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 harristeeter.com or southernsavers.com

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 www.iheartcvs.com

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

Saturday, August 07, 2010

CVS Trip 8/7

Visit iheartcvs.com or southersavers.com 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.