GROCERY SHOPPING & FOOD: Getting it right...

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 13, 2011 4:56 PM GMT
    OK, so I have vented here in the past about the process of grocery shopping.
    Originally I viewed it as something my parents did, then when I had to, as a necessary evil. Since I'm a structured person, I knew I needed the right approach and as my interest in fitness increased, knew that "food" and the purchase of it needed to be done the right way, both for fiscal and practical
    means.

    My guess is, most guys on this site are challenged when they enter the grocery store. If they know what to buy, they aren't paying attention to the money they are spending.... or they end up buying more than they bargained for by all the distractions the stores now intentionally create.

    For me, I want the best food & products and I am an absolute analyst when it comes to the spending of money. I'm a financial planner, I had better be thinking this way!

    Some of my successes to date:

    1. I know what I'm buying when I go into my store, what they call a "Dillons Marketplace"... food from all over. I'm rarely distracted and only occasionally
    buy something (literally anything) from what I planned to buy.

    2. I have coupons, I study prices, I look at ingredients, sizes, packaging.
    I also study the generic brands. Sometimes feeling good about a good coupon purchase isn't smart when the generic brand (which may be just as good is way less expensive).

    3. I did shop once every 2 weeks, now 3 weeks. I spend about $55 a week on my grocery shopping needs, including home products. Of course I eat out some, but I think that amount can be improved. The only thing I usually have to buy between "grocery store weekends" is a gallon of skim milk.

    Improvements:

    1. Too many prepackaged meals... they are nice for lunch, but high in sodium
    and aren't cheap, even when I get them on sale. The best thing to get are fresh ingredients... I'm working on it and making progress

    2. Use what you buy: I cringe when I throw out old bananas, salad fixings and items I never used after buying them. I'm making progress, but.....

    So, when you grocery shop, how "FIT" a shopper are you? Do you grocery shop with your fitness needs in mind.... your fiscal need... neither or both?
    How often do you grocery shop?
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    Mar 13, 2011 4:59 PM GMT
    I grocery shop maybe twice a week if I run out of something and only buy what I'll need or definitely use. It's all about health; my fiscal needs never come into the equation in that I'll pay full price for things but that doesn't mean I don't take advantage of heavy markdowns. Since I don't buy junk (no bread and hardly anything from the non-perimeter aisles) and find great deals even though I don't clip coupons or belong to places like Costco which burn more gas than they're worth and tempt you to buy what you don't need I eat plenty and very well without spending a lot. Examples:

    - 9+ cartons of large to jumbo sized eggs at a time when they're marked down, from $.99/doz to $1.49/18 ct, hard-boiled 3-4 dozen at a time
    - family pack of 10-12 chicken breasts for about $10 when they're marked down to $1.89/lb (manager's special), which I typically either crockpot as a weeklong soup or stew, or dice and freeze in individual portions
    - ground chicken breast marked down to $199/lb - I just toss the packages as is in the freezer and use them as needed
    - bulk purchase cheap dried staples at my local health food store (or if cheaper, online at http://www.bulkfoods.com/) including quinoa, steel cut oatmeal, brown rice and beans
    - bulk purchase supermarket items marked down to a dollar or less like big jars of natural applesauce, jars of sugar and sodium-free tomato and basil tomato sauce, tuna pouches, natural jarred fruit packed in water, and cans of organic beans or low sodium canned tomatos
    - buy whatever produce is marked down for quick sale and use it or freeze it (like spinach) within the next day or two!

    Instead of clipping coupons like grandma (inefficient!) if there's an item (including supplements!) I buy a lot of I just contact the manufacturer and ask for them. Bulk cooking also saves a lot of money and time. Here's a picture of how I set up in freezer bags after I buy a lot of wild rice, dried black beans, chicken breasts, fresh spinach and canned tomatos, which give me over a month of ready-made microwaveable meals, saving me hours of prep time and hundreds of dollars a month:

    jqnciw.jpg

    Here's a typical breakfast, which costs me $1.50 including my homemade protein shake (not pictured) - steel cut oatmeal, egg whites, blueberries, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, bananas and almonds. Takes about a half hour to slow cook 1 cup of steel cut oatmeal (during which I hard boil and peel a few more cartons of eggs if needed), which amounts to four servings dolloped in four saran-wrapped breakfast bowls, which averages to about 8 minutes of breakfast prep time every morning:

    2a8fbpw.jpg

    Here are a couple of pictures (in crockpot and as served) from my online recipe (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32245303@N06/sets/72157613245093279/) for "Muddy Chicken Soup" (which I've since modified to use only chicken breast and yams instead of white potatos):

    ajse9k.jpg

    24pmn4k.jpg

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    Mar 13, 2011 5:01 PM GMT
    At least once a week. HndsmKansan, how do you keep all your fresh fruit and vegetables over three weeks?

