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Review: Eating Evolved Coconut Butter Cups

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts/every post every, I love me a little treat. Each and everyday, please.

I heard about these coconut butter cups from Julie at Paleomg.com. I think from her podcast? If you’re a podcast listener, by the way, check her’s out because it’s hilarious. It’s full of fun content (if you’re into Paleo eating/beauty/other random things) but she just cracks me up.

At the time I was satisfying my sweet tooth (sometimes) with Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups, which are amazing. I sort of have to watch myself with those things because I will pound a whole bag of ’em. Like, they’re so good they put other regular pb cups to shame. You will never go back.

I loved the idea though of these coconut butter cups because they’re paleo friendly, relatively low in sugar, and chocolate.

Eating Evolved Coconut Butter Cups

eating evolved coconut butter cups

There are a few different flavors of these cups: original, caramel and sea salt, banana cream, mint cream, and strawberries and cream.

I’ve actually tried all of them except strawberries and cream. I have to say, the banana cream cups surprised me the most; I really liked them!

I’ve liked all the flavors I’ve tried and usually buy a couple of each. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

Ingredients:

eating evolved coconut butter cups

Very simple and straightforward: organic coconut, organic cacao, organic coconut sugar, organic cacao butter, himalayan sea salt, and organic vanilla extract. That’s it!

Obviously if you hate coconut, you probably won’t be a fan. But, if you like coconut, love chocolate, and want to eat clean/paleo, you might just be a fan.

 

Nutrition Facts:

In 1 cup (there are two in a package):

calories: 131

fat: 11g

carbs: 6g

fiber: 3g

sugar: 4g

protein: 1g

The fat content is on the higher side because coconut has quite a bit of fat in it. I’m personally not concerned with the grams of fat when they’re coming from a natural food source, but if you are, that’s something to keep in mind.

eating evolved coconut butter cups

 

Taste and Texture:

eating evolved coconut butter cups

I like these!

When I first tried them I think my taste buds were a little shocked by the lack of sweetness because, let’s be honest, other foods shaped like that are extremely sweet. These are made with a dark chocolate though, so they’re a bit more bitter than their milk chocolate/pb distant cousin (or friend…or someone they really don’t know at all).

I love dark chocolate, so I am definitely on board with the dark, slightly bitter taste. I also like coconut. Again, if you hate coconut, you may not love these.

Another thing I actually liked about them is that little taste of salt. They do sell a flavor that’s caramel sea salt and that’s much saltier than the original (also good though), but I like just a tiny hint of salt.

 

Cost:

These little cups of yumminess are not cheap. But, if they were, they’d probably be those other cups sold at gas stations…

They are obviously made with higher quality ingredients: organic, quality dark chocolate, etc. So, those higher quality ingredients are reflected in the price. Just is what it is.

I usually pick up a few from Natural Grocer’s and they’re about $2.70(ish)-$2.99.

You can buy them directly from their website and they sell individual bags at $2.99. If you buy a pack of 9 it drops the cost to $2.79 and if you buy an 18 pack, the cost is $2.49.

 

Where to Buy:

So, I can find a few flavors near me at Natural Grocer’s (they usually sell the original and caramel and sea salt).

They are also sold at Whole Foods, via their website, and possibly Thrive Market online?

You might want to check their website too because they do sell at some smaller natural grocery stores.

 

Will I Buy Again?

Given the fact that I’ve been buying them somewhat regularly now for about a month…yes, yes I will.

I actually just ordered some from their website because I think that’s a better deal in the end. They are expensive, so I try to pace them out by eating one a day (ha) or even half of one, but I do really like them.

I’d like to try and recreate them at home. That might be a fun recipe to try! I’ll keep you posted.

 

Have you tried Eating Evolved’s Coconut Butter Cups? What’s your favorite treat?

