can control myself from that downward spiral that is normally inevitable. If I exemplify that self-control that I have had all week, then I will know that there is hope for me!

For the most part, I felt like refusing sugar allowed me to figure out when I was truly hungry this week without many cravings. I did seem to turn a bit towards salty foods, but luckly it's easier to eat healthful meals that are salty rather than sugar-laden. For example, Tostitos and hummus, homemade vegetable soup (wow...yum!), and my end-of-the-week indulgence: a Hot Head Burrito Bowl with guac (think Chipotle, but locally-owned).

I feel bloated today, but that's probably because those burrito things have like a bajillion milligrams of sodium. That's besides the point right now. Let's hope that it's the key to keeping me from stuffing my face at the cookout today!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Days 3 and 4

I'm doing it I'm doing it!!

Like I said, the true test would be getting through these 7-hour meetings without gorging on the junk food provided. I am AWFUL when it comes to free food, especially when combined with the boredom of paying attention that entire time.

I cannot express how proud of myself I am for getting through both days without touching one of the giant Panera cookies that were catered in or the fudge-topped brownies. Hershey's chocolates were passed around constantly for anyone who answered questions or won a game, and there were bowls of Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids all around the room to munch on during the presentations. I am in absolute disbelief that I was able to contain myself for the first time in months and I think that the happiness that arises from that self-control and rejection tastes sweeter than sweets!

I feel like I have been far less interested in food after eliminating sugar (mostly.... I haven't counted tiny things like Tic-Tacs, miniscule amounts of sugar in Cheerios, etc.) this week. Normally by week end I'm psychotic and gorge myself, but we'll see. Tomorrow is my Friday for work, and I've already got some healthy stuff packed.

I'm going to my Aunt and Uncle's this weekend, who always have mass amounts of food for the very small amount of family. Most are junk and sweets. Yikes. We'll see where this goes... I feel like it's the ultimate of tests, minus Christmas or Thanksgiving!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 2... success-ish!

Day 2 went well also. Only a couple of flaws with my plan.... EVERYTHING HAS SUGAR! I realized that even my dad, who is the MODEL diabetic, still has a little bit of sugar in his diet. I had Crystal Light and whole wheat pancakes, both of which had some sugar. My peanut butter had a little also, but since these things aren't "sweets" I let that slide. My normal peanut butter is just plain peanuts, so I know that's not a habit I need to kick.

I had 2 days in a row of great eating and great workouts, so let's hope tomorrow doesn't break me... I'll be at a 7-hour workshop for work where food is provided. If you know anything about my company, you know that nothing at all that we make is remotely good for you. Hmm...
I still feel great! I'm not ravaging yet and actually got some pleasure out of eating peppers and hummus. Yes, vegetables!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 1

Day 1 is always easiest... I feel like every Sunday is "Day 1" of eating healthy, but this time I'm writing it down.

No sugar today. In fact, I was so stuffed from the past 2 days of eating that I didn't need much of anything. I felt great up until dinner--well rested, I'd worked out for an hour, and hadn't eaten too much-- but then I went to dinner with my dad since we were supposed to have plans tonight. I tried to be healthy by getting chicken fajitas at Friday's, but I'm pretty sure they were fried and coated in oil. I've never ordered them before... Oh well. I tried.

My sugar cravings are bound to return tomorrow. They like to make appearances after hibernating for a whopping 24 hours.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

So here it is.... I'm not eating sugar for one week. ONE WEEK. now that it's out there, I have to stick to it with motivation from blogs like this:

The Little Arm That Lives in my Stomach...

Ok, so this has been the least consistent blog that I, or anyone, has ever written. I know that I need to write and I know I have a gazillion ideas that have to do with money, food, etc. that I want to share. For now though, I need to stop trying to narrow down the topic of it and just use it as MY blog. Not define it as a money-saving blog or a recipe blog, or a motivational blog to keep me running and working out. No. This will be whatever I want it to be that day... maybe I'll even just find a blog entry of someone else's one day and just post a link to say "hey, I enjoyed this, and this was my inspiration for the day!"

