Brigette’s Bulk Foods Grocery Shopping Trip

We’ve been traveling the past few weeks, visiting family and friends, so I haven’t done any weekly grocery shopping. I DID, however, visit a couple of my favorite places while we were back in Michigan (where we used to live).

We discovered the Amish bulk foods store by accident one day, years ago, when driving around. It is not advertised and doesn’t have a phone number or website! It is the cheapest place I have ever found wheat kernels (no tax or shipping!), and I have been a loyal, happy customer for many years.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I divide the 50-lb bags into ziptop bags and store them in the freezer

Countryside Bakery and Bulk Foods

(2204 29 Mile Rd, Homer, MI 49245)

1 50-lb bag Prairie Gold Hard White Spring Wheat Kernels – $27.95

1 50-lb bag Oats – marked down to $16.95

1 3-lb bag Cocoa Powder – $14.95

(16 oz Cinnamon – $2.49) My sister-in-law actually bought this for me and gave it to me ahead of time – but I am including it in the picture because it came from this store and I was planning on purchasing it.

4 oz. Ground Ginger- $1.99

Total: $61.84

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

J and D’s Honeybees

(13521 Allman Road, Concord, MI 49237)

1 gallon (12.5lbs) of Raw Honey – $37.50 (We actually bought four gallons while we were there, but only one is for us. This is the best, cheapest place I have ever found raw honey. We’ve paid as little as $25 a gallon over the years we’ve been buying from them, but apparently this was a really bad year for the bees and there is a shortage of honey so the prices are up. It’s still worth it to this honey-loving family!)

Total: $37.50

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Sam’s Club

2 (54-oz) jars Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil @ $15.00 each – $30.00

Total: $30.00

Grand Total for all Bulk Purchases: $129.36

I didn’t plan a weekly menu this week as my kitchen is undergoing a major renovation over the next few days and it’s almost impossible for me to cook in it right now. My older three children are staying with grandparents all week, so my husband and I are kind of in eat-whatever-you-can-find-that-doesn’t-require-kitchen-prep mode, supplemented by the occasional out-to-eat treat. :) Looking forward to getting back to a more normal schedule soon!

Share This:

How to Make Delicious Homemade Lattes — Without an Espresso Machine!

How-to-Make-Delicious-Homemade-Lattes-Without-an-Espresso-Machine

I’ve heard rave reviews of this Homemade Latte Recipe ever since I posted it. And I’ve wanted to try it, but I was happy with my regular coffee with cream and sugar so I figured, why change it?

Well, in the last few months, I’ve been slowly weaning myself off of most sugar in my diet. And a few weeks ago, I stopped using sugar in my coffee altogether.

{Can we all take a moment of silence? Did you read what I just wrote? This girl who has had a lifelong sweet tooth, STOPPED USING SUGAR IN HER COFFEE?!?

I’m not even sure that I can communicate the magnitude of that statement. Next thing you know, I’m going to start a blog about doing car repairs or something. Well, I may need to first learn the name of the car I drive (babysteps, babysteps…). But hey, if I can do something I never thought would be remotely possible — drink coffee without sugar and like it — who knows what I might do next?! :)}

Good Girl MoonshineGood Girl Moonshine

Bulletproof CoffeeBulletproof Coffee

At any rate, as a result, I’ve been experimenting with different kinds of coffees and drinks, including Good Girl Moonshine and Bulletproof Coffee.

{If you Google the recipes for those, please promise me you won’t write me off as total crazy. Because I liked both recipes and have made them multiple times. I know… I may be going through a midlife crisis or something. ;)}

Homemade Latte

As I experimenting with different recipes, I remembered this Homemade Latte Recipe and knew it was high time I try it. I used some of my Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks to purchase the Aerobie Aeropress and AeroLatte Frother.

Homemade Latte

I’d never made espresso before and was super impressed with how easy it was to make!

Homemade Latte

When you pull the Aeropress off the cup, the most amazing coffee smell wafts up. Love it!

(Also, totally unrelated: but notice how I’m keeping my nails painted thanks to the encouragement from some of you in the comments here. And it’s been over a week and it’s totally working to kill my nail-biting habit. And it makes me so happy to look down and see my red nails. I have hope that they are going to grow out all pretty, long, and strong… but for now I’m celebrating the little victories.)

Homemade Latte

This frother is absolutely so much fun!