    -Doug
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 13, 2011 5:06 PM GMT
    meninlove said At least once a week. HndsmKansan, how do you keep all your fresh fruit and vegetables over three weeks?

    -Doug


    Hey Doug,
    Depends on the item. Bananas only last a few days... so I have bananas the first week after I'm at the store. Some fruit items last a long time. I still have Apples I purchased right before Christmas... I have grapefruit from January, so with them.. no issues.

    Lettuce, a problem, but my crisper seems to keep the lettuce most of the time between store visits. The same with carrots, peppers, etc.

    Interestingly I have more difficulties with loafs of bread. Some last.. others get moldy way too fast. I just plain used up a loaf before my store visit yesterday and for several days just didn't make any sandwiches or use bread at all.
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    Mar 13, 2011 5:09 PM GMT
    Thanks, just wondering. The amount of fruit and vegetables we consume would mean a separate fridge for just them if we tried to stock up on three weeks worth. No, we're not vegans. icon_wink.gif

    -Doug
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 13, 2011 5:17 PM GMT
    Wow, I have to say, I'm impressed with Eagermuscle's efforts above... Kudos..
    No doubt I can learn something from your efforts!

    icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 13, 2011 5:34 PM GMT
    It seems to me like you certainly have your stuff together Kansan. That's a very organized and effective way to go about it. I also work in the finance industry and can relate to wanting the best food and products for the money.

    To answer your questions:

    - I generally have one or two big shopping trips per month (every 2-3 weeks), but then I visit once a week or so to pick up some of the regular things that are more perishable or get consumed quickly (milk, produce, yogurt, etc.)

    - I shop with both my fiscal and health needs in mind, but health needs generally trump fiscal.

    We only have one shot at living, we only have one body, so it's important to take care of it and make it last. Of course, it's very possible to spend hundreds of dollars each week eating the best food available and becoming so wrapped up in figures, statistics, nutrition labels, etc. that you go a bit overboard and lose reasonable fiscal prudence.

    It's important to have a balance. If you are physically active and get good, varied exercise regularly, then it's okay to eat some food that's not quite so healthy. Even McDonald's or prepackaged food can be okay in moderation.

    I generally have a very base monthly budget of about $150 per month that I could get by with when grocery shopping, but try to get myself to stretch to the upside from there ($200 - $250 per month) and include more fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.

    For a lot of people, the amount of money we spend on food represents a pretty small portion of our spending profile. Most people spend more on their car payments than their monthly grocery bill! So if I was trying to find areas to pinch and save, my grocery shopping would be one of the last areas where I would make sacrifices. And as you said, there are always things like coupons and special promotions that help make a huge difference. Generics are generally just as good as name brand products, so that's an option as well. I have no problem eating Kroger brand products, assuming the taste is decent.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Mar 13, 2011 5:42 PM GMT
    Usually shop about once a week, but make larger rips every two to thee weeks. I do watch sales, but avoid most brand names because generics work just as well for such things as canned beans, oatmeal, crackers, cereal. Using the freezer and watching for meat sales, I can keep the costs down and feed two of us on about $180 a month.

    Bananas? Before they spoil, try peeling, chunking them up and then freeze on a tray. After they are semi-frozen, mash the chunks to smithereens as they thaw. When they are vreamy pack in an airtight container, maybe even single serving size, and freeze to eat like ice cream or use later in baking. Makes pretty convincing banana ice cream with no dairy or sugar or anything else involved.
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    Mar 13, 2011 6:02 PM GMT
    I go about every two weeks, plus once a month or so I take the suburban to portland to hit Costco, the lab and farm supply warehouses, and um... usually a gay bar or two.

    I pretty much have a set inventory that I resupply. I don't pay attention to "sales" or "coupons." They're usually gimmicks to get you to buy stuff you don't need. (And at Safeway, a "sale" is usually an actual price increase. They are constantly running pricing experiments.)