Today though, I've just gotta vent. I am so disgusted by my roller-coaster eating habits and wonder why I tell people I eat healthy. There is this little arm that lives inside of my stomach that just reaches out without notice and grabs whatever it wants to eat. It's not me or my brain; it is this invisible hand. I swear. Last night was my mom's 50th birthday celebration (if that's what you call the 2 of us eating cake and drinking wine....) After dinner, I was just stuffed but had to have the chocolate cake that I baked, of course. We had 1 piece and I could not stop thinking about this cake until I had another trans-fatty filled piece. I wasn't even hungry for it!

So this morning, I made the long drive to my friend's bridal shower while telling myself that I would not, could not, eat any cake or sweets of any kind. I would almost throw up I was still so full and bloated from the night before. On top of that, I didn't get to run this morning to at least make myself feel better about it.

So 2 hours later, I'm sitting there with a second plate of desserts at this shower because they were so fabulous. "Better-Than-Sex" cake?! YUM. But of course, here I sit at home, looking up vegetable recipes.

I hate vegetables.


I bet anything tomorrow I will eat super-clean and then Monday will spiral downwards again.

Thank you sweet Jesus for a physical job and a high metabolism.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Redefining "The Monthly Goal"

I'm still trying to find the right subject for this blog. I have so many interests but need to find something that will keep the attention of both you and myself. I'm an extremely scatter-brained human being, (much like one of my favorite bloggers who writes the positively hysterical Hyperbole and a Half)

This past year, I have taken a ridiculous liking to food that far exceeds my past interest. Documentaries such as "Food, Inc." have changed the way I view meat, and an assortment of books have taught me the good, bad, and ugly of every other food that we cross paths with.

I do a great deal of Googling to discover all that I can about food. Forget reports about what causes cancer today and will cure it tomorrow; all of those studies simply make me roll my eyes. Sometimes I will explore the hype about High Fructose Corn Syrup or other corn products in our foods. Today I researched about the source of Chipotle's meat (good news: it's semi-humane!)

I'm also an avid coupon-clipper and money-saver. My job, if you have read several entries before, is a sales rep for a major food company. This means that I am in and out of grocery stores all day, 5 days a week. It's a fascinating and scarring place to be on the other side of the curtain.

(One thing I am afraid to research? My own company. They are simply too big to do all good things!)

So, to define this blog, I will narrow it down to these things:

1) Nutrition and need-to-know facts
2) Any recipes that I try or come up with that may produce pretty pictures! (This is rare.)
3) Money-saving tips and stories for the grocery store (or other useful money tips)
4) Occasionally fitness, because reading/writing about it motivates me to accomplish my goals!

It would make sense to change the name of the blog, but maybe I will still try to incorporate goals into this, such as introducing a new food into my diet or saving a certain amount on my grocery bill (like past goals... I'm still doing $100/month!)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

So it's one of those where I wake up at 6 for no reason, and I'm already WIRED for my day! I have to stop at a Kroger in a little bit to make sure we have enough product for our $1.88 cracker sale... even though it's supposed to be a work-free Saturday. Grrrr... but gotta do what the rep needs me to do in his stores while he's on vacation.

So yesterday I became obsessed with smoothies. OBSESSED. I have been making them for awhile because my hot apartment gets me workin' up a craving for ice cream or something cold and cooling, but then my fridge broke. I was suddenly in withdrawal of anything cold. The new fridge came yesterday, all my produce was sorta wilted and weird, so it all went into the blender. It came out black. Oh, gross. So I threw in a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast and it magically made everything taste like chocolate. Delicious!! I didn't even put milk or yogurt or any sort of base in it, yummy yummy yummy. Can't wait to get some more fruits and veggies today at the market to make some more.

Off to eat a good breakfast and head to Kroger. Cookout later... what should I bring?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Confessions of a Food Obsessor...