Gluten-Free Chocolate Mug Cake *Recipe*

This will be a quick post, but I just had to share a mug cake recipe I made the other day. I was really happy with the way it turned out and so were my two kids :).

I haven’t made a mug cake in forever, but they’re a great way to have a little dessert when you’re craving one. It’s kinda nice to make a single serving treat and not have a million cupcakes or a huge cake teasing you constantly.

chocolate mug cake

This cake is gluten free, but you can make it with all-purpose flour too if that’s all you have. I picked up a gluten free Bob’s Red Mill flour and it worked out well in this recipe. It does contain xantham gum though, which is a thickener, so if you have a gluten free flour, make sure there’s xantham gum. If there’s not, you probably need to add some.

Another thing worth mentioning is the mug I used is enormous, so this makes a pretty large mug cake. If you don’t have freaky huge mugs like me, you can always use a ramekin or small bowl.

Here’s the recipe:

gluten free mug cake

Gluten-Free Chocolate Mug Cake

  • 1/4 c. gluten free flour (or all purpose)
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1.5-2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

I mixed everything in my mug and microwaved for about 1:30. That’s it! I added some chocolate chips on top too once it was nice and warm because..why not? The more chocolate the better.

chocolate mug cake

I will definitely make this again. I’m actually going to try and make one that’s Paleo too. If I can make it work, I’ll share the recipe! Using flours that are Paleo are always a little finicky so we’ll see. Definitely more trial and error involved.

 

Do you make mug cakes? What’s your go-to dessert? By the way, I made this at like 3pm. It don’t matter what time it is. Any time is a good time for dessert :).

Review: Siete Foods Almond Flour Grain Free Tortillas

Hey guys! How’s it going? We are doing really well over here. I’m about 27 weeks pregnant right now-almost in the third trimester! How did that happen? That’s crazy and SCARY.

We’ve been braving Colorado winter and we’re almost through it. I can officially see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am so ready for warmer weather too..anyone else?

The upside to glorious winter is I find myself trying/eating lots of new foods and snacks. I mean, I do that during the summer too, but let’s pretend it happens more during winter.

I’ve seen Siete Foods products all over social media so there’s no doubt these are kind of a new, sexy product. Obviously I had to try them. They have several different products including grain free tortillas (one using almond flour, one using coconut/cassava, one coconut/chia) and tortilla chips. I’ll have to review their chips because I’ve tried their sea salt tortilla chips and they’re awesome.

Today I’m reviewing their grain-free almond flour tortillas. Here’s a little more information about the tortillas and my thoughts:

Siete Foods Almond Flour Grain Free Tortillas

Siete Foods Almond Flour Tortillas

Ingredients:

Pretty clean. These tortillas are only made with almond flour, tapioca flour, water, sea salt, and xantham gum (usually used as a thickening agent. I use it sometimes in smoothies).  So, no ingredients that I don’t recognize and all the things..meaning these are Paleo, non-gmo, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and vegan. All the things. 

siete foods almond flour tortillas

Nutrition Facts:

Not too shabby. Here’s the nutrient breakdown for 2 tortillas:

Calories: 190

Fat: 12 grams

Saturated Fat: 1g

Carbs: 17g

Fiber: 3g

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 5g

Considering it’s made of almond flour, the calorie and fat content is really not that bad.

Siete Foods Almond Flour Tortillas

Taste and Texture:

Very good!

Honestly, I’m always skeptical of “health food” sort of “trends” because a.) they’re always expensive, and b.) sometimes they don’t taste very good.

I expected these to be super nutty (ya know, because of the almond flour) but they’re actually not. They have a good taste, basically that of a tortilla, and a great texture. Sometimes these sort of things fall apart easy too but these held together nicely when stuffed with tuna salad.

I tried some Paleo wraps a few weeks ago that were made of coconut (like, basically only coconut meat) and (surprise surprise) they tasted a lot like coconut. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer these almond flour wraps since there isn’t an overwhelming taste or flavor.

