Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods?

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Where do I shop for whole foods?  That’s a good question I receive from many people–where do you shop?  Well, you may not want to know the answer.  I shop around.  In this fast paced world, we would rather do one-stop-shopping, but that is just not practical when you live on a budget.  And to be perfectly honest, we should all be living on a budget. After all, we are called to be good stewards of the money God gives us.

As a wife and mother who aspires to be like the Proverbs 31 woman, I choose to shop multiple stores in an effort to save the most money possible but trying my very best to purchase quality, whole foods.  However, there are times when our budget is really tight and I have to make a judgment call as to which area we will compromise and sometimes it is food.  I do try my very best to ensure my family has the best food possible so they can heartily and healthily fulfill God’s call for their lives.

I have about five grocery stores I visit regularly for groceries.  However, I don’t visit each of them every week.  I shop for different items at each store, purchasing them where they are cheapest.  I absolutely LOVE Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but the closest stores are 25 miles away.  To save gas, I shop Trader Joe’s once or twice a month.  I shop Whole Foods once every month or two.  Sometimes I carpool with a precious friend if it fits both of our schedules.  I shop Bi-Lo, Publix, and Food Lion depending on sales.  I shop Aldi and Wal-Mart weekly, but purchase most of our food and paper products at Aldi.

I am a pretty structured person, who thrives on organization and planning.  I live by lists.  So I NEVER grocery shop without a list.  I plan an entire week of meals for my family.  I write down what we’re having on each day of the calendar on our refrigerator so I don’t have to commit it to memory.  I also hear “What’s for dinner?” about ten times a day, so my family knows to check the calendar.  Writing it down just keeps me sane!  The way I do things may not work for you, but here’s how I start:

When I sit down to plan my grocery list, the first thing I do is look at our calendar for the upcoming week.  I see how much time each day I will have to cook.  Some days we have extracurricular activities which require us to be out until late afternoon.  No one wants to come home and cook at that point, so I usually plan a crockpot dinner or easy meal. I do very little cooking on Sundays.  I always plan a crockpot meal, or easy sides with grilled meat.  Many times I will double a recipe of lasagna or cheeseburger pie and freeze one batch.  Then on Saturday I will allow it to thaw in the fridge and just pop it in the oven to warm through on Sunday after church.   Sunday night is usually “clean out the fridge” night.  I just throw all of the leftovers onto the counter and everyone takes their pick.  Well, you get the gyst–easy meals on busy days.

The next thing I do is visit Southern Savers.  This is a local couponing site which I follow. Jenny at Southern Savers is a  life saver.  She posts the grocery ads and references coupons for each item so you can get the best bang for your buck.  I scan the ads she deals she lists for each grocery store.  Then I either print my list from her site or I add the items to an app I use on my iPhone.  I keep receipts and make a log of prices for the items I purchase each week, so I will know which store usually has the best deal.  Then I compare the sales to that list to see where I should purchase that item for the week.  Unless we are entertaining or having a special occasion, I try to plan my meals around what is on sale.

My circumstance may be a little different from yours in that 3 of my children have food allergies, so for the most part we are gluten and soy free.  My two older daughters and I are also Trim Healthy Mamas so we do our best to eat clean and sugar free.  So sometimes there are food products that are cheaper at one store, but they may not meet our food restrictions.

I also shop in bulk as much as possible.  I look for online deals and bulk items at Amazon and Trim Healthy Mama.

In another blog, I wrote several posts about some of the different products I buy for my family, where I shop for them, and how much they typically cost.  I consolidated them to my current blog.  Check them out!

In addition to reading the above posts, and food labels, begin paying close attention to the sale ads and also the quality and quantity of the food you purchase.  Just because something is cheaper doesn’t mean it is always the best buy. Please feel free to comment and let me know if these posts are helpful to you or if you have any questions.  I hope I’ve answered your question, “Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods?”.

For more information on whole foods and clean eating, you may be interested in reading the following posts:

Whole Foods.  It’s Overwhelming!  Where Do I Start?

How Do I Shop for Whole Foods?

Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Meat & Saving Money

Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Breads & Grains and Saving Money

Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Dairy and Saving Money

Whole Foods – Tips on Shopping for Dairy & Saving Money

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Good morning! If it’s not morning when you’re reading this, then good afternoon or evening as well. I’m writing this post on Saturday morning from my back porch with a nice, hot cup of coffee. Pull up a chair and join me. Let’s talk grocery shopping!!!!!!! Notice the punctuation? I’m trying to get you excited about grocery shopping. I know, I know…grocery shopping tends to be a very tedious, mundane, and sometimes even dreadful task. I admit I don’t even enjoy grocery shopping. I never have. I have four children I call my blessings. When they were small, I would leave them at home with my husband while I shopped for groceries. It was one of the rare moments I had to go somewhere and do something all by myself. I didn’t even get excited about it then. Food is such an essential part of our lives, a necessity. God created it for our survival and for our enjoyment. We really should take it more seriously, and find a way to make it more fulfilling.

Anytime I get together with a friend or a group of ladies, the topics of food, recipes, and grocery shopping eventually come up. We end up asking each other if we got the latest deal on beef or milk, or sharing our newest culinary masterpiece (or flop if you have a picky family like me). It’s interesting to hear so many opinions on food, shopping, and saving money. Every family has different needs, different circumstances, and different budgets. What works for some doesn’t work for all. I’m asked quite often what I buy, where I shop, and what I eat. So, I’m going to try to answer a few of those questions in this post. To keep it as brief and organized as possible, here is my post from last week introducing this topic: Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods?.  I’m also going to write in a series of posts.  to have all four food groups and then some in one post is way too much information to process at one time.  So I’m going to start the series with whole foods – tips on shopping for dairy & saving money.

I’m going to list the food items I purchase on a regular basis, where I purchase them, and about how much they cost. Keep in mind that I don’t purchase all organic foods, and that I do make compromises at times in regards to clean foods versus budget constraints.  However, I’d say about 85-90% of what I purchase is clean, whole food.

DAIRY

  • Milk – Friendly Farms Whole Milk – Aldi $2.79/gallon – This is not organic milk, but it is free of growth hormones.
  • Almond Milk – Unsweetened Original –
    • Silk – Wal-Mart – $2.98 – This is my top pick.  I buy this whenever it is on sale and/or I have coupons making it cheapest price (prices vary usually under $2 with sale and coupon) because they use non-GMO almonds and carrageenan free.
    • Trader Joe’s Brand $2.99 – This is my next pick if I don’t want to venture into Wal-Mart.  It’s cheaper than Silk when there are no coupons or sales.  It is also carrageenan free.
    • Friendly Farms – Aldi – $2.49 – I buy this when our budget is squeezed tight.  Unfortunately, it does contain carrageenan.
  • Butter – I buy 100% stick butter, not margarine and not spreadable butter because it is simply cream.
    • Trader Joe’s Brand – $2.99 – This is usually my top pick.  It is hormone free.
    • Challenge Butter – Bi-Lo – This past week Bi-Lo had challenge butter on sale for $3.00 which makes it cheaper than WM.  However, in every box of butter there is a $0.55 coupon and our Bi-Lo doubles up to $0.60.  So I took all 5 of my coupons and purchased 5 packs of challenge butter for $1.90 each which is cheaper than a box of regular butter that is not hormone free!!
    • Challenge Butter – Wal-Mart – $3.55 (I believe) – This is my next choice when I don’t have 40 minutes and/or gas to drive to Trader Joe’s.  I would spend the savings in gas money.
    •  If my budget is tight and I have to compromise, I usually purchase butter from Aldi.  They do have it on sale this week for $1.89, but as I mentioned it is not hormone free.  So why quibble over a penny per box of butter?  I’ll save a lot more in the long run by not causing health problems from the hormones.
  • Cheddar Cheese – I only buy Block cheese that is 100% cheese. I shred or grate it myself by hand or in a food processer.  It ends up being cheaper because you get more than you do in a bag of pre-shredded cheese.  Pre-shredded cheese has fillers like starches to keep it from sticking together.  You pay for cheese by weight, so when you get 8 oz of shredded cheese, you aren’t getting 8 oz.  You are paying for the weight of the starch as well.  It doesn’t take long to shred your own cheese.  In fact, if you have a food processor, you can simply use the grate blade and you can grate several blocks of cheese in minutes.  It also tastes 100% better.
    • Trader Joe’s – This cheese is hormone free and it is only $3.98/lb-$4.49/lb. They come in blocks around 8 oz, sometimes a little more.
    • Aldi – $1.99/8 oz block. This is not hormone free, but when I am cannot travel to Trader Joe’s I buy cheese at Aldi.
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese – The information I have for this tasty cheese is the same as that of cheddar mentioned above.
  • Cheeses like mozzarella, parmesan, etc. – I buy these at Aldi and they vary, but that is the cheapest place I know to find blocks of cheese. These specialty cheeses are more at Trader Joe’s.
  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt – Plain – $3.98 – Aldi – Friendly Farms.  I buy this for swirls with yogurt
  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt – Flavored single serve – Dannon Oikos Triple Zero – $1.00 – Wal-Mart or grocery store on sale.  LOVE this yogurt.  It has no sugar and contains all natural stevia instead.
  • Cottage Cheese – Daisy – Wal-Mart – I buy Daisy Cottage Cheese because this is the list of ingredients:  Cultured skim milk, cream, salt.
  • Sour Cream