Basically, I'm the most and least motivated person in the entire world. I get extremely excited about having a new hobby and finally having something that I will keep up with, and then I lose all that motivation a week later. So I think I will have to broaden the topics of my blog. From now on, it won't be just about goals, but about anything else I want to write about. Mostly it will be about food, exercise, or work (and I work for Kraft, so lo and behold! It will likely relate to food.)

I obsess about food. OBSESS. I think about it all day, and plan my day around my food. If I feel hungry at work, I completely slack and cut corners just so I can go home faster or get to my lunch in my car and eat. I know all of the stores I work that have samples and what days are more likely to have them. Kroger in Troy, Ohio? Fabulous bites of angel food cake and Lofthouse cookies. Kroger in Kettering? Pitas, cheeses, mini-sandwiches. Jungle Jims? California rolls! I grab one on my way in, and one on my way out.

Which is why for awhile I decided not to post anything in here. If my blog related only to food, then that meant that the one hobby I took up would also be about food instead of keeping me sidetracked. Also, I felt that I would be healthy and more creative with my cooking if I was showing pictures to the world. I felt that if I ate badly, there would be people that knew. That's a disadvantage to living alone... you know that only your dog sees you indulge.

Don't get me wrong. I still eat healthier than probably 95% of America but I have rediscovered my sweet tooth after taking a Wilton cake decorating class, and also because my hands are all over Nabisco products all day. (As we speak, I'm staring at an entire case of Oreo Cakesters that came home with me. However, this is the type of thing that will get distributed to neighbors or family rather than me opening a single box!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oh, my. I forgot about you, Blog.

So I didn't really forget but rather haven't had the time to sit down and write... I have been taking pictures of yummy foods, but haven't sat down and put words to them!

First of all, let's check out my 3 goals of the month and how I'm doing.

1. Groceries: I have, so far, spent about $45, so I'm a little ahead... The good news is that non of my produce has gone bad for once!
2. Workouts: I succeeded in hitting 4 last week, and I'm already up to 2 this week. 2 more to go!
3. Recipes: I tried a random veggie fried rice "recipe" last night (once again, saw someone else's on another blog and tried my own), and tonight I'm making spinach enchiladas. Last week, I made 2 new recipes. Check!

Sounds like I am on track!

So I just got done with my second outdoor run of the year because it's simply beautiful outside. I did 3 miles yesterday and an impressive (for me anyways) 4.5 mile run to the nearest college campus and back today. I'm so excited that I ran over 4 miles when I haven't been working on endurance running at all this year yet, just intervals.

Let's check out some of the food I've made during the last several days (and we won't talk about how I went to my Mom's the other day, ate Steak and Shake, 6 sugar free fudge stripe cookies, 2 100 calorie packs...also cookies, and a Little Bucket Parfait from KFC. How does that happen!?)

After being inspired by all the crazy oatmeal recipes in all these blogs I read, I thought I'd try something that combined my favorites: Chocolate and peanut butter! In this delicious concoction is a tablespoon of natural peanut butter, a tablespoon of Smuckers Sugar Free chocolate syrup, and powdered sugar. Voila, I call it Reese Cup Oatmeal!

I added soy milk to this because I realized lately that I'm a little too tolerant of my lactose intolerance to be having so much dairy in my diet.... and for some reason, it doesn't seem to cook the oats the same way. They aren't done... or something. Anyone else experience this? For some reason, I like it better!

Another delicious and healthy recipe in my attempt to eat more vegetables (I hate vegetables!): a Spinach Omelet! Now this is how I can eat my greens and still think it tastes good...

In this, I used 3 egg whites and 2 yolks (sometimes I just do 1 yolk), a handful of fresh spinach leaves, and a mixture of feta and 2% Kraft shredded cheese (any kind... I think mine was the fiesta blend?). I dipped forkfuls of this in ketchup, because I have seen people do that... and it was actually good!

Now please tell me how all of you get those photogenic Homes -and-Gardens-looking pictures? My photos, even with my nice Canon, always end up looking like those faded pictures posted on the windows of cheap Chinese restaurants!