    Some of the stuff at Costco is so much cheaper than my local stores, that it actually pays for the fuel to drive that far (150 mile round trip.) Other stuff is actually the same unit price as anywhere else, or worse. The produce prices are often great, but the packages are usually just too big for a single guy to eat before they go bad.

    Also, the ridiculous "hazard fees" for shipping lab supplies makes it cheaper for me to drive to pdx than to have them delivered. Plus, by my reckoning, it makes the whole trip tax-deductible.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 13, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    These are a godsend:

    tyIbcnBirdsEyeSteamfreshCalifMix12oz.jpg

    1450001099_full.jpg

    1450001100_full.jpg

    014500011572.jpg

    Today, I ate at a French military chow hall and it was unbelievably good and very home cooked.
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    Mar 13, 2011 6:36 PM GMT
    I find grocery shopping to be rather easy and not at all time consuming. I plan out my meals for the week on Saturday or Sunday, make a list for those ingredients and anything else I use every week and shop from that. No hassle, no fuss, no worries! It's all about planning and prioritizing and organizing. A little planning and organizing goes a LONG way in making grocery shopping less stressful. And I come away spending less than $45/week on food for the whole week. I also cook meals in the crockpot and eat tofu one to two times a week; using this method, I can buy cheaper cuts of meat and use an inexpensive alternative to meat.
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    Mar 13, 2011 6:43 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]eagermuscle said[/cite]I grocery shop maybe twice a week if I run out of something and only buy what I'll need or definitely use. It's all about health; my fiscal needs never come into the equation in that I'll pay full price for things but that doesn't mean I don't take advantage of heavy markdowns. Since I don't buy junk (no bread and hardly anything from the non-perimeter aisles) and find great deals even though I don't clip coupons or belong to places like Costco which burn more gas than they're worth and tempt you to buy what you don't need I eat plenty and very well without spending a lot. Examples:

    - 9+ cartons of large to jumbo sized eggs at a time when they're marked down, from $.99/doz to $1.49/18 ct, hard-boiled 3-4 dozen at a time
    - family pack of 10-12 chicken breasts for about $10 when they're marked down to $1.89/lb (manager's special), which I typically either crockpot as a weeklong soup or stew, or dice and freeze in individual portions
    - ground chicken breast marked down to $199/lb - I just toss the packages as is in the freezer and use them as needed
    - bulk purchase cheap dried staples at my local health food store (or if cheaper, online at http://www.bulkfoods.com/) including quinoa, steel cut oatmeal, brown rice and beans
    - bulk purchase supermarket items marked down to a dollar or less like big jars of natural applesauce, jars of sugar and sodium-free tomato and basil tomato sauce, tuna pouches, natural jarred fruit packed in water, and cans of organic beans or low sodium canned tomatos
    - buy whatever produce is marked down for quick sale and use it or freeze it (like spinach) within the next day or two!

    Instead of clipping coupons like grandma (inefficient!) if there's an item (including supplements!) I buy a lot of I just contact the manufacturer and ask for them. Bulk cooking also saves a lot of money and time. Here's a picture of how I set up in freezer bags after I buy a lot of wild rice, dried black beans, chicken breasts, fresh spinach and canned tomatos, which give me over a month of ready-made microwaveable meals, saving me hours of prep time and hundreds of dollars a month:

    jqnciw.jpg

    I just hope you're not nuking your food in those plastic bags.......icon_eek.gif


  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 13, 2011 6:54 PM GMT
    eagermuscle saidI grocery shop maybe twice a week if I run out of something and only buy what I'll need or definitely use. It's all about health; my fiscal needs never come into the equation in that I'll pay full price for things but that doesn't mean I don't take advantage of heavy markdowns. :


    Instead of clipping coupons like grandma (inefficient!) if there's an item (including supplements!) I buy a lot of I just contact the manufacturer and ask for them. Bulk cooking also saves a lot of money and time. Here's a picture of how I set up in freezer bags after I buy a lot of wild rice, dried black beans, chicken breasts, fresh spinach and canned tomatos, which give me over a month of ready-made microwaveable meals, saving me hours of prep time and hundreds of dollars a month:




    Thanks for the input. We may have a bit of a difference of opinion. When you grocery shop you should ALWAYS be aware of your fiscal health. I absolutely understand you don't want to select something "cheap" over quality and not what I'm advocating.. but if the store is large, you can find healthy choices
    for reduced prices if approached prudently.... and while I generally get my coupons online, "clipping" is something I'd do if it made sense based on what I'm doing in the store.

