Are you ready for Summer?

download Summer is right around the corner. However, here in CO it feels like summer is never coming. While I love the rain and snow, I’m really ready for the pool and the sunshine! With that said, it’s time for us to start prepping for a healthy, safe, and fun summer. Here we are going to talk about some of the harshest chemicals our bodies see in the summer. Sunscreen

With rising cancer rates, and everyday scares about melanoma and skin cancer sunscreen has become a daily use in many homes in America. There are many reasons this is a good thing;however, let’s look at the not so good things first. Sunscreen actually blocks the good and the bad UV rays- that means our body is not able to synthesize any Vitamin D from the sun. Also, 2/3 of sunscreens on the market have been tested and shown potentially hazardous ingredients. Since our skin is the biggest organ on our body- it’s really important to know what we should be placing on it to keep us and our families safe. The Environmental Working Group has some great research on sunscreens that are safe to use, and which ones we should stay away.

A few of the EWG recommendations are as follows. 1.) Stay away from aerosolized sunscreen. It is toxic to the lungs and poses a risk to kids 2.) Stay away from SPF higher than 50. SPF refers on to protection from UVB rays, not UVA which do just as much damage- so people think the higher numbers think they are more protected, when in fact you stay out longer and place more risk on yourself and family. 3.) Stay away from oxybenzone. This substance, which is found in over 40% of sunscreens actually enters the body and plays with hormone levels, such as estrogen. Anything that interferes with hormones is bad news. Stay away. 4.) Stay away from retinyl palmitate. This is a substance found in night creams and anti-aging creams which actually speeds up the growth of skin lesions and tumors. The FDA has yet to rule on whether or not to allow this ingredient in sunscreens and currently 20% of them have it in it. 5.) Fragrance- as we’ve discussed before, artificial fragrance can lead to further hormone disruption, upset with cell growth and development and a whole host of other problems.

Now that we’ve looked at all the things to stay away from, we need to look at which sunscreens are safer to use. You want to look for sunscreens that do not have any of the chemicals listed above. Also for kiddos (babies especially) you want to stay away from Titanium Dioxide and use only Zinc Oxide. In our house we use the baby Badger sunscreen and LOVE it. It is a little thicker but no harsh chemicals, and safe to use for extended periods of sun exposure. Many recommendations allow for no sunscreen at all, for short amounts of time so that our bodies can actually produce and synthesize Vitamin D. Within reason, sunscreen does not need to be used every day. Make sure to start your summer right by finding the right sun protection for you and your family! For further list of high quality sunscreen, EWG has a great list of graded and approved sun protection for all your needs.

$12000 on a Baby? Are you kidding?

Today we are looking at one aspect of healthy living. Financial Health. There are many pieces to this conversation; but, we need health in all of our life. And if we aren’t financially “free” (under piles of debt, credit cards, tight budgets, etc.) Then we don’t know financial health at all. According to CNN the average American family with one credit card has over 15K in debt with an interest rate in the mid to high teens. That’s a whole lot of debt. Some say that debt is a good thing, that you need it to secure a loan, a car, a house. Let me just tell you. My husband and I are 100% debt free, we don’t own a credit card, and we qualified for a great loan on our first house. It is possible and there is SO much freedom. If you have access to Dave Ramsey’s course- Financial Peace University; it is an amazing course (all over the US) that looks at all areas of financial freedom and helps you plan for the future at the same time. I HIGHLY recommend it!

A big piece in our financial life currently, is a new “ish” baby. Our desire, once we had kids was that I would be able to stay home full time and raise them. I understand there are a lot of life circumstances, but in most families, the cost of me going to work evens out with the cost of having someone else watch your kids. Also, I don’t want to miss things. First steps, owies, and new words are music to this momma’s ears. I do some side work, but nothing that brings in any real amount of money. God has also blessed me with a husband who fully supports me being home and caring for our kids. With that said, a national survey shows that most families spend 12K on a new baby, just in their first year of life. After 2 years, it goes up to $12,500 a year. That comes from about $50 a week on diapers, formula, and baby related items; add in the crib, furniture, stroller, etc. and you’re well on your way.