Let's see... my next creation was a veggie pizza. This was delicious!

This is recipe-worthy...

Portabella Red Pepper and Spinach Pizza

1 whole wheat tortilla
2 tablespoons pizza sauce (I used Kroger brand)
A handful of Kraft 2% Shredded Cheese (again, I used Fiesta Blend)
Sliced portabella mushrooms
Chopped red pepper
A handful of spinach

Cook at 350 for 10-15 minutes or when the tortilla looks crispy!

Another dinner I had this week: Parmesan-crusted Salmon with a spinach salad...

This is so simple. Dip a salmon fillet in milk, then dip the fillet in a mixture of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese (I just used Italian-style bread crumbs and Kraft parmesan from a can.) Cook at 350 for 12-15 minutes and you're good to go.

But this salad is so good. It's simply spinach leaves sprinkled with my new favorite trail mix (dried cranberries, golden raisins, pepitas, and almonds) and topped with a little bit of red wine vinaigrette. I despise salad but this one actually kills a craving for sweets. The only thing that might make it better is raspberry vinaigrette dressing, but I couldn't find it in my Kroger! At least not in the cheap section...

Finally, this was my dinner last night... it was not good, because I hate veggies. But I ate it. It's simply every veggie that was in my freezer plus the ones about to go bad, made into a fried brown rice dish. In it is peas, onions, carrots, red pepper, mushroom, green beans, broccoli, and a single egg. Some sesame oil, ginger, and soy sauce.... and topped with Frank's Red Hot sauce to make the veggies tolerable.

Reese lurking in the background... little does she know she's begging for vegetables.

And that's been my week so far! I'll be sure to take pictures about these veggie enchiladas... looking forward to them.

What has been your favorite recipe that you found in a blog?

Have you enjoyed the weather yet in your area?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oscar Mayer convention... disgusting and delicious!

Well it's a good thing that my March goals have nothing at all to do with nutrition, because I got off to a terrible (but wonderfully delicious!) start yesterday! First off, I'll touch on my goal status:

  • Groceries: So far, I have spent $28. On track!
  • Workouts: I have had 2 of 4 this week. Should be easy to accomplish 2 more.
  • Recipes: Tried 2 new ones this week (even though I made them both up): my portabella panini below, and my "sushi" wrap earlier this week. So I'm set until next week!

So I had to attend an Oscar Mayer event for work, and I assumed right away that I was not gong to want ANY of the food that would be provided. Bologna? Hot dogs? Nooo thank you. And after the videos we saw, I'm surprised anyone ate the mini-wiener samples at lunch, even if they were new "no-nitrates/nitrites added"!!!

It started with a healthy beginning of my own version of raspberry cheesecake oatmeal (inspired by Kristin's recipe at Iowa Girl Eats! And by "my own version", I mean by being lazy, skipping ingredients and making it in the microwave.... and using strawberry preserves instead!). I simply mixed fat free cream cheese and powdered sugar for the "icing". Yummy.

Then I had a peanut butter sandwich on my way to Cincinnati.... long drive to the airport! (Which is actually in Kentucky, for whatever reason.)

Annnd then when we got to the Marriott, I realized that the food looked fantastic. I didn't have my camera, but my breakfast looked basically like this:

Plus strawberries, if that makes it any better!

Lunch included lunch meat and Lunchables samplings, and then I was terrible and ate TWO CHEESECAKE SLICES! Ahhh!

So when I got home, it was back to being healthy. This was my new and VERY delicious invention: a Portabella Red Pepper Panini!

My camera died post-grilling, but this still looks pretty good, right? Here is the recipe:

2 slices whole wheat bread (or fancier bread, if you wish!)
1 portabella mushroom
Sliced red pepper
Avacado to spread on the bread
Feta cheese to taste!
Red Wine Vinegar dressing... if you please.

