Shopping Smartly

Hiiiii 😀 How are you? Thanks so much for your awesome comments on the Winter Shape Up! (<— later tonight, I’ll have a widget on the blog so it will be easier to find for ya’ll) Some of you have already let me know that you tried the workout- so awesome! Be sure to leave a comment on the WSU post each time you complete the workout this week 😉 (That would be a huge exaggerated wink and a hint that maybe I’m keeping track for something fun)

After an am green juice and amazing BodyPump class (the new release is siiiiiick. I’m sore already!), I had some breakfast.

Brown rice toast + Amy’s refried beans, some egg, nutritional yeast and salsa


It was good, but a good indication that it was time to grocery shop it up.

I picked up the madre and took her on her first trip to the commissary:


In Valdosta, I called it the commisSCARY because they had hardly anything and the produce was either nonexistent or rotting. Here, the commissary is positively beautiful and they have amazing prices on all of my favorite stuff. The only thing they’re really lacking in is organic produce, but as far as frozen, gluten-free and canned organic goodies, they rock the house.

As I’ve confessed to you guys before, we spend a boatload of money on food. We have a budget for everything else, but I’ve always figured that’s it’s worth it to spend a little more to put the best fuel possible into our proverbial tank. That being said, it is totally possible to find certified organic, whole foods without breaking the bank.

Today, I only spent 87ish dollars for food for the week + pantry items that will last longer


Here are the commissary goods:

-Alexia frozen potatoes and portobello mushrooms

-frozen oganic broccoli

-bag of organic green apples

-Smart water (I like it, please don’t be mad)

-Dijon mustard and OrganicVille sundried tomato dressing


-Wild frozen salmon fillets

-Frozen organic berries



groceries (2)

-Veggie wash




-Gluten-free pancake mix

-Almond milk

-Organic canned beans

-Gluten free oats

+ the missing produce I picked up at Trader Joe’s (organic cucumbers, 2 types of salad, lemons)

groceries (3)

-goat cheese medallions, seaweed snacks, and brown rice bread

Of course, there were still some impulse buys:

tucson 010 

(White Chocolate Kisses TEA?! How could I resist?)

but I think I did pretty well! 😀

Using the goods, I made myself a little taster plate for lunch:


Amazing 😀

With all of the organic hubbub, please don’t feel like you have to buy organic if it’s not widely available or if your budget won’t always allow it. Its much better to eat ANY vegetable or fruit than to ditch it for something processed, organic or not- ya know?

Here are some organic items with a less noticeable price jump:

-Carrots (they’re basically the same price!)

-Romaine lettuce

-Frozen berries (often less expensive than than conventional fresh berries, with more nutrients)

-Frozen veggies (Cascadian Farms has some great options)

-Sweet potatoes

-Canned beans (look for the store brand organic- Publix and Winn Dixie both have options)

Items that are worth the extra price:

-All meats



The dirty dozen

Not worth it:



I hope this helps a little! Also, make sure to check for a USDA certified organic label if you’re rolling with the organic thang- it’s not a regulated term, so some marketers will get tricky.

What items are worth the organic price tag to you? Any fun foodie impulse buys lately?

I’m off to dance!

See ya in the morning <3



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  1. Rebecca on January 18, 2011 at 6:01 am

    I try to buy organic as much as possible. We have a lot of organic stores and farmers markets in the area with a large farmer population so its a great area for organic 🙂 We raise our own chickens, so eggs are a must. I try to do veggies and fruit when I can, but things like meat and nuts are always an organic must.

  2. Cassie @ A Very Busy Mind on January 18, 2011 at 6:14 am

    This post is bomb for two reasons:

    1. This is totally my style of grocery shopping
    2. I love smartwater, too. My old roomie turned me into a smartwater brat.

  3. MightyMite Runner on January 18, 2011 at 7:13 am

    What a great commesary! the one where my sister lived in Kansas… not so good. the one in Washington was better but the one you’re at now is great! What wonderful options! as far as Organic we have a fabulous certified organic farmers market as well as a co-op here in Chico, CA. We have a pretty strong health minded community for being a Collage town! I do have issues with bananas and my friend has the same issues, odd hu? The organic ones give me a slight reaction of soreness in my mouth but the organic ones don’t. Avacodos don’t seem to bother me at all and I haven’t noticed the difference.

