For All You Gardeners Out There

First year gardener here.  My parents planted a large and delicious garden for many years while I grew up, but this is my very first year planting one myself.  It’s one great way for us to save money on produce and we’re even thinking about selling it to friends too!

Not sure we will need this for the garden itself – maybe more so for my flowers – but Costco has this huge bag of organic potting soil for only $9.99!

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Stocking Up is Worth It

Lately I’ve put blogging on the back burner.  The weather has started to finally improve and we’ve been enjoying it as much as we can.  Not only are we busy enjoying the nice weather, but getting ready for baby who is due in 3 weeks!  Spring cleaning, baking and cooking, prepping bedrooms and finishing renos has kept up on our toes.

This month even though we originally wanted to try to stick with our $350 budget, we decided to add to it since we are preparing for Chloe’s third birthday party and a baby: we figured $550 should be enough.  A tip from a friend sent me to Costco this week to stock up on items that were on my long-term “buy when on sale” list.

We filled up our cart for under $200 and this will last awhile:

Angies Boom Chicka Pop Organic Popcorn x2: $5.99 – $2 sale = $7.98
Taste of Nature Organic Granola Bars: $17.99 – $3.60 sale = $14.39
Organic Coconut Sugar: $10.99 – $2.50 = $8.49
Nature’s Bakery GMO-Free Fig Bars (they raised the price) = $9.49
Coconut Oil x2: $19.99 – $4.50 sale = $30.98
SoGood Organic Coconut Milk (6 x 1L) =$10.99 – $2.50 = $8.49
Angies Tri-Coloured Popping Corn x2: $10.99 – $3.00 = $7.99
Organic Ketchup (2 x 1L): $7.99
Frozen organic Strawberries (1.5kg): $6.99
Organic chickens (2 pack): $28.71
Frozen organic peas: $7.99
Mary’s organic/gf crackers: $6.99
Cheerios (Cheerios Original is now non-GMO!): $6.99 – $2.00 = $4.99
Kraft Parmesan (*one of the only non-organic/non-GMO things we bought): $10.99 – $2.50 = $8.49
Coke (32 pack.  *I could not lift it onto the table.): $9.33

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$178.40

Here is the flyer for Western Costco shoppers.  For a price list of organic, GMO-free and natural foods you can find at Costco, click here.  I keep editing this list as prices and products change.

 

Making Your Own Snacks Saves You Money – My Protein Ball Recipe

When trying to save money on organic foods, stay away from the organic snack aisle (for the most part).  One delicious treat I absolutely love to make is protein balls.  They are cheap, easy and depending what you put in them, can be really good for you!

Recently I used almond butter instead of peanut butter as my main protein ingredient and it turned out AMAZING!  Here’s my recipe:

1/4 cup honey (or 1/8 cup maple syrup)
1/2 heaping cup almond butter
1/2 cup whole oats1 tbsp cocoa
1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
Crushed freeze dried banana (this works great) (optional)
Handful of mini chocolate chips
Hemp seed

Mix all the ingredients (except the hemp) together.  I like mine to be a bit stickier because then they are a bit chewier.

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Chill for about 1 hour then roll into balls.  Roll balls in hemp seed.  Keep chilled and store in a ziplock bag.

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Now, these are not very “clean” to take on the go, so what I did was mix the hemp seed with the rest of the ingredients and baked them into a bar as well!  Press flat (however thick you prefer) into a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes at 350C.  Cut into bars and wrap in saran wrap or store in ziplock bags.  Freeze to keep them fresh and pull out when you need one for on the go! 

I daresay these delicious treat are tastier than some cookies!  They are certainly a must have for me once our baby arrives.

(I’ll post a picture of the bars once they come out of the oven).

 

When Things Get Tight, Do You Compromise?

I do.

While I absolutely believe eating organic/free-from foods are a better and healthier choice, I will not put our family in the poor house by doing this.  This month we have a lot of big expenses, and as we get closer to the birth of baby #3, there are a few additional expenses that will incur.  So this month, we’re compromising a little bit (but those are organic apples!).

This week’s Superstore shop included:

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$1.15 after coupons, superbucks and a PC Points $20 redemption.

 

First Grocery Shopping Trips of April!

Last week was insanely busy, so I’m sorry this is posted late!  What with spring cleaning and nesting for a baby due in 5 weeks, my blogging has unfortunately taken a back seat :S  Anyways, here it is!

I wanted to go to Superstore while I still had a few days left in March, because we needed milk and I wanted to use up my expiring Dairyland Organic Milk coupons.  So we headed over on March 29 for our first “April” grocery foods trip.

That week they were offering 25,000 PC Points when you spend $250 in-store.  We not only bought what was on our food grocery items list for the week, but we also bought a few other non-food items which brought us to $250.

