joy in the mundane

As you might’ve derived from the lack of posts, there isn’t too much excitement happening in my life these days. I’m happily moving toward goals, decorating the house, anticipating a bright 2013, and preparing for another semester of school. And I know I promised more meal posts, but my meals haven’t been very exciting either (lots of salads, eggs, and legumes). What’s a girl to do? I suppose blog about the simple things that are bringing me joy.

Today it was a surprisingly efficient and affordable trip to Earth Fare- which is important in light of the newly instituted monthly grocery budget. I was really looking for an excuse to redeem my “tomato bucks” for a chai latte (to combat gloomy weather), but I ended up actually buying off my grocery list. ¬†My spirit was lifted and the chai was no longer necessary. Here’s what I got for $21 – thanks to sales and coupons- and a few things learned along the way.

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(pictured: 1 lb of almond butter, beef broth, organic valencia oranges, organic brussels sprouts, organic mixed greens, feta, cage free eggs, local milk (for coffee), organic fuju apples, turkish figs, tofu, molasses cookie, emergenC, not pictured- a 24 pack of water)

  • Buy the nut butters you can grind at the store; unless there’s a sale, they tend to be cheaper. Plus, they don’t have additives (i.e., extra oils, sugar, etc)
  • Make a list, but unless you’re terribly picky, keep it vague. This allowed me to get different types of fruit. By shopping the sale, I got organic oranges (3lbs. for $1.50) and organic apples (1lb for $1.69) at prices that are significantly lower than conventional produce in most other groceries.
  • I’ve found the local milk sold at most natural food-type stores tends to be around the same price as regular milk. Note: There’s a $2 deposit per bottle that you’ll get back when you return it (…so technically, my total bill was really $19).
  • Whenever possible, buy bulk food. I store mine in mason jars in the pantry. This way, I can buy in reasonable quantities and the bulk section tends to have a lot of variety (e.g., 12 types of rice).
  • If your store offers it, buy mixed greens out of the bulk bin. I really like mixed greens, but hate doling out $3+ for any worth eating. In bulk, they’re a fraction of the cost (in this case, more than 50% less). Store them in a bag or plastic bin in your fridge.
  • And most importantly, join a store’s value club. I had $10 credit just for signing up, plus a coupon for a free 24 pack of water (and this is the only time you’ll see me buy water).
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