Siete Foods Almond Flour Tortillas

Cost:

Here’s the sad part: they’re expensive. I mean, sort of expected, right?

I bought them at Natural Grocer’s for around $8 something for 8 tortillas.

If you buy them from Siete’s site, they are $55 for a pack of 6, so about 9 bucks a pack.

I checked Amazon too and they’re over the top expensive. About $12 for a pack plus like, $8 in shipping.

They might sell them on Thrive Market too so that might be worth checking out. I’m sure they’re at Whole Foods too. I’m sure we can all assume they aren’t a bargain there.

 

Where to Buy:

Natural Grocer’s, off The Siete Foods website, Amazon, Whole Foods, and maybe Thrive Market? They seem to be sprinkled throughout some health food stores in Colorado, so I’m sure it’s like that in other states too. You can always check on their website for store locations.

Siete Foods Almond Flour Tortillas

Will I Buy Again?

I probably will.

I say “probably” because we don’t eat 100% grain free everyday. I probably eat an 80/20 paleo diet, so definitely not strict. I’m also not someone who misses tortillas when I don’t have them around. Since the cost is a bit high, I’m sure they won’t be a “staple” in our refrigerator, but I would like to have them around because I genuinely like them. So my answer is yes, I would buy them again but sparingly (mostly due to cost).

 

They have 2 other tortillas if almond flour isn’t for you. One made from cassava and coconut flour and the other cassava and chia.  I’ll pick them up at Natural Grocer’s next time I’m there and write a review on those!

 

Have you tried Siete’s products? Thoughts? Any other grain-free wrap recommendations?

**This review is strictly my opinion. I was not sent this product to review nor was I compensated in any way**

Benefits of Turmeric

turmeric

(photo credit)

First and foremost, I am not huge into supplements. I’m typically pretty skeptical because the bottom line is: they are not regulated. There are soooo many different brands and types of supplements that it’s hard to really know what you’re consuming. Something worth a shit or just $20 dollars worth of filler?

I only take a couple of supplements: fermented cod liver oil, a probiotic, and now, turmeric. I don’t take a multivitamin because I don’t really see a reason to. I think your best bet is to try and get your multivitamins from food. Anyway, back to turmeric.

I’ve seen turmeric used as a supplement kind of floating around the internet for some time now. Then I had a friend tell me about how she’s been taking it for joint pain.

I picked it up and decided to give it a try since I’ve been having shoulder pain, (basically) chronic hip pain, and off and on neck pain. The neck and hip come and go and have now for years. I’m blaming hip from long distance running and neck from sleep and possible workout injury. I realize a smart person would say, “go to the doctor.” But I’m either stupid or an egomaniac and think I know all the answers…or assume the answers would be “rest.” Am I right? (Yes. I am right).  I feel like I have rested too. I’ve given my hip tons of rest, but the pain still comes.

Anyway, these “injuries” haven’t been debilitating, just inconvenient. Since the shoulder pain was somewhat new (been about 4 months), a few weeks back, I took a solid week off of exercise to let it rest. The pain continued after that week. So, that’s when I bought some turmeric and have been using it since then.

This might just be coincidence, but I think I’m a believer? My shoulder hasn’t been bothering me at all. My hip and neck haven’t been acting up either. I’ve probably been taking the turmeric twice a day now for about 3 weeks (maybe 4). I haven’t done anything else differently so I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the turmeric has helped?

I’ll get back to why I started taking the turmeric in the first place.

(Potential) Benefits of taking Turmeric:

Anti-Inflammatory Properties: 

Turmeric has a compound in it called Curcumin. Turns out curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The effects of curcumin have actually been compared to anti-inflammatory drugs. This is great news! You get the effects of a painkiller without the potential side effects (source).

Because of its’ ability to fight inflammation, consuming turmeric could also help fight heartburn or acid reflux.