    Our views are probably only different in that sense because I'm into finance.
    Much of what you said is valuable advice and I appreciate the input!
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    Mar 13, 2011 7:52 PM GMT
    THIS IS A GORGEOUS POST!!! Seriously I am going to have to read over it again cause the reality of eating healthy and budgeting that intake is not simple. I try to buy things together that create quantity and quality rather than enjoy your budget in one fucking night of filet minon. You can eat three nights for the same damn price and still get your meat intake. BEAUTIFUL TOPIC!!!!!
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    Mar 13, 2011 8:02 PM GMT
    I have to say, I definitely shop with fitness in mind over fiscals... It's just one of the things I spend my money on (I don't drink at bars a lot or own a car).

    And I shop pretty much every day. It is a great way to not ever waste food as I buy my perishables that day for dinner that night, or at most food for the next few days. And since I'm never buying weeks' worth of food at a time I'm always in and out quickly. Not to mention, this is a great way to keep you from buying food that isn't perishable... the whole perimeter of the grocery store idea really will have you eating healthier. Frozen veggies are one exception though as I think it's been shown they often have more nutrients than the "fresh" veggies you buy in the produce department.
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    Mar 13, 2011 8:44 PM GMT
    If I have to chuck greens or fruit in the bin (because they get old) it just makes me more eager to eat stuff, not buy less.

    Greengrocer + butcher >> supermarket IMO (way fewer temptation for crap I don't want).

    A really good exercise is to throw out unhealthy stuff that you bought in a moment of weakness and don't actually want (the rest of). If you are fiscally responsible like the OP or cheap like me, the next time you get tempted, you will be less likely to buy something that's just going in the bin.
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    Mar 13, 2011 9:24 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]HndsmKansan said[/cite]OK, so I have vented here in the past about the process of grocery shopping.

    For me, I want the best food & products and I am an absolute analyst when it comes to the spending of money. I'm a financial planner, I had better be thinking this way!


    Maybe it is time to walk on the wild side and get out of your comfort zone sort of speaking!

    I think of food as the largest drug you will take your whole life that has both a tremendous positive and negative effect on your body and life. Saying that I shop as some have already said around the store never going down the isles.

    I have confined my food since I was raised on a farm in my early years to fruits vegetables and protein. Almost never processed food. So I stop by the store almost every day as it is on the way to the gym. Fruits and vegetables don't last long especially apples. I eat at least 3 a day.

    I am actually a great and creative cook so I enjoy it and enjoy cooking with my lovers. It was always our fun time to spend together cooking talking and catching up on the day. It is amazing how many fun and wild activities that can take place in the middle of cooking dinner!

    To me it has never been an necessary evil but an enjoyable fun process of life that can have a tremendous positive impact on my body and mind.

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    Mar 13, 2011 9:47 PM GMT
    We make grocery trips for common items about once a week especially for bread and milk. Sometimes more if something is needed urgently. I try to resist wasteful impulse shopping, but sometimes I do it for the kids (and me)There's 4 of us. It usually is around $400-600/month. I'm pretty much responsible for it.

    I don't really cut coupons or look at the sale ads. If the grocery store has it at a good price, I buy it. Most in-season fruits and vegetables are offered at good costs. I buy a lot of bananas, those are always available at good price and they keep well for about a week.

    Some things like rice (I buy basmati from South Asian shops), beans, and other grains and flours as well as sugar and spices and oil and butter, I buy in bulk every couple of months along with toilet paper and paper towels.

    In the summer this budget increases, because while I grow a lot of the vegetables we use, it costs more to grow them than to buy them. But it becomes very convenient to just get what I need from the backyard. In the summer, I grow essential like onions, garlic, and herbs and tomatoes and peppers and freeze them, some vegetables like squash and spinach, I boil and freeze. The onions, I saute; the garlic, I grind. I also buy some fruits like strawberries and pineapples when they are in season and freeze them. All these can be used in a variety of ways in cooking and desserts and fruity drinks.

    I make trips for meat about every 1.5 months. I go to the butcher shop. I BBQ/boil most meat/ground meat and freeze; small amounts are frozen raw. Things like seafood, I just buy when we want to consume them.