  4. Lauren on January 18, 2011 at 7:41 am

    This is funny, my friend and I just had a long convo the other night about the dirty dozen and what is worth spending more for… its like you read our minds! Great post!

  5. alison on January 18, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Heh, I call it the commiscary, too. My commissary at Ft. Belvoir is pretty decent and offers all kinds of healthy, organic items. However, it’s always busy and I generally leave the store feeling stressed out.

  6. Erin @ The Grass Skirt on January 18, 2011 at 7:57 am

    What an awesome haul!!! You have to let us know how you like the tea because it sounds really good! I try not to make any impulse purchases, but I did impulsively buy some Pop Chips at Trader Joe’s last Friday. I haven’t tried them yet, but they looked so tempting. 🙂

  7. Katie on January 18, 2011 at 8:03 am

    I’m trying to convince my boyfriend that it’s worth the extra $$ to get something that’s good for us. We won’t have to pay out our ears for medication later in life! It all equals out!

  8. Amy @ purewellnessamy on January 18, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Meat, dairy, and the dirty dozen are my definite organic purchases, but I pretty much buy everything organic because I shop at a small natural foods store, and that’s what they have available.

    What I need to do is start buying from the bulk bins to save a little money.

    Most recent impulse purchase: Next organics dark chocolate covered walnuts and bananas:

  9. Kristin on January 18, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I just added up yesterday what my husband and I have spent on groceries for the month of January, so far we are at $372 for two people, but we only eat out once a week. I’d rather pay more now instead of a lot more in the future for health problems!

  10. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine on January 18, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I have to say that I’m glad someone finally fessed up to spending more on their groceries. I spend a lot of money for my produce habit, and I read these posts where bloggers eat for $45 a week for two people or whatever…and my jaw just drops. More power to the people who are savvy enough to get that done, but the way I eat (and the city I live in!) is just expensive!!

    I buy mostly organic, unless the price is absolutely ridiculous or it’s thick-skinned items that I’ll peel/wash with a brush/etc. I figure it’s an investment in my health, which really is priceless!

  11. nysoonergirl on January 18, 2011 at 9:00 am

    If it’s under a dollar for the price difference, I try to get organic. We actually have a store up here where the organic avocadoes are a dollar or more less a piece!

    I definitely spend more on my groceries than a lot of people I know. But gluten-free crackers are about five times the cost of regular crackers. Sometimes it’s worth the cost to be pain free, ya know?

  12. Mo on January 18, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Those Trader Joe’s goat cheese medallions are my favorite . . . let me know how the Alexia potatoes/mushrooms are – the mix looks fantastic. Any add’l dollars I spend on healthier fare just offsets the junk food I used to buy . . . and you can’t put a price on your health. I work out at home so I don’t have a gym membership and both my husband and I live within 10 miles of work – if I’m going to splurge, it is on food. It works for us.

  13. Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble) on January 18, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I’m very adament about buying certain things organically. Organic produce, with a few exceptions (root veg and greens are NEVER the exception!) dairy if I buy it conventionally (but I usually only buy goat dairy from cute local goat farms, meat if I buy it for the hus… I usually buy wild and/or organic fish.

    Some impulse buys lately… tea as well! I am addicted to teas. We have an embarassing amount. I also bought some gluten-free flours to experiment with 🙂


  14. Katherine: Unemployed on January 18, 2011 at 9:18 am

    have you heard of the “clean fifteen” (some lists only include thirteen) of things that are safe to consume

    • Fitnessista on January 18, 2011 at 9:37 am

      yep 🙂

  15. April @ Crazy Fabulous Life on January 18, 2011 at 9:22 am

    What do people have against SmartWater?

    • Fitnessista on January 18, 2011 at 9:37 am

      it’s bottled

  16. amber@SAHM's musings on January 18, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Hey I couldn’t help but notice you bought veggie wash. I have a cheaper alternative that would help the food budget. Just use 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water and voila! Clean veggies and fruits. That leaves more $$$ for the fun stuff like flavored teas 😉

    You can check it out here

    • Fitnessista on January 18, 2011 at 9:36 am

      amazing! thanks 🙂

  17. Steph on January 18, 2011 at 9:39 am


    I love everything you brought home! I do the same thing, but I’m guilty of letting things go bad in the fridge because I’ve forgotten about them or just wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with them. I’d love to see what you do with this week’s haul in terms of meals. Care to share how many meals you get out of it?