It may protect the brain…

There is another (less studied) compound in turmeric that may promote repair of stem cells in the brain. This compound is called Aromatic turmerone. The study that claims these potential effects studied rats with the same stem cell that humans have. The incredible thing about this (potential) find is that these stem cells help with recovery from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers or stroke.  So maybe this compound could be used in the future for treatment? Let’s hope! (source).

It may help to prevent heart attacks:

There was a study involving bypass patients and what the study found was that patients given curcumin three days prior to surgery and 5 days post surgery had less heart attacks than the patients given a placebo. 30% of the placebo group experienced a heart attack post surgery compared with 13% of the curcumin group. This could be (again) because of curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Interesting stuff!  (source).

There are more potential benefits out there too like cancer prevention, delaying diabetes, and anti-depressant effects.

Consuming Turmeric as a Supplement:

One thing about it is, the turmeric spice (what’s in your kitchen cabinet) contains a very small amount of the curcumin. In order to get an effective dose, you need a more concentrated version. That’s where the supplements come in.

Another thing that’s very important to remember with turmeric is the curcumin is poorly absorbed in the blood stream. Taking the turmeric supplement with black pepper (or piperine), however, helps aid in the absorption. So, make sure your supplement has that added to it or you consume black pepper with it (some people eat a few peppercorns).

This is the turmeric supplement I bought off Amazon. Like I said, I think it’s working? This is the first time I’ve noticed a “difference” when taking a supplement. There might be something to it…

I’ve also noticed there are “health drinks” coming out that contain turmeric. I can’t speak to any of those, but I do know people make what is called “Golden Milk,” a turmeric concoction.  I haven’t tried this yet, but there are tons of recipes online. One I found sort of intriguing was posted by Epicurious.

golden-milk

(Photo from Epicurious)

The primary ingredients are turmeric, coconut milk, coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, honey, and some peppercorns. Sounds interesting and looks delicious, right? I’ll have to try it and report back.

My Takeaway

So far I have to admit, I’m a believe in turmeric as a supplement. Like I said, I’ve never really seen results from a supplement and have always been skeptical since they could be made of horse shit for all we know. I think the “health community” may be on to something though with this turmeric..

Do you use turmeric as a supplement? Thoughts?

**One thing to keep in mind is turmeric as a supplement is NOT regulated by the FDA. It is NOT medication. Before you take any supplements, talk to your doc. Do your research.**

A New Workout, Vanilla Latte Protein Shake, and a Giveaway!

Hey ya’ll! What’s goin on? First of all, I know the pictures in my previous post are all out of whack.  That always happens when I post from my Ipad (ugh) I will fix them, I swear.

Anyway, we are still enjoying bomb weather here in ski country. Speaking of skiing, the resorts open in like, two weeks and it hasn’t snowed at all. Should be interesting! I love it though. Can it stay this warm all winter long? Moving right along…

I have been loving exercise bands lately. They are cheap, easy to pack (I take one with me to the gym because they don’t have any), and will definitely make your workouts harder. Such a simple tool but it does so much! You can find them on Amazon for around 10 bucks.

This workout is focused on your lower body and will definitely make that booty sore. Don’t you love that feeling though? I mean, to a point. I don’t want to take a tumble down my stairs…

I recommend going through each set in this workout four times. I just want to make sure that your legs are pure jello at the end. If you notice though that it’s too much, stop at 3 sets. That’s great too! Here’s a breakdown:

lower-body-burn

Band Side Walks- You can place the band around your feet or around your thighs. You could actually double up with a band around thighs and feet if you’re feeling extra saucy. Once the bands are in place, sink down into a squat (go low, baby!), and take 15 steps to the right, then 15 back to the left.

Bridge with Abduction using the Band-  Lay down on the ground with knees bent. Place the band around your thighs. Lift your hips and bottom off the ground (squeeze that bum), then push your knees outward, bring them back, and lower back to the ground.

