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  • 5 Easy and Affordable Real Food Changes I’ve Made This Month

    This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for clicking through them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Easy Real Food Changes - chieffamilyofficer.com

    Ever since I reviewed Lisa Leake’s new book, 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love, I’ve really focused on eating more “real food” – by which I mean, minimally processed food.

    We are not, by any means, an entirely real food family – every day, our family consumes some store-bought snacks, soda, and/or other processed foods. But I am making a conscious effort to reduce the amount of processed foods we eat, and that I keep in the house. Here are five easy real food changes I’ve made since reading Lisa’s book, which take almost no effort at all:

    1. We’ve switched to whole organic milk.

    I’ve always bought organic milk for the boys, but since my youngest turned two, I’ve stuck with 1% milk. As Lisa points out, however, reduced fat milk is much more processed than whole milk. So I’ve switched to whole milk and my kids haven’t said a peep. Fortunately, neither of them has a weight issue, so I’m not concerned about the additional calories.

    Although Lisa recommends non-homogenized milk, since it’s less processed, I haven’t been able to find it at the grocery store so I just buy organic homogenized whole milk. The nice thing about this switch is that a gallon of whole organic milk costs exactly the same as organic reduced fat milk.

    2. I now shred my own cheese.

    As Lisa notes in her book, commercially shredded cheese contains an anti-clumping agent and possibly other additional ingredients that need not be consumed. She recommends buying blocks of cheese and shredding them yourself. It occurred to me that my food processor can shred a block of cheese in just a couple of minutes, so when I needed mozzarella cheese last week, I bought a log and shredded it. {I did buy a part-skim log because the texture is so different from whole milk mozzarella and my kids prefer the less-creamy type. Baby steps!}

    I forgot to do an actual price comparison, but I think the price works out to about the same per pound, at least for part-skim mozzarella.

    3. I’m now using honey wherever possible.

    When I need sweetener, I now use organic raw unfiltered honey and organic maple syrup whenever possible {I prefer Grade B maple syrup because it’s darker and has a stronger taste, and Trader Joe’s stocks a great one}. I do still bake with organic sugar, but I try to substitute organic sucanat as much as possible, since it’s less processed that granulated or brown sugar. {However, I rarely use all sucanat because of its strong taste. I buy 12 1-lb bags at Amazon for just $45.88 with Subscribe & Save}.

    4. I now buy organic eggs.

    This is the one change that’s costing me more money. Organic eggs are at least twice as expensive as the “regular” eggs at Trader Joe’s, but I took the time to read the packaging this past week and discovered that the organic variety clearly states no hormones or antibiotics were administered to the chickens, whereas those claims are not on the “regular” eggs. I haven’t found “pastured” eggs yet, which Lisa recommends {meaning the chickens were allowed to graze outside}, but I’m looking.

    5. I read labels even more intensely than I used to.

    Ever since my son was diagnosed with food allergies, I’ve been a careful reader of ingredient labels. But now I’m not just looking to see whether the product is safe for my child or how “natural” it is. I’m also looking to see how processed it is. Lisa’s “five-ingredient rule” for store-bought foods is a great guideline. In other words, I try to buy foods that contain no more than five ingredients.

    This rule works especially well for pre-packaged snacks, which I do buy a fair amount of since we eat on the go quite a lot of the time, thanks to the boys’ busy schedules. So far, my kids have loved BOOM CHICKA POP Sea Salt Popcorn {contains just popcorn, sunflower oil and sea salt; $24 + free shipping for 24 single serve packs at Amazon – but they’re cheaper in the Halloween section at Target right now!}, and Crispy Green Freeze-Dried Asian Pear {contains just pear!; $17.12 for 12 packs at Amazon when you order through Subscribe & Save or $7.49 for 6 packs at my Whole Foods store}. They also like some of the freeze-dried fruit at Trader Joe’s, which are one or two-ingredient products.

    This post will be linked to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well, Spending Less.

    Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Ambro.

    Best of Ralphs Deals and Match Ups: Sept 17 – Sept 23, 2014

    Here are highlights from the sale starting tomorrow at Ralphs, including FREE yogurt, cheap frozen entrees, and more! Learn about shopping at Ralphs, including their coupon policy, here.

    Click here to see these match ups

    Best of Food 4 Less Deals and Match Ups: Sept 17 – Sept 23, 2014

    Food 4 Less coupons and deals

    Here are the best of the upcoming deals at Food 4 Less, a Kroger/Ralphs affiliate here in Southern California. They have fewer locations than Ralphs, and tend to have lower prices. Like Ralphs, their sales run Wednesday through Tuesday.

    Click here to see these match ups

    Morning Coffee: $9.99 Logitech wireless mouse, 20% off avocados & More

    Morning Coffee is published daily and includes the best of the latest coupons, deals, and info I think you may find interesting. Prices and deals can change at any time so be sure to verify them before making your purchase. Please note this post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for using them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    ~ Today’s Gold Box Deal of the Day: Up to 60% off select Logitech products, including keyboards, mouses {they’re not mice, right?} and more {I have 2 Logitech wireless mouses and they both work great – this one is just $9.99 today!}

    ~ Today’s Kindle Daily Deal: The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn for $1.99 {3.9 stars in 122 reviews; being made into a movie}

    ~ Target.com: Buy 1 select iTunes Gift Card, and get 20% off a second iTunes Gift Card

    ~ New Coupons.com printables:

    ~ SavingStar: Get 20% back WYB loose avocados

    ~ For the Mommas: Cheap Degree deodorant at Walgreens

    ~ Southern Cali Saver: Challenge cream cheese for just $0.24 at Vons/Pavilions today only with this $1/1 printable and the $0.75/1 Ibotta rebate

    ~ Hip2Save: New Disney Movie Rewards points


    Click on the banner above to get a FREE customized map of Disney World highlighting your family’s favorite activities! Banner ad via Escalate Media Network

    Evening Roundup: Reset coupons for Ralphs deals, Target deals & More

    Evening Roundup includes the best of the latest coupons, deals, and info I think you may find interesting. Prices and deals can change at any time so be sure to verify them before making your purchase. Please note this post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for using them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Target.com: Buy One, Get One 50% off Women’s Shoes

    – Lots of reset Coupons.com printables, including:

    Southern Cali Saver: Free Fresh Express salad kits at Vons/Pavilions and possibly all Safeway stores on Friday

    Printable Coupons: 5 free Bar-S products via rebate

    Hip2Save: Free sample of Dove Body Wash

    Wild for Wags: Moneymaker on Fresh Guard Wipes at Walgreens

    Money Saving Mom: Women’s cardigans for $10 at Target

    All Things Target: Free Colgate toothpaste at Target


    Banner ad via Escalate Media Network

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