The first question I got Monday morning at work was: Did you save some money at the grocery store?
I suppose it was a natural question considering my determination almost a week ago to stop spending money on empty calorie and less nutritious foods. Before I tell you the results of my Sunday morning trip to grocery land, let’s review what my previous weeks bill looked like. The before and after is an
shocking interesting one… I am almost ashamed to say I was that careless.
The trip to purchase groceries typically involves 2 different grocery stores. Unfortunately I have to travel to separate stores since allergy-free foods and prices vary from place to place. My trip also involves 2 kids and a husband, which is always a challenge to battle the “I want” versus the “I need”. However, on a Sunday morning it gives the family a great outing and my kids are taught that food has to be purchased and doesn’t come from the magic food fairy.
With that said, before my budget crunch I had spent the following on 1 Sunday morning:
Grocery Store #1: $118.38
Grocery Store#2: $140.92
Let’s analyze the bills: Snow Crab Legs, Lobsters, Shrimp, Back Ribs, Lobster Cracker and Lobster Picks (because I can’t crack them with my teeth of course)…
Woah, woah, was there a sale in the seafood department or something? Were we having royalty for dinner and they were requesting seafood because chicken/beef was beneath them?
Did I really just blame my gluten-free/dairy-free diet for my $259.30 grocery bill?
After taking a step back and looking at my grocery bill, had I not purchased ridiculous amounts of seafood and ribs my bill would not be that high! Now I know I am not buying seafood every single week, but my bills have consistently been sitting at the $250 mark on a weekly basis for the last few months.
To resolve this issue, I browsed through the freezer and cleaned out my cupboards. Not really to my surprise, I have a tendency to buy multiples of everything and store them to use later (this includes my deep freezer). Rice pastas, rice, tomato sauces, etc, etc… Another tendency I have in this allergy-free food quest is to buy multiples of allergy-free products when they are on sale, thereby resulting in cupboards and freezers full of untouched foods.
So, my advice to anyone wanting to cut down on their grocery bill would be to:
Take note of what you already have and plan around it.
With this in mind, I planned my next grocery trip. I took my own advice and mainly shopped the perimeter of the store, stuck to my list, and made only one trip.
What was my grocery bill this time around?
Grocery Store #1: $36.60
Grocery Store#2: $99.44
Wow! $123.26 is the difference…
So you don’t think we ate whatever scraps were left in the refrigerator, I made some nutritious meals that were both healthy and allergy-free combining some of the old and new. When you are using up what you already have it is best to get creative, so I have 2 allergy-free meals that could easily be altered and give you a starting point for your own culinary creation.
Chicken Stir Fry Pockets
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts diced
- 1-2 tbsp of olive or flax oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced peppers
- 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
- 1 can of black beans, rinced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- brown rice tortilla (or regular tortilla if not allergic/intolerant)
Cook chicken in oil until cooked through (shouldn’t be pink in center). Add garlic and onion to the chicken and cook for another 2 minutes. Add veggies, black beans, and salt to the dish and cook until veggies are tender.
Place spoonfuls of mixture into the center of a tortilla (be careful not to over stuff). Fold the first 2 sides opposite of each other toward the middle and then do the same with the other 2 sides. You should have a nice square/rectangular pockets. Brush top with a bit of oil.
If you have an electric grill or press, I like to put on there, or you can place in the oven at 425F for 10 min.
So yummy! You can really use whatever ingredients you have at home, experiment! If you can have goat cheese, shred some into the mixture as well.
Honey Mustard Crock-pot Chicken
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp prepared mustard
- 1 packet stevia or 1 tsp sugar
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper
- small potatoes
- cabbage or any other veggies
Place chicken in crock-pot. Mix together in a small bowl the honey, mustard, stevia/sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Spread mixture over chicken. Add potatoes and veggies to crock-pot.
Cook on low setting for 8 hours. So easy!!!