Friday, December 10, 2010

Hot Sephora Deal: NARS Lip Stain/Lip Gloss Duo has NARS Lip Stain/Lip Gloss Duo for only $10 and is reguraly $36. If you like this stuff stock up. You should have also received an email if you are a Beauty Insider for a $15 gift certificate (min. $40 purchase) and free deluxe sample of Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder and a mini brush. They have a lot of holiday deals right now.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Holiday Craze

When I was elementary aged all I wanted for Christmas were Cabbage Patch Kids. That's right plural. My birthday is also during the Holiday season so I expected to get several. I was spoiled and I always got several. This year the hot item seems to be Zhu Zhu pets. I have no idea what they are why they are coveted. I have got a deal for you I found on iheartcvs. There is a BOGO and a B2G1 deal. When you combine them together you can get 4 for the price of one. Let me make it clear how this works.

$9.99 ZhuZhu
+ $0 ZhuZhu
+ $9.99 ZhuZhu
+ $0 ZhuZhu
-$9.99 coupon

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Giant Food 12/3-12/9

Here is what is mostly fresh, mostly healthy, and inexpensive at Giant.

$4.77 Sweet Seedless Clementine’s (5lb Box)
.88lb Broccoli Crowns or Bunches
.79lb Kale
$1 Giant Canned Tomato (28oz)
$1.67 Giant Apple Sauce (six pack)

Possibly Healthy*
B1G1 Pork Tenderloin
.99lb Suger G Whole Chickens
$1 San Giorgio Pasta

Not So Healthy
B1G1 Hormel Bacon

*Since we do not know the source of these meats I have listed them as possibly healhty because they may have additives and hormones. I'm still in the process of figuring out if my household wants to switch completly over to hormone and antibiotic free meat exclusively. I have not done enough research on the impact of consuming these types of products. For now we are getting all natural stuff 90% of the time. We just don't want to spend more for some new marketing gimmic. We are concerned with actual health benefits. Since this blog is for everyone I will continue to list all types of deals but make it clearer what I consider to be health promoting.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Knitting Newbie

About five years ago I met a wonderful woman named Sauinell Nichole. She was a software engineer by day and knitter by night. We would go out to dinner or a party and I would ask whre she got that scarf or sweater and she made all of them. I consider myself to be daft when it comes to hand eye coordination so I never asked her how to knit. I just convinced her to make me a vest.

Well this summer Groupon had a nice deal on a beginner knit class from Stitch DC. I learned to make a scarf and hat. I made the scarf right away but the hat I just got around to. Neither one of them is perfect but I think they are great for my first pieces. The hat has some unintended details but it actually looks intentional.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It takes a brush to make a great face.

As you have figured out by now every three months or so I have a new obsession. Right now it's make-up. My skin is currently not becoming of me so I have worked my CVS and Youtube magic to get some great finds at great prices. What I learned is that it is less about the product and more about the application. What you really need are great brushes. I was using the same makeup as some of the youtube superstars but not getting the same results. After hours of video watching I became convinced I needed brushes but didn't want to invest and I wasn't too sure about eyeslipface $1 line of brushes. Yeah I am becoming high maintenance.

The foundation brush I have now is from Studio and I got it at Walgreens at the retail price of $6.50. I bought that because I was impatient and wanted to see if using a real brush would help me. Well it really did help. I now get great coverage from my drugstore brand liquid foundation. Also didn't need a $32 brush from MAC. According to youtube I need several brushes to get the eyes, cheeks, and lips that I want. Today I ventured over to HauteLook for the first time and they have a set of 15 NYX brushes for $54(retail $99). According to Youtube and these are great quality brushes. Here is a little round up of what I am using for now as I sit and ponder a brush purchase.

Revlon PhotoReady Foundation: Goes on light and provides full coverage without looking made up. I personally use the Rich Ginger sade. It covers all my imperfections. The problem is that I still have some dry patches and it doesn't work so well and those areas. $13.99

MAC Blot Powder: I'm not really sure what this is doing or not doing for me the jury is still out. I bought this probably five years ago but I used it maybe three times a year.

Smashbox PhotoFinish Primer: I got this as free gift from Sephora. It provides a light silky base and seems to make my foundation last longer. However I need to find a more economical product when this sample runs out. $16-$49

Studio Foundation and Concealer Brush: This double sided beauty does the coverage trick. It can leave streaks at first but just keep blending until they disappear.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Leapfrog Deal

With four great nieces/nephews it is time I get on the ball and start shopping for the holidays. Today I got a great deal thanks to the Krazy Coupon Lady. Target has the Leapfrog Tag Books for $9.99 and BOG0! But wait there are two coupons that could help you get it for free.

Buy 2 for $9.99
Use Two $5/1 coupons

Although using two of the exact same coupons is legal, (as long as it obtained legally) some cashiers may question you. You can use this $3 coupon with much less hassle.

Target also has a $10 off the starter system in their online coupon section. So for $29.99 I got the Leapfrog Tag system plus two books. I think I'm going to go back tomorrow and get two more free books for an excellent gift.

Friday, November 19, 2010


So here is a little coupon round-up from the interwebs. Enjoy and let me know if you have others.

American Apparel via
$50 of stuff for $25. I don't really shop there but you might. It's an online groupon so anyone can use it.

11/18 through Sunday 11/21, Buy 1 holiday drink and get 1 Free automatically between 2-5:00 PM! You don't even need a coupon. How cool is that?

AMF Bowling Centers

$20 bowling for 4 people

New York & Company
They are having a Buy 1 Get 1 50% off everything sale.
Coupon for $25 off a purchase of $75 or more. Redeem through November 22nd.!lc4prk+uJA0FBgIAAAAGCgFICgg3MzIyMjc3MAoKMzYwMDE2NjY2OAkARt2VCgk1NTUyNTgxMjgF?EAN=

Bath & Body Works
Print a coupon for a FREE Signature Collection travel size item with any purchase. Redeem through December 1st.


$10 off a $25 purchase

Ann Taylor Friends and Family

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Once again I've abandoned my blog

I feel bad that I didn't tell you guys how to get not 1 but 2 free tubes of toothpaste this week. I didn't get any either because it's 8:37pm and I wanted to get to CVS today but I will not make it before they close. To make matters worse we are actually running out of toothpaste and I might actually have to pay for it!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sales for the Little Ones

So many people in my life have little pooper scoopers now. So I wanted to help a few folks out with a list of this weeks baby sales.