    • Daisy – Wal-Mart – The ingredients list speaks for itself:  Grade A cultured cream
    • Friendly Farms – also only has cream and enzymes.
  • Heavy Cream – I have a hard time with this one.  I use heavy cream for my coffee, but I haven’t found one without carrageenan.  If you know of one, please let me know.
  • Half and Half – Trader Joe’s Organic – Sorry I’m not sure about the price, because I don’t buy this regularly.
  • Eggs – I have saved eggs for last because this is an extremely complicated issue.  Ideally, you want to buy pasture raised eggs.  This means that the chickens are openly free to roam, they eat an organic diet of worms, insects, and organic feed, and they are not given hormones or antibiotics.  However, we go through several dozens of eggs per week.  So, I cannot always afford pasture raised eggs, nor do I have a conveniently located store that sells them.  These run anywhere from about $8-10 per dozen.  I buy what I can afford at the time.  I try to at least buy eggs fortified with Omega-3.  When I can afford it, I buy organic eggs which at least ensures there are no antibiotics and pesticides.  The cheapest place for organic eggs is Wal-Mart.  When our budget is really tight, I buy eggs from Aldi.

I hope you jotted down these tips on shopping for dairy & saving money; and I hope that this helps you on your clean eating journey.  What quick tips do you have to share?

For more information on whole foods and clean eating, you may be interested in reading the following posts:

Whole Foods. It’s Overwhelming!  Where do I Start?
How Do I Shop for Whole Foods?
Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods?
Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Meat & Saving Money
Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Breads & Grains and Saving Money

Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Breads & Grains & Saving Money

DSCN0248Today I’m going to share some whole foods tips for shopping for breads & grains & saving money.  Start by following the tips in my post Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods.

I am a bread and grain addict.  I LOVE carbohydrates!  Unfortunately, this is where most hidden chemicals are found.  Just pick up that loaf of bread you just bought from the store.  It probably has at least 15 ingredients if not more.

Hopefully you don’t still have pasta or rice kits in your pantry.  You know what I’m talking about–those boxes of Rice-a-Roni, Hamburger Helper, ramen noodles, grains with packets of powdered flavoring.  YUCK!

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you don’t have them.  So, get on Google and search for the nutritional and ingredient information in one or more of those products.  They contain chemicals so complicated and difficult to pronounce that reading the label makes your eyes cross!

Please, please, please DO NOT purchase those products.  They are in no way, shape, or form genuine food meant for human consumption.  I’m sure you think I sound like some fanatic, but it’s TRUE!

You think I don’t understand you, but I truly do.  All you want is a hot, cheesy, creamy, delicious bowl of fettuccini alfredo.  Now, what exactly is in this tasty Italian masterpiece?  Well, generally it should consist of pasta, Italian cheeses, butter, cream, and garlic.

Now, here is the actual list of ingredients on a boxed and powdered mix: WHEAT FLOUR, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, SALT, REDUCED LACTOSE WHEY, CORN SYRUP, PARMESAN, CHEDDAR AND ROMANO CHEESES (COW’S MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES), NATURAL FLAVORS, WHEY, PALM OIL, SODIUM CASEINATE, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, NONFAT MILK, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, LACTIC ACID, DISODIUM INOSINATE, FERROUS SULFATE, NIACIN, SOY LECITHIN, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6 LAKE, YELLOW 6, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID.

Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?!?  I hope you didn’t say yes.  This list of ingredients makes my stomach hurt.  So, I’m a little confused.  If I open the box, all I find is a plastic bag of pasta and a packet of some dusty, powdery substance.  Where are my blocks of cheese?  Who puts corn syrup in any dish much less a savory pasta meal?  Why is monosodium glutamate (MSG) in it?  Why is it necessary to add dye?  What is sodium caseinate?  Do you see where I am going with this?

Look for pasta with very little ingredients, those that you would have in most kitchens.  Making pasta does not require many ingredients, so look for 100 percent durum whole wheat flour as the first ingredient.  Sometimes it’s the only ingredient.  For those of us who are gluten free, look for 100% brown rice, and some may have other whole gluten free grains like flax.

This ingredient list for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and couscous should simply just be the one main ingredient, i.e. “brown rice” or “quinoa”.

Grains are a whole lot more complicated than what I’ve discussed in this blog post.  I haven’t even touched on GMO wheat, etc., but that’s another topic for another day.  Right now, let’s just focus on getting rid of the chemicals.  When you shop at the store this week for grains and carbs, choose as wisely and simply as possible.

For more information on whole foods and clean eating, you may be interested in reading the following posts:

Whole Foods. It’s Overwhelming!  Where do I Start?
How Do I Shop for Whole Foods?
Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods?
Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Meat & Saving Money
Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Dairy and Saving Money

Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Meat & Saving Money

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Have you read my previous post: Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods? You should begin with this article for tips on whole foods shopping and cleaning eating.  When shopping for any food, you want to think about whether or not the food item is in it’s most natural state, just like God created it.  You want food that is processed as little as possible.  Yesterday we discussed produce, which for the most part is in it’s most natural state in the produce department of your local grocery store.

When it comes to the other food groups like grains, meat and dairy, those products do have to be processed a little more to get them to a state that they can be consumed or to make different products from them.  This is where it gets a little complicated, but don’t worry.  Remember we are taking baby steps.

When on your whole foods grocery search or your next grocery trip, scoot on over to the meat counter.  You’ll notice most of the meats are in foam trays wrapped with clear plastic wrap.  These are the meats that you want to purchase.  You don’t necessarily want meat that is pre-marinated, breaded, frozen, laden with preservatives.  As you move on down the aisle you’ll probably bump into the deli meats, bacon, hot dogs, etc.  These of course are more processed than the meat that is in the butcher area of the grocery store.  Many of them have preservatives, flavorings, marinades, etc.

These are the meats that you generally want to stay away from.  However, we live in the real world. Life happens and there are some times when we need convenient items or foods that are reasonably priced, so there are some exceptions.  We’ll discuss organic meats later, but for now let’s just focus on choosing meats that have the least amount of ingredients possible, and again those that contain ingredients we might have in an everyday kitchen.

I do not eat deli meat often, and since I am on a tight budget, this is where I compromise a little. We also have gluten and soy allergies in my family, these are extra circumstances I have to consider when shopping.  I buy Hormel Natural Choice deli meat.  Here is a list of ingredients in their turkey:

  • Turkey Breast Meat, Water, Salt, Potato Starch, Turbinado Sugar, Rice Starch, Carrageenan (from seaweed), Baking Soda, Cultured Celery Powder, Cherry Powder.

You’ll notice that most of the ingredients appear to be natural and items that you might have in an ordinary kitchen, except Carrageenan.  Carrageenan comes from seaweed, so you would assume that it is “natural”.  However, there are different types of carrageenan and there are differing opinions on whether or not it is harmful.  From the research I’ve done, I believe it probably is somewhat harmful, but like I mentioned before there are times when we may have to compromise.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients in a typical package of deli meat :

  • Ingredients: TURKEY BREAST, WATER, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SODIUM LACTATE, SALT, SUGAR, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, CARRAGEENAN, NATURAL FLAVOR, SODIUM DIACETATE, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, SODIUM ASCORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE, CARAMEL COLOR.

You’ll notice there are more ingredients, many of which you cannot pronounce much less know what in the world they actually are.  So in the big scheme of things, Hormel might not be the cleanest option, but it is better than the alternative.

