Recipe: (Virgin) Piña Colada Smoothie

Recipe: (Virgin) Piña Colada Smoothie from 100 Days of Real FoodSo what if it is the dead of winter and the ground is covered with frost (or even snow in some places)! All it will take is one sip of this piña colada smoothie to remind you of the warmer weather that is yet to come. And it couldn’t be any easier to make with only two simple ingredients. If you don’t have a fun silly cup like the one pictured (which I saved from a work event years ago) then pick up some of those cheap drink umbrellas to put you in the mood. Why not?



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Budget Day 100: Victory!

photo credit: Shannan Casper Photography

I honestly can’t believe it. For 100 days our family of four (pictured) survived on real, fresh, whole, organic, local, non-processed food for less money than we would have if we were on food stamps. At times, I truly doubted that this could be done. For only $125/week we repeatedly enjoyed fresh local milk (which was delivered directly to our house) and food from both the local farmers’ market as well as (what some would consider to be) an upscale health food store, Earth Fare. It’s not to say that there weren’t some (okay, maybe lots of) sacrifices, but we somehow found our way in the “tight” budget world and more than survived. As a reminder, and especially for those that are new here, check out the ten reasons why we cut out highly processed food in the first place (no matter the cost). And I would also love to remind everyone about some of the benefits we’ve personally experienced since changing our diets at the beginning of 2010… Continue Reading »

Budget Day 97: Some Mistakes

Our final week is coming to a close so this could very well be my last little bullet point list of all my groceries! I plan to keep blogging though…I am just not quite sure what the frequency will be yet. Speaking of, if you have any topic ideas that you would love to hear about please let me know by leaving a comment below. I’ve already gotten some great ideas from the Facebook fans, which is quickly turning into a growing list of things that I plan to tackle once this is over.

Anyway, as I previously mentioned I did most of my shopping for this week on Tuesday when we were on our way home from the airport. Not only were we fresh off the plane (it was just me alone with my 3-year-old and 6-year-old by the way…my husband was on a separate business trip), but I was also trying to squeeze in a quick trip to Earth Fare AND the bread store before taking my daughters to their weekly gymnastics class. This was all before we even made it home to drop off our luggage. A case of an overplanned mom? Absolutely. It was very much one of those days. Continue Reading »

Budget Day 94: An Empty Refrigerator

I can’t believe it. This is my last full week of only having $125 to spend on groceries! And just to clarify, we will absolutely still be on a budget when all of this is over. I will probably just give myself a slight increase…maybe around $150 a week. And I do think the extra $25 will make a big difference. Plus I won’t be “charging” myself for items out of our freezer that were purchased pre-budget, and I will no longer be reporting out on every single food item that I buy…so overall I am looking forward to feeling a lot less pressure! And I do hope 100 days was a long enough period of time for people to realize that this absolutely can be done.

Anyway, back to our final week, although I should probably wrap up last week first. As I previously mentioned I pretty much spent our entire food budget last week at Earth Fare prior to a big snowstorm that hit Charlotte. And with those groceries we managed to stick to our original dinner plan, which included the pictured chicken nuggets and baked purple sweet potato fries with homemade honey mustard…yum. My total spend last week came to $124.09 and this is how it was divided up… Continue Reading »

Recipe: Peanut Squash Soup

I tried this recipe for the first time last weekend, and I cannot believe how incredibly easy it is to make. Not to mention soups freeze beautifully so you can double the recipe and prepare this meal even more easily by pulling it out of your freezer on a busy weeknight. It goes well with whole-wheat biscuits, which can also be made and frozen in advance. I do want to give you a fair warning though that our children did not like this recipe for some reason…but the adults loved it so much that we thought we should share it anyway!
Peanut Squash Soup from 100 Days of Real Food Continue Reading »

Budget Day 87: Almost Done!

So here we are with only 13 days left of our real food on a budget project. I haven’t stopped shopping at Earth Fare (which some people think is expensive), and I most definitely have not stopped ordering our unbelievably fresh and delicious local ($30 a week) milk either. And I can’t help but notice…has this project failed in any way shape or form? Here we are successfully buying organic, local, whole grain, non-processed foods for a family of four on less money than we would get if on food stamps. Granted we have some wonderful resources at our disposal like plenty of places to shop for food, some decent cooking skills, and plenty of kitchen tools. And I will be the first to admit that I’ve been frustrated (and broke) at times, and we’ve had to cut down on our meat consumption as well as our “desserts” (which were just about cut out all together). The point though is that we’ve not overspent even by a penny and we’ve not starved ourselves and we’ve by no means had to compromise by eating highly processed cheap crap to stay within budget. It may be too soon to celebrate, but I can’t help but wonder how many people doubted that this could even be done???

So on that note…here’s what I’ve been doing with our $125 this week. Our area of North Carolina got hit with a pretty big snowstorm early Monday morning so I actually went out and spent almost my entire weekly budget on groceries the night before the storm. Continue Reading »