So one of my readers had a few additional questions after my Food post the other day. Instead of just giving her the answers I realized it would probbaly make a good post of it’s own. I’m sure there are others out there who have similar questions, so hopefully this will help you out!
Do you buy your flour and other baking needs from the bulk bins at Sprouts too? Most of our baking items I purchase at Fresh & Easy. I’ve found they have the best prices. If/when we get cannisters to hold all of our dry goods, we might switch the the bulk bin way…but for now, I like having the sturdy bags that flour comes in. We only buy unbleached and WW flours, and as I previously mentioned, raw cane sugar. It can be done on a budget! Just shop around.
Also, how much do you buy at a time and how long does it last you? for things like rice, lentils, beans, flour etc. I do a flour trip about once every six weeks. I spend about $10 getting one bag of regular and one WW flour + sugar, cornmeal (if needed) and sometimes spices if I’m out. So it could be less than $10 or a little more. Other dry goods I buy as needed as well, but they usually are more of a monthly basis. Usually I’ll get a few different kinds of rice/beans/lentils at a time, and I’ll stick to two full scoops of each. Depending on meal planning this could last a month. We don’t always go through it all, but whenever I’m at Sprouts I’ll buy at least one thing just to keep in the cupboard so it’s on hand when we may need it. This is a good thing to do to get out of “needing” the grocery store. If you always have a bean, rice, flour or cornmeal on hand – you always have access to making a quick side dish, whether it’s simple rice or polenta, or even making your own tortillas! When we first started on this trek we would make a huge crockpot full of black beans on Sunday. That would serve as multiple meals, simple beans over rice, add them to quesadillas/tacos, salads, heck – we’ll eat black beans plain. Same goes for chickpeas. They are a wonderful additive to salads or vegetable curry.
If you’ve never used dry beans before, I suggest getting a couple kinds to try at home. Once you make them you’ll find ways to use them!
So I’m probably not answering this question very well, but it really depends on each person. Some weeks we eat more eggs for protein and others it’s all beans…
How often a week or month would you say you and your husband eat meat/poultry? Once a week at most. We don’t eat it at home for the most part. If we go out to eat on the weekends, hubby will usually go for a meat dish and I’ll either go for fish or vegetarian. If we’re eating at friends/families houses there will usually be meat eating. But, we buy meat for at home almost never. The last time I bought it was for our anniversary meal two months ago. The truth is, we don’t feel good if we eat it more than once a week. I get a stomach ache and I noticed sometimes my husband gets sluggish. I will admit I have a devout love for Subways tuna though…
The thing about meat is, a recomended serving is 2-3 ounces. How often do you actually eat a serving of meat that small? Never. 2-3 ounces is not a lot. I have a feeling most people could actually still eat meat very affordably if they limited themselves to a proper serving.
What does your essential grocery list look like? This is a hard question. Since we don’t go to the grocery store except for basic items, I don’t have a grocery list! But the following items are what make our whole world go round (in addition to our amazing produce!) This is not a weekly list, more of a when-we-need-it list. Some items are weekly, some monthly, some every six months (yeast!)
-Almond milk – most amazing thing ever.
-Brown and white rice (I’m trying to kick the white rice habit, but brown just doesn’t always work for dessert rice dishes!)
-If we’re doing Italian food that week we’ll usually get a can of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and a small hunk of fresh mozzerella.
-Cheese – if we need it.
-Salad dressing – I can’t get enough of the italian roasted red pepper dressing from Kraft…I suck…but it’s SO delish!
I think that’s pretty much it.
Just to give you an idea, this week we spent about $20 at sprouts stocking up on most of this stuff. I had a craving for coconut sticky rice (probably tomorrow night) so I did get some good coconut milk as well. So with our basket this week, our eats have cost us $36.50.
Don’t be afraid to ask if you have any other specific questions!