    • Fitnessista on January 18, 2011 at 10:08 am

      sure i’ll do that next week- this week, i forgot my list, so i’m going to get creative 🙂

  18. Michelle on January 18, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Mmmmmm… White Chocolate Kisses tea!?!!! Looks delish!

  19. Kara on January 18, 2011 at 9:54 am

    That commissary is so much better than ours here at Pax NAS! I wish ours was better so I could save more money, but getting cheap fruit isn’t worth it if it’s on the verge of rotting…yuck!

  20. Em on January 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

    We have two great commissary’s here and they’re pretty good with organic stuff. Plus not having to pay taxes on them (only the surcharge) helps me afford to buy the organic stuff. Your lunch looks yummy btw!

  21. Shelly on January 18, 2011 at 10:43 am

    What about cabbage? I got a cabbage at the Farmer’s Market (so I’m not sure if it’s organic but it’s definitely local) for $1.50 and it’s twice the size of my head! I’m diligently trying to eat it this week- so lunches are brown rice porridge (I’m carb loading for a 20 mile run this weekend) with cabbage, carrots, mushrooms and a little chicken and dinner this week is cabbage and saurkraut cooked with a little venison sausage that my uncle gave me (I don’t know how some people feel about hunting, but it doesn’t get more free range than that, and venison is a very healthy meat.)
    Both recipes are courtesy of The Food Matter’s Cookbook.
    My impulse purchases lately have centered around sparkling water and club soda (I love bubbly water) and vegan coconut ice cream.

  22. Heather on January 18, 2011 at 10:55 am


    First I just want to say that I’m a long time fan and that I love your blog!

    I don’t usually comment, but felt compelled since you raise the question of when organic is more important. It brings up some issues that I am passionate about. I agree about referring to the dirty dozen lists. Personally, I always aim for organic when possible, but the ethics of how animals are treated comes into play (the organic standards at least implicitly include some factors that would effect animal welfare) as particularly important, so I avoid non-organic dairy, eggs, etc. I’m a vegetarian so I don’t eat meat, but if I did I would pursue organic meat for the same reasons. I think that another important issue is whether or not you know the product is genetically modified or has gmo ingredients. Although independent research on the health dangers of gmo’s for individuals and the environment have been largely suppressed, several studies have shown evidence that they are associated with various serious health problems. The problems they pose for the environment are more obvious if you think about it. As the current organic standards stand, the organic label ensures that products are not gmo. But I also find it helpful to know the products that are potentially gmo. As of now those mostly include only 4 crops: corn, soy, canola, and cotton and things that are derived from them such as maltodextrin, corn syrup, soybean oil, cottonseed oil. Aside from those, I believe there are also some papayas and squashes that are made w/gmo’s. If a product doesn’t have those, then it is not gmo. FYI, the Future of Food is a great documentary on this topic if you are interested.

    Thanks again for your delightful blog. 🙂


  23. J on January 18, 2011 at 11:24 am

    So jealous about those bobs gluten free oats you have!!!! Im going to go on a hunt for them, I can only find a brand that is gluten free called “Pure Oats” but the package is really small and doesnt last very long. Ill have to check bobs red mill website!
    PS: LOVE the workouts for winter shape up. really like the variations!:)

  24. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on January 18, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I try to buy organic animal products (yogurt, milk, meat, eggs) when I can, but I don’t often get organic produce because my grocery store has such a small selection!

  25. LisaG on January 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I mainly buy organic meat, eggs, & milk; some fruits & veggies. My latest splurge buy has been Chocovine – a chocolate/red wine imported from Holland. You would like it; it sounds gross but, tastes like a chocolate liqour.

  26. Chelsa on January 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I think gourmet chocolate, cheeses and coffee are the best random splurges. But for me organic veggies and grains are always organic and local when It’s available. For me it’s worth the extra cash alone just to support the organic industry. I’ve really enjoyed the fact that organic food is becoming more and more main stream these lately. More and more people are eating clean diets and that makes me really happy.