Walmart Deals

Enfamil Premium Baby Formula, 12.5 oz. – $13.84

Gerber Good Start Gentle Plus Baby Formula, 12 oz. – $12.97

Similac Advance Baby Formula, 12.4 oz. – $13.17

Gerber Rice Cereal, 8 oz. – $1.77

$0.50/1 Gerber DHA & Probiotic Cereal All You Magazine Oct 2010 (found only at Walmart)

Pampers Wipes, 7 pk. – $11.98
$1/2 Pampers Boxed Diapers AND Pampers Wipes 8/15 RP

Huggies or Pampers Special Pack Diapers – $25
$1/2 Pampers Boxed Diapers AND Pampers Wipes 8/15 RP
$3/2 Huggies Little Snugglers or Little Movers
$2/1 Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers 9/26 SS

RiteAid Deals

Huggies, Pull-Ups or Goodnights $7.99
$2.00/1 Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers
9/26 SS
$3.00/1 Huggies Pure and Natural Diapers, 9/26 SS

CVS Deals

Huggies or Pampers Big Pack $19.99
$2.00/1 Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers 9/26 SS
$3.00/1 Huggies Pure and Natural Diapers, 9/26 SS


Buy 5 Pampers or Huggies Baby Wipes, Receive $5 Target Gift Card

Huggies Wipes, 448-504 ct $11.99

$0.75/1 – Huggies Baby Wipes, 64 ct or larger, target coupon – (

$2.00/1 – Huggies Baby Wipes, 320ct or larger – (

$2.50/3 – Huggies Baby Wipes, 64 ct or larger – (

Pampers Wipes, 420-504 ct $11.99
$2.00/1 Pampers Boxed Diapers and Wipes 8/15 RP
$2.00/1 Pampers Diaper,Pants or Wipes 8/29 PG

Sources: Bargain Briana, The Krazy Coupon Lady

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Possible Free Fage at Whole Food September 17th Only

Who doesn't love Fage Greek Yogurt? Well this Friday only Whole Foods Market has Fage on sale for $1 just for Friday only. They didn't specify the size when I was there buying hair stuff yesterday. The chalkboard said save .79 cents which probably means the 5.3 or 7oz cup. But if you go to Facebook and get a Fage $1 off coupon so that could make at least one of them free. I was able to do it twice so that's two free for me.

Giant Doublers

The ladies at Redemption Unlimited are reporting that there are Giant Doublers. If you have some the Barilla Piccolini becomes free.

Fresh and Healthy at Giant

Where have I been? Riding my bike and jogging. I have 12 sticks of butter to prove it. I've lost 3lbs and that's like losing the weight of 12 sticks of butter. I've also been cheating and letting someone else shop all will nilly at the new Yes! Organic. He's now had the "fish is expensive" moment and will simmer down and come back to my side. With that said let me tell you what to buy at Giant until September 16th (yeah hella late). If I don't get around to posting deals in the future please remember to visit the links in the sidebar.

$1.99/lb-Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
.99/lb-White Seedless Grapes
.99/lb-Broccoli Crowns
.99-Barilla Pasta ($1/2 8/29 SS)
$9.99-2lb Bag Frozen Jumbo Cooked Shrimp
$2.99-Nature's Promise Soy Nut Butter
$3.99-Cottonelle 6 Double Rolls (great price)

Remember you must scan your Giant card or key in your phone number to get these prices.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Decisions: I really want french toast

I am going to brunch today at Social 14 in Columbia Heights. I've looked over the menu from to find the best option given what I have to look forward to this week. I really want the Grand Marnier French Toast but there is one problem. I have no idea how to estimate the calories. It could have anywhere from 100-500 calories per slice. That's a huge range and today I am not willing to take the loss. I am not willing to undo all of my hard work in the gym this week over one indulgence. The thing is it could be low in calories (wishful thinking) but I won't know because I can't be sure if they use cream, how many eggs and how much butter. So I am going to have the crawfish Benedict which could have about the same amount of calories as the french toast but I can easily figure it out. Its really about knowing and not guessing on this one. On a different day when I have been eating fruits and berries and running marathons then I can have the french toast, just not today.

It's all about planning.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Impromptu Trip to Yes! Organic Market

We got a juicer! Eff Yeah! I have not been able to stop thinking about the beet lemonade from Stuff I Eat. I tried to make it with our old juicer but it had lots of cracks and a terrible design which made it hard to clean. We wanted a heavy duty juicer and for the past six months but we have been a little shy about spending so much money on a single appliance. Well thanks to those trusty 20% off coupons from Bed, Bath and Beyond we now have this beauty.

We were out of town this past weekend so we didn't go grocery shopping. So what were going to juice with our fly new juicer? Nothing it seemed. That's when I got the bright idea to go to the new Yes! Organic in Anacostia/Fairlawn. They have free parking so we slid right in. The prices are pretty mixed. Somethings I found to be cheaper than the regular store while other were quite expensive. I was annoyed that the red bell peppers were from Holland. There has to be a local or even US source for the peppers.

Red Pepper from Holland

Baby Spinach

Goat Cheese

But all organic food is not healthy. There is plenty of organic junk food. O'Griddle?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Mental Preparation

Last Sunday I was tricked into a 3o mile bike ride on the Mt. Vernon Trail. I was finally on my bike after nearly a year away. I was very weary and mentally committed to only doing about half the trail. Somehow my riding partners convinced me that I could do the entire thing. Punking out ceased to be an option. We did most of the trail before bonking on the way back due to extreme calorie deficiency. I had never rode over 10 miles thus I felt extremely accomplished. I felt high that I completed such a feat and assumed that it would result in a lower number of the scale that week.

Two days later I entered the room and got on the scale very confidently. I was up 1.4lbs and I shouted "No!" very loudly. I was on the verge of tears. I didn't understand how this could be. I was so moody and I proceeded to drown myself in a slice of vegan cake. I didn't want to hear any of the madness of "maybe it's muscle" or "keep trying." Really why should I keep trying if I was going to get the exact opposite results of what was intended?

Tomorrow I have to do this all over again but this time I'm using a different measure. I have to just do what I know is right because there aren't any gimmicks to this. If the scale is up I can count plenty of other victories this week. I have to be mentally prepared, whatever the result.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Free Classic E-Books

Barnes and Noble has a lot of the classics on ebook format for free this weekend. I've never looked into this before but they have a special app that you can download to read their books. So for all of us Ipod touch users we have a nice selection of e-books to download before we go on vacation this weekend. I will download just about all of them so they will be available to my future little ones.

Natural Home Products

With my new (returned) emphasis on using less harmful chemicals in my home I have to figure out how to continue to save on the things I need. Today I tried thanks to a post at Money Saving Mom. They have all natural laundry detergent for less than the store price for Tide or other brands. Use the code ISHA4460 and you get 15% off at

I also want to encourage everyone to try and go back to the advice from our grandmothers. There are tons of things we can do with vinegar and baking soda around the house. Living with a man has shown me how dirty a toilet can get. T0 remedy that, try mixing 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar and pouring it into your toilet. Let it set for 5 minutes and then scrub away. How's that for cheap and natural?

Disclosure: If you use the discount code I receive shopping credits. You save and I save.

Update: I ordered on Friday afternoon and my products were here by Saturday morning. I've never seen such quick and free shipping service. The only problem is that Fedex Home just left the box on the porch. I'm glad I went outside before we left for the holiday weekend.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Couch to 5K

This month I have foolishly decided to join the running challenge. It isn't officially advertised on the site but most of the people who have joined are in some way affiliated with the bloggers of the site.

I've always been the girl with the funny walk because I am extremely pigeon-toed . It's due to a hip misalignment I've had since birth. With that I also suffer from pettallo femoral syndrome. So my knee has a tendency to jump out of place and it sounds like I have rice krispies when I ascend stairs. The only help I can get for this is to strengthen my quadriceps to compensate for my knee. I often get swelling in my knees when it gets cold. It's made me shy about running and working out in general.

Putting all of those reasons aside, I decided that I would try my hand a jogging. When I get on the treadmill at the gym I feel hindered because I can't walk any faster without breaking into a jog. About three weeks ago I just decided to jog. Surprisingly it didn't hurt and there was no swelling. That's when I started flirting with the idea of jogging the September running challenge. I've signed up to jog/walk 25 miles this month. I know I'll meet the mileage but I really want to jog as many of them as I can. I'm sticking to the treadmill until I feel a little stronger.