Here are a few things we have done personally that I have saved us, not only a lot of time, but also a TON of money. First off, it really does take a village to raise a baby. We were incredibly blessed with so many friends and family who showered us with gifts, cards, love, food, etc. The people God has surrounded us with were so incredibly generous and I can’t imagine doing it without them. Our biggest savings yet….CLOTH DIAPERS. I know what you just did, “Ewww…gross.” “I can’t wash that, poop in my washer, disgusting.” “That takes way too much time.” I’ve heard it all, got a new one, email me, I’m sure I’ve heard it. Well let me burst your bubble. So easy. So cheap. So wonderful.

Everyone thinks of cloth diapers with big old safety pins, washing by hand, line drying, on and on and on. Let me just tell you, if it really was that hard- no way would I be doing it. We started our cloth at 2 weeks old, and have only bought 3 packs of diaper since (for vacation- I’m not that hard core.) It is the easiest thing ever; baby dirties diaper, rinse diaper off, throw in diaper pail, wash said diapers about once a week, place in dryer, and put back in the drawer. We’ve calculated if we spent about $30 a week on diapers we would have already spent $1230. I paid $250 on craigslist for everything. Diapers, sprayer, liners, etc. Therefore I’ve already saved almost 1K and we aren’t even close to potty training. Plus multiply that by however many kids= $$$.

Another big thing we do to save money, just say no to store bought baby food. Certainly I have bought a few pouches here and there, and keep some around for when we are running out of time and I am out of food. But 99% of the food he eats comes right from my fridge. The best part- all organic, no sugar, no added anything- just solid nutrition. Current favorites at our house- sweet potato, bananas, strawberries, green peas, spinach, quinoa.

Lastly- babies need a lot of STUFF. I wish someone would have sat down with me and actually said, “you’ll never use that,” “can’t live without that.” The can’t live without list is incredibly short. Yes there are some amazing baby products, and items. But the $75 you spend on a bouncer for 4 months of use is ridiculous when you can find one for $5 on craigslist, garage sales, or consignment shops. I agree that car seats shouldn’t be bought used- but everything else- why not. And for the love, don’t add a changing pad to your list- your baby will never sit still enough to use it and then it’ll just take up space in your kids room…Ahem…

Financial freedom, it’s possible. Living frugally with kids, possible. The freedom you find in not having the debt or the stuff really is just that, FREEDOM. Live healthy in all areas of your life, take responsibility of your finances, and your life and health with thank you for it.

Giveaway Time!

     juiceplus  Hey ya’ll! Time for our first giveaway!! I’m so pleased to get to share a review for you of an awesome product that I would endorse to anyone who doesn’t feel like they are getting enough fruits and vegetables everyday. Let’s face it, the latest data shows that 23 percent of Americans eat less than one serving of fruits or vegetables per day. (link) Studies have shown that so much of our health issues in America can be resolved by just changing our diet. Food can be healing. Vegetables are some of the most nutrient dense foods, that contain disease fighting antioxidants that are hard to find other places. They reduce our toxins, help fight cancer causing substances, help regulate and grow new cells and lower risk of all kinds of diseases; including; Alzheimer’s, kidney disease, heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, and many more. Studies have also shown that people who eat more than 7 servings of veggies daily have a 42% less chance of dying from one of these causes- that’s almost 50%!

    Most of us know how important it is to be eating fruits and vegetables, but still we fall short of the daily recommended amount of 6-8 servings of vegetables per day. While fruit is also important, the healing is really in the veggies. Of course the best way to get nutrition is straight from the whole food. Organic is always preferable. But for many, eating that many servings really is a challenge. That’s where Juice Plus + comes in. I love that they offer a product that can pack your daily (and more) servings of fruits in veggies in one little capsule, knowing that you are bettering your health with one little pill. The awesome thing is, they also have gummies for the kiddos that do the exact same thing. Tabitha has graciously agreed to testify about how Juice Plus + has helped her and her family feel better and heal all at the same time. Thanks Tabitha!

” Everyone is on a health journey. A journey of making better choices every day. You might be at the very beginning, just trying to drink more water. You might be a “health nut” who does yoga, eats organic foods, and manages stress well. I love how a healthy lifestyle is reached over time with many small changes that add up to healthy living.

 My health journey started with my mother. She fed us healthy food, made us eat our vegetables, and was constantly encouraging healthier living. When I was a teenager, she heard about an amazing way to get lots of high quality fruits and vegetables into our diets without the constant battle of “it doesn’t taste good” at the dinner table. You can bet she jumped all over it.

