Monday, November 15, 2010

Good Bye...

Those of you who have followed the blog for a while have probably noticed I've been slowing way down on posting.  For a long time, Christina and I shared the blogging duties.  Around the time I started questioning whether I wanted to continue with the blog, Christina decided that she was done.  I wasn't ready to make the decision yet, and continued. 

I could tell you how busy life is - I've got three kids, I do all the business accounting/office work for my husband's businesses, cooking, cleaning - blah, blah, blah. We all lead busy lives!  The reality is that we are all able to fit in what we prioritize, and honestly, I've just lost my love of blogging.  At least on a savings level.

I enjoyed it for a long time, and hope that I've inspired some of you to save money while going organic.  Thanks to all of you who have commented, emailed and made me feel like I wasn't posting into the wind!

I will continue to be a drop site for Azure Standard, use coupons, and find creative ways to feed my family as Natural and Organic as possible on a budget.

Thanks again, everyone.....good bye 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekly Menu Plan

Between picking up and dealing with 40 lbs of chicken breasts tomorrow, volunteering at my son's school, and taking off to the beach for the last half of the week (my son is off school), this week is going to be busy!

My husband and I have also recently started P90X.  I've been working out with Wii Fit for the past year, and wanted to step it up a bit.  I'm still processing how to work a lower carb menu into place.  I normally just eat what I want, when I want, and that definitely does not include much protein!  I'm a high carb kinda girl. 

So for the first time, I have made a complete weekly menuYep, breakfast, snacks (2), lunch and dinner.  I'm hoping having a whole plan in place will help so that we're not constantly thinking about what to eat.  (I didn't include it here, because I didn't want to bore you.  haha! ) 

Monday:  Feta & Kale Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

Tuesday:  BBQ Chicken, Green Beans, Basmati Rice

Wednesday:  Salsa Chicken & Black Bean Soup

Thursday:  Fish Tacos

Friday:  Chicken Kabobs, Basmati Rice, Ginger Slaw  (I'm seriously in love with the dressing on the slaw right now!)
Saturday:  Dinner with family


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Azure order for November

For those of you who are interested in ordering from Azure this month, the order cut off date will be Tuesday, November 16th with a pick up date of Thursday, November 18th.

My drop site number is 619367.  Feel free to contact me if you need more information!


New Seasons 11/3 - 11/9

Annie's Homegrown Mac and Cheese  $1
Use $.75/2 tearpad found in Fred Meyer a couple months ago
Final Price:  $.63 each WYB 2

Kettle Foods Low-Fat Baked Potato Chips  $1.99
Use $1 mfq
Final Price:  $.99

Spectrum Naturals Extra Virgin Olive Oil  $9.99

Oregon Chai Chai Tea Concentrate  $2.99
Use $1 mfq found by product at New Seasons recently
Final Price:  $1.99

Organic Baby Organic Baby Food  $.59

Bulk Organic Golden Flax Seeds  $1.99/lb

Bulk Organic Pinto Beans  $1.19/lb

Bulk Organic Yellow Popcorn  $1.19/lb

Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin Puree  $1.50

Cascadian Farm Organic Fruit Spreads  $2.99
Use $1 mfq in Healthy Clippings booklet
Final Price:  $1.99

New Morning Organic Graham Crackers  $3.99

Rapunzel Organic Yeast, Corn Starch or Baking Cocoa  25% off

Simply Organic Organic Bottled Spices  50% off

Traditional Medicinals Teas  $3.50
Use $1 mfq in Naturally Preferred mag (found in Fred Meyer)
Final Price:  $2.50

Woodstock Farms Organic Peanut Butter  $3.99
Use $1 mfq in Healthy Clippings booklet
Final Price:  $2.99

Wilcox Family Farms Organic Jumbo Brown Eggs  $3.50

Bulk Organic Unrefined Sugar  $1.29/lb

New Seasons Market Spicy Italian Pork Sausage Links  $2.99/lb

ProduceOrganic Fuji Apples  $.99/lb

Organic Pomegranates  $2

Organic Broccoli  $1.29/lb

Organic Kale  $1.50


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fred Meyer 10/31 - 11/6

Bulk Almonds  $2.99/lb
*great price!