At some point I would like to be able to run or jog for longer distances so I am starting the Couch to 5K program. This program starts you out with a combination for jogging and walking until you can run three miles. So in 9 weeks let's see where I am.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yes! Organic opens east of the river.

Congress Heights on the Rise and And Now Anacostia are both reporting that the new Yes! Organic Market is opening on Pennsylavnia Avenue in Ward 8. This new organic market is opening in DC today in the most impoverished ward of the city. The location will attract people from nearby Capitol Hill and Hillcrest and I feel like it will be a success.

Those of us who can afford organic foods were driving across the city to go to the organic stores. Now residents will have the option of picking things up closer to home. This is an excellent development and chain stores need to take notice. We need more access to fresh food in the neighborhood organic or not.

But what about those who are lower income or who rely on public transportation? Access isn't just about location it's also about affordability. I doubt that Yes! will do anything to really impact their access because sustenance should not feel like a luxury. People may still have to travel long distance to healthier food they can afford or continue to frequent the subpar options that are close by. It's not that poor people don't understand nutrition they just have more pressing matters to deal with first.

I appreciate that the owners of Yes! are investing in areas of DC that really need it. They were given a grant from DC Government to the tune of 900,00 to do so. This should also bring a few jobs for residents east of the river. Despite the bigger issues to contend with, this new store is over all a net positive.

Erika of the Black Girls Guide to Weightloss has a great post up today about making the switch to organic. Please read it and follow the links to find out more about making the switch and why it's worth it. My household is trying to switch to all organic foods and save money while doing it. That's a privilege and a luxury that I have. I've switched about 50% of the stuff to organic but food access issues where we live make it an inconvenience. I personally buy my produce from a coop where the organic prices are 70% less than the store. It's even cheaper than conventional. However, if I can't make my co-op delivery I will spend my money at Yes! .

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Places to Play in Congress Height and Anacostia

For those of you don't know I have a Masters in Health Behavior and Health Education. I focus a lot on this blog on changes that people can make in their own lives such as eating better and saving money while doing it. However, making changes in your life is directly impacted by one's access. Access to a grocery store and the ability to buy food not just in the moment. Now that we have one grocery store in the Ward that helps a person not depend on the carryout when they don't have time to go cross town or to Maryland just pick up that onion.

The same goes for physical activity. When a person has real access to safe, affordable places to play we can improve the health of a community. So here is round up of the offerings in the area.

1. Spirit Health and Wellness

Union Temple Baptist and other partners worked together to put together a gym on the top floor of the new Salvation Army building on MLK. It offers 20 cardio stations, circuit training, free weights and lots of cardio classes. All of that for $20 a month. The locker room is sparse with no blow dryer or towels but for that price we can't expect those premium items.

2. Heat Haven

I haven't been here yet but I have walked past this place located on Good Hope Road. This studio offers a variety of spinning, yoga, Pilates, senior and youth classes. They seem to have classes at all times of the day. It's $5 per class, $7 for a day pass and $25 for unlimited classes. This is an incredible deal.

3. South East Tennis and Learning Center

The next Venus and Serena just might come from Ward 8. The Tennis Center located on Mississippi Avenue has a variety of tennis options. They have outdoor and indoor courts. Prices for classes vary. But if you just want to hit the ball around with your friends that's free. The center is run by the DC Department of Recreation.

4. The Arts and Recreation Campus

THEARC is a powerhouse of recreation and learning near the Southern Avenue Metro. The Washington Ballet has all levels of classes for girls, a class for boys, hip-hop, and African Dance. They also have an Adult African and yoga class for adults.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Best of Giant August 17 through September 2

Growing up on the west coast I always had access to delicious fruit. We had a peach, plum and lemon tree in the backyard. Our neighbor had avocados. I really miss it and I don’t eat as much fruit now. This week Giant has a lot of good produce sales. You know why? Because it’s all in season. The sales match perfectly what’s coming up in my backyard. You can definitely eat well this week for about $25 without using coupons if you have a well stocked pantry.

Nectarine or Peaches .99/lb
Avocados $1 (this makes me really happy)
Kiwi $3/1
Red Bell Peppers $1.88/lb
Nature’s Promise Organic Salad $2
Shady Brook Farm Turkey Italian Sausage $2.99/lbGiant Frozen Vegetables .75 each
Pork Tenderloin 3.99/lb
SuperG Whole Chicken, Legs or Thighs .99/lb (but I find this meat to be pumped with a lot of water solution inflating the weight)

Possible Meals:
Turkey Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers
Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Peach Sauce
Kiwi and Roast Pork Tenderloin over Mixed Greens
Pork and Avocado Salso Tacos
Peach Cobbler or Crisp

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bobs Red Mill vs. Aunt Jemima vs. From Scratch

During this economic downturn people can be incredibly price sensitive. Before the weekend roll around, I wanted to take a look at making pancakes and waffles. When I was at Harris Teeter I poked around at the organic grains to see what the prices were. They were pretty outrageous but that is to be expected. So here is the comparison for pancake mixes only looking at the dry ingredients.

Aunt Jemima 35oz- $2.99 (.09/0z)
Bobs Red Mill Pancake Mix-26oz $3.05-5.39 (.11-.22/0z)
Organic Scratch Mix* (.09/oz)

You can make organic on pancake mix for about the same price as Aunt Jemima. Obviously with a good double coupon the Aunt Jemima will be much cheaper. If you like to eat pancakes and waffles on a regular basis consider making the mixing the dry ingredients ahead of time. Try the
Alton Brown Instant Pancake Mix substituting half of all purpose flour for whole wheat flour.

*Contains Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Organic All Purpose Flour, Demara sugar, baking powder, baking soda.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Part 2: How I find the Deals

In today's ever growing universe of multimedia aggregators, Google Reader stand outs out for me. I use Google Reader to subscribe to updates of the blogs I find useful. I no longer have to visit each site individually and scroll through the postings. I used to get annoyed if I visited a website but it wasn't updated. Now, I am now able to scroll through my Google Reader and everything is all in one place with automatic updates. I now present :

5 Reasons Bicycle Girl uses Google Reader

1. You can add your favorite blogs, websites and news columns using the "Add Subscription" button in the top right corner.

2. Along the left hand side you see a full list of your subscriptions. You can organize them into folders. I organize by topics for work and my hobbies such as couponing. I stay updated on my industry as well as natural hair. It cuts down my time searching for coupons because they come right to me. They also don't clog my email box.

3. The main column will show you the latest unread updates from your favorite sites.

4. Google Reader shows you how much you are reading and who you read the most.

5. Last but not least, you can share what you are reading with your friends.

There are other companies who make similar software such as Bloglines. Explore and use whatever makes your life easier.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Giant Best of the Basics

In my attempt to eat less processed food, I will share with you the best of the basics. Also if you aren’t a crazy coupon person you can still save money by only shopping from the weekly circular. As an avid discount shopper I have learned a lot in the last year to know when something is really on sale. So here's the best of giant from 8/20-26.

