Happy Valentines Day! A day to celebrate love, and I’m great with that. Daniel and I didn’t really buy anything for each other, although I’m still trying to convince him to get a shirt he wants, and he’s still trying to convince me to buy some lulu. I guess a house is good enough 🙂 I’M SO FLIPPIN EXCITED ABOUT THE HOUSE! I asked him earlier if we could take a picture in front of our new house today (although we don’t technically own it until next Thursday), and he said no, that would be weird since right now it is someone else’s house, not our’s. I’m glad he always sets me straight. We had a nice date at The Casbah in Gvl last night. I love downtown Greenville.
Moving on…If you’re the “simple minded, foodie kind” like Dan and I (Ok, I made up that term), I’ve got a short grocery list for ya to get you through the week. Hopefully this will help you to not spend all those hard earned dollars, as well as not lose your mind over crazy, long complicated recipes (although those are fun to instagram, show off, and all…but come on, who has time for that every night)? But most importantly, I hope this helps you see a snapshot of what it looks like to eat good foods, while not breaking your budget.

Here are a few disclaimers:

  • We try to go to Trader Joe’s once every two weeks. Thankfully, Dan works in GVL, so he can just go after work.
  • There are only 2 of us. I know this gets more complicated when you add in more people.
  • Most importantly, this isn’t all we eat. It’s just the basics. I also go to the grocery store in Anderson once (sometimes twice) a week to get other things. The below items are just the ones that I’ve found you can get the best bang for your buck at TJ’s.
    • (Other food items we sometimes buy weekly – maybe or maybe not from TJ’s- but aren’t listed below include ground beef, eggs, bacon, cottage cheese, sweet potatoes, frozen berries, and some other veggies as well).
    • You can find all of the below items at your local grocery store. But here’s why I like Trader Joes: 
      • They have a no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives promise under their label.
      • They promise no added trans fats in any of their food items.
      • No GMOs in their food products (genetically modified organisms) – basically they aren’t artificially manipulated in a lab somewhere. 
      • No MSG (monosodium glutamate) – basically a flavor enhancer added to processed foods
      • They buy direct from suppliers whenever possible, bargaining to get the best price so their customers save $$.
      • They don’t charge “supplier fees” for putting items on shelves. That’s another reason why their prices are low. 
      • They’re so nice and friendly! How can you not love them?
      • Oh yeah, I almost forgot…the free samples.
      • Finally, we would love to eventually get back to buying most of our meat, veggies, and fruit from local farmers/sellers. When the weather gets warmer, we will try to go back to buying veggies and fruits at the market, but for right now, mostly everything frozen/from the store is the way to go for us ($$ and because fresh isn’t available as much). Also, I know, I know, local meats are the best way to go.We used to buy some of our meat and eggs from a local farm, but right now, we’re on a much stricter budget. So, the point of this isn’t to steer you away from buying local. If you can afford it, DO IT. (Just throwing that out there)

Here ya go!

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  • We can get by with 2 – 3 bags of frozen chicken for every 2 weeks. $6.99/bag (best value I’ve been able to find for frozen chicken, w/o the hormones).
  • We also buy a couple lbs. of that ground turkey you see right there. $2.99/lb
  • Finally, we buy TJ’s Turkey Burgers because they are convenient. You can throw them on the grill frozen and they are ready really fast. $2.99/box of 4

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  • Bottle of Pinot Grigio – because I’m more of a white wine person. We also buy other kinds of wine there, but last Friday, this is what I got – $4.49
  • Baby Spinach – We buy about 4 – 5 bags every trip. – $1.99/bag
  • Red Pepper, Onion, Spaghetti Squash – we buy numerous amounts every week– it just depends. – good produce prices at TJ’s
  • Avocados – They’re small and cute at TJ’s, and you can buy them in a bag of 4 right now  – $2.99/bag of 4. 
  • Mushrooms – We buy maybe 1 batch for every trip. – $1.99

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  • Frozen Spinach – this goes a long way in cooking (esp breakfast for us. It’s also good to throw in a shake). We buy 2-3 bags/trip- $1.49/bag
  • Those colorful peppers are my favorite for several reasons. One, they are called Melanage a Trois. Two, they are really cheap and a great filler. We buy about 5-6 bags every trip, and we use them in breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals. –  $1.69/bag
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes – I love these because they are just peeled, frozen sweet taters in a bag. Throw them into a pot with some water, and you have good mashed sweet potatoes – like the kind your grandma makes (without all the extra stuff – unless you want to add it yourself) I usually just add cinnamon. We go through about 1-2 bags a week. I haven’t  had to buy any in awhile though because Dan bought sooooo many a couple months ago.- can’t remember exact cost, but cheap and worth every penny.
  • Broccoli florets – we usually buy 3 bags every trip. – $1.49/bag

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  • French Vanilla Dark Roast Coffee – It’s our new favorite ground coffee – $6.99/1 Lb bag
  • TJ’s canned tuna – honestly, I don’t know much about this. Dan eats it. I don’t even know how much  it costs.
  • Steel Cut Organic Oats – $3.49
  • Natural Peanut Butter – We love it. It has less sugar than other kinds. We used to do only almond butter or sunflower butter…but we’re in the middle of fighting a peanut butter addiction. Help. – $2.49/jar
  • Cauliflower (meant to include this in the produce pic, but I accidentally left it out). You already know how I feel about cauliflower. – $2.49/each
  • Goat Cheese – we love it crumbled in small amt on breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner entres. TJ’s has the best value – $5.99/log 
  • Coconut Oil Spray and Jar – Can’t remember exact cost, but great value. We love the spray for cooking. 
  • Kerrygold Butter (not TJ’s label obviously, but you can buy it there. We use it for cooking) – $3.19 
  • Seasoning – TJ’s has a great selection. The Lemon Pepper and Everyday Seasoning are 2 of our fav’s – typically around $1.99/each

Praise the Lord for Trader Joe’s. Hope this helps! Most of our meals are centered around these ingredients. Have a great week, and stay warm out there!