Okay let's do this!! I am going to show you how I make ALL my decisions about groceries and give you all my tips! Yall grocery shopping is hard, every time this runs through my mind I remind myself of what the poor women who didn't have grocery stores or amazon had to work through. If they could feed their families... we can feed our families.
In other news you straight up owe me (and one of my wonderful friends) for all the stares and awkwardness at the store.... kidding. But seriously why do people stare so much?? And yes I do pretty much always have a sparking water with me.
This is how I meal prep:
Quick summary I make a list on Sunday night of what we are going to eat that week and write my list off that. Read all the details here:
Getting Them Home
I don't go to the store anymore. It is just something that I don't want to spend my time doing. I can't believe I am going to say this, but I would gladly give my plantain chips up to cover the cost. It costs me around $10 more a week to make a curbside service happen, and it is worth it to me. Heck, I spend that on snacks to keep the kids entertained in the cart.
I am just going to tell y'all - I spend $150 a week on groceries. I am a food blogger (so it should be a little more), but everything I make for the blog we eat. We eat probably 70% organic produce, 90% organic meats, and I don't buy eggs much (we have chickens).
Where do I cut budget when needed? Snacks and packaged stuff. This is expensive when you eat healthy. My plantain chips (aka my boyfriend) are $5 a tub, that is a lot if I do the math I spend like $125 a year on plantain chips (don't tell my husband, kidding). I also eliminate all expensive cuts of meat. I go for the ground meats and I don't buy the expensive processed meats (hot dogs, lunch meat, etc. )
Knowing where to cut the budget and what to buy organic is tough. Sometimes you can't do it all, sometimes you can do it all. I get it. Here is how I prioritize what to buy organic. I will be honest though. I buy all the things on this list organic.
How I think of it... what are my kids eating the most (everyday) and what are the "dirtiest" products. If their is something on this list they don't eat a ton of ... skip it.
Milk and butter - if you are buying conventional cow's milk buying it organic should be number one. This is where a lot of children are getting their fat from. Look for Kerrygold butter. Read this article to get some alternatives to cow's milk.
Eggs - if I said it once... eggs have SOOOO much of the nutrients your little ones need. The conventional stuff just doesn't have those nutrients. Why? Because the chicken's diet is no were near what they would eat in the wild, so the eggs they make have very little nutrients.
Processed meats - yall these are full of all kinds of filers, MSG, nitrates, hormones, and antibiotics. It is a breeding ground for toxins. Get the good stuff immediately cut tons of crap out of your diet.
Meat counter meat - These are full of all the good fats and iron your baby needs to grow. Same as the eggs. These animals just are NOT fed food they need to produce healthy meat for us.
Dirty dozen list of produce - get the clean produce to avoid all kinds of chemicals and pesticides, and get more nutrient dense foods.
If you eat the skin or it doesn't have skin buy it organic.
Don't worry about buying hard skin items, like squash, organic.
Buy produce already cut up so you can get it on the table quickly.
Cauliflower Rice Recipe:
Think about it... how long does cooked meat last in your fridge? They have to do a lot of food magic to get these meats to last on the shelf for you.
Look at the labels and talk to your meat counter workers. Once you do the work to find a good product you won't have to do it again.
Read the labels! They aren't always truthful on the packaging front.
Alternatives would be to buy a pound of ground beef. Cook it once and eat off it for lunch all week long. Also, look at the meat counter for sausages. These are fresher meats most of the time made in store. Therefore a lot of the fillers and preservatives can be avoided.
Nitrates will appear on the label as "sodium nitrates"
Good, Better, Best:
Lunch Meat - Good: nitrate free. Better: natural and nitrate free. Best: organic meat and nitrate free.
Hot Dog/ Sausage - Good: nitrate free. Better: natural and nitrate free. Best: organic meat and nitrate free
Good, Better, Best:
Ground Beef - Good: natural. Better: organic. Best: grass fed.
Chicken: - Good: natural. Better: organic. Best: free range.
The Break Down:
All natural - this term isn’t regulated and is hard to define. I would disregard as a pro or a con.
Farm fresh - this term has literally no definition attached to it. It means nothing.
No hormones and/or no antibiotics- this is a funny one. Laying chickens are pretty much never given hormones or antibiotics. Paying more for this term is a waste of your money.
Cage free - means what it sounds like, they don’t live in a cage. They are usually living in very large aviaries, with lots of other birds.
Free range - like cage free, but must have access to outdoors for an undefined amount of time each day. This could be a wide range of time they have access to their natural habitat.
Organic - eggs that come from chickens that are free-range, fed organic feed, and receive no hormones or antibiotics. These farmers are regulated by the FDA.
Pasture raised - chickens spend most of their life outdoors, with a fair amount of space plus access to a barn. Many are able to eat a diet of worms, insects and grass, along with corn feed (which may or may not be organic).