Imagine Foods Organic Soup or Broth  $2.50

Starbucks Coffee  $6.99  (organic variety available)
Use $1 mfq
Final Price:  $5.99

Bob's Red Mill 5lb Flour  $2.50

Naturally Preferred Organic Eggs  $3.49

5 lb box Satsuma Mandarins  $4.77  (not clean 15, but not dirty dozen)

Jumbo Cabbage  $.19/lb  (clean 15)

Private Selection Organic Salad  $2.50

Oceanspray Fresh Whole Cranberries  12oz   $2
(these freeze great)

Organic Anjou or Bartlett Pears  $.98/lb


Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekly Menu Plan

Monday:  Roasted Sausages with Apples, Potatoes & Cider Cream Sauce, Green Salad

Tuesday:  Broiled Halibut with Ginger-Lime Butter, Basmati Rice, Green Salad

Wednesday:  Spaghetti, Green Salad

Thursday:  Parmesian Risotto

Friday:  Homemade Pizza

Saturday:  Dinner Out


Spicy Black Bean Cakes

When making my menu plan for the week, I generally include 1 to 2 vegetarian meals a week.  We really like vegetarian meals, plus it is often healthier and allows our grocery budget to stretch much further! 

I ran across this recipe for Spicy Black Bean Cakes at New Seasons this Summer, and it is now one of our favorite vegetarian meals.  They are easy, healthy, filling, and you can make a double batch and freeze the extra for later.  They are kind of like a homemade Veggie Burger.  For the kids, I either omit the jalapenos altogether or just add them to the portion reserved for my husband and I.

We eat them plain topped with Lime Sour Cream, but you could also add some buns and make them into burgers.

Spicy Black Bean Cakes
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1-2 jalapenos, finely chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 cans black beans
1 large sweet potato, peeled and finely grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
Lime Sour Cream*

Heat the broiler.  In a small skillet over medium heat, warm 1 Tbsp of oil.  Cook scallions until softened, 1 minute.  Add garlic, jalapeno and cumin and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Transfer to a bowl.

Add beans to the bowl and mash with a fork, leaving about 1/4 of the beans whole.  Season with salt and pepper.

Fold in sweet potato, egg and bread crumbs.  Divide into 8 balls of equal size; flatten into patties (try to make them into equal thickness so that they will cook uniformly.  I like them to be a bit thicker).  Brush a baking sheet with remaining oil.

Place patties on the sheet, 1/2" apart.  Broil 4" from heat until golden brown, 8-10 minutes (sometimes less, watch closely!).  Using a thin metal spatula, carefully turn the cakes.  Broil until crisp, 2-3 minutes more. 
(Warning:  Watch your patties closely!  I've burned a couple batches when I didn't watch them close enough.)

*Lime Sour Cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 small jalapeno finely chipped

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Season with salt to taste.

To Freeze:
Freezing is easy!  When you get to forming the mix into 8 balls, line a cookie sheet with wax paper and flatten the balls into patties.  Stick them into the freezer until frozen, then stack on top of each other in a Zip Lock bag. 

To Cook from Frozen:
Take out desired amount of patties.  Let them sit out for a little while until the sides are just starting to soften or defrost in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  Proceed with normal broiling instructions.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Seasons 10/26 - 11/2

R.W. Knudsen Cider & Spice  $1.99  ($1.69 Happy Valley location only)
Use $.75 mfq in Healthy Clippings booklet
Final Price:  $.94 or $1.24

Cascadian Farm Organic Cereal  $3
Use $1 mfq in Healthy Clippings booklet
Final Price:  $2

Method Cleaning Products 25% off
Use $1 mfq
Final Price:  varies

Organic Pumpkin Seeds  $6.99/lb

New Seasons Market Ginger-Pear Turkey Sausage Links  $3.99/lb

Local Organic Winter Squash  $.79/lb

Local Organic Celery  $.79/lb

Local Organic Honeycrisp Apples  $1.99/lb

Oregon's own Vincent Fresh Cranberries  $2.99

B&T Homeopathic First Aid Creams  50% off

Buffalo Bill's Brewery Pumpkin Ale  $6.49


Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekly Menu Plan

This week is a busy one for me, and on top of that, I woke up not feeling that great.  I am pulling my menu plan from things I have in my freezer to make it easier on myself.