The trip to Superstore was intense.  My kids were really awesome but in the end we got the slowest moving line, the kids decided to get into styrofoam while we were checking out (and throw it all over the place yelling “SNOW!”) so by the time I got home I was too exhausted to feed them a late lunch, arrange my groceries for a blog picture, then put them away.  So here’s a list of what we bought instead:

Black Diamond block cheese (700g) $7.98 x 2 = $15.96
Kettle GMO-Free Potato Chips (same price as Lays this week) – 2/$5
Schwepps Gingerale 12 pk case (I’m still nauseous off and on so this is good to have) – $4 – $2cpn = $2Smoked Oysters $1.48 x 4 = $5.92 – $1 x 2 cpns = $3.92
Maple Syrup (I have bought this at Costco before but it’s the same price so why not reward myself) – $12.99
Oasis organic apple juice boxes – $1.64 x 2 – $0.75 x 2 cpns = $1.78
Liberte Mediterranean Lime Dessert Yogurt (500g) – $2.97
Iogo tubes (8x60g) $2.48 x 2 – $1 x 2 cpns = $2.96

Dairyland Organic Milk (price matched with the Save on Foods Flyer) $7.99 – $1 cpn = $6.99
Organic mushrooms (454g) – $2.48
Organic bananas$1.70
Bolthouse Blue Smoothie – $3.97
Free-from pork backribs x 2 + 4200 PC Points = $21.63
PC Hummus $4.79 – 50% clearance = $2.39
Pillers Simply Free Roasted Turkey Breast Deli Meat $3.98 – 50% clearance – $0.75 cpn + 500 PC points= $1.24

Total Superstore food-grocery spending = $87.98 (before taxes and deposits)
Total PC Points =29,800

On Tuesday we hit up Costco and Safeway for a few needed items.  Here are the food grocery items from Costco:

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Organic tomato sauce$8.99
Fruit Source Bars – $19.89 – $4 sale = $15.89
Cream cheese – $7.49 – $2 sale = $5.49/each  (We use A LOT of cream cheese here and this price was too good to pass up).
Organic coconut oil$18.99

Clearly not everything is organic, but when we can’t/don’t buy something organic, we try to keep it as real/whole as possible.

Total Costco Spending = $55.64

We hadn’t gone to Safeway in a while, but decided to last week because it was 10% off Tuesday, they had a 50% off store specific coupon for Huggies diapers which could be combined with my manufacturer coupons!  With soon to be three in diapers I need to stay on top of diaper savings (you should see my stash!  It’s HUGE!).  In order to get the 10% off we had to spend $50, so we bought a few items we needed right away.  Before the month started, my husband asked if I could “please, please” buy him Safeway bread because it’s his favorite, so I did.  Next month we will try Cobs.  Again, this was another hurried trip so I didn’t have time to take a photo when we got home, but here’s what we got:

Spitz Seeds (227g) x 2 = $5.78
4L Organic Milk
$7.99
Huggies diapers (27ct and 31ct) x 2 – 50% store coupon – $1.50 cpn – $3 cpn = $11.23
* (I do not include diapers in the food grocery budget so it will not be included in the total at the bottom).
12 bakery buns – $2.40
Bakery raisin bread x 2 -50% clearance = $3.49Whole wheat bakery bread x 6 – 50% clearance x 1 = $8.44
French bread – $1.89
Strawberries (not organic this time) 2lbs x 2 = $4.99
In-store fresh spinach dip – $6.58

Total spending at Safeway (includes GST and minus 10%) = $36.28

The Organic Box

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Week 1

Total spending with The Organic Box (cost includes the entire month) = $110.00

Total April food grocery spending so far: $345.90

 

Frugal Friday Finds! Vol. 7.

Don’t bother looking through the following flyers, because I did it for you.  Here’s what I found so far this week:

Rexall

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Glutino has a section on their website where they ask you specifically if you want a coupon from them!

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Kashi

Safeway
They no longer have a rewards card!

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Not organic, but a good price for cheese!

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Sometimes if you get there early in the morning you can get this bread for 50% off. Check the clearance rack.

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Lactantia usually has tearpad coupons that come out: $2 when you buy 2.

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Gluten-free living

Save-on-Foods
If you’re shopping at this store, don’t forget to bring your rewards card.
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There are sometimes coupons for this product.

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Organic tortilla chips!

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Coupons come out for this product all the time.

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Still cheaper at Costco

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Organic shampoo! I’ve never tried it because I love Live Clean shampoo.

Sobeys
If you’re shopping at this store, don’t forget to bring your rewards card

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Decent price

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Not organic, but really good deal on butter and bacon!

Superstore
If you’re shopping at this store, don’t forget to bring your rewards card

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Many people I know are getting this PC Points offer this week. Take advantage of it!

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Not organic, but a good price for vitamins. There are insert coupons available for these.

Target

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These are the flyer deals I found this week.  If you see any more or any in-store specials, let me know!

My PC Plus Points This Week!

Every Thursday morning I enjoy sitting with my cup of coffee to go through my flyers and check out my PC Plus points.  This week two of my favorite rewards (among many others I will use) were sent to me!

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I love this offer and if I have it in the budget will stock up on as much natural items as I can!  This is only the second time I’ve received this as a personal offer and I can’t wait to plan my shopping trip for the week!

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Here’s another favorite of mine which I actually get quite frequently.  Sometimes I can’t use it because it’s not in the budget or we don’t have needs for it, BUT a few of my friends just had babies so I’m going to take advantage of this offer to earn points for free groceries while at the same time buying my friends baby gifts!