In/Out Jumps- Place the band around your ankles. Sink down low into a squat and jump out, then jump back in staying down in a squat the whole time.

Donkey Kicks- Place the band around your feet and get on all fours. Bend your right leg and push your foot up towards the ceiling. So your leg is bent the whole time and your squeezing your right butt cheek as you raise your leg. Do 15 reps then switch legs.

Standing Abduction- In a standing position, place the band around your ankles. Standing on your left leg, lift your right leg to the side keeping it straight. Slowly lower back down for 15 reps. Switch sides.

Star Jumps with Weights and Band- Grab a light pair of dumbbells and place the exercise band around your ankles. Bring the dumbbells to shoulder height. Squat down low (with legs together), then jump up and out bringing legs out wide and simultaneously pressing weights overhead. Land back into squat.

Step Ups with Weights- You can do these with weights or without. If using the dumbbells, keep them at your sides. Step up with right leg onto a bench while bringing your left knee up towards your chest. Then lower the left leg down onto the ground and repeat 15 reps. Switch sides.

Lunge Walks- You can use weights with these or not.  Step forward with your right leg into a lunge. Then straighten out that right leg and bring left leg forward into a lunge. Repeat for 15 reps on both sides.

Jump Lunges- Start with your right leg forward and drop down into a lunge. Jump up and switch legs bringing your left leg forward into a lunge.

Yesssss. So much burn. You’re gonna love it.

 

Vanilla Latte Smoothie and Giveaway!

I love the flavor of the coffee. Yes, the caffeine is obviously an added benefit, but I also really enjoy the flavor. Coffee, coffee ice cream, coffee yogurt-you name it, I’m on board.

What I usually do with my protein shakes is add whey protein, leftover coffee from the morning (so it’s not hot), frozen banana, ice, almond milk, and sometimes cocoa or PB2. All those flavors just mesh so well together.

When I had the opportunity to work with Click, a protein powder mixed with gourmet espresso coffee and flavors like vanilla latte, I jumped all over that. What a great (and obvious) idea! I already love this combo, so they’re saving me step. 🙂

Here’s the smoothie I whipped up after my leg workout:

click4

Vanilla Latte Protein Shake (featuring Click protein powder and espresso):

  • 2 scoops Click Vanilla Latte protein powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 scoops PB2
  • almond milk
  • crushed ice

That’s it! It tastes amazing, trust me. If you like the flavor of coffee, you’ll love it.

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I used the powder in a protein shake, but you can actually just add it to water and drink it hot like a cup of coffee. You can also enjoy it cold too during those summer months (iced coffee, anyone?).

CLICK Nutrition:

One thing I always check when it comes to protein powders is labels. This one especially you may wonder..does it have a lot of sugar? It’s not bad actually.

2 scoops of vanilla latte:

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbs: 11g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Sugar: 5g

So, the amount of sugar is not too bad but it is more than other “regular” protein powders. There is also less protein. But, this is a great substitute for your morning coffee with definitely more protein than a normal cup and possibly less sugar too.

Giveaway Time! 

The best part! 🙂

One reader will receive a full canister of CLICK in whatever flavor they choose: vanilla latte, mocha, or caramel and a CLICK shaker bottle.  

click

click1

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To enter: leave me a comment below telling me what flavor you’d like to try: vanilla latte, caramel, or mocha. That’s it! Easy peasy.

 

For more recipes featuring CLICK products, you can visit their website at www.drinkclick.com.  They have some yummy ones including a pumpkin spice latte (’tis the season) and no-bake CLICK mocha protein bars.  Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Giveaway ends Monday November 14. Good luck!

*edited: I decided to extend the giveaway!*

 

Toddler Friendly Pumpkin Spice Balls

I’ll just start by saying these are both toddler friendly AND adult friendly. Also, hi!

