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Thread: Whole Foods eating/cooking

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    Canadian Genius Insane's Avatar
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    Looking to chat with other people who follow a more whole foods diet. Where do you find savings on the items you buy? How do you live "frugally" on a whole foods diet?
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    I eat mostly a whole foods / clean diet due to some medical problems I have been battling for a few years. It is quite possible to eat frugally and well, while avoiding processed foods and cheaper packaged alternatives.

    In a typical day my menu is something like this:

    For breakfast I make steel cut oats mixed with hemp seeds and chia seeds all bought at the bulk barn with their coupons. I generally add one piece of fruit and some protein like all natural almond butter. I estimate that breakfast is usually around $1 to $1.25 depending on the fruit.

    For lunch I generally have homemade hummus, two different veggies, organic yogurt or cottage cheese with nuts (pumpkin, almond or walnut)

    Dinner is stir fry with a lot of different veggies and chicken, I also use a large variety of spices and herbs.

    I eat very little bread and baked goods. If I do eat that kind of thing I tend to stick to wraps and naan bread with simplistic ingredients. I avoid most sugar with the exception of fruit which I have once or twice a day. Sugar avoidance is mostly for my medical reasons.

    It actually gets pretty easy after awhile to make all your own food. Tomato sauce for instance I have given up and generally just make a simple sauce of chopped tomatoes (with skin for fiber) fresh basil, pepper, fresh garlic, and olive oil. I buy a lot of fresh herbs at farmers markets or grow my own, and I freeze them to be used in the winter. Eggs I buy locally from a farmer and they are fresh daily and way cheaper then the grocery store.

    it is probably a little easier for me to eat a clean diet because I generally don't eat a lot of foods most people do on a day basis. I.e. I don't eat crackers (simple example) I also don't have kids so I only have to cook to my tastes.

    honestly I could talk about this all day long. It was a journey to get here but now my diet which is actually a lifestyle change for me is actually pretty easy to maintain.
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    I Find clean eating very frugal. Start most days with oatmeal and almond milk. We eat lots of chicken and veggies. Fish is awesome on the BBQ with lemon wrapped in foil. Yum. Think I will have to make that soon
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    Lindeyc, where do you buy your chickpeas and tahini for hummus? And your nuts?

    It's been a journey for us. As a family of 6, I've found our grocery budget has soared over the last 2 years. I make a lot as well. I discovered how much I enjoy making bread! I make organic, whole wheat bread from scratch-4 loaves at a time! I've started making my own granola and granola bars. It's crazy how easy it is!

    But organic flour, honey, free range meat, ect.... it's expensive. I'm not willing to go back, our health is worth more. But trying to figure out how I can shave more from our grocery budget.
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    OP, we buy the foods you describe, on sale,
    from the Natural Value section,
    from Costco,
    from Freshco,
    from Metro,
    from Food Basics,
    from Target
    from Bulk Barn (with coupon)
    from No Frills
    from Giant Tiger
    from Sobeys
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    Lindeyc, where do you buy your chickpeas and tahini for hummus? And your nuts?
    ****************

    Chickpeas I buy from RCSS because I like the canned ones and the blue menu ones are no sodium. I wait until I get a good points offer and stock up. They are generally cheaper then the dried ones and easier to use.

    Nuts I buy when on sale at a variety of places. I use the Bulk Barn coupons a lot.

    Tahini - from a local grocery store that focuses on Middle Eastern foods. I buy a lot of spices from them as well, way cheaper and much better selection/quality.

    Honey - local gentleman who has his hives about two minutes from where I work.

    Flour at a local mill that has a really large variety of it. Although I don't use a lot of flour, so I don't have to buy it often. I sometimes will buy it at the Bulk Barn in a pinch.

    I am very lucky in that I live in an area where there are tons of farms with a variety of foods/produce. You just have to make an effort to look for it and make deals with local providers. Living in an agricultural area does make it easier.

    I also have two large healthy food stores that have a variety of hard to find items close by. One is a 10 minute drive, another is 45 minutes, but it is in a city I go to often and they also have a great farmers market so I combine trips, hit the health food store, farmers market, at visit family and friends all at once.
    Last edited by lindseyc; Thu, Nov 6th, 2014 at 10:26 AM.
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    Senior Canuck matty's mom's Avatar
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    It has been a huge financial challenge for our family this past year eating whole foods etc. DH was in a terrible car accident in April and he has finally just finished he therapies inTO. We are just a family of three (with three pets). Hubby is a self employed contractor and his tax return did not justify any income replacement through insurance. I had to make some hard choices about how we eat. I also had to balance how much time it took to make something over where I need to help DH. Here are some of the choices I made:

    Bread maker: LOVE IT! Now we don't eat a lot bread, but I make home made when I need to.

    Beans: I cook my own beans. A package of blue menu beans @ No frills costs$3 and makes 6 cans worth. I flat freeze and use them in soup, chili, hummus etc. They taste better. Yeah crockpot!

    Soup: We eat this once a week. Left over meat bones, vegetable and the cooking water etc (if applicable) are stored in a container in the freezer. I make the broth of choice (tomato, beef, chicken, turkey) and then add in the left overs with other stuff, with beans and some rice. (Beans + rice= meat replacement with much needed fiber!)

    Organic delivery: I get a box delivered every two weeks. It is costly, but they source local as much as they can which means fresher and better for you. I hate seeing it go to waste, so it forces me to pay attention and use it! I follow the rule of thumb for fruit and veggies: First buy organic and local, if you can't buy that, then buy local, then buy organic. Anything else may have lost most of its nutrition by the time it get to your home. This may mean that I opt for frozen veggies instead as they are flash frozen. But I do make use of local farmers when things are in season. And I freeze... Love my freezer.