Slap it all together and grill it up! I used a George Foreman. I found that it was actually easier to grill the mushroom cap a little bit before putting the whole sandwich together, because the heat wasn't quite getting to it when it was assembled. I then dipped it in a new dressing I'm trying for salad, and it was quite good! I meant to add spinach to this also, so that might be what I try tonight with leftovers :)

Well it's off to work! Getting trained at a Wal-Mart today with our Market Trainer. I'd be dreading it if he wasn't such a super-nice person!

What is your guilty pleasure?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day two... gotta pick my goals!

I will have more to post later, but I realized that even after that long-ish post last night, I didn't pinpoint my March goals! The ideas I listed in an earlier entry were just ideas... no way I could complete ALL of them in a month. That's a lot of self control!

Here are my goals for March:

  • Spend under $100 for groceries (again!). Bonus points if it's under $90!
  • Get to the gym 4 days a week. (My gym isn't exactly in a convenient location...)
  • Try 2 new recipes a week, whether it be from a blog or a cookbook!
I should set up some sort of rewards system so that I can actually stick to these. Last month's reward (accidentally...I was gonna get it regardless!) was a gigantic bowl of cake batter and cookie dough ice cream from Cold Stone... in a chocolate-dipped waffle cone topped with graham crackers. Oh my God. Heaven. And probably 209285908 calories. Yumm.

What are your short-term goals?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Grocery store and some yummy eats!

Happy March! I finally made some photo-worthy health food after being inspired by other blogs I have been reading.
Here was my surprisingly
delicious lunch....

I'm not one for measuring... but this was a combo of Yoplait Lowfat Vanilla yogurt, Libby
's pumpkin (in a can), sliced bananas and almonds, sprinkled with cinnamon
. Wow!!! What a creation!

Of course, little Reese was standing by to help... (there goes the crazy font issue again!)

I went grocery shopping today to start off month 2 of $100 food budget madness. Here's what I got for $27:

And I made a FABULOUS discovery today. If you use (where you can link coupons to your loyalty card rather than clipping them out), apparently it doesn't "see" that you have printed coupons also. For this reason,
I got a box of Fiber 1 90 Calorie Chocolate bars (they taste like Cocoa Crispies!) for 89 cents!! That's from having a 50 cent coupon that they doubled, plus having a Shortcuts coupon for 40 cents (those don't double). This makes me very happy!

(Notice the knockoff bottle of V8 lurking behind my oats... that will be a challenge...I hate my vegetables!)

Finally, I made a noteworthy dinner from leftovers! I call it a Sushi-rito, which is grammatically incorrect because it has no rice!

Mmm... It tasted better than the pictures look! Not sure how some of you get your pictures to get so fresh and cookbook-like.

The "recipe" for this yummy, healthy wrap:

1 whole wheat tortilla
2 tablespoons fat free cream cheese
2 tablespoons fresh avacado
Small strips of cucumber
Smoked salmon

Guilt-free! I also squeezed a little lemon juice in there and dipped it in a bit of soy sauce.

New month, new goal!

So today starts a new month, and I have no idea what my new goal will be for March! It might end up being a few weekly goals or maybe an entire month-long goal. Either way, I'm going to keep my $100 grocery budget on top of whatever it might be. I'll report back after work. Leave a comment for me if you have a good idea!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Goal achieved! I think?

After a month of actually logging my groceries for the entire month of February (this is ridiculous. I never stick to things this long), I think I may have achieved my goal.

Turns out, even with my crafty Excel spreadsheet-making skills, my math was wrong throughout the month, leading me to think I had more leftover in my budget than I did. The total bills weren't adding up correctly, so I ended up spending $102 total. This was including all toiletries, which was a debate that I had with myself at the beginning of the month since, to me, groceries mean "food"! For this reason, I decided that I met my goal of meeting/staying under my $100 grocery budget.