Super G Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast 1.99/lb
Strawberries $2/lb
Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries $2 per 5-8oz carton
San Giorgio Pasta .77
Sweet White Corn 6/$1.88
Shady Brook Farms Ground Turkey $2.88/lb
Peaches $1/lb

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Harris Teeter Shrimp Sale

I thought the $3.99 shrimp last week was a steal but the price is even better this week. Now through 8/24 the EZ Peel Shrimp (21-30 ct.) is $8.65/lb . But it's Buy One Get Two Free or $2.88/lb. I really wish there was room in my freezer.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Harris Teeter Trip 8/14

I just got back from Harris Teeter and I did pretty well. I bought a few things that weren't on sale because we are cooking for a couple who just had a baby and we let them pick their menu. Too bad they didn't say chicken leg quarters! Also I bought a few luxury items. My household is trying to move to eating organic without breaking the bank completely. I know that I will have to spend more but I think I can continue to save a lot which I proved today.

Not on Sale
Yellow Bananas (1.96lbs)
Beef Roast (2.65lbs)

On Sale
Chicken Leq Quarters(5.64lbs)
Shrimp (2.06lbs)
Red Seedless Grapes(1.99lbs)
Personal Watermelon (2)
Half Gallon Horizon Lowfat Lactose Free Milk

Coupons Only
8 0z. Organic Valley Cream Cheese (2)
8 0z. Organic Valley Mozzarella (2)
1 Qt Organic Valley Half and Half
Mission Tortillas

Sales combined with Coupons

Apple and Eve Fruitables
7th Generation Dish Liquid
Organic Wings and Legs (2.68lbs)
Morning Star Veggie Patties
Morning Star Crumbles
Activia 4pk

Total: 110.71 (including tax and resusable bag discount)
Cost: $57.98 after sales and double coupons
Savings: 48%

I like to save 60-70% but this works. There are very few processed foods on this list. My normal trips do contain a good amount of processed food. On a normal trip I would not have purchased the beef roast, milk, foil or watermelon. My savings would have been about 65%. I also could have gotten cheaper milk but if I am going to start consuming cow's milk again I thought I should get the less processed version I could. So this was a trip about balance. I'll explain in another posting why I am drinking cow's milk again.

I've read a lot online that most people should aim for spending $25 a week per person on groceries. Without the foil I'm pretty much on the mark if we ate at home everyday for every meal. Our freezer and pantry is packed so I am not shopping for at least two weeks. Scratch that I have a $10 catalina for Giant!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Organic Food Coupons

I'm finding more coupons and coupon blogs that feature all the deals on organic stuff.

This week use the Organic Valley coupons to clean up on the Harris Teeter Super Doubles! Faithful Provisions had a nice round up.

Part 1: Getting Started with Coupons

Hello Friends!

Are your feeling overwhelmed by all my coupon posting? Let me show you how to get started. There are many ways to do this but I found this to be the easiest way to get the best deals.


1. Subscribe to the local Sunday Paper. You will now have at least one paper delivered to your door. You will never have to worry about forgetting your paper. At some point you may want more than one coupon insert but for beginners and people with small families this maybe enough.

2. You will need an 13 pocket accordion file, a sharpie and a small pair of scissors.

Building Your Coupon File

1) Label the tabs of your accordion file by month.
2) Using your Sharpie or other permanent marker. Write the date of the paper on the front of the coupon insert(s) making it easy to read from far away.
3) Place coupon insert(s) in the correct month.
4) Store your Sharpie and scissors in the last pocket so they are always handy.
Note: If you are using a lot of inserts you may want to use a file box.

Weekly Clipping

1) Visit Bicycle Girl or any other coupon website to find the deals you want.
2) Pull the inserts you need for the week.
3) Clip the coupons you need.
4) Replace the inserts into your accordion file.
5) Visit Slick Deals to see if any of the inserts can be discarded.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Making the List (Saving Twice).

Great Harris Teeter Deals 8/11-17

It's Super Doubles week at Harris Teeter. That means coupons $1.98 or less will double. You must use your VIC card. All the prices below assume doubled coupons and/or having multiple coupons for the same item.

Philosophy: I'm hoping to show the deals for the healthiest and least process foods. I do not have a strict policy but I show you what I plan on buying and that you can eat healthier for less money!There are lots of free things this week.

E-Vic Deal: Harris Teeter had a weekly specials that you must add to your card online.
Mix and Match Peter Pan Peanut Butter or Welch's Grape Jelly $.97 wyb 3 (you must buy 3)

-.60/1 Peter Pan Peanut Butter, SS 8/01
-$1/2 Peter Pan Peanut Butter, June All You Magazine (exp 8/15)
-$1/2 Welch’s Jelly, SS 6/06
-.55/1 Welch’s SS 8/01
Final Price: Free for all 3 (a combination of 2-3 coupons, i'm only buying peanut butter)

Del Monte Fruit Smoothies BOGO at $2.99
-$1 off Del Monte Smoothie Kit RP 8/15
Final Price: Free for one

Naked Juice $3
-$1 off Naked Juice, SS 6/27
Final Price: $1 for one

Dannon Activia Yogurt, 4 ct, $1.99
-$1 off Activia product, 4-12 pk or 24 oz, SS 8/08
Final Price: Free
Mission Tortillas $1.89
-$1 off Mission Tortillas, SS 8/01
Final Price: Free

Apple and Eve Fruitables 8 pk, $2.99-$3.79
-$1 off Apple and Eve product SS 6/06
Final Price: .99-1.79

7th Gen Dish Liquid, 25 oz., $1.99
-$1 off Seventh Generation Product, RP 8/08
Final Price: Free

7th Gen Baby Wipes, 70 ct., $2.99
-$1 off Seventh Generation Baby Care, RP 8/08
Final Price: .99

7th Gen All Purpose Cleaner, 32 oz., $2.50
-$1 off Seventh Generation Product, RP 8/08
Final Price: .50

7th Gen Dish Liquid, 25 oz., $1.99
-$1 off Seventh Generation Product, RP 8/08
Final Price: Free


Green Seedless Grapes 99¢ lb
Barlett Pears $1.49 lb
Red or Black Plums $1.69 lb
Broccoli, bunch, $2 ea
Seedless Watermelon $3.50 ea


Chicken Leg Quarters $.49/lb (time to stock up)
EZ Peel Shrimp 51-60 ct, $3.99 lb

For more deals go to or

Great CVS Deal Week of 8/15/10

Gillette ProGlide Razor $9.99 get $5 ECB
-$4 Gillette Fusion ProGlide 08/01/10 PG

Blink Tears $7,99 get $7.99 ECB
-$1 Blink Tears 08/15/10 RP

Crest Clinical Gum Protection Toothpaste $3.49 get $2.50 EB
-$1 Crest Tooth Paste 08/01/10 PG

Plenty of other deals can be found at

Sunday, August 08, 2010

CVS Trip 8/8 - Money Makers

Dulcolax $9.99
-$4 (5/16 SS)
Out of pocket: $5.99
Recieve: $9.99 ECB
Total: $4 Money Maker

Schick Hydro $8.97
-$5 (8/1 SS)
Out of pocket: 3.97
Recieve: $4
Total: $.03 Money Maker

You make $4.03 on these two transactions.

Visit for more information. If you don't need these items please donate them.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

CVS Trip 8/7

Visit or for all the details for the 8/1-7 sales ending tonight.

6.99-Playtex Tampon 36ct
5.89- Playtex Tampon 18ct
3.99-Scope Outlast
3.99-Crest Mouthwash
2.99- Oral B Manual Toothbrush
-$5.99 buy one 36ct Playtex tampons get an 18ct free (8/1 SS)
-$2 Crest Mouth Wash (8/1 PG Saver)
-$1 Oral B toothbrush (8/1 PG Saver)
-$1 Scope Mouth Wash (8/1 PG Saver)
-$1 Playtex CVS Coupon from the kiosk (no longer available)
-$7.99 ECB

=$4.96 out of pocket plus tax

Friday, August 06, 2010

Have you heard of Mambo Sprouts?