    Spinach and Broccoli: I am thrilled to say that my DS loves fresh spinach and broccoli, so I make sure that we eat these once a week. We REALLY love broccollini, so if I can order it I do. Organic, healthy and yummy.

    Loyalty programs: Greatful for these. I have been able to get $80 in free groceries this past month.

    Variety: seems silly to write but one of the issues I seems to read over and over again is too much of any one thing is bad for you. I mix things up. So, for example I make my own oatmeal flour(from oats) and make oatmeal flour brownies for treats. Yummy and chewy because of the flour. I also use buckwheat flour or sorghum flour for pancakes and muffins when I make these. (Non GMO!)

    Eggs: use the same rule for veggies as I do for eggs. And we go through a dozen every week.
    German pancakes... Yumalicious!

    This is is everything that I can think of so far. I am interested to hear what other people do to help with cost.

    Lindseyc, where is the mill that you use? I have been asking around since I moved here a few years ago, and I get some strange faces! LOL!
    Last edited by matty's mom; Thu, Nov 20th, 2014 at 09:42 AM.
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    momof5boys
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    When we moved, I asked the builders to pull out all the shrubs/flowers from the raised flower bed beside the garage. Boy, did I get some strange looks when I told them I would rather grow food then look at shrubs. Anyway, in that little space we have grown lots of lettuce, green onion, swiss chard, leek, radishes, carrots, green peppers, and even a few potato plants. We are still harvesting leek, green onion, swiss chard and lettuce. Now if we can just find a way to get rid of the mole that keeps digging under those plants!!! Having our own garden space saved us a lot of money. We also grew cherry tomatoes on the deck and harvested literally hundreds.
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    CaLoonie
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    Quote Originally Posted by matty's mom View Post

    Lindseyc, where is the mill that you use? I have been asking around since I moved here a few years ago, and I get some strange faces! LOL!

    I go to Tyrone Mills, they are great! Here is an article about them: http://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/4271082-tyrone-mill-in-clarington-has-old-fashioned-warmth/

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    Senior Canuck matty's mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindseyc View Post
    I go to Tyrone Mills, they are great! Here is an article about them: http://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/4271082-tyrone-mill-in-clarington-has-old-fashioned-warmth/

    Thanks so much. I will definitely be checking this out in person!
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindseyc View Post
    I eat mostly a whole foods / clean diet due to some medical problems I have been battling for a few years. It is quite possible to eat frugally and well, while avoiding processed foods and cheaper packaged alternatives.

    In a typical day my menu is something like this:

    For breakfast I make steel cut oats mixed with hemp seeds and chia seeds all bought at the bulk barn with their coupons. I generally add one piece of fruit and some protein like all natural almond butter. I estimate that breakfast is usually around $1 to $1.25 depending on the fruit.

    For lunch I generally have homemade hummus, two different veggies, organic yogurt or cottage cheese with nuts (pumpkin, almond or walnut)

    Dinner is stir fry with a lot of different veggies and chicken, I also use a large variety of spices and herbs.

    I eat very little bread and baked goods. If I do eat that kind of thing I tend to stick to wraps and naan bread with simplistic ingredients. I avoid most sugar with the exception of fruit which I have once or twice a day. Sugar avoidance is mostly for my medical reasons.

    It actually gets pretty easy after awhile to make all your own food. Tomato sauce for instance I have given up and generally just make a simple sauce of chopped tomatoes (with skin for fiber) fresh basil, pepper, fresh garlic, and olive oil. I buy a lot of fresh herbs at farmers markets or grow my own, and I freeze them to be used in the winter. Eggs I buy locally from a farmer and they are fresh daily and way cheaper then the grocery store.

    it is probably a little easier for me to eat a clean diet because I generally don't eat a lot of foods most people do on a day basis. I.e. I don't eat crackers (simple example) I also don't have kids so I only have to cook to my tastes.

    honestly I could talk about this all day long. It was a journey to get here but now my diet which is actually a lifestyle change for me is actually pretty easy to maintain.

    You are so frugally and eat healthily.
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    I know some medical knowledge Chinese about the three healthy meals :

    Firstly, in the morning, you should eat some nourishing food, like milk, egg, fruit. Remember do not drink juice when you have already drunk milk.

    Secondly, for the lunch, you should really eat until you are full, some meet and veggies are necessary. if you have problem with your intestine and stomach, you'd better have a yogurt and have a 15 minutes walk.

    Thirdly, for the dinner, do remember eat less and light, don't eat anything 2 hours before you get to sleep. Try to sleep before 11:00 pm, insist it, then you can get a slim and healthy body.
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    We buy a lot of groceries in the natural aisle at RCSS. Silver hill and Ezekiel sprouted grain bread eggs, organic milk, flours cereals, organic broths etc. we get somewhat regular pc,points offers for these products and so stock up when we get an offer for eggs, bread milk, occasionally we get a bonus offer for natural value section so will stock up then as well. Every little bit helps. And bulk barn for nuts with coupon.

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    One of my favorite things to make is broth. It's so easy. And now that I've done it, I don't think I can go back to the store bought stuff!! I buy chicken backs and necks from the ranch I order meat from (it's in Northern Alberta and they ship it to us in the NWT a few times a year) or I use left over carcasses from chickens that I've cooked. Fill pot with 2 packs of backs and necks, add vegetable peelings that I've kept in the freezer (like from carrots, celery, ect...) add some herbs and simmer for a day (I usually put it on after dinner). Then strain it and pour into jars. Freeze. And done. It's so rich and flavourful. I usually get a good 8-10L out of it.
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