 I continued to eat these fruits and veggies every day but after my husband and I got married we had a budget meeting and although I knew it was good for me, we decided to cut out the added expense. Within several months, I noticed a tremendous negative effect in my hormonal stability and overall sense of well being. My husband did too! He encouraged me to add back all the extra nutrition and actually started doing it himself because the difference was so obvious!

 He was on two prescriptions, one for high blood pressure caused by stress, and one for adderall to help him focus in college. In the past, he had tried to wean himself off of the adderall prescription because of the negative side effects but he was not able to maintain his grades.  After several months of flooding his body with the nutrition from fruits and vegetables, he stopped taking adderall, came off of his blood pressure medications, and maintained his good grades!

 So what is this amazing way to bridge the gap between what we eat and what we know we should eat?!  It’s called JuicePlus+. It is the nutrition from 30 different fruits and vegetables that has been extracted and put into a capsule. That’s crazy right?!

 Actually, it’s crazy awesome. So how do we know that it really is all that nutrition in a capsule? A lot of supplements make claims, but the incredible thing about JuicePlus+ is that they back it up with published, clinical, third party, peer-reviewed research. More than 30 Juice Plus+ research studies have been conducted in leading hospitals and universities around the world, including Vanderbilt, MD Anderson, and Georgetown. The studies show marked improvement from taking JuicePlus+ in areas such as heart health, immune system function, DNA protection, inflammation, periodontal health, and oxidative stress.

 Over the past year, my husband and I have been very intentional about taking our JuicePlus+ every day. We were recently talking about how so many of our friends had been sick so often and it got us thinking. It has been over a year since either of us has been sick, even with just a cold! And my nine month old daughter has had two runny noses, no ear infections, no fevers, nothing. Our lives have been impacted so much by adding whole food nutrition to our diet that we started sharing it with our family and friends. It is so fulfilling to watch lives be changed around us by the power of fruits and veggies!  What could it do for you?

 If the idea of fruits and veggies having healing power sounds strange to you, check out this short video that explains the concept by Dr. Reginald Fowler who practices medicine at Piedmont Physicians in Atlanta. http://bit.ly/DrReginaldFowler For more information about JuicePlus+ or to order, visit our website at dickman.juiceplus.com”

Please feel free to check out her site and give Juice Plus+ a try! And now…it’s giveaway time!! Share this post on a social media outlet, and comment below how you and your family have made or are attempting to make some healthier life choices and you will be entered to win two packets of Juice Plus+ Complete- a whole food protein smoothie in a delicious chocolate flavor! Good luck!

Yucky Bugs and Helpful Hints

April has turned into crazy month. More on that here. As I’ve mentioned my little one was sicker than he has ever been this last week. Makes a mother’s heart hurt to watch her kiddo that sick. I was reminded that he is on loan to me and I am so privileged to be his momma for however long we are together. With that said, I wanted to review a few of the tips and tricks that have helped us get through the yuckiness this last week.

The back story is that E has been teething for 3 weeks. Hard core. The front two teeth have been blistered, raised, and red for 3 weeks- 3 weeks of misery for all of us. So runny nose, cough, and crabbiness have been a part of our last few weeks thanks to those teeth. I wasn’t really too concerned about the symptoms because I know it really is just all part of teething. A few things we have been doing are; frozen washcloth (sometimes dipped in chamomile tea at night time) to chew on, frozen bananas, strawberries for his raw gummies. Hyland’s teething tablets (these rock!), Tylenol for the really bad nights, lavender oil for sleep and comfort, and lots and lots of snuggles from mommy and daddy. With that said, that about summarizes our 3 weeks of teething with our child who is normally the happiest, smiley, most social baby you have ever met.

This week the ball dropped. E woke up yesterday morning burning up. I knew instantly that he had a high fever. The night before had been awful. We were up most of the night and in the morning I realized why. Poor kid laid lethargic in my arms, burning up all day. If you know my kiddo you know that he never stops moving, so for him to sleep on me all day meant something was really wrong. I immediately started my protocols and prayer. I am reminded that I first and foremost need to go to the Great Physician and ask for health that only He can give. Covering E in prayer is my job and privilege as his momma. Next we started our Lavender oil on his feet and spine, wild orange on his spine (immune boosting and calming), tea tree oil on his feet to fight infection (viral or bacterial), melrose on the back of his ears, just in case. Garlic drops in his ears (only do this if you know the ear drum is not ruptured). Garlic is an amazing super antibiotic that will kill anything and everything. Coconut water and lots of breast milk to replace his fluid losses. A lukewarm bath and compresses to bring his fever down and a few drops of peppermint to help with that as well. Vitamin C tablets to boost his immune system. His fever did rise to 103.5 and at that point I decided it was time for him to be seen, just in case. My instincts were correct and we just need a Rx for more snuggles, loving, hydration, and a little time. So, we continued applying the oils every hour and did intermittent Tylenol to bring the fever under 103 degrees.

Time is the hardest part I feel when you are momma to a sick one. As I’ve talked about before, it’s not about not getting sick. I want him to build up an immune system, which, unfortunately means there will be sickness. It’s about supporting his system so that he can get back on track while we wait out the nasty little bugs. These oils have been that for me. They are a tool to help your child/family/yourself, support that system when you do inevitably hit these times in life. The amazing thing is, the body is designed to handle these times; we just have to provide the best environment for that to happen in.

If you have a little one, sickness if going to hit. You know that, I know that. I am so thankful to be prepared for those times and have these oils on hand when it does come. This is by no means making up for medical care if and when it is necessary but I hope it will provide you some tips on ways you can use these oils.

A little more grace

These last few weeks I’ve been learning a lot about grace. Today we are going to take a break from your typical healthy living posts and talking about living healthy in our spiritual lives. These past few weeks have been crazy. Survival mode at it’s finest. Husband sick, watching two extra kiddos for a few days, sister having a baby with health issues, kid gets sickest he’s ever been and we end up in urgent care, baby showers, etc. All good (well mostly good) things that are just compounding all at one time. When the waves of life feel like they are about to drown me, I am remind. Grace. Grace for me when I’m stressed and overwhelmed. Grace to live a life worthy of the calling that Jesus has put on me as a mom, wife, sister, friend, daughter, etc.

Being a mom has not been anything like I expected it to be. I knew it would be hard, but no one can prepare you for the reality. It’s 24/7. There are no breaks, no 5 pm clock out times, no sleeping at night, or at naptime, endless laundry, dishes, and chores, but somewhere in there, there is joy. Joy that I get to be with my little one day in and day out. Joy that I know him better than anyone (except Jesus). Joy that I am able to serve my family in these ways. Sanctification in washing dishes and cleaning up puke. Redemption as I seek to be the best mom I can be; knowing that Jesus is really the only one who can meet all of E’s needs.. but overall, GRACE. Grace when I am imperfect, grace when I mess up, grace when I loose patience, grace when it feels like these days will never end; and yet are going all too quickly at the same time. Grace to point my family to Jesus knowing that I need Him more than I ever had. Grace to run this earthly race as hard as I can and when I fall to get back up again and keep going.

I needed to hear this, this week as I was beginning to be overwhelmed by the pressures around me. Grace. I will live in it. I will get up each morning and put it on. I will seek to walk in it throughout my day. And when the laundry doesn’t get done, the house is messy again, I am puked on for the 6th time, there is grace. More than I will ever need. Because He loves me. I pray that you are encouraged, no matter where you are. There is grace at the foot of the cross. Live in the light of His grace today. Being the best mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter, mentor you can be. Praying like it’s all up to Him and living like it’s all up to you. Your reward is great, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Blessings to you today.

Essential Oil Safety for Kids

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If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I love essential oils. At times I am frustrated with Western Medicine and have been fascinated by other forms of care we can provide to our families, in a preventative setting rather than a reactionary one. Essential Oils have been that for us. I know this is just the tip of the ice berg for me. I love researching, learning, and discovering ways to keep people healthy using what God gave us  and to look at the whole body instead of symptomatically  treating problems. (I’m not knocking all of Western Medicine- it is useful and has been life-saving for many, including me- just not all the time). One of the top things I discuss and talk about with people is safety of oils with kiddos. To be honest- when I started out I thought very little of it, if people use Tylenol on infants- why would these be any more problematic. Well the more digging I did I realized everyone has a different opinion about everything. Isn’t that how it always goes?? One person says safe to use, others say it is ok to use in moderation and someone else says, don’t ever use. Now how in the world am I supposed to know what to do???