I just found out Mambo Sprouts from Frugal and Having Fun. I rarely find coupons for natural food brands and they can be expensive. This is a great find for my healthy budget shoppers. There might be a day when there will be coupon match-ups for Whole Foods!

Do you have high cholesterol?

If you you should be eating oatmeal everyday. I know you already are but how are you eating it? Are you using the sugar laden instant kind? Just Say No! I'm in the business of saving money while eating relatively healthy. So let me help you out.

1. A can (30 servings) of quick oats will cost you $4.79 (and cheaper with coupons) while a box of plain instant will cost you 3.99 for 10 servings. That's .16 and .39 per serving respectively.

2. You can control the amount of sugar by using honey, agave or raw sugar as a sweetener. Try using cinnamon or nutmeg as well. I find cinnamon to add sweetness by itself.

3. Make it powerful. Use skim, soy or almond milk to get some Vitamin D and a smidge of protein. You could also add a few nuts or ground flax seed for more healthy fats.

4. Get a serving of fruit and other vitamins by adding bananas, strawberry, peaches or applesauce.

It takes me about a three minutes t0 put this together in the morning. I mix all my ingredients Glad BPA free twist and lock containers and go out the door.

Giant 8/6-8/12

Inexpensive & Healthy

I see an easy smoothie recipe from this list. I also see burgers and grilled or roasted corn.

.99/lb Peaches or Nectarines
1.99 for 12 Sweet Ears of Corn
1.99/lb Ground Turkey
$5 for 10 Stoneyfield Organic Yogurt (.50 each)
$3 for 2 Nature's Promise Soy Milk

Visit Whole Foods for the Peach Recipe Roundup!


Note: I forgot one coupon so I missed saving $1. Who cares? *shrug*

Thursday, August 05, 2010

More Giant

If you haven't made it to Giant yet try the Kellogg Deal. You have until tonight only!!! Here is my Scenario. Sorry for posting this so late but I'm just now going to the store.

4 Raisin Bran= $8
2 Frosted Mini Wheats= $5
4 Eggos= $8
2 Skippy Peanut Butter= $2
Total: $23

-Use Two $1/2 Raisin Bran (7/11 and 6/6 RP)
-$1/2 Frosted Mini Wheat (7/11 RP)
-Use Two $1/2 Eggo Waffles ( 6/20 and 7/25 RP)
-$1 off Two Skippy Peanut Butter (8/1 RP)
-Use Four $1 Doublers

New Total: $13 upfront
Get $10 coupon to use later


Thanks Frugal Living and Having Fun ! The Giant ad is little different from what is posted but it's a good start.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Feeding your Soul

I'm currently suffering from some unknown ailment that is keeping me at home more than I would like. It's given me time to spend time making meals completely from scratch. There was a time when I would just sit in the kitchen with my mother and watch her cook. I really miss those days. Today was one of those days where I spent all day cooking. I continued making food from Vegan Soul Kitchen. Today I made Seitan with Mixed Mushroom Gravy, Coconut Rice and Peach Pie. The peach pie just came out of the oven so I have not tasted it yet.

After about a week of Vegan cook the Seitan was the first time I had to buy something that I didn't already have on hand. I did also get some whole wheat flours and other grains from Glut Food Co-op. I has been fairly easy to cook less meat and still eat delicious food. I probably will not start cooking with Seitan or Tempeh right away because they are expensive but I may be realizing saving elsewhere that makes it a possibility. Also I think there are plenty of protein sources such as nuts and beans. The reason I started on this journey was just to try out some other recipes. I'm not adventurous in the kitchen so this helped me strecth just a bit.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Free Butter at Safeway

Hey DC Folks! All of the Safeway stores in our area double coupons so here is this week's freebie.

Land O' Lakes Spreadable butter .99 (with in-ad coupon)
-.50 7/18 SS
-.50 doubled
Price: Free

Giant Deals

I hear there were $1 doublers in Wednesday's paper.


Free Wacky Mac pasta when you buy Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 free ears of corn when you sign up for giant online

Good Deals

$1 Skippy Peanut Butter
.99/lb seedless green grapes
1.88/lb sweet red peppers
6/1.88 sweet corn
1.29/lb peaches
$2.88 Kashi Golean Cereal
$2 Eggos -$1/2 Eggos 7/25RP
$2 Raisin Bran -$1/2 Raisin Bran 7/25RP
Buy 2 Eggos or 2 Raisin Bran
-$1/2 coupon
- $1 doubler
Price: $1 Each

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spinach Wontons

Someone has asked B to cater a rehearsal dinner and requested collard green egg rolls. For two months he's had the egg roll wrappers in the fridge, but he hasn't tested it out. Since I still had deep frying oil from the fritters I wanted to use it again. So I got the idea to make a spinach wonton. If I had of thought ahead I would have added lentils or quinoa for some protein.

Spinach Wontons

8 Egg Roll Wrappers
1/2 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 thinly sliced large carrot
5 cups of baby spinach (one bag)
1TBSP fish sauce
1TBSP hoisin sauce
1TSP soy sauce or braggs liquid aminos
2TBSP plus Oil for deep frying

Dipping Sauce
2TSP Spicy garlic sauce
2TBSP honey

In a medium skillet add the oil and heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrots and cook until soft. Add spinach in 3 batches until completely wilted. Add the fish sauce, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce and cook for 3 minutes. Following the directions on the egg roll wrapper package use the vegetable filling to make the egg rolls. Deep fry for one minute on each side. For the sauce mix the spicy garlic sauce and the honey together. Enjoy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

More Vegan Food

I spent this weekend stuck in the house so I spent some time cooking. I made two things, Vegan Maple Banana Muffins and Curry Black Eyed Pea Fritters. I don't think I want to be vegan but I want to try going all organic but I am on a budget so that means finding protein sources that are cheaper.

Maple Banana Muffins were exactly the same recipe as found in Vegan Soul Kitchen but the Black Eyed Pea Fritters took a significant departure. I started with the recipe from the book but it seemed runny and bland. I think it's because I used a blender and not a food processor and I had to work around a nut allergy. So here is what I came up with.

Aisha's Black Eyed Pea Fritters

2 cups blacked eyed peas (soaked overnight will yield 4 cups soaked)
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of almond butter
1 small onion chopped
3 garlic cloves
3 TBSP of curry powder
1 TBSP red pepper flakes
salt to taste
4 TBSP corn meal
1 bell pepper minced
1 cup of oil for deep frying

Blend 1 cup of black eyed peas, water, almond butter, onion, garlic, curry powder, red pepper flakes in a upright blender. Once blended add each remaining cup of peas one at a time until the batter is the consistency of waffle batter. Mix with a spoon between to make sure all the peas are blended and no hard pieces remain. Put the batter in the refrigerator for one hour.

After the batter comes out heat oil in a large frying pan. Oil should be hot but not smoking. Add the corn meal and bell pepper to the batter and mix with a spoon. Use a small scoop or a tbsp to put the batter into the hot oil. Fry as many as will fit in your pan. Each fritter should fry for 5 minutes. Once golden brown remove to a paper towel lined backing sheet or plate. Serve with a sweet and spicy sauce such as the Pastor's Sauce.

Disclosure: The Pastor is a friend of friend but I really did eat the fritters with the sauce.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Heat index of 105. I have nothing else to say. Knowing that I would probably spend my entire Saturday in the house running up my electricity bill, I got up early to run some errands (including going to urgent care because I have pink eye). As I waited for my eye appointment, I decided that I needed to start cooking from Vegan Soul Kitchen before I need to return it to the library. Too bad I didn't have the book on me but I figured if I just grabbed a few beans and veggies that I surely would be able to make something. We had our last head of broccoli in the fridge so I started with that. I made Broccoli with Citrus Dressing which is inspired by a recipe in the book. I didn't really have enough broccoli so there was a lot of extra dressing. Using items on hand I created a spinach salad but it is not vegan because I used honey but if you have agave or maple syrup use that.

Spinach and Citrus Salad

Dressing: Combine all of these ingredients in a blender
1Tbsp Honey
2Tbsp pink grapefruit juice
2 Tbsp lime
9 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt


Red Onion
Cherry tomato
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Grape fruit slices

Monday, July 12, 2010

Using everything

So the broccoli is ready and we took the machete to the stalk today. Well, a serrated knife. You can't use scissors for this one. What didn't occur to me is that we could cook the leaves of the broccoli plant in addition to using the broccoli head itself. The greens are quite tender so I cut them into a chiffonade and just sauteed them quickly with olive oil, salt, pepper flakes. Yes I actually cooked today.

What did we cook last week?

I'm a lazy blogger and didn't post each of the delicious meals you see below as we cooked them. I wanted to show you all what we cooked last week. Well actually I only made the pizza and he made everything else. So that means there were no recipes involved. He just put all of this together from his creative mind. I'm one lucky lady.

We made sure to try and use everything from the box. We still have the avocados but I will just eat those raw with salt and lime. The corn and sweet potato will be roasted just to have on hand. We took a different route this week and made sure to use the thing that were the most fragile first. That means leafy vegetables need to be cooked first. then the squash family, and then root vegetables.

Red Beans and Corn: Goya canned beans with corn fresh off the cob.
Sauteed Cabbage and Red Chard with Onion and Garlic
Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Red Pepper with Roasted Pork Loin
Whole Wheat Pizza with Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Healthy Solutions Box -July 3, 2010

This week I went for the little box from Healthy Solutions for $15. Last time it was a stretch for us to use all of the stuff in the small box. If I followed the nutritional guidelines from CDC I should eat 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables. I don't always do that so this week I shall try. Let's see what's in the all organic Freggie(fruit and veggie) box this week.

1 head butter lettuce
1 head cabbage
3 nectarines
1 peach
3 Avocados
1 red onion
1 tomato
1 large bunch chard
3 Zucchini
2 Spaghetti Squash
2 ears of corn
5 medium sweet potatoes

It would cost $36 from the local chain grocery with only half of the items being organic vegetables. So you would save more than $20 and get all organic produce. For more information visit or

Giant Dollar Doublers 7/2-7/8

Earlier this week you should have received a Giant flyer in the mail. On this flyer are four $1 Doubler Coupons. I am very excited...I think. Generally most stores in my area double coupons up to 99cents. Meaning if you a 99cent coupon it's really worth $1.98. If you have $1 it's worth just that dollar. With the addition of a $1 doubler you can combine it with a $1 coupon so you get $2 off. If you use all four that's $8 instant savings. I'm going to sniff the interwebs to see if I can come up with some good deals this week.

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Best of Giant

It's officially summer so it's time to load up on fruits and vegetables. Giant has some nice deals this week for things to add to a healthy summer meal.

1. Pints of Blueberries 4/$5
Eat some now! Take the rest and flash freeze them and you will have them for baking and smoothies all summer long.

2. Corn 12/$1.99
Soak them in water and put them on the grill during your 4th of July BBQ.

3. Whole Seedless Watermelon $3.88
Make some basil salt* and sprinkle it on. Grind sea or kosher salt with some finely chopped basil. I learned this trick from Vegan Soul Kitchen.

4. Tropical Mangos $1
Put into a salad. If you have an ice cream maker you can make mango sorbet.

Trader Joe's

In order to decrease the temptation of eating out at work I am taking a weekly stroll to TJ's and the library. Both are about a mile walk from my office. Using the TJ Fearless Flyer andthe Grocery IQ app I am able to get what I need and get out. TJ's is a very tempting place as you pass by all of the different imported meals, cookies and wines. My goal was to spend $25 on things I would actually use.

1. 1/2 pint of organic raspberries (for my Raspberry Frangipane Cake)
2. 1lb of organic strawberries
3. 2lb. bag of clementines
4. sea salt (for my basil salt and cooking in general)
5. Almond milk
6. Wild Arugula
7. Pizza Dough
8. Mozzarella Cheese
9. Frozen Pizza Dough (i know i can make it myself)
10. Nonfat Plain European Style Yogurt (to use in smoothies)
11. Ezekiel Raisin Bread (healthy and yummy)

$25.35 @ Trader Joes
$37 @ Local Grocery Chain

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vegan Soul Kitchen

I checked Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry out from the library. A cookbook with 6 recipes for watermelon is my kind of cookbook. For many people vegan food seems really inaccessible with it's rampant use of tofu and nutritional yeast. Those are weird foods to many people. Vegan Soul Kitchen takes the food our southern grandmothers made and makes it vegan. Some of the most interesting recipes are Creole Hoppin' John, roasted plantain pieces, seitan medallions with mushroom gravy. He does have a section on vegetable proteins but it's not the main focus of the book. I'm going to use the food I get from the Healthy Solutions Produce box this week and select recipes from the book to make some delicious vegan food.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Saving Cards Coupons

Well since I can't print I can load!

I suspect if I go across town to a Safeway in NW DC I would be able to use the printables but for now it's newspapers and loading coupons to my saving card. The deals won't be as great but let me show you how this will work. There are four places where you can load coupons onto your card.


On the homepage for Safeway click the coupon link image. To the far right is a rectangle titled Print and Digital Coupon. Click 'Get Coupons Now'.

You are now at the Safeway Coupon Center powered by You can print coupons or load them to your card. To load them to your card you will have to sign up for an account and provide your Safeway card number (not your phone number).

Once you are signed in to your account you browse through the listings and click add on the coupons and they will be loaded on to your card.

When you scan your card at checkout the coupons will be automatically deducted.

2. , P&G Saver,

There are other places that will load more coupons. To take advantage of these you will have to sign up with each service. Once you do it's very easy. There is even a Cellfire and Shortcuts app for the IPhone/IPod Touch. To use them:

1. Register your Safeway card
2. Load the eCoupons onto your card
3. Use the card and the cooupons are automatically deducted

You will find that some of the coupons will be the same at each site but this is to your advantage!
According Frugal Living Chick
"Often times, Cellfire and Shortcuts will put out eCoupons that are valid on the same product. You can stack these two and add a Manufacture's paper coupon. "

For example, at Safeway, Betty Crocker Brownies were $1.00 :

Betty Crocker Brownies, $2.00 for two boxes
-.75 off 2 Betty Crocker Brownies Cellfire Coupon
-.75 off 2 Betty Crocker Brownies
-.25 off 2 Betty Crocker Brownies from newspaper (then it's doubled)
=Free for 2 boxes
That's pretty good ain't it? This method is called stacking and this only works at Safeway and it's partner stores.

There are however limitations!

  1. These coupons cannot be doubled.
  2. You can only use one at a time. In the scenario above you can't buy 4 boxes and and still get the deal.

More on Dishonesty

So I have been reading The Power to Prosper by Michelle Singletary. Now I haven't been to church in a long time and I'm not too keen on church. I rather take the lessons on being a caring helpful person from wherever I can do that. Be it Jesus, Allah, Buddha or Oprah. There is wisdom all around.

This book is based on the Bible and Christian prinicples and the goal of the book is to bring you financial freedom. This is not a pray to God for money book. This is God gave you some good sense and has blessed you so do his will with his money.

One thing Mrs. Singletary covers in Chapter3 is honesty. If you are breaking rules to save a buck that's stealing. Yes it is stealing! Yes you coupon photocopiers are stealing. If you believe God has got your back you don't need to steal. If you believe God will make a way you don't need to steal. I save 70% off my grocery bill every week without stealing and you can too.

I loathe corporations and have no sympathy for them just like the next person. You can make a good situation great by being resourceful but stop trying to "get over."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stop Photocopying Printable Coupons

One of my top savings tips is to use coupons. I use all kinds of coupons anywhere I can get them. Last week I went to Safeway to take advantage of their Buy 8 Save $4 program. I planned to save about $30 by using a lot of printable coupons. One of the ways I was going to do this was by using printable coupons. Printable coupons are found on websites such as, or at a manufacture's website. They use special coupon printers you must install and you usually can print two copies of a coupon from the site.

Well some people out there are dishonest and not playing by the rules and they ruin it for everyone by trying to "get over." They are photocopying the coupons. Each coupon has a unique code. The problem is that the bar codes on the coupons are the same and it's only known after a store redeems them at a manufacture that it's fraudulent. A well trained store clerk will look for the unique code and can spot them. I usually get frustrated with the cashiers who are suspicious of my coupons but I totally understand now. They don't want to get in trouble because of those of you who are ruining it for the rest of us. I know times are hard but be honest.

I got to Safeway and they did not accept about $30 I had in coupons. So what was to be a $50 trip turned into a $90 trip. I called Safeway customer service and they explained that it is at the regional managers discretion to accept printable coupons. When a store receives fraudulent coupons they don't get reimbursed by manufactures so they lose money. They are in it for the profit so they will stop taking them.

Don't boo hoo for me too much I had some newspaper coupons and I only bought things on sale so I save $80. Don't cheer for me either because what I bought should not have cost $169 retail. It's really a crime. My goal is to spend about $50 a week per person so I was within my guidelines because I spent like $20 on glad containers but I really could have saved much more. Also if I get things for free that I don't need I donate them to shelters.

So what do you think stores can do make it easier for us legitimate coupon users to get our saving?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Healthy Solutions Coop Site is Open for Orders

Every first and third Saturday of the month the Healthy Solutions Coop delivers boxes of fresh all organic fruits and vegetables to two sites East of the River. You can pre order what is known as a Freggie box. The box will contain a variety of fruits and vegetables but you do not get to choose the produce. A list of the planned contents of the Freggie boxes is on the site and the boxes come in different sizes to accomodate your family. If this is your first time I would suggest getting a little or small box to get an idea. You can also see what was in the small size box for $25 from my last order.

In addition they have all fruit and all veggie boxes. If you know you want specific vegetables or fruits you can order selected produce as well. This is especially good if you have a church or community event and you want to prepare healthy nutritious food.

Please visit to see what they have to offer.

Healthy solutions accepts paypal and credit cards. SNAP (food stamps) are accepted at the Riverside location Orders are due by thursday at 9pm. Any other questions contact Tanikka

Pick up sites:

Please indicate your pick up location in the comments section at check out. Jerusalem Church Of God In Christ 3128 Martin Luther King Jr Ave Washington, DC 2003212 noon - 1:30 pmPre Orders Only
MARKET Day - and Pre OrdersRiverside Center 5200 Foote Street, NE Washington, DC 20019EVERY Saturday 11am - 2pmCo-op Market Day with Washington Parks and People

I will won't be able to get a box this week. Instead I will venture to the Ward 8 farmer's market on Tuesday at United Medical Center.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bounty from His Garden

We don't have a big backyard but it's big enough to grow a few herbs and vegetables. We have a lot of things growing but the basil, strawberries and green peppers are in full swing. Now don't ask questions about gardening because I have someone helping me so I enjoy the fruits of someone's labor. Enjoy!

Bell Peppers



Bell Peppers

Full Plot!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lazy Sunday

This week I have been dog sitting so I woke up early this morning to let the dog out. I decided that I should pick some basil from the garden. We have a square foot garden in the backyard but I must admit that I have spent very little time tending to the garden. We have three basil plants growing wildly. Each plant was $2.49 so if you include the soil we spent about $9.00 to grow basil. Do you know how much basil costs in the store? It's between $2-$3 dollars a pack.

But Bicycle Girl I don't have a back yard? If you have a sunny window or a balcony that gets at least 6 hours of sun then you are in business. Starting a herb garden is a way to take some of this cheapo food and make it quite tasty. You don't have to grow every herb but if you are like me and love Italian and Mexican food then a a basil and cilantro plant in a small pot will save you plenty money.

Here is a good link to get you started.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Almost There

We still have quite few things left and that Chard and Spinach are going to go bad soon. I guess a spinach salad is in order. Let me find some Chard recipes.

Avocados (4)
Broccoli (2 crowns)
Carrots (5 tops on)
Chard (Red, 1 bunch)
Corn (4 w ears)
Green Leaf Lettuce (1 bunch)
Kale (1 bunch)
Mushroom (1)
Onion (1)
Peaches (3)
Purple Kale (1 bunch)
Red Bell Pepper ) (1)
Spinach (1 1/2 bunch)
Sweet Potatoes (2-3lbs)
Tomato (1)
Yellow Squash (2)
Zucchini (2)
Almond Milk

What happens when you have two lactose intolerant people in your home and one is allergic soy milk. You try out Almond milk. Almond is very sweet and rich so it's hard to eat it with your cereal. It works great in oatmeal as it sweetens it naturally and you get a good amount of protein. It also works great in baking. How about using up the last of the sweet potatoes in some sweet potato pie made with Almond Milk?
Earlier in the week we made this impromptu dinner.

Chicken Tacos with Tomato and Corn Salsa

One grilled chicken breast sliced into pieces (we did it on the foreman)
Corn kernels from tow ears of corn
one tomato diced
1/2 onion diced
1 glove of garlic
onion powder
garlic powder
corn tortillas
olive oil

Saute onion and garlic in a large skillet on med-high. Add the corn and tomatoes and heat through. Add the spices and your sliced chicken and stir until everything is coated. To heat your tortillas quickly place your tortillas between two damp paper towels and microwave 30 seconds at a time until heated.

Fill each taco shell with the mixture. Use any condiments you have on had such as onion, cheese, sour cream or cilantro.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Stir-Fry (Skip the Carryout)

Yet another easy technique you can use for a quick meal. Stir-frys are pretty popular but I won't assume that everyone has actually made one.

Step 1
Chop your meats and vegetables into small pieces that can cook very quickly. Only use vegetables that can be cooked in 5 minutes or less.

Step 2 Heat a pan over medium high heat.

Step 3 Place your ingredients into the plan and stir them constantly until cooked no more than 5 minutes or they may burn.

