Showing posts with label frugal organic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frugal organic. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shopping Report/Finding Organic Labels

Finding Organic Foods
Considering frugal Organic Shopping Report
In keeping with our New Year's Resolution to find more organic labels and Non-Gmo products my daughter and I set out on a week long shopping trip to see just what was available in our area and how easy it is to find meat, produce and products.

We began our trip by making a list of foods that were most important to us. Our list included organic popcorn, since we love popcorn and corn is a very high risk product. My daughter has also been on a search for organic meat filled canned ravioli. While Annie's Homegrown does have a very good ravioli product, it hasn't quite satisfied the ravioli taste buds in our house. This is what we found.

At the end of my report you will find a chart listing my findings. Grades were based on products available, prices, shop ability (could I make one stop and find everything  I need?), and taste (I have to feed a tough crowd, lets face it, I am the only one in the house really committed to this cause).

We began our shopping @ Safeway since they introduced their own organic store brand, "O", line of organics. I expected to pay a little more but also find a little more. I was surprised by the lack of organic and Non-Gmo labels. When I asked about the "O" line of meat the butcher told me that he could order it but that it was just way too expensive in his opinion. Overall I gave Safeway a grade of C+ for their efforts.

We continued on to Wal-mart. After viewing the movie Food Inc. and noting the efforts of organic vendors to get their products on Walmart shelves, I expected to find more here. While there was a section of frozen prepackaged organics, I still found very little organic and Non-Gmo labeled foods leaving Wal-mart with a overall grade of D+.

Next Stop was Sprout's Farmer's Market where I expected to find organic meat, produce and hoped to find popcorn. I did find Organic popcorn and prepackaged goods like organic enchilada sauce that tasted great. In regards to meat, Sprout's brand was simply labeled "USDA Choice." I did find one organic chicken for an outrageous $14.99. Ouch! Overall, I will probably shop Sprout's to stock up on some of my dry goods but I couldn't stop and pick up everything I needed. I gave Sprout's a B-.

I was very surprised to find that my normal shopping stop was quite shop able. I would say it is one of the best places to shop. Not only has Fry's Marketplace come out with their own store brand but they have started carrying some national organic labels as well and they put them on sale offering prices competitive to name brand. I found Annie's Homegrown for the same price as Kraft and Chefboyardee. They are also offering a large section of organic produce. I gave Fry's Marketplace a B+.

Trader Joe's received the highest score being very shop able, carrying organic meat and everything imaginable, I gave them an A-. Why the minus? Taste, I just cannot use some of the meats and cheeses without complaints. Some of the dry goods taste "pasty." The breads and produce however are wonderful, very flavorful produce.

Honorable Mentions:

Costco (B) is a warehouse store, but I am finding some organic meats for reasonable prices as well as organic produce, I will probably continue to stock up there. SuperTarget (B+) now carries their own brand as well as competitors brands for competitive prices.Target brand has come under some question so as always make sure the label says organic.

Grade Card

Organic Meats
Organic Produce
Organic Dry/Frozen Goods
Organic Dairy
Organic Store Brand
Organic Store Brand
One Chicken
Very little
Rather Large Section of Produce
Organic Store Brand & several isles of competitors
Not so much
Trader Joe’s
Yes Some
Enough to Stock up

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Apple Crunch Muffins/Frugal Organic Recipes

apple crunch muffins
Apple Crunch Muffins
As we are trying to cook frugal organic mostly vegetarian meals I am posting the big hitters and these muffins are turning into a big hit. I have made them twice this week and can't seem to keep the bread box stocked. They are an extra special hit for breakfast and snacks, whole grain, organic and yummy. The reason I am calling them Apple Crunch Muffins is because the evaporated cane sugar magically rises to the top forming a crunchy sweet topping.

Apple Crunch Muffins

1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 cup organic white bread flour
3/4 cup organic evaporated cane sugar (Florida Crystals)
2 teaspoons organic baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash salt
1 large organic free range egg
1 cup home canned chunky applesauce (see below)
1 stick melted organic butter

Preheat oven to 375 and line 12 muffin cups. Dump all ingredients in large bowl and fold together. Batter will resemble cookie doe. Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 18 minutes.

My home canned applesauce is super easy to make. I simple wash, peel, core and slice 2 pounds of apples and place them in a slow cooker; add 1/2 cup brown sugar (or not) and a dash of salt and cook on low all day. Can hot and process for 10 minutes. This recipe is yummy without the pesky use of a strainer.

You can find more recipes on my #Money Saving Recipes page or by looking thru my blog tag cloud.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hearty Meatless Meals/Mushroom Enchiladas

Hearty Meatless Enchiladas
Hearty Meatless Enchilada Sauce
As promised I am starting a new series of recipes for Meatless Monday meals. Any one of my frugal recipes can easily be converted to organic and vegetarian with a few substitutions but these particular meals are guaranteed to be family friendly, super hearty, nutrition packed and husband approved.

We started our quest with Mushroom Enchiladas, a simple and hearty recipe that will feed a crowd and I wouldn't be ashamed to feed to company. Here it is.

Hearty Mushroom Enchiladas

1pound of your favorite variety of organic mushrooms
1 pound grated organic Colby Jack cheese
1 small can organic enchilada sauce (or prepared package Simple Organics Enchilada Sauce)
2 tsp. fresh organic minced garlic
1 finely chopped organic onion
Sea Salt to taste
1 small can organic green chili peppers, drained
1-package organic corn tortillas
Canola or olive oil
Saute sliced mushrooms, garlic and onion in oil until transparent, salt to taste. Add green chili peppers and set aside.  Heat oil and soften each corn tortilla in the oil and then drain (for lower fat recipe soften tortillas in warmed enchilada sauce).  Wrap veggie mixture and a little cheese in each tortilla and put in greased 9x 13 pan. (you may need an additional pan for overflow) Cover with enchilada sauce and then remaining cheese.  Cover with greased aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, uncover and bake another 10 minutes for browning. Recipe makes about 14 enchiladas.

And you are ready to eat. Caution, don't burn your mouth...we do it every time. You can also strain and rinse a can of black beans, add these when you add the mushrooms. Serve with organic guacamole and sour cream, perhaps a little homemade salsa. These are so good your family will beg you to make them every week! Your husband will go to work bragging about your vegetarian enchiladas. I promise. 

You might also like my Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe.

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8