Homemade Latte

And there you have it! An amazing cup of Homemade Latte for much, much less than you’d pay at the coffee shop and without using an Espresso Machine.

Homemade Latte

You can find the detailed recipe here. Also: if you want to make a Breve Latte, just substitute Half and Half for the milk, like I did. And then don’t go look up the calorie count after you make it like I did… yikes! ;)

Homemade Latte

What are your favorite at-home coffee drinks to make?

Share This:

How to Afford Real Food on a Budget

How to Afford Real Food on a Budget

I’m so honored to be guest posting over on 100 Days of Real Food today. If you are interested in how to afford real food on a budget, be sure to click over and read my post.

Also? If you’re interested in making the switch to more real foods, I highly recommend following the blog, 100 Days of Real Food. It’s packed with all sorts of great inspiration, ideas, and recipes for eating fewer processed foods (or eliminating them completely!)

Share This:

How can I save money on food when I’m never home?

14-On-the-Go-Make-Ahead-Meal-&-Snack-Ideas

Do you have any tips for saving money on food when you’re never home? I’m spending too much on food while I’m out! -a reader

I was asked the above question on Twitter recently and I thought it was an excellent question — and there was no way I could respond to it in 140 characters. So I promised the reader I’d respond in a post.

Here are some of my thoughts:

1) Evaluate Why You Are Never Home

This might seem like an unnecessary step, but I think it’s very important to consider. Are you always gone because you have to be (i.e. you have a very demanding job or multiple jobs that you need to have in order to pay the bills) or are you always gone because you choose to be (you’ve accepted a lot of extra commitments and responsibilities you don’t have to do, but you want to do or you feel like you have to do out of a sense of obligation or guilt)?

These are vital questions to ask ourselves. Do you love your life? If not, what small steps can you take to start changing it so you have more breathing room, more down time, and more time to be at home?

Could you downsize your home and lifestyle and work hard to pay off all your debt so that you could lower your expenses and take a less demanding job? Could you cut out a few of your extra commitments or scale back in some other way?

In most cases, we have more control over our situation than we realize. But we have to be willing to say no, to make sacrifices, and to set clear boundaries. And then we have to abide by these things, even when it’s tough. In the long run, it will be worth it!

2) Take 15 Minutes Each Day to Plan Ahead

It would be fantastic if you could plan a weekly menu at the beginning of each week, but if your schedule is constantly changing and you’re not sure how the week will pan out, get into the habit of making a daily menu plan instead.

At the start of each day, look at your calendar and to-do list and make a simple plan for what you’re going to eat that day. Then, while you eat breakfast or before you leave for the day, take a few minutes to gather up a few snack items to take with you on the road, make a cup of coffee for yourself for the road, make a sandwich or two for your lunch and dinner, and fill up a big bottle with ice water or iced tea.

Taking 10-15 minutes to put together a plan and then putting together some food and drink items could easily save you $10 to $20 or more each day… and I think that’s well worth the 10 or 15 minutes of time it will take! As an added benefit, you’ll probably end up eating a little healthier, too.

oatmeal-packets

3) Make Homemade On-The-Go Meals/Snacks

On the weekends or any time during the week when you have an extra 30 minutes, invest that time into making some on-the-go meals and snacks. Here are a few ideas, most that can be prepped ahead of time:

4) Think Outside of the Drive-Thru Lane

The drive-thru lane is quick, easy, and expensive. It’s also usually not  a very healthful option.

If you’re out and about and you really need something to eat and didn’t have a chance to plan ahead, consider going to the grocery store instead. If you have access to a refrigerator and kitchen at your workplace, you could buy a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, and a jar of jelly or buy a bag of salad greens and a rotisserie chicken from the deli.

Buying groceries might cost you a little more than it would cost you to go through the drive-thru lane once, but they’d give you enough food for lunch for at least 3-4 days. Just store the leftovers in the fridge at work and you’ll have lunch for the next few days.

I also encourage you to plan ahead: buy some items you can keep in your desk drawer or fridge at work. Stock your purse and glove compartment of your car with snacks. Keep a cooler with some snack foods in the fridge at home that you can just grab on your way out the door if you end up needing to run out unexpectedly for a few hours.

It takes a little bit of time to plan ahead like this, but when you calculate how much you’ll save in dollars and calories, it will make that little bit of time investment every bit worth it!

Readers: what are your tips and suggestions for this reader? How do those of you who aren’t home a lot save money on food? I’d love to hear!

Share This: