Currently: July

Wow. That’s all I can say about the responses I got to my last post. I was touched by every single word you guys shared with me and I’m seriously blown away by just how many views it got. It reminds me that being open and honest really pays off, so thanks for every comment, tweet and repost!

Now onto something a little more fun. I haven’t done a ‘Currently’ post very much in the last few months so I thought it was time for an insight into my life at the moment.

Current Book: Does People StyleWatch count? I’m not much of a book reader, but I can pore over fashion magazines. This one’s especially fun because it features celebs and is a little more reasonable than, say, Vogue.

I'm excited to read the latest issue.

I’m excited to read the latest issue.

Current Music: I’ve been loving this brand new song by a new-to-me group, The Griswolds. It’s a fun, summer-y tune.

Current Guilty Pleasure: Spending so much damn $$$ on groceries. Gah. I thought I was getting good at budgeting. The past three weeks, I’ve spent around $100 for a week of groceries. Even this week, when I thought I didn’t have any big purchases (like protein powder) I still spent a ton. I guess those organic figs, stevia chocolate chips and raw cashew clusters add up! I’d like to keep my bill around $80 next week though.

I'm not giving up my produce to save some $$$.

I’m not giving up my produce to save some $$$.

Current Nail Color: Still Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Hot Tamale. I did just score a fun blue sparkly polish from Target for under $2…I live by the cheap-o Sally Hansen polishes because they work just as well as OPI but for a fraction of the price.

Current Needs: I need to find a restaurant for my birthday dinner. It’s a week from this coming Sunday (!!!) and I just happened to stumble upon some menus for some very veg-friendly places here, but for whatever reason, none of them are open on Sundays for dinner. And I’m not sure I can convince my family to make an almost 2 hour drive to OKC for some vegan Mexican food (there’s apparently a very good all-veg Mexican place there).

Current Drink: Other than the usual ice cold water, I finally caved and invested in Chameleon cold brew concentrate. Holy yum, this stuff is good and it should actually save me money on Starbucks trips. I only ever get iced coffees, so this stuff is perfect.

Sorry Starbies, you've been replaced!

Sorry Starbies, you’ve been replaced!

Current Food: I finally got my fix of the Whole Foods salad bar after going at least a month without it. I went to the WF a little farther from home and they had the most killer selection of stuff. It was one of my favorite salad bar boxes to date. And actually cheap — only $6!

The key to having a cheap WF salad bar box is using lettuce from home and loading the box with only the best.

The key to having a cheap WF salad bar box is using lettuce from home and loading the box with only the best.

Current Obsession: My love for running (outside) is still going strong. I generally run 2 miles three to five days per week, but on Sunday, I managed to run 3 full miles! I still take walk breaks at the halfway point, but it really helps keep up my stamina on these days when it feels like 100 degrees out.

How can you not love running when you have this view? These colors are all-natural!

How can you not love running when you have this view? These colors are all-natural!

Current Triumph: Just having a much better body image. I guess writing my last post was really therapeutic for me, because I’m really seeing my body in a very different light than I used to…which is a good thing!

Current Bane of my Existence: This fly that’s been in my apartment for several days and somehow refuses to die. It’s also too quick to swat, so I’ve been just waiting for it to give up.

Current Indulgence: This amazing strawberry snow cone I picked up from Whole Foods on Friday. I haven’t had a snow cone in years, but when I heard WF was making some with locally-made syrups (also free of any processed crap) I knew I had to get one. And it was $2 and perfect for a super hot afternoon.

This was incredible!

This was incredible!

Current Excitement: My family is driving out to visit me for my birthday weekend! I haven’t seen them since April, which is the longest I’ve ever gone without being with my fam. It hasn’t been as hard of a transition as I thought it would be, but I still miss them, and my birthday would be weird without them. So thankfully, I have four days off around the big day in which to show them around my new city, drag them to all the veg-friendly restaurants I’ve been dying to try, go to a concert I’m extremely pumped for and just enjoy their presence. But…that also means getting my apartment ready for their arrival in just over a week. Not sure when that’s gonna happen!

Current Mood: So ready for my birthday!

Current Outfit: I’ve also been buying a lot of clothes lately (but trying to stay within my budget) and my outfit on Saturday incorporated a skirt I just bought from VS Pink. Yes, they have actual clothes there that are pretty cute!

I love mint and tribal, but they're even better together!

I love mint and tribal, but they’re even better together!

Current Link: What is Femme Anyway? This post actually ties in quite well with my last one — basically it’s how I personally define myself as a woman. Some might describe me as high-maintenance, but part of my personality is about caring very much about my appearance and I’m proud of that. And it really spoke to me when it talks about loving yourself, because that’s something I’m always working towards.

What are some of your currentlies? 

Currently: June

Haven’t done one of these in awhile but I thought I’d give a little insight into my life at the moment!

Current Book: Wintergirls. It’s a fictional book about eating disorders, but it feels so real to me. Too real. I devoured the book on my tablet in one day. I feel like I have to read it again just to totally pick up everything that’s going on. Definitely a chilling and potentially triggering read, but really good.

Current Music: I love The Black Keys’ new album and also Foster the People’s new one. “Best Friend” is a really fun pump-up song I plan on adding to my running playlist soon!

Current Guilty Pleasure: The new ALDO purse I bought on Memorial Day. Okay, it was on sale, but it’s still a splurge for this girl.

Current Nail Color: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Hot Tamale.

Seen here pictured with my first Whole Foods coffee bar iced almond milk latte.

Seen here pictured with my first Whole Foods coffee bar iced almond milk latte.

Current Needs: More money (sigh), new glasses (I really want to order some totally hipster ones), face time with my family, a bang trim.

Current Foods: Homemade sweet potato hash, romaine hearts + spicy mustard, Sunwarrior protein chia pudding, flax crackers, berries.

Give me allllllll the produce.

Give me allllllll the produce.

Current Drink: ice cold water. It’s been HOT here. Not complaining!

Current Triumphs: trying to be smart with my money (I get paid every other Friday, and at the beginning of the month it’s hard to stretch the paycheck after paying for rent), getting back into running after hurting my Achilles’ tendon. I actually just started running a few weeks ago, and for now it’s more a mix of walking and running, but I really love it. Like a lot more than I thought I would. It helps that I have a gorgeous riverside trail just across the street from my apartment.

Current Bane of Existence: Humidity. I’m a total baby when it comes to this. I was born in Arizona and grew up in Colorado, aka both basically deserts. I know Oklahoma is nothing compared to Texas/Florida/etc. for humidity, but I just can’t take it. Give me dry heat any day!

Sweaty selfies are my favorite.

Sweaty selfies are my favorite.

Current Indulgence: Recent mini shopping trips on my days off. I am giving myself a clothing budget each month, but of course it’s a new month now — I can totally buy a few new things again 😉

Current Blessing: Being able to start working a different position at work. I’m still an associate producer, but I’ve been producing the midday newscast a couple of days per week and while it’s totally scary, it’s also fun learning how to do. And it beats the assignment desk any day! I could bitch go on and on about how much I hate the fact that the station I work at hasn’t hired a PT desk person yet so I can stop filling in for a position I wasn’t hired for.

Current Outfit: My new jumpsuit. I feel totally fierce in it and now I want more jumpsuits!

I tried to get creative with my outfit shot. Blame it on being basically alone at work for 8 hours.

I tried to get creative with my outfit shot. Blame it on being basically alone at work for 8 hours on a Saturday morning.

Current Excitement: My birthday in less than 2 months! Any guesses as to how old I’ll be turning? Hint: think an overplayed Taylor Swift song!

Current Link: 35 Things Only People Who Work Weird Hours Will Understand. Buzzfeed just gets me. These are some of the annoyances I have with having a weird schedule. It’s not all bad but let’s just say it’s a good thing I’m not into the whole nightlife scene anyway. Basically my days consist of work, sleep, working out, laying by the pool and eating. Such is life!

What are some of your ‘currentlies’? 

 

Currently: September

I’m trying to get back to a more regular posting schedule (which includes new recipes–check out my other blog for some spicy raw tacos!) but for now, I still don’t have a ton of content I want to cover, so I’m gonna go with the random and always fun ‘Currently’ post.

Current Book: This may be nerdy, but I think my nutrition textbook is really interesting. I’ve always been fascinated by nutrition & health, but before my nutrition class this semester, I never did much research into it. Now I’m finding out so many things, like how conventionally-grown oranges are often colored with food coloring to be more ‘orange’ and what those weird-sounding food additives really are.

Current Music: Sorry not sorry, but another alt song is on the list for this month. This time, it’s “Unbelievers” by Vampire Weekend. Gah, I love Vampire Weekend. It doesn’t hurt that the lead singer (Ezra Koenig) is pretty attractive…and obviously talented.

Current Guilty Pleasure: The matching mani I got done with a friend last week. Disclaimer: this is like the 3rd or 4th time EVER that I’ve gotten a mani. The first time was on my 18th birthday. I don’t get them done a lot because it’s hard to justify spending $10+ for polished nails that I could do at home for the price of a bottle of nail polish (though I can’t always get it as good when I do it myself, but at least the price of nail polish goes a lot farther). But it was fun to do it with a friend and now I have pretty taupe nails.

Perf for fall.

Perf for fall.

Current Nail Color: See above ^^^. Before this though, I was sporting Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear (my go-to brand, because it’s cheap and effective) in pink and purple, both on sale at Target for under $2 (because sadly they’re both discontinued colors).

Current Drink: Water from my freebie ‘PINK’ water bottle. It makes drinking water more fun and convenient, since I can just bring it with me to classes and it won’t spill as easily as my other water bottles did. Plus it’s gigantic, so I end up drinking more overall.

I'm loving water + Amazing Grass greens packets too.

I’m loving water + Amazing Grass greens packets too.

Current Food: Lettuce wraps stuffed with spicy raw taco filling/homemade avocado-cashew dressing, coconut butter-stuffed dates, Larabars (so great for when I’m on campus all day), all-fruit softserve from the softserve food truck on campus, figs.

Current TV Show: One of my friends got me hooked on old episodes of New Girl. I won’t be able to watch them live this season because I have CTV on Tuesday nights, but I’m definitely gonna keep watching them somehow.

Current Wishlist: For the 2nd Colorado location of Native Foods Cafe to open (it’s only an hour away from my hometown!), cute and comfortable booties (preferably cheap, too), a new phone (my contract expires in December–maybe I’ll finally get an iPhone…though I love my Android too), for this nice weather to last for awhile (can we just skip over winter?).

Current Needs: I need my budgeting skills back. Over the summer, I wasn’t buying much for myself other than clothes occasionally from money I earned doing chores or from birthday cash but now that I have student loan money again, it’s been too tempting to spend some of it on fun stuff, instead of saving most of it for rent and groceries. I haven’t been going too crazy, and a lot of it has been when I’ve been hanging out with friends and we got sushi, or manis, but I need to keep my spending in check and only buy what I need, with minimal ‘fun’ purchases.

Current Triumphs: Starting to get back into the swing of school (I still have senioritis, BUT it’s motivating me to get through the next 3 months) and being more spontaneous. I’ve gotten really close with a friend I met in our newswriting class 2 years ago, and we’ve been hanging out a couple of times per week. She also invited me to join her intramural volleyball team and even though I don’t like volleyball and I’m not one for team sports (I prefer working out solo, or playing tennis with my dad), I decided to do it. It’s only for 4 weeks, 1x per week (and we’ve already made it through 3 weeks), and even though our team sucks, it’s been fun. Hanging out with friends more often has made me realize how much I crave a schedule, but it’s made me go out of my comfort zone a lot. I’ve been saying yes to Starbucks runs and yoga sessions instead of staying home and doing my regular workouts and such on my own time. It’s been hard, but really freeing.