Note: With this technique fresh garlic should only be used in the final minute as it may burn and turn bitter.

Shrimp and Red Pepper Stir fry

1/2 pound shrimp, peeled (you can use chicken)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (use those packets from the carryout)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon garlic powder

What's left in the box?

Avocados (4)
Broccoli (2 crowns)
Carrots (5 tops on)
Chard (Red, 1 bunch)
Corn (4 2 ears)
Green Leaf Lettuce (1 bunch)
Kale (1 bunch)
Mushroom (1)
Onion (1)
Peaches (3)
Purple Kale (1 bunch)
Red Bell Pepper ) (1)
Spinach (1 bunch)
Sweet Potatoes (2-3lbs)
Tomato (1)
Yellow Squash (2)
Zucchini (2)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Roasting Vegetables

Roasting is a simple way to deal with vegetables when you don't have the time to really think of any thing elaborate to cook. The Healthy Solutions box always contains vegetables that are great for roasting. WebMD has a great article on roasting vegetables. I wanted to share this with you as I often roast the vegetables that I get from the box. Roasting doesn't add a lot of fat or calories. Use this technique on Sunday and knock out all of the veggies and use them in pastas, sandwiches, salads and pizzas all week.

From the Box: Easy Dinner

Baked Sweet Potato
Roasted Corn
Grilled Chicken? Fish? Pork?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

What's left in the box?

Avocados (4)
Broccoli (2 crowns)
Carrots (5 tops on)
Chard (Red, 1 bunch)
Corn (4 ears)
Green Leaf Lettuce (1 bunch)
Kale (1 bunch)
Mushroom (1)
Onion (1)
Peaches (3)
Purple Kale (1 bunch)
Red Bell Pepper ) (1)
Spinach (1 bunch)
Sweet Potatoes (2-3lbs)
Tomato (1)
Yellow Squash (2)
Zucchini (2)

Snack Time From the Box

How am I going to eat all of these fruits and vegetables? I have to plan ahead. Waiting until after work to figure out what I am going to eat is a sure recipe for eating out. The same goes for children. They need something to eat when they get home.

This recipe is really good for kids. My mom used to get these for us from Carl's Jr. This oven fried version will have your kids eating zucchini in no time. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to bake. Use ranch dressing as a dip. Alternatively mixed some fat free sour cream with a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing mix.

Zucchini Fries

4 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 cup(s) dried bread crumbs, panko-variety suggested
2 medium zucchini, about 7-inches each, cut into 4 chunks, then each chunk halved
2 large egg white(s), whipped until frothy (almost soft peaks)

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together Italian seasoning, flour and salt. Put bread crumbs in another small bowl. Whip, using a whisk or fork, egg whites until frothy

Dip a zucchini stick in flour mixture and then dip into egg whites; dip in bread crumbs. Place coated zucchini on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients until you have run out of zucchini. Once all of the prepared zucchini fries are on the pan spray them with cooking spray.

Put in the oven for about 5 minutes. Flip them over and then bake for another 5-7 minutes until they are crispy.

Carrot Sticks, Broccoli and Cherries

Well why buy baby carrots in the bag when you can just chop these up in about 5 minutes and put them in your child's lunch or have them in the fridge for after school? Have that same dipping sauce from the zucchini on hand. Or if your child can eat peanut butter use a little of that. For the cherries they are very easy, just eat them.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

What's the deal with all this From the Box stuff?

For full disclosure I am a trained health educator. The problem with health education is that it's only one part of the solution to better health. What's the point of telling people about eating 5 servings of vegetables if they aren't available in their neighborhood? What if a person lives on someone's couch and can't cook? What if a person has two jobs? You want me to buy organic vegetables that are three times as expensive as my regular vegetables? There are so many barriers to a healthy lifestyle.

These posts deal with issue #1 food access. I discovered the Healthy Solutions coop about a year ago and I have been blessed. In a sea of carryouts and wack grocery stores I have the ability to have inexpensive organic vegetables and fruit. I actually don't advocate that everyone needs only eat fresh or organic vegetables and fruits. I think that people should just eat more fruits and vegetables whether it's from a can (and rinsed) or frozen.

So now that I have access I need to know what to do with all this and not fall back on my old habits. I had not heard of Kale until a year ago nor had I ever used Red Chard. So this is to help people like myself who want to eat better but need to know what to do with our new found access to fresh vegetables. This series is for people who have time to cook at least 2-3 times a week.

I hope this will be helpful for others. I will explain how to order from the coop during the 3rd week of June the next time the coop is open for orders.

From the Box

What I used today from the Healthy Solutions box: Peaches, Spinach, Onion, Avocados, Kale, Tomato and Chard.


I added some peaches to my morning oatmeal. I also sauteed some spinach to have on hand for egg white omelets. This works well for a low weight watchers point breakfast. It also helps to have the spinach on hand to make a 5 minute breakfast that is more than cold cereal.


Fresh Guacamole w/ Tortilla Chips

Well growing up in California, where avocados are abundant, I am a real fan of the buttery good stuff. I eat avocados with a spoon straight from the shell. Guacamole is a really quick thing to whip up and has good fat!

4 Avocados mashed
1 Tomato diced
1 Red or White Onion small dice
Jalapeno (optional) minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Now for the chips...

Purchase a package of corn tortillas from the store. Cut the tortillas into triangle and spread them into a thin layer onto a baking sheet. Brush them will oil or spray them with cooking spray. Bake for 5-10 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.


Chicken, Kale and Mushroom Penne

I did a little Google searching to discover what I could do with the kale other than have it as a side dish. I found this pasta recipe linked above which I adapted a bit. Try the original and try mine as well.

Chicken, kale, and mushroom penne

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts chopped into cubes
2 bunches kale, without stemms and chopped coarsley
1 Portobello mushroom
1 16oz of whole wheat barilla brand past
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large white onion, diced
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 tsp nutmeg

1. Cook pasta in boiling water according to directions on package

2. While the pasta water is coming to a boil heat a large skillet over medium flame. Add approx. 1 tbsp olive oil and cook chicken until cooked almost through. Remove chicken and set aside.

3. Add other 1 tbsp of oil to the pan when heated, add onions and mushrooms cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add kale and nutmeg. Cook until kale begins to soften, stirring often. Place a top or plate over the skillet to allow the kale to cook down.

4. Once the kale has wilted add in the cooked chicken, red pepper and Parmesan.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

What's in the Box?

I bought vegetables from Healthy Solutions Produce Coop today. What's in the organic freggie small box this week($25)?

Avocados (4)
Broccoli (2 crowns)
Carrots (5 tops on)
Chard (Red, 1 bunch)
Corn (4 ears)
Green Leaf Lettuce (1 bunch)
Kale (1 bunch)
Mushroom (1)
Onion (1)
Peaches (3)
Purple Kale (1 bunch)
Red Bell Pepper ) (1)
Spinach (1 bunch)
Sweet Potatoes (2-3lbs)
Tomato (1)
Yellow Squash (2)
Zucchini (2)

Just for laughs I went to to see what this would cost. They didn't have everything in the organic section but for $22 I was only able to get about 1/3 of the organic list.

Green Leaf Lettuce

This is why the produce coop is so important to me. I live in a food desert we only have one grocery store in our Ward. The fresh produce is pretty poor. Organic produce? Forget it! I can go to Maryland or Virginia for more choices but why should I have to?

Check back for the rest of the week to see what I make. Well the first thing will be guacamole!