After splitting up each of my receipts into categories, I learned that:

  • My biggest expense category this month was alcohol at $11.66 total. Ok, not fair, because that was only 3 bottles!
  • Coming in second and third were peanut butter (3 jars--natural-- totaling$6.69) and fruit ($7.06). Yes, I like peanut butter.
  • My smallest expenses were cheese (8 cents!) and cereal (2 boxes totaled $2.67)
  • Using loyalty cards and coupons, I saved about $26.00. Not too much, but that means about 20% of my groceries were free. Remember, I'm only shopping for one! However, I also go with store brands quite often and there is no record on the receipt of how much you saved in comparison to the name brand... I think the amount I saved would be ridiculously higher if so.
  • I made purchases 13 times throughout the month! This seems absurd, but keep in mind my job consists of traveling to a gajillion area grocery stores, so I'm always able to hit--literally--EVERY sale.

Other interesting things I learned over the course of monitoring my groceries more closely:

  • Meijer has some fantastic produce sales.
  • I am no longer intolerant of latex-related fruits! I have struggled with "allergies" to melon, avacados, and bananas for years and years... only to discover that I can eat all of these things now!
  • I eat... a LOT... of peanut butter.
  • I don't really eat meat.
  • I went through a $6 container of honey in almost 4 weeks... by myself.
Now... can someone tell me why it's mixing up fonts in my posts?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week 3 and New Goal Subjects for March!

So by now, I have nearly bored myself with this blog already. Partly because I'm not sure of all the ideas I have for it, and mostly because there are no readers. It's beyond me how someone attains so many readers of their blog unless readers simply stumble upon it. Do you market a blog? If so, how? I'd love to have more ideas on this as well as make my goals inspiring to the next person.

As for my update on spending, I put all my receipts together and actually made a spreadsheet to break down what I buy. Peanut butter, sadly, is its own category. So far this month, I have spent a total of $54.26. Not bad! That also includes toiletries, over the counter medicine, paper plates, etc. I even included food and wine that I bought as gifts. Apparently my goal of $100 will not be so challenging after all. Buying for one isn't so bad!

Here are a few future goals that I'd like to try. I might do a weekly goal, a monthly goal, etc. And they won't always have to do with food or money!

  • Eat vegetarian for 2 weeks.
  • No sweets for a week. (You don't understand how much I give in to sweets. I work for Kraft and can have basically any Nabisco product any day of the week. Oreos and Fig Newtons are the most tempting! And the holidays brought out ALL my temptations and I didn't hold back one bit.)
  • Hit 4 workouts a week for a month.
  • Run 15 miles a week for a month.
  • Train for a 10K.
  • Cook 1 new recipe a week for 4 weeks.
  • Cook 1 new recipe a week for 4 weeks, but they all must be ethnic foods.
  • Groceries in under $80 a month.
  • Don't buy anything other than food/toiletries for a month.
Some goals may overlap. Some goals may become lifestyle changes. Some goals may be impossible to achieve with my work schedule.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Week Two!

Week two receipt count!

Kroger: $10.67
Kroger: $ 3.48

Now is the question of what I include in my grocery bill exactly. Does it mean all toiletries? "Gifts" such as a few rolls of cookie dough that I'm making to give away or for an event? Hair dye? Nasal spray? Wine? These things have all come up, and for now, I'm just going to include them....

This means that at mid-week two, I'm just about to $55. Sounds just about right if I can make it last!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Considering I just got back from vacation, I needed groceries. My goal will start today!

I ended my work day at a Dorothy Lane Market, a store for those with 1) a more selective palate and 2) no need to look at a price before purchasing an item. Ironically enough, I received a newsletter in the mail with some fantastic coupons just yesterday, simply for signing up for their card. I don't even shop there! I took them with me just in case, and voila! Look what I got for $5:

Raisin Bran, 5 yummy Yoplait yogurts, a wedge of Saint Paulin cheese, and an entire roll of sushi (which originally cost $6.50 to begin with!)

And so shows the power of finding coupons that match sales! The cheese cost me 3 cents, and the yogurts were 19 cents. I'm hooked! Now if only the Sunday paper would actually show up on my doorstep, I could crank out some more deals...

After shopping at Kroger afterwards, my total spending for the day is $40. I planned to only spend $25 and break it down week-by-week, but the beginning of the month is the worst. Besides, February is a short month anyway, right?