    We have chickens, so we always have fresh eggs, and sometimes fresh meat.

    I love everyone's suggestions. If you all can give pointers on how you save time while shopping, I would really appreciate that.
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    Mar 13, 2011 9:58 PM GMT
    I shop every 3-4 days, and only buy what I can carry since I'm always on foot. I really enjoy the process of urban grocery shopping, going to the fresh produce markets and local ethnic markets. In Vancouver, they tend to have a wider variety of fresh food, higher quality and lower prices than supermarket chains that ship in unripened fruits and veggies from all over the world.

    Unfortunately Sweden hasn't picked up on the independent grocery store fad, so I'm forced to go to supermarkets. Except for a couple Asian food stores, everything is a chain supermarket with a low quality shopping experience...

    I always look at the ingredients and $/kg for packaged foods, and I always buy the same foods anyway... no impulse shopping.
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Mar 13, 2011 10:18 PM GMT
    Now you have done it! You have ventured into MY territory here!

    I absolutely LOVE grocery shopping and depending on what I need, I work FIVE stores in my rotation:

    PUBLIX: The main supermarket chain in Florida. Most of what I need comes from there, including the every week items like cat food and cookes (gotta have those, you know). Depending on what is in season, I'll get the produce there and some of my meats. I work other stores in for fill-ins like....

    SEDANO'S: Sedano's is an upscale Latin supermarket from South Florida which has opened some stores in Orlando. The fish there is unique (marlin) and their bakery is awesome. They also have killer prices on produce and I will get espresso and other items there too.

    WHOLE FOODS: I go to WF about once a month for over-the-top items for cooking some great food. It is the only store in Orlando that carries San Marzano tomatoes and they also carry Poland Spring bottled water (excellent). Their cheeses are awesome along with their hot foods, bakery and the whole bean coffee there is so good!

    BJ'S WHOLESALE CLUB: Great for shampoo, TP, paper towel....you guys know the drill....

    WALMART: If I need BJ's type items and don't have the room for the massive sizes, I will (rarely) go to Walmart for those. I don't like the crowd that goes to the one near me, but I go there now in lieu of shopping at Super Target, which I am still boycotting.

    HndsmKansan, if you need someone to do the grocery shopping (and even cook) in your household, call on me. I don't think I'm different from any other "foodie" out there by shopping several stores though. And I like to do mine early Saturday morning and if I have coupons, I will use those too.
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    Mar 14, 2011 12:10 AM GMT
    So I am on a quest of losing weight to get back to my tennis playing weight which is only 20lbs away. After that, I want to maintain it going into and through the tennis hibernation season.

    Now, having said that, I shopping with my money at 60% of the decision and health stuff at 40% of the decision. While alot of guys here will disagree with me, it is very expensive to shop/buy healthy and yes, taste has a lot to do with it too. Also, maybe I should take some political things out of my shopping even though I do currently live in a large city, I refuse to buy groceries from a place that isn't a grocery store such as Walmart, Target, etc. And considering some of the documentaries I have seen, I won't unless I am broke and have to live in an area that makes me do so.

    Every Sunday when I get the Sunday paper (our big one), I pull the coupon section and clip, clip, clip. Then on Wednesday, when the grocery sales begin, I start looking at which ones have sales on things I have coupons for (double,even triple coupon discount) that will allow them added to the sales.

    I shop once or twice a week depending what I have and don't have in the refrigerator and cabinets. And now that Spring and Summer are on their way (Spring in a week!), I am going to do my part for local farmers and try and buy all of the fruits and veggies from the local farmer's markets and stands.

    Yea, probably a bit too analytical, but once these habits are in place, I will be able to continue on this course of getting my body right in the new city I will be moving to (not yet decided).
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    Mar 14, 2011 2:05 AM GMT
    turbobilly said
    eagermuscle saidjqnciw.jpg

    I just hope you're not nuking your food in those plastic bags.......icon_eek.gif

    Nope, they're freezer bags and yes, it'd be counterproductive to have plastic toxins leach into my "health food!" To defrost and reheat I empty the contents into a microwave safe china bowl and cover with a paper towel, with the finished product coming out like this:

    23ie5he.jpg
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    Mar 14, 2011 2:15 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan said
    eagermuscle said...It's all about health; my fiscal needs never come into the equation in that I'll pay full price for things but that doesn't mean I don't take advantage of heavy markdowns. :


    Instead of clipping coupons like grandma (inefficient!) if there's an item (including supplements!) I buy a lot of I just contact the manufacturer and ask for them...:


    Thanks for the input. We may have a bit of a difference of opinion. When you grocery shop you should ALWAYS be aware of your fiscal health. I absolutely understand you don't want to select something "cheap" over quality and not what I'm advocating.. but if the store is large, you can find healthy choices
    for reduced prices if approached prudently.... and while I generally get my coupons online, "clipping" is something I'd do if it made sense based on what I'm doing in the store.