Current Bane of Existence: This 5 day forecast. Thursday–great! Saturday–okay. Sunday and Monday–perfect. Friday just had to be cold and rainy, right? Ugh, I am so not ready for the 50s yet. I still want the 80 degree weather back!

No. Just...no.

No. Just…no.

Current Indulgence: This deliciousness. Gah. I stopped getting these so often (read: every other week) because they were a bit too expensive (not really, but definitely for a regular purchase) and I didn’t want to get burned out on them. Now that the Whole Foods by school has stopped carrying Hail Merry tarts (WHY?), I have to make a stop at Natural Grocers for them, but they’re cheaper there anyway, so it’s a total win. Plus anything mint+chocolate is just amazing.

Current Blessing: Having my family coming up to visit me this weekend. I usually go home every other weekend because I LOVE my family and it’s nice to get a break from my apartment once in awhile (even though I live alone–I need the company sometimes!) but sometimes they get to come up and spend the weekend at my apartment. Being a hostess is a bit stressful (mostly because I keep my apartment clean and having people over makes that harder to do…and also because I don’t get to keep my regular workout schedule) but I always love seeing them and having my parents treat me to dinners out is always a plus.

Current Outfit: This was actually from Monday, but it was a navy knit sweater over a mint lace bandeau, light wash jeggings, floral hair wrap and a mint statement necklace. Anybody else feel awkward wearing jeans again after a few months without them? Ignore my weird looking thighs in the photo. I’ll be used to wearing skinny jeans again in a couple of months.

This necklace was $5...gotta love Living Social deals!

This necklace was $5…gotta love Living Social deals!

Current Excitement: In the short term–this weekend with the fam. In the longer term–graduation…just 3 months away now!

What are your ‘currents’?

College Vegan on a Budget: Looking Ahead

A healthy food-loving girl’s adventures in the world of grocery budgeting.

If you’ve been sticking with me since I started the CVB series then you’ve seen how I’ve had my ups and downs with budgeting. I think I’ve learned a lot since August though, and I want to keep what I’ve learned in mind every time I go grocery shopping, even if it’s on my parents’ dime. Which it will be verrrrry soon, aka in like 4 days!

But CVB will not be back until school starts up again in the fall, so if you still want to read about budgeting, just check out my previous posts on the topics. And just a note, this produce will all be finished this week, but some of the non-perishable or frozen items will be returning home with me when I move back.

Whole Foods produce purchases this week.

Whole Foods produce purchases this week.

*=organic

Whole Foods 

What I Got: watermelon half, baby spinach*, limes, avocados x3*, red mango*, strawberries*, Medjool dates, raw strawberry cheesecakes x2 (on sale and a treat for post finals!), Truvia, bulk whole almonds, Hail Merry vanilla maple almonds, Gone Raw sprouted Thai lemon curry cashews (I’m seriously obsessed, I buy these every week), gluten free frozen pizza dough, Incan berries* (not sure if I like these yet), raw mint chocolate squares, raw southwestern kale chips (also on sale and my fave), Vega One bar, Kit’s Organic chocolate coconut bar*

What I Spent: $67.57 (pretty typical lately)

Verdict: As usual, I spent about 1/3 of my total bill on produce (it came out to about $22 this time, totally worth it for organic  or good quality produce), and I also bought some ‘fun’ things that will probably only last through Wednesday when I move back home. Some things I’m planning on bringing back with me because I don’t think I can get them at the Whole Foods stores in my hometown.

The rest of the purchases.

The rest of the purchases.

When you’ve moved or traveled, do you try to eat everything before or do you bring leftover stuff with you? How much do you spend on produce?

 

College Vegan on a Budget: 2 Weeks & Counting

One clean-eating college girl’s goal to save as much money as possible at Whole Foods and beyond.