So I kept digging, articles, journals, books, research, internet searches, library, etc. I found a lot of really great information, it was just hard to find good quality info on safety related to children. I greatly care about the purity of the oils, that is why I choose Young Living. Here’s where I have personally settled for now. (I am always learning, and my commitment to you is to always be honest with what I am learning and using in life).  I am using the Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Healthy Care Professionals as my go to resource. If you want the condensed list of which oils are considered safe and not safe, click here. While I love thieves, pan away, and many other young living blends- based on this recommendation I am not going to using them on E any more (my kiddo). I will definitely continue using them on us, grown adults; but have chosen to go to other oils as a “safer” source. There a few oils that are considered more unsafe with kids, clove and eucalyptus seem to be on the top of that list. One is due to a constituent called 1,8 cineole which can cause slowing of the respiratory tract in children. This substance can be found in Rosemary and Eucalyptus and many say to avoid these oils until children are 10 years old. While it is up to the market to provide us with great product, it is our responsibility to use them correctly. Clove can also be considered a “hot” oil and is not recommended until 2 years of age.

There are many people who use these oils on their children and have no issues. However, since I am not a doctor  I cannot advise what you should or should not do. Just make sure you do your research and know what you are using a why. E.O.s are very potent and powerful substances that can be so useful; however, we need to do so with care and consideration. With that said there are many oils that I can use on the 6 months and older age range. The list gets even longer around the 2 year mark as well. This list is taken from the Essential Oil Safety Guide. As always make sure you are diluting in proper ratios. This is not meant to be an exhaustive resource, but a guide that you can look further into.

  • Bergamot
  • Black Pepper
  • Blue Tansy
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary Sage
  • Copaiba
  • Coriander
  • Cypress
  • Frankincense
  • German Chamomile
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Juniper Berry
  • Helichrysum
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Mandarin
  • Neroli
  • Palmarosa
  • Patchouli
  • Petitgrain
  • Pines -except Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), or Huon Pine (Dacrydium franklinii)
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Sandalwood
  • Siberian Fir Needle
  • Spearmint
  • Spruces
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Sweet Orange
  • Tangerine
  • Tea Tree
  • Vetiver

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As children grow there livers are able to metabolize more and the list can get longer the older they get.  As Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D, author of Advance Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy said, don’t knock the baby  out with the bath water.” Just because we need to be more cautious or investigate further, does not negate the power and healing properties that these oils have.

If you’d like to do further research on this topic here are a few books, and websites I’d recommend starting with.

– Advance Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy  by Kurt Schnaubelt

– The Chemistry of Essential Oils made simple by Dr. David Stewart

– The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-toxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health  by Valerie Ann Worwood

– Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: Valerie Ann Worwood

– When Modern Medicine Fails Dr. Scott A. Johnson

– Learning about EO One Drop at a Time: http://www.learningabouteos.com/index.php/2014/02/07/essential-oils-and-children/

– Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern

– Essential Oil Pocket Reference Guide by LifeScience Publishing

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

   I love a good smoothie. Especially when I want something light, delicious, and relatively healthy. I generally go to this smoothie as a post work out snack, but today since I’m out of every breakfast food under the sun it was a great way to get some protein and start my day off right!

1 ripe banana

1-2 cups of coconut milk (you can use any kind of milk- I prefer coconut)

1/2 cup of greek yogurt (optional)

2-3 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter (I could live off PB, it’s kinda an addiction!)

2-3 Tablespoons of Water- if you need to thin

That’s it- super easy, delicious, and nutritious. If you have some protein powder lying around you could always throw that in there as well. Enjoy!

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Spring Cleaning and a Product Review

    It’s time to start talking about spring cleaning. Our almost 80 degree weather yesterday made me so excited to open up the windows, clean the curtains, and start the spring cleaning process! I recently did a post on my all purpose cleaner that I use for everything, but I want to start a series of reviews, ideas, and tips that hopefully will make your life a little easier, healthier, and cleaner. We’ve talked extensively about environmental toxins. One of the leading exposures that our families have to these toxins is the products we clean our homes with. Laundry detergent, dish washing soap, furniture polish, etc. I grew up thinking these were just common place and everyone uses them. Only in the last few years have we really turned to such harsh chemicals to clean our home with. The other problem with most of the chemicals is that often they just cover up the mess, instead of actually cleaning it.