    Our views are probably only different in that sense because I'm into finance.
    Much of what you said is valuable advice and I appreciate the input!

    We're in agreement, counselor! Guess I should've made clear that I save so much money getting online coupons (printed circulars never have what I want on sale and tempt me to buy things I don't need!), not buying junk or food items I don't need or won't use, bulk shopping markdowns and bulk cooking that I don't mind paying full price on some items, like organic cuts of top grade meats and seafood because unless I'm competing with someone who lives on Ramen noodles I'm still way ahead of the game.
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    Mar 14, 2011 2:54 AM GMT
    I promise not to hijack and turn this thread into my personal blog but since I actually got a couple of nice emails about my initial post here are some tips using how I handled shopping and dinner today as an example. I'll also explain why, aside from buying only enough perishables that I can use within a few days, I can wind up grocery shopping a few times a week - different types of stores have different specials, and I hit whatever's on my route at my convenience without needing to preplan or prebudget.

    Tonight on the way back from the gym and to avoid the marauding St. Patrick's Day revelers flooding my town I swung by the convenient pricey gourmet grocery store by my house for a bunch of bananas. But another reason I went there was because sometimes the pricey stores have great deals as lures ("loss leaders"). While there I checked out the meat section and found the ground chicken breast for $1.99/lb ("sell by" date 3/16), and bought all they had (9 packages) so I could freeze seven (below) and use two to make four heaping individual servings:

    17qxb9.jpg

    You'll notice the label says "ground chicken" but rest assured even though it's light colored like breast I check with the store butcher, who confims they grind up actual chicken breasts only (no beaks like Purdue!) for a quicker sale (apparently ground breast is more popular than whole!). (The family packs of ground chicken breasts and eggs I get at the regular supermarket; sometimes you can also find a dozen eggs for under a dollar in the grocery sections of chain drugstores with no limit on quantity as loss leaders!)

    Cost breakdown of the ingredients for this hearty "dinner for four:"

    A cup of gluten free, high protein quinoa instead of pasta or brown rice, herbed and cooked golden in two cups low sodium light chicken broth ($.50):

    2m0kr5.jpg

    topped with ground chicken breast and organic black beans flavored with a squirt of Bronner's Liquid Aminos (a soy sauce substitute with, sadly, equivalent sodium) ($7):

    25085ja.jpg

    topped with fresh, steamed broccoli and string beans bought a few days prior ($4.50):

    oasu3c.jpg

    Prep time: 20 minutes. Total cost of each of the four large servings: $3.00. In retrospect for about $.10 more I should've gone totally Pan Asian and toasted some flax seeds ( a sesame seed substitute) and sprinkled them on top, but what can I say, today was "leg day" and it's me that's toasted.

    You may have noticed the yams on the counter to the top right of the dinner plate. I'll be putting those in the "Muddy Chicken Soup" in a couple nights (again, recipe link is http://www.flickr.com/photos/32245303@N06/sets/72157613245093279/ ) which will serve as soup or, if brothless and served atop brown rice, a stew that freezes beautifully in individual portion freezer bags and will serve two for a week.

    Since I'd already hardboiled a few dozen eggs the other day, while dinner was cooking I also set up my protein shakes for the week:

    33y2n81.jpg

    Back to "fiscal health," because I only spend perhaps nickels on each 50 gram serving of 90% whey protein isolate bought online in bulk ($210 for 25lbs with free shipping) I don't feel bad about spending money on a dozen plus shaker cups and paying retail (when manufacturer coupons or 20% off entire store purchase coupons are not available) for powdered herb additives from Navitas Naturals like acai, goji berry, pomegranate, maca and dried wheatgrass. Add glutamine and it's much cheaper and better than your standard issue protein powder supplement, though unlike my hearty, flavorful and delicious cooking, tastes like ass when mixed with water.