Monday, January 11, 2010

Friends and Foes

Ok, so I have mentioned in the title that these are "lean times". The economy sucks right now, and my personal economy is in the crapper. So I am really doing my best to eat healthy on a smaller budget than I used to. Gone are the days of going out to dinner a few nights a week, shopping at premium grocery stores, buying convenience foods like precut veggies and fruits. I can't believe what I used to spend on the pineapple chunks and the cut watermelon in the produce section. I am actually ashamed. I am ashamed because it took a bad economy to make me realize how wasteful I was. I now totally embrace bulk stores like Costco, Kirkland products are so high 1 year old drank the baby formula when he was an infant and still wears the diapers. We buy our meats and fish there, divide them into smaller portions and put them in freezer bags for defrosting as needed. The environmentally friendly laundry detergent and softener pretty much rock. I have also decided I love the larger volume of annoying did it used to be when I would run out of certain items (like toilet paper for example) more often and had to run out to the store? That never happens now.

And Walmart...ok don't attack me just yet. I didn't used to be a big fan of Walmart. They were one of the "big guys"... based on what I had read I didn't think they were the greatest of employers, for employing so many people. And before I actually went there, I had the impression that their stuff was of lesser quality. Not to mention the two closest stores to my home (up until recently) were always crowded and made for a less pleasurable shopping experience. But when I lost my job in the mortgage business 2 years ago, I needed to cut corners in a big way. In addition to cancelling my premium TV channels, I started shopping at Walmart. Its got all the regular stuff Walmart has, plus a grocery store. About 6 months ago a new one was built 2 minutes from my home. It is brand new, never crowded and I just LOVE it. I purchased my reusable grocery sacks and I am in that place no less than once a week. Its great for the basics, bread, milk eggs, yogurt, coffee creamer, cereal, butter, baby food...they may not have as many choices as my former grocery store, but frankly it makes my life simpler. I am in and out of that place in under a half hour. The prices are so low, I can't afford not to shop there!

Especially with my husband working a lot of nights, it doesn't make sense to spend money on a ton of fresh veggies each week like we used to. They just go to waste because I can't eat them all and he's not here to help. I have discovered that frozen veggies are easy, taste great, have high nutritional value, and don't need to be eaten in a week. My new FRIEND is Green Giant Just-for-One. Again, I am not a calorie counter or formal dieter but the box boasts -0- Weight Watchers points. I am all about that! I ate the broccoli with cheese sauce at dinner tonight can't complain about veggies that are done in 2.5 minutes and tastes so good!

I did buy some diet hot chocolate mix that I thought would be a good sweet treat from time to time. I have bought sugar free hot chocolate in the past that was really good and hit the spot at minimal calories. Ok, the diet one is NOT good. I am going to throw the whole box out. I will go so far as to say its nasty. So that is my FOE this week...don't want to disparrage anyone so won't mention names but let me know if you want the info! Yuck. I am drinking some good green tea right now as my dessert. A little milk in it and I'm pretending to be at Starbucks. :)

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