If you’re looking for a clean alternative, Applegate Farms is sold at Whole Foods and they have a few clean options: Roast Beef, Genoa Salami, Uncured Ham.  However, many of their meets contain carrageenan.

Another option would be to buy whole hams or turkey breasts from the grocery store and slice them yourself.  Brands like Butterball are not organic, but this is still a better option than processed meats.  If you can afford to go organic, I would order from places like Organic Prairie.  You could also research local farms who will sell you organic grassfed beef or other organic meats in bulk.  When purchasing chicken, you don’t just want to look for organic, but for pasture-raised chicken.  This means the chickens are raised in a healthy environment, where they are able to roam the pasture pecking and foraging.  Studies have shown meat from these chickens has higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant nutrients.  Also, organic raised chicken cannot contain antibiotics.  Studies have shown that in people who have contracted an illness from bacteria like e coli from undercooked regular or organic chicken, their bodies responded better to antibiotic treatment than those who had eaten chicken laden with antibiotics.  This makes sense, because the regular, antibiotic laden chicken had caused them to build up a resistance to antibiotics.

As I mentioned before, the whole foods lifestyle is a daily process of discovery and learning.  Please share what clean, whole deli meats have you discovered.   I’m looking for better, but affordable options.

For more information on whole foods and clean eating, you may be interested in reading the following posts:

Whole Foods. It’s Overwhelming!  Where do I Start?
How Do I Shop for Whole Foods?
Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods?
Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Meat & Saving Money
Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Breads & Grains and Saving Money
Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Dairy and Saving Money

How Do I Shop for Whole Foods?

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Now that we’ve taken an inventory of our kitchen and we have discussed whole foods versus processed foods, it’s time to think about replacing those processed foods with good, clean, wholesome foods God created for us to eat.

The first thing to remember is that this is a process.  It’s not an easy task and you’ll need to continue to take baby steps.  Give yourself plenty of time and grace to learn to shop.  There will be times when you’ll find a chemical ingredient on a label of something you bought thinking it was clean.  There will be times when you’ll believe an ingredient is healthy and later learn it’s not.  It’s okay.  Take things one step at a time, one meal at a time.  There are multiple facets to whole foods: if and how much they are processed, whether they are organic, GMO versus non-GMO.  For now we are just going to focus on labels to check for ingredients.  We’ll get more indepth about the other facets later.  It’s going to take some time before you are able to remove all processed and “fake” foods from your lifestyle.  It’s not something you can do overnight.  We’ll take it one baby step at a time.

The second thing to remember is that most grocery stores display whole foods around the outer walls or the perimeter of the store.  Think about it…it makes sense.  The produce is usually one one end of the store.  If you start there and work your way around the walls of the store you’ll meet lots of refrigerators and freezers filled with foods that are perishable.  The center of the store is typically open shelving so those are foods that contain preservatives as they don’t need refrigeration.

So, I always begin with produce.  It’s almost like picking it right out of the ground, except that it’s all clean and shiny.  Notice most of the produce is not in a package.  This is whole foods.  As few ingredients as possible.  When you buy strawberries, you just want strawberries.  You don’t want other ingredients.  Now there are bags of salad mixes, etc.  and those generally are clean, whole foods, except for some of the “salad kits” which contain dressings, croutons, etc.  Stay away from those kits.  Choose a colorful array of fresh, wholesome veggies and fruits.

Now as you make your way around the perimeter of the store, notice the other refrigerated items like meat and dairy.  Take time to look at labels and observe what types of ingredients are included. Are they ingredients you would find in a kitchen of someone making the item from scratch?  Can you pronounce the ingredients?  Is it a food God created?  Is there a long list of ingredients in a food that should be simple?  Make note of some of the ingredients and search what they are.

It may be easier to plan this trip to the store, not necessarily for shopping purposes but to simply view foods and products.  Plan another day for your grocery shopping.  Read labels and continue asking those same questions. Remember we are taking baby steps, so I don’t necessarily want you to do anything more than that right now.  Next we’ll discuss more of the food groups.  We’ll talk about some of the typical ingredients in many of our favorite foods, whether or not they are whole foods, and healthy alternatives or substitutions.

For more information on whole foods and clean eating, you may be interested in reading the following posts:

Whole Foods.  It’s Overwhelming!  Where Do I Start?

Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods?

Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Meat & Saving Money

Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Breads & Grains and Saving Money

Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Dairy and Saving Money

Whole Foods. It’s Overwhelming! Where Do I Start?

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Whole Foods.  Overwhelmed!  Where Do I Start?  This is is a phrase I hear from many people.  It’s true!  Making the transition to a whole foods lifestyle can be overwhelming.  There is so much information out there.  There are so very many foods on the store shelf and in our pantries.  Society has told us we can eat anything and everything.  Many foods that are marketed as good for health or weight loss, but they are full of artificial “foods”, chemicals.  The healthcare community even recommends these fake “foods” for health or weight loss.  Our government encourages us to consume these “foods” that they’ve allowed companies to manufacture not for our good, but for the benefit of their pocketbooks.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found I can’t trust our government.  They’ve not done anything for the interest of We the People in quite some time.   In many cases, they are benefitting from the profits made by these companies who try to pass of chemicals as “food”, companies trying to “improve upon” what my God created for the nourishment of this body He created.  Thankfully, I can trust my doctors who have actually encouraged me to eat whole foods instead prepackaged convenience “health” items.  More importantly, I can trust God, and He didn’t create all of this so-called healthy, low fat, low calorie junk.

So STEP ONE in this process is to think about foods in their original form.  Go back to your lessons in kindergarten about farm animals.  Think about it:

  • Where do we get milk and dairy products?
  • Where do we get meat?
  • Where do we get fruits and veggies?

Now remember how your grandparents, great-grandparents lived off of the land?  They just ate food straight out of the ground.  They didn’t process it with chemicals.  They didn’t rush the growing and harvest process by spraying it with all kinds of junk.  They worked hard in the garden doing their part, and God blessed them with a bountiful harvest.

This is where we need to begin.  Go through every item in your refrigerator and pantry.  This may take a while depending on your schedule, but just take it one day at a time or even one item at a time if you have to.  You’ll need a piece of paper divided into three sections:  “Clean”, “Processed”, “Not Sure”.  If you love technology, you can even use a grocery inventory app like List Ease.  You can scan the item to make an inventory list of what you have as well as make notes about the items cost, whether it is healthy, etc.  List Ease will even let you keep track of when you run out of an item, and then you can transfer it to a grocery list on the app.

  • Read the ingredients on an item.
  • Decide whether the ingredient is natural.  Is it something you or your mother or grandmother might have had in the pantry to make the item from scratch?  For instance, ingredients in bread should be yeast, flour (there are different types of flour used for breads, gluten free breads, etc. but we’ll get into that later), water, sugar, salt, sometimes eggs, etc.  I think you can see where I am going with this.  There are no ingredients listed that I have never heard of or that are written in gibberish that I cannot pronounce.
  • Look for ingredients you cannot pronounce.  Use the internet to search what the ingredient is, if it is healthy, natural, clean, etc.  ShopWell is an excellent online resource for looking up packaged products and they also have a mobile app for your phone so you can research foods you come across while shopping.
  • If you determine it is clean, then put write it down in the clean category on your list.
  • If you determine it is not clean, is processed, contains dangerous chemicals, etc then you need to decide what you are going to do with it.
    • First, write down the brand name and food item in the “processed” category of your list.
    • I do not recommend throwing food in the garbage with all of the hunger and starvation going on in the world, but I don’t necessarily recommend serving fake food to the hungry either.  Their bodies need healthy foods more than anyone.
    • I would suggest that you pray and ask for God’s guidance on what to do with that food item.
    • Now decide whether to You could donate it, save it to be consumed by your family this one last time since you already spent money from your grocery budget, or throw it away. This is between you and God.
  • If you aren’t sure about an item, list it under the “not sure” category and research when you have time.

Now some foods that are grown and supposedly natural can still be highly processed.  When they are, their natural state is so altered that they are no longer in the state God created and intended for them to be consumed by us.  We’ll get into that later.  For right now, let’s just take baby steps.  The key is to keep it simple.

For more information on whole foods and clean eating, you may be interested in reading the following posts:

How Do I Shop for Whole Foods?

Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods?

Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Meat & Saving Money

Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Breads & Grains and Saving Money

Whole Foods Tips for Shopping for Dairy and Saving Money