Well folks, there’s just over two weeks left until I’m officially done with my junior year of college (it’s also just under 3 months til I’m 21, but who’s counting 😉 ). It actually feels so weird to be saying that–I feel like I was just in 5th grade. It’s crazy to think that a year (or less) from now, I could be at my first big-girl job. Wow.

Like I mentioned in my last CVB post, this little series will be taking a hiatus over the summer as I transition back into life at home with my family. Obviously I’m looking forward to that, and also to be taking a break from budgeting! I’ve learned a lot, but I’m ready to have my parent’s financial support again for a few months. Considering that I may be living completely on my own in a year, it’ll be nice to rely on my parents for a little while to save up money for that!

I went to both Sprouts and Whole Foods this weekend, but I’ll only be listing and photographing my Whole Foods buys here, as I feel like I’ve come a long way with my budgeting skills there. Not too long ago, I was spending at least $80 there per week, sometimes upwards of $100. Yikes. Lately, I’ve been reigning in my impulse purchases, and it’s helped me stay below $60 almost every week there. I even spent under $40 there the other week…and who says it’s called Whole Paycheck? You really can shop there on a budget (maybe not a super-tight one), you just have to watch what you’re buying. I even buy more expensive things there sometimes, and still come in below $60.

Whole Foods produce

Whole Foods produce

*=organic

Whole Foods

What I Got: baby spinach*, lemons x2, romaine lettuce*, Ataulfo mangos x3, strawberries*, watermelon, bulk section almond flour, bulk section coconut flakes, bulk section raw cashew pieces, grind-your-own raw cashew butter, coconut aminos*, Thai curry cashew mix*, Vega One bar, Vega vanilla chai protein powder sample pack, Theo dark chocolate orange bar*, Tessemae’s paleo BBQ sauce (on sale, and the only BBQ sauce I know sweetened only with dates), Skinny Crisps cinnamon (like grain free graham crackers!)

What I Spent: $58.48

Verdict: I bought a LOT of produce this week (most of it organic) and it still didn’t eat up my budget! As I’ve said before, produce is typically about 1/3 of my budget per store and trying to stick with the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 guidelines can help me save money and decide what really needs to be bought organic when I have the choice. Buying from the bulk section in only the amount I need saves me a lot (for instance, I bought 1/3 a pound of almond flour for only $1.88!) and looking for deals helps when I make impulse buys. I like the Tessemae line of dressings, and when I saw their new BBQ flavor was on sale for about half the usual price, I had to try it, especially because I’ve been looking for a clean BBQ sauce. Some things, like the coconut aminos, cost a lot upfront (at least more than traditional soy sauce or even tamari/Bragg’s) but the quality ingredients and taste are worth it to me, and it lasts me a few months too. Basically, I try to make tradeoffs and figure out what the ‘real’ cost of an item is (good ingredients, how long it’ll last, etc.)

Other Whole Foods buys.

Other Whole Foods buys.

Are better ingredients/nutritional benefits worth it to you over low cost? How much does the organic label matter to you?

College Vegan on a Budget: Makin’ Changes

An occasional series on my trials and successes in grocery shopping for myself for the first time while on a college budget.

It’s getting to be that time of year ago–finals week. Okay, technically it’s not for another 4 weeks, but close enough, right? With that being said, these CVB posts will probably be on hiatus soon for the next few months, as I move back home for the summer and hopefully go back to my parents paying for most of my groceries. I’m excited for that, but truth be told, I’ve been having fun and learning a lot doing this budgeting thing and I don’t plan on going crazy with the groceries once my parents are doing the purchasing.

So I’ve been doing a great job at keeping my weekly Whole Foods trips at around $60 or under, but I’ve failed at keeping my whole weekly grocery budget at around $80. I shop at Sprouts on a weekly or every other week basis and keep my costs to around $30 or under, but I get into trouble when I go crazy over their Larabar selection, or when I hit up yet another natural foods store in the same week (as I did last week, going to Natural Grocers and spending $20 on some super-expensive coconut flour bread, dark chocolate and cappuccino Larabars that were on sale) or when I buy food online from iHerb or Amazon (as I did two weeks ago). So for the rest of the semester, I’m going to be limiting those purchases as much as possible, probably only making one more purchase from iHerb to restock my peanut flour. And since I’ll be moving out of my apartment in a month, I need to get rid of some of the pantry staples I have, like beans and flours, so I’ll really be watching my grocery list and eliminating unnecessary purchases.

Sprouts buys.

Sprouts buys.

*=organic

Sprouts

What I Got: ALT  and Uber Larabars, Kit’s bar*, chocolate Kale Krunch* (not planned, but I’d never seen it before and was intrigued), cherry cola Zevia (on sale for only $2.99!), pineapple, Gone Nuts chipotle pistachios, unsweetened applesauce*, avocados x3*, serrano peppers

What I Spent: $32.70

Verdict: The raw nuts and kale chips were the only things not on my list (and the two most expensive by far) but I bought them because I’ve never seen them anywhere else and wanted to try them. I stocked up on the Zevia (a new-to-me flavor) even though I have some others in my pantry because they were a steal at just $3, compared to the usual $5 or $6. The avocados were bought organic because they were the same price as conventional and buying organic whenever possible is always best.

Whole Foods purchases.

Whole Foods purchases.

Whole Foods

What I Got: Gone Raw Thai curry cashews (it’s a problem, I’m obsessed), raw cashew butter (this stuff is AMAZING, and only getting a little bit from the bulk aisle saved me tons of money), bulk unsweetened coconut shreds, bulk white Turkish figs*, Medjool dates*, Veggie-Gos fruit and veggie strips*, canned green olives, Tom’s kids toothpaste (I had a coupon, and have been looking for a more natural toothpaste), cherry chocolate Vega One bar, plain Skinny Crisps (for an upcoming recipe), eggplant*, watermelon (yes!), 1 lb. strawberries (finally we’re getting into berry season), Ataulfo mangos X2 (tastiest mangos ever!), baby spinach*, fair trade vanilla extract (on sale and one of the only clean extracts I could find), Hail Merry raw chocolate tart (another thing I need to stop buying, I love it too much!), bulk fair trade 65% dark chocolate chips*

What I Spent: 60.76

Verdict: I have gotten SO much better at spending less at Whole Foods while still getting a lot. Produce is usually about 1/3 of my total purchase, which is really decent, especially for such great quality and sometimes organic produce. I still got a few fun purchases, but I’ve been better about not buying all my favorite splurges all the time. 

What fruit are you most excited to eat this summer? What’s the best grocery store deal you’ve encountered lately (for me, it’s either the Zevia, or the Larabars I found for under $1 each)?

College Vegan on a Budget: New Finds

A series of posts on one college girl’s trials and errors in budgeting her grocery money and still eating well.

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since my last CVB post! Don’t worry, I’ve definitely still been buying groceries since then, I just haven’t had too many exciting purchases. Until this week, that is.

As I mentioned in my WIAW post this week, I’ve been enjoying a lot of new-to-me products this week. Other than the ones I already mentioned, I just got my latest iHerb order in the mail and other than my usual peanut flour and Alter Eco dark chocolate bar, I also gave in and finally bought the blogger favorite–coconut butter. I’ve heard so many raves about it that I had to give it a try, even at $11 a jar (yes, I bought the Artisana kind). And…I love it! I know a year ago, it would have been a waste of money since I both disliked and feared coconut anything, but now that I’m pretty much obsessed with all things coconut (oil! flour! milk! shredded! bars!) I hoped I would like it. Coconut butter is amazing as a nut butter substitute, especially stuffed in dates. I can’t wait to try it out in recipes!

My new finds from Sprouts and Whole Foods.

My new finds from Sprouts and Whole Foods.