It’s been a while, right? Sorry about that. I swear I get busy, time flies, and suddenly it’s fall (dangerously close to winter here in Colorado). Is anyone else experiencing that? Or is it only us crazies living at 8,000 feet? It actually snowed in September. What the hell is that about?! But, today, it’s lovely so no complaints.

Snow in September

I guess it’s time to put away those deck toys. Ugh. I am NOT ready for winter. I don’t think I ever will be though #summerforlife.

We’ve been having fun though! Going on hikes, celebrating birthdays (hello 33), hittin’ up pumpkin patches, and visiting with family.

(Snapchat is officially my favorite by the way.)

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33rd birthday

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Can we talk about the attitude on this girl? She don’t take no shit from no one. ?

This chilly fall weather just screams “bake!” To me…anyone else? I made two banana breads on Sunday actually. Two delicious, not remotely healthy, banana breads. Sometimes ya gotta stick to what works. My husband always rolls his eyes at me when I take a recipe and try to make it healthy. I have to admit, a lot of times, it just doesn’t work.

I’m talking all about baking but these balls are no-bake..even better, right? Don’t we all appreciate recipes that are a little less work?

These little balls are not only toddler friendly (as in they will actually eat them), but they can also help you in the kitchen. There’s nothing dangerous involved, just potential stickiness ?. My four year old actually rolled them into “snakes” initially. Then her unfun mom went back and rolled them into balls. Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin spice balls

Super easy! You could substitute regular oats if you don’t have GF (or you love gluten), use peanut butter instead of almond, honey instead of maple syrup, and of course, leave out the chocolate chips if you want less sugar. I love snack balls because you can really customize them however you want. To make them more “adult friendly” you could add some protein powder too.

Let me know if you try them!

How’s your weather? Does it feel like fall where you are?

 

Recipe: Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Roastedcherrytomatoes

I’m sort of embarrassed to say that I’ve never cooked cherry tomatoes…or even regular old tomatoes?

Truth be told, my husband doesn’t like tomatoes, so I don’t use them often. My kids, on the other hand, love cherry tomatoes. They pop those suckers in their mouth like they’re candy (which, I obviously love!).

I’ve seen some beautiful pictures floating around of roasted cherry tomatoes and decided to mix things up one night and roast some of my own. Maybe the kiddos would love them like this too?

I wish I was growing tomatoes in our (sad) little garden, but sort of forgot about them since the hubs isn’t a fan. He does like marinara and salsa though so I could have made different sauces, etc. Oh well, maybe next season!

Anyway, I picked up a few little containers of cherry tomatoes-red and yellow-from the grocery store and roasted them up. This was actually super easy AND quick.

roastedtomatoes

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1 container of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

I try NOT to use the oven much in the summer, but made an exception for these little beauties. The good news was: they only took about 20 minutes to cook so the house wasn’t on fire.

All I did was coat my tomatoes in oil, shake on some garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and cook in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes. I added a little parmesan cheese once the tomatoes were done.

roastedtomatoes1

So, I really liked these! I thought they turned out delicious. I definitely recommend eating them right away; they taste great when they’re hot.

roastedtomatoes3

My kids, sadly, were not huge fans. I guess they prefer the simplicity of raw cherry tomatoes. Hey, I get it..those are great too.

Will I make these again? Probably not often since I’m the only one that liked them. That being said, if you love tomatoes, give them a try! It’s a great way to add some variety!

 

Do you cook tomatoes? What are your favorite ways to use them?

Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 2

Hey friends! I officially survived my first week of a grocery budget. Like, literally, I survived. I didn’t starve. Shocking, I know.

grocerybudgetchallenge

I did do better this week. I had my goal in mind ($200 for the week) and stuck to it. I was still a little disappointed with my first grocery run of the week because I spent $129 dollars, only leaving $70 for the rest of the week. In hindsight, that shouldn’t be a problem, but I was hoping to spend less because my husband was out of town this week, therefore I was only feeding 3 mouths. Eh, it’s okay. Still met the goal, right?