Monday:  BBQ Turkey Meatballs in the crock pot, Mashed Potatoes, Spinach Salad

Tuesday:  Dinner with Family

Wednesday:  Spicy Black Bean Cakes, Lime Sour Cream, Green Salad

Thursday:  Leftovers  (girl's night for me!)

Friday:  Diner Out

Saturday:  Harvest Party at our house!  I'm still working on the menu...


Friday, October 22, 2010

My October Azure Order

This month, I really didn't need much.  But then I noticed a few great deals on produce.  Then I found a few things I wanted to try, and then, since I was so close to the $50 minimum, I threw in a few extra things to bring my total up. 

You know how that is, right? 

20lb box  Organic Bartlett Pears  $14.13  ($.72/lb!)
5lbs  Organic Russett Potatoes  $3.30  ($.66/lb!)
4  12oz packs  Organic Corkscrew Pasta  $10
4oz  bottle  Organic Pure Vanilla Extract  $4.25
12oz bottle Organic Agave Syrup  $3.85
1 bottle  Organic Chocolate Syrup  $3.50
3 packets  Simply Organic Alfredo Sauce mix  $1.45 each
Final Price:  $43.55

(I also ordered organic black beans, but they were out of stock.)

I was pretty stoked to get the organic potatoes for such a good price.  I normally pay $1/lb at Fred Meyer.  I've also been meaning to make my own vanilla, but since I was out, and the make-your-own process takes 6 months, I was very happy with the $4.25 price tag.

On another note, the pears are not quite ripe.  Does anyone know the best way to ripen a few at a time? 


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Seasons 10/20 - 10/26

Garden Of Eatin' Tortilla Chips  $3.99
Use $1 mfq
Final Price:  $2.99

Napa Valley Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil  $9.99

Woodstock Farms Organic Butter  $3.99

Wilcox Family Farms Cage-Free Brown Eggs  $2.69

Organic Quick Rolled Oats  $.69/lb
*Close to Azure's price of $.65/lb (in 25lb quantity)!

Organic Sunflower Seeds  $2.99/lb

Pacific Village Air-Chilled Chicken Bone-in Breast Halves  $2.99/lb

Local Organic Crimini Mushrooms  $2.99/lb

Local Organic Red Peppers  $2.99/lb
*Not as good of a deal as last week, but still a great price for organic

Organic Green Beans  $1.99/lb


Monday, October 18, 2010

A little info on GMO foods...

**Ack!  I'm so sorry!  I was working on this post, but accidentally scheduled it without realizing it before it was done.  The links are working now.  

Understanding organic, natural, genetically modified or GMO terms is overwhelming and frustrating at the same time. It can be easy to throw the terms around without really understanding them. But then, understanding them can also be frustrating because knowledge carries a weight with it. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, right?

I'm the kind of person who likes to learn new things and be informed. I thought maybe some of you would like to understand more about genetically modified foods and why some people try to stay away from it. 

I want to say that this is very basic information.  There is lots more out there.  I've included some links to get you started researching more about GMO foods for yourselves.

  • Monsanto Corp. has a patent on genetically modified seeds. Currently 91% of soy and 87% of corn grown in the USA come from GMO seeds. There is litigation pending on GMO alfalfa seeds and GMO beet sugar.
  • The seeds are genetically modified to survive being sprayed with round up weed killer. Basically everything dies except the plants.
  • Go HERE to read more about Monsano Corp.  (Scroll down a bit and you will see lots of news stories including their bullying tactics of small family farms).
I've been able to find two GMO guides. I like this one HERE because it is much more specific on the brands and products under the brands that we use every day that are or are not GMO-free. Check out this one HERE as well. This one focuses more information on ingredients to avoid as well as hidden GMO ingredient sources like baking powder.