You know me, always on the lookout for new, clean, vegan bars that I can try out as snacks and quick meals. I first spotted the new Larabar ALT variety on their website towards the beginning of the year, but I never saw them in stores until I shopped at a new Sprouts last Sunday. My college town has two Sprouts stores (kinda crazy considering my hometown of half a million only has one, but my tiny college town of only 150,000 has two) but I’d only been to one of them before. I was disappointed in that location’s selection of bars so I decided to check out the other Sprouts. This one is closer to me, bigger and seems to have a much better selection of everything…they even had the strawberry Zevia I’ve been looking all over for! Anyways, they also happened to carry all 4 flavors of the ALT bar so I snatched up all but the cinnamon apple crisp (I’m not a huge fan of apple-flavored things). So far, I love the pumpkin flavor and I really like that they offer 10 grams of pea protein.

As for my other new buys, I picked up the carrot cake Larabar, an organic raw foods bar, my second flavor of Vega One bars (I love these because they’re just the right amount of sweet and chocolate and have 15 grams of protein + greens in a 250 calorie bar, which is perfect for a quick lunch!), grape Zevia, Pure Via (I’ve heard some negative things about my favorite Truvia so I wanted to try a cleaner brand), Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour in bulk (only $3.99 per pound which is much cheaper than buying prepackaged), a champagne mango (better than regular mangoes!), tricolored carrots and baked apple chips (I know you love these, Amanda!)

I like trying new things because then I can find things I love, and figure out what things I don’t like so I don’t end up wasting more money on them in the future. That’s why I like when I can find single-serve things (like the bars and Zevia) that aren’t so expensive, so if I hate them, I didn’t waste that much money. Luckily this time around, I’ve really liked everything I’ve tried so far!

Do you buy new things at the store a lot, or stick with old favorites? Do you like trying different varieties/colors of produce? 

College Vegan on a Budget: A New Low

One college vegan’s mission to save money while still maintaining her clean eating standards.

I’ve really been needing to reign in my spending habits lately. Between a $40 iHerb purchase last week (mostly necessary, but some were impulse buys to get the free shipping), picking up a few personal care items at Target the other day that set me back $30 (including some heavier free weights–woohoo, I’m progressing!) and going out to eat a few times with friends (not a bad things, since I need to get more comfortable with this), the last thing I needed was a giant grocery bill this weekend. And luckily, I was smart with my spending and walked away spending just over $80 for the week. This has become my new weekly goal, so let’s see if I can hit it more often than not!

Sprouts buys under $30.

Sprouts buys under $30.

*=organic

Sprouts

What I Got: dried apple rings, Medjool dates, hazelnuts (for vegan healthy Nutella–stay tuned!), Kevita strawberry acai coconut probiotic drink*, raw cacao powder* (this brand was much cheaper than my fave Navitas Naturals), poppy seeds, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, Wholly Guacamole avocado verde salsa (one of the best salsas I’ve ever had!)

What I Spent: $26.86

Verdict: Again, Sprouts can be a big money saver. The salsa was literally $1–and it’s the best $1 I’ve ever spent! They have the cheapest nothing-added dried fruit and nut selection and their produce is dirt cheap, but is just as good as anywhere else. 

Whole Foods haul under $55.

Whole Foods haul under $55.

Whole Foods

What I Got: Kale Krunch cheezy chipotle kale chips*, 365 brand light coconut milk x2*, cashew butter, liquid smoke (for eggplant “bacon”), WFM brand almond oil, Hail Merry vanilla maple almonds, Hail Merry raw chocolate macaroons and chocolate tart, raspberry balsamic vinegar, Thai curry cashew mix, raw cashew pieces (on sale!), raw vegan brownie, pineapple chunks (also on sale), eggplant*

What I Spent: $53.47

Verdict: One of my cheapest Whole Foods trips for weekly staples ever! I even bought a few splurge-y items (ahem, raw desserts!) but still stayed under $60 and got a lot of things that will last awhile and stuff I needed for recipes I want to try out. 

What’s the best salsa you’ve ever had? What new recipes have you been trying out?