Today was grocery shopping day. Actually, every Wednesday is grocery shopping day! It’s also meal planning day. UGH!!!!! I gotta tell ya, I HATE meal planning! I love the shopping part of it, but the planning, forget it! I force myself to do it, though, so we don’t wind up eating fast food! (grilled chicken at ANY fast food restaurant is nasty!!!) I start by writing down the days of the week , Wednesday thru Tuesday, go through the sale papers from my grocery stores to see what’s on sale and then go online to Whole Foods or Earth Fare to see what they’ve got on sale for the week. Next, I go online to the many wonderful cooking blogs I visit frequently to see what recipes I’d like to try. (There are A LOT!!!!!!) I try to plan our dinners around what’s on sale, but sometimes the sales suck and I wind up spending more than I want to just so we have decent dinners! Then there’s the coupon game. I’m not big time into it, but if I can get stuff for free or less than $1.00, I’ll use ‘em! This process takes WAAAAAAAAY too long…..like 2 hours too long! I guess I’m just not good at it! Seriously, if there was someone who had a meal planning business, I’d be all over it in a second! Just email them the foods that you normally eat and have them set up a weekly dinner plan based on your list. Does anyone do that? If they don’t, someone’s gotta jump on it! That’s a million dollar idea right there! Too bad I don’t have the patience to make that my million!
Anyway…….I wanted to share a few items that I bought today that caught my eye. Of course it’s not all I bought, but these were the highlights, the rest are staples.
1. R W. Garcia 5 seed onion and chives crackers: I’m usually not big on crackers, but these looked interesting AND they’re gluten-free!
2. 365 (Whole Foods brand) Vanilla (sweetened) almond milk: I LOVE that Whole Foods has their own brand (organic!) because when Blue Diamond or Silk aren’t on sale I can buy this for $2.99. (not the best price, but it’s fine when I need to buy it. With sales and coupons, I can usually get the name brands for anywhere from $2.50 to as low as $1.00!)
3. Cascadian Farms Hearty Morning Fiber: I ALWAYS have cereal with almond milk in the evening before I go to bed. Courtney and I eat dinner early before karate, so we are usually a bit hungry when we get home and are settled in for the night! I just tried it for the first time tonight (mixed with some Cheerios) and it was very tasty!
4. Celestial Seasonings Red Rooibos tea (Madagascar vanilla flavor): Well, I have had this before but I thought that I’d add it to the list. I had heard somewhere (probably Dr. Oz!) that it was very high in antioxidants and it’s also caffeine free, so I can drink it in the evening.
5. Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (nut, dairy and soy free): I had tried another brand of dairy free chocolate chips(Chocolate Dream) and they were delicious! These, however, were on sale today, so I decided to try them.
6. Unsweetened Shredded coconut: This is a new one for me. I’ve only ever had the sweet kind, but I’ve seen numerous recipes calling for unsweetened coconut that I’d like to try, including this one!
7.Brown rice pasta (from Trader Joes): I already mentioned (in a previous post) that I use brown rice pasta instead of whole wheat pasta, but I thought I’d point out, in case you guys didn’t know already, that Trader Joes is the place to buy this. Only $1.99 for a 16 oz. bag! Whole Foods is more like $3.50 for 8 oz!!!!!!!
8. Tomatilla Salsa: I’ve had salsa verde before and assume this is the same thing. I found this in one of the refrigerated sections of my Whole Foods (it’s a local brand!) so I thought I’d give it a try with my usual blue corn chips!
Something else caught my eye in the chocolate aisle. An Enjoy Life dark chocolate bar. Again, nut, dairy, soy AND gluten-free! The only ingredients in this chocolate bar are natural (non-alcoholic) chocolate liquor, evaporated cane juice and non-dairy cocoa butter! I tried a square when I first bought it then shared the rest with Greg and Courtney! This is my new go to chocolate bar when I need that chocolate fix!
One more thing…..a delectable dinner! A mushroom swiss “burger” with a Strawberry Fields spinach salad.
How do you plan your meals?
Got any ideas so I can stop driving myself crazy???????