Since I did spend slightly more than I was hoping, I saved my receipts to see where I could cut down on spending next week. Here’s what I found:

groceryreceipt

  • Egg Whites– $4.99 These are store brand, but still a little pricey. I eat egg whites almost everyday, so I’ll probably keep these on the list. I hate to buy or use regular eggs just for the egg white. It seems wasteful to me.
  • Magazine– $3.99  Oops. My grocery temptation: the magazine. I notice I’m especially prone to buying magazines when my hubs is gone because I flip through them at night. It’s not the worst thing (or most expensive thing) in the world, but they add up. They just do. Most of the time too, I don’t find anything useful in them so I’ll try to watch that habit of mine.
  • Spaghetti Sauce–  $4.19 Little pricey for spaghetti sauce, but here’s my reason for buying this brand: no sugar added. I swear I looked at a million different labels and almost all of them had added sugar. I like that about this brand so I’ll probably keep buying it.
  • Apples– $4.60 Hmmm…apples. They’re not in season, so maybe they’re a little more pricey than they are in the fall. Honestly, I don’t really know. Maybe I could buy another fruit that’s in season and a little cheaper, like peaches? It might be worth looking into. I like having apples around though because they’re a.) healthy, b.) easy to transport, c.) yummy.
  • Peanut Butter and Co. Peanut Butter– $4.19 Sort of an impulse buy…oops. I just love having some sort of flavored peanut butter or almond butter around. I guess it satisfies a sweet tooth. Hey, at least I didn’t buy Justin’s or something? Could have been like, 6-9 bucks instead of the 4. So, I kind of cut down on costs… :).

groceryreceipt1

My second trip to the store during this week was pretty good too, only spent $20.34 (but again, just three mouths this week).

My expensive items during this trip were a head of cauliflower ($5.37) and green grapes ($4.52).

These were the highest priced items on my receipt, but both of these provide enough food for at least 2 meals/snacks so I think they’re worth the price.

I actually looked up what the price of these items are on average and found that cauliflower usually runs about $4 for a head, (so I paid more), and grapes are around $2.87 a pound. I paid less for the grapes at $1.99 a pound #winning.

Total For the Week

My total grocery spending for this week was $149.83. I came out under my $200 AND under $150, which is awesome!

Overall, I did a pretty good job sticking to my lists. I see a few spots I could work on (impulse peanut butter), but I’m satisfied with week #1.

 

Next on the agenda I’ll be tackling Amazon orders, whether coupons are worth it, Costco, and Farmer’s Markets.

What are your best strategies for cutting costs at the grocery store? Do you use coupons? Hit up Farmer’s Markets? Buy in bulk? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Review: Kirkland Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bar

kirklandproteinbarreview

Does everything Kirkland/Costco do hit it out of the park? Pretty much, yeah. (No, this post is NOT sponsored… I just like finding yummy new treats and I’m betting you do too).

I saw these bars all over Instagram and they looked amazing; I had to pick them up. I’ve been trying to stay away from Costco lately because…well, see the budget post :). I have a tendency to impulse buy there and that is NOT a place you want to impulse buy. This time, I went in with a purpose: protein bars.

The box comes with 20 bars in 2 flavors: chocolate chip cookie dough and a brownie bar (ten each). The price of the entire box was about $18 dollars making each bar about .90 cents. Not too shabby.

kirklandbars

My immediate reaction to the cookie dough flavor was that it looks just like the chocolate chip cookie dough Quest bars. Quest fans, am I right?? Do they taste as good? YES they do.

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The flavors are different, but in my opinion, both bars are delicious. This Kirkland bar had some major chocolate chunkage which I am all about. They actually tasted a bit fresher to me too…which I don’t even know how to describe to you, but it was a good thing.