  27. Tayla on January 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Great post as always! I just splurged on a new cheese at Whole Foods: Snow white goat cheddar. You will LOVE it!

    • Fitnessista on January 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      i must find this cheddar you speak of 🙂

  28. Keltie on January 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    That tea sounds great! We have a tea store called David’s Tea, and they have the most amazing teas! I just tried one with vanilla, mint, and chocolate! So good!!!

  29. Amanda on January 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Timing is a funny thing – I was just having the great grocery debate with a girlfriend last night as I headed to Whole Foods, obligatory stop #2 on my grocery train. I totally feel you on the splurging on food thing. My husband and I dine out a maximum of once a week and really take care in what we put in our bodies (and by “we” I mean “me” – he gets it but wouldn’t take the initiative to eat quite as mindfully on his own), so we’re ok with spending a pretty penny on groceries, however, we are by no means rich. And, he’s a big dude (6’5″ 220lbs), so his caloric intake requirements are WAY high. We make it work, though, and spend about $600/month average, which works out to about $150/week. Mind you, that number includes necessities such as tp, paper towels, trash bags, cleaning supplies, etc., lunch and snacks to work 5 days a week and 6 meals per week at home. That said, it’s crazy moolah either way you cut it (I mean, isn’t that reasonable rent in some areas of the country?). And it takes time and planning – I get the necessary evil supplies and canned goods/non-perishables wherever I can find them the cheapest on a given week, which requires ad-scanning and coupon cutting. Then, I splurge at Whole Foods on organic produce and pastured meat (and, obviously, random chocolate discoveries). If I want to make something fun – that I find on your blog! – then that is, of course, an additional cost…whew, just realized I wrote a novel. Anyhoo, the grocery thing is such an interesting conversation and I hope we continue to have it – I’m curious how everyone else handles theirs. Thanks for this!

  30. Kristine @ Busy But Healthy on January 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Eggs and refried beans…that actually sounds pretty good!

    I LOVE that brand of hummus. So thick and creamy. The jalapeno one is INSANE!

  31. fitandclean on January 18, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Our launch for BodyPump is next week. Can’t wait to try it out! 🙂

  32. kate on January 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    We try to keep a budget with food, but Im with you on spending more since I think its worth it.

  33. Danielle on January 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Great post – i agree re: spending a litte more on better food.

  34. Emma on January 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Loved this post! Was fun to see what groceries you buy. I don’t usually spend the extra money on organic food from the supermarket – unless there isn’t a very big price difference. In one of my local supermarkets, they have organic wholemeal spaghetti and it’s actually slightly cheaper than the regular spaghetti! I do try and grow a lot of my own produce, and I grow that organically. Growing your own food organically saves lots of money as I don’t need to spend extra on pesticides or plant food or anything!

    I’m not following your WSU exactly, but I am going to try doing some HIIT! =)

  35. sandy on January 19, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I pay $2.00 more than you for those exact same GF Bob’s Red Mill oats! then again i’m in L.A…and i can’t live without those oats..

    • Fitnessista on January 19, 2011 at 9:48 am

      when i saw the price for them at the commissary, i was so excited!!! they’re usually 6.99 at whole foods

      • sandy on January 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm

        yeah that’s the whole foods price…i’m not part of the commissary club:)

  36. ginikay on March 19, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I love buying organic as much as I can find. I used to not buy organic when it came to more processed foods (like pretzels, or whatever), but then I realized I wasn’t just buying organic for my own health, but for the health of the environment around me. Anyway, just mentioning this, as sometimes it gets lost! Ultimately the health of our environment also affects us, inasmuch as runoff gets into the water supply, etc.

  37. beccah on November 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    not recent,a while ago I bought hemp flour off of ebay,not the best buy b/c I dont like that I cant use it as a main flour source and itself.its not a great idea to buy more than a 1 lb bag of hemp flour b/c it can only be used in small amounts.

  38. beccah on November 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    also,I dont go for things that’re labeled organic just b/c theyre organic and try to make my food price tag as low as possible while still being healthy {not as hard as it sounds} the food bank helps 😀 😀

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