One well known GMO additive is the controversial Bovine Growth Hormone (rBHG), a transgenic hormone injected into cows to increase milk yield, and may be found in non-organic milk products including milk, cheeses and yoghurts. Both Canada and the European Union has outlawed the use of Bovine Growth Hormone (rBHG).
The True Food Now Network reports that, “In cows treated with rBGH , significant health problems often develop, including a 50% increase in the risk of lameness (leg and hoof problems), over a 25% increase in the frequency of udder infections (mastitis), and serious animal reproductive problems, i.e., infertility, cystic ovaries, fetal loss and birth defects”.
If you are struggling with infertility or food allergies, I would encourage you to research the possible GMO link.

Here are a few more GMO informational guides:
GMO guide
another gmo guide


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fred Meyer: Founder's Day Anniversary Sale!

October 17 - 22 is Fred Meyer's Founder's Day sale.  Get ready for some awesome deals!  For those of you who have signed up for their email list, watch out for an email containing a coupon for triple rewards points!
Here are the Natural/Organic deals I see from the ad preview.  There are also some great deals on toys, if you are already thinking of Christmas  :)

Tillamook Cheese $3.99 with in ad coupon  (limit 1)

Tillamook Yogurt  $.30  with in ad coupon  (limit 20)

Tillamook Ice Cream  $2.50 with in ad coupon

Organic Apples & Pears  $.78/lb
*Stock UP! 

Clif Bars  $.79

Amy's Kitchen  save 40%

Traditional Medicines  BOGO

Organic Valley Milk  save 30%

Nature's Path  save 30%

Seventh Generation  save 50%
Use $1/1 mfq

Bob's Red Mill products  save 40%

Challenge Butter  $2.50 
(made from rBST free milk)

Organic Lighthouse Dressing  BOGO
Use  $1/2 mfq
Final Price:  varies

Athenos Hummus or Pita Chips  $1.50


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Seasons 10/13 - 10/19

This is a great week at New Seasons!  The new Healthy Clippings coupon booklets are out.  Find them at check out or ask for them at Customer Servie.

New Seasons Market Butter  $2.50

Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes  $.99
Use $1 mfq in Healthy Clippings booklet
Final Price:  FREE

R.W. Knudsen Organic Juice   $2.50
Use  $.75 mfq in Healthy Clippings booklet
Final Price:  $1.75

Simply Organic Organic Seasoning Packets  $.79
Use  $.50/2 HERE
Final Price:  $.54 each WYB 2

Woodstock Farms Organic Peanut Butter  $2.99

Frontier Organic, Fair-Trade Spices  35% off
Use $1 mfq in Healthy Clippings booklet
Final Price:  varies

Pacific Natural Foods Natural Broth  $1.50
Use $1/2 HERE
Final Price:  $1 each WYB 2

Newman's Own Organics Organic Newman O's Cookies  $2.50

Tillamook Sour Cream  $1.50
(look for the 'natural' variety for the least amount of ingredients)

Tillamook Ice Cream  $2.99

Cascadian Farm Organic French Fries  $1.99
Use $1 mfq in Healthy Clippings booklet
Final Price:  $.99

Cascadian Farm Organic Frozen Fruit  $2.50
Use $1 mfq in Healthy Clippings booklet
Final Price:  $1.50

Pacific Village Air-Chilled Whole Fryer  $.99/lb

Country Natural Beef 10% or Less Fat Ground Beef  $2.99/lb

Cooked Oregon Shrimp Meat  $2.99/lb

Country Natural Beef Boneless Chuck Roast  $2.99/lb
Local Organic Fuji Apples  $.79/lb
*awesome price!
Organic Red, Green or Black Grapes  $1.49/lb
Organic Carrots  $.79/lb
Local Organic Red Peppers  $1.99/lb
*awesome price for organic
Organic Valencia Oranges  $.59/lb


Monday, October 11, 2010

October is Non-GMO Month!

Did you know that genetically modified foods (GMO) are banned in Europe? 

Want to learn more about GMO's and how to avoid them? 

Go HERE to view some informational videos.  Great information!