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The nutrition facts are very similar to Quest bars too:

  • calories: 190
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Carbs: 22 grams
  • Fiber: 15 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram

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So, these Kirkland bars (at least this flavor), are a win. They are significantly cheaper than other bar (for example, Quest bars are about $2.40 a bar depending on where you buy them), taste great, and have good nutrition stats.

Will I buy again? YES!

I haven’t tried the brownie flavor yet, but once I do, I will post a review on that one too!

 

Have you tried these bars? What did you think? What’s your go-to protein bar?

Grocery Budget Challenge: Take 1

Hey guys! Sorry about the major lack of posts lately. I go out of town (in this case, back in March?), then fall out of the habit of posting regularly. I’ve been meaning to before today, but to be totally honest, have just been lazy. Typing on a computer? Ugh. So much work (but not really).

My new goal is to post 3 times a week on the same three themes. Right now I’m thinking 1.) eating healthy on a budget, 2.) a food review (like, a new protein bar, for example), and 3.) a recipe. What do you think? If you guys have suggestions on posts you’d like to see, I would love to know what you think!! Gotta give the people what they want :).

 

 

Anyway, let’s talk about grocery budgets. Or in my case, lack thereof.

Ugh, where do I begin? I’ve followed a budget for groceries before but always fall off the wagon. I’ll be honest here, I never grew up understanding budgeting and definitely didn’t follow one in college. So, my “adult years” have been a little inconsistent when it comes to spending.

At this point in my life, I spend the most on food. Should I be embarrassed about that? Gone are the days when clothes and makeup made up the pit that my money would fall into…now it’s food. But food is awesome so nope, no shame here.

Of course, food can and DOES add up quickly. Especially when you start shopping at places like Costco or Sam’s Club. You have to have a budget for those places otherwise the money just vanishes. Or you can take my approach and steer clear of them unless you really need something (my approach for now).

Average Food Budgets for American Families: 

For someone like me, who really doesn’t know how much is considered “a lot” when it comes to food budgets, it’s great to know what a typical family spends on food per week. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) actually posts a breakdown of the average individual and families cost of food at home by week and month.

My family is a family of four with two kids- 2 and 4. Under this group, here is the breakdown of average food costs at home per week (info was from February 2015):

  • Thrifty Plan– $131.00 per week
  • Low-Cost Plan-$167.30
  • Moderate-Cost Plan– $207.10
  • Liberal Plan-$256.50

(Here is a link to that page).

Just looking at these numbers, I believe we would (or could) fall into the Moderate-Cost Plan. We eat most of our meals at home or pack lunches, so we should be able to pull this off.

My Current Situation

My current “budget” for grocery shopping is…I have no budget. True Life: I’m 32, a mother of two, and have no grocery budget (does anyone else miss that MTV show True Life? True Life: I have calf implants..ha! Maybe they still have it… I donno..again, I’m 32).

My guess on how much I spend weekly on groceries is probably around $300. Some weeks more, some less. That is only groceries. So, you can see that we go above and beyond liberal.

Of course, what you spend on groceries depends on your personal income. Without getting into too many details, I will say $300 ish a week, is too much. We could and need to shave that down.

The real issue for me is just keeping track of where the money goes. Instead of going to the store and buying whatever catches my eye, therefore spending who knows how much, keeping track will give me and my family a good idea of spending, budgeting, and self control.

My Weekly Grocery Budget Goal:

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My NEW goal for groceries only is $200. Two hundred dollars for a family of four (2 small kids). That’s basically the moderate-cost plan.

I could do this the hard way: show up, buy some stuff, and whatever amount is left for the week will have to get us through. Or, what I assume is the easier way: take an inventory of food we have (hello, pantry!), plan out meals for the week, shop accordingly.

For now, I’m only going to shop at our local store-NO Costco. Costco is another beast for another day. Baby steps.

I’ll update you next week with how the week went! Anyone want to join me on this budget challenge?

Do you stick to a grocery budget? Any good tips??