   Today’s cleaning tip comes from a kind friend who gave me my new favorite cleaning tool! She did a 3 day info session on Norwex cleaning products and each day she gave away some great products.. On the last day, I won the mitt. So excited! It’s funny that the things on my wish list these days include things that pertain to cleaning, exercise, and food. Anyways, this thing is awesome. So great I wanted to make sure you all knew about it. It’s called the Dusting Mitt and you can see why from the picture below.

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     The mitt actually fits on your hand like a glove so that you can just glide your hand along any surface to pick up dust. I’m kinda a nerd so as soon as I got home I put it to use. My mantle, bookshelves and things like that were fairly clean, but man oh man…my blinds. I dust these every single week with a Dusting E-Cloth. I wanted to gag when I saw the dust this thing pulled off. It’s a powerhouse. No chemicals, just microfiber and Norwex Bac-lock protection. So what’s so special about this microfiber versus other products. To be honest, I wasn’t sure at first. I took a stab at microfiber a few years ago and ordered from E-Cloth. I really like their microfiber cloths and have been using those to clean my house for about a year. They do a great job- no cleaning chemicals involved, and they are very reasonably priced. But, I have been itching to compare the E-Cloth to the Norwex products. Norwex products are embeeded with microsilver. This sliver has been shown to be effective in killing MRSA and superbugs. The silver not only inactivates the bacteria on the countertops and surfaces, it also acts as a self cleaning agent for the rag. So what’s my consensus- Norwex is worth the little extra money. I saw a huge difference in my dusting rag from E-Cloth vs. the Norwex dusting mitt. Not only did it pick up the left over dust- I know that it is killing the bag bugs at the same time. Win. Win. So there’s my product review- I hope you get to try some of Norwex products- they are a great option for cleaning your home without harsh chemicals. If you are interested in Norwex Dusting Mitt or any of their other great products, click here. Simplify. Enjoy!

The results are in…..One month of meals for $221.21

       So the title gave it away- yes I really did it. 16 planned dinners, with plenty of left overs to boot. Now granted, when I say one month of dinners, I count 4 dinners for each week. With only two (eating adults) in the house that seems to be plenty for us for the week. We eat leftovers for lunch and then I usually cook most weeknights, with date night on Friday night, (no cooking for this momma on that night). This is also assuming that you have basic pantry items stocked. If you didn’t the total would definitely be a little more.I also am leaving a little extra in our weekly budget for things I may have forgotten, fresh produce, fruit, eggs for breakfast, etc.

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The shows a rough idea of when we’ll eat what. In all honesty I am a throw it together in the moment type of girl- but this makes me make sure we have what we need in the fridge. Very simple, we eat gluten free, and mostly dairy free as well, I just can’t do fake cheese. We also are very heavy protein and vegetable heavy, so simple and healthy works. The only regret I have about this is that I couldn’t afford to fit in the organic meats. Usually we go as organic as we possibly can, but it just didn’t fit to do organic meat this month. So here’s the break-down..hopefully this is something that you and your family find useful. Also the below recipes outline the basic dinner idea, and then the veggies I bought will serve as the side, with alternating quinoa, cauliflower mash, potatoes, or rice. Also I bought frozen veggies because studies show they actually have as much or more nutrients than fresh due to the time they are frozen– and Costco organic frozen- crazy cheap!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole x 2

Sloppy Joes x 2 (truth- I forgot the green peppers)

Roasted Whole Chicken x 2

Tacos with Spanish Rice x 2

Chicken Apple Sausage

Salmon Burgers (this was the cheapest way to include fish once a week in our diet that is wild caught- thanks Costco!) x 2

Grilled Chicken x 2

Hamburgers x 2

Price Breakdown 

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1 pack Chicken Breasts- 25.00

1 pack Chicken Thighs- 15.53

5.5 lbs of Ground Beef- 22.40

2 whole organic chickens (this is by far the best deal on meat at Costco)- 23.75

1 pack Chicken Apple Sausage- 13.99 (there is way more in here than on my schedule- this will last us a while!)

1 pack Wild Caught Salmon Burgers- 14.99

1 packet organic spring mix- 3.99

1 5 lb. bag organic carrots-  4.99

1 package of organic quinoa-16.59

1 block of sharp Tillamok Cheese-10.29

1 jar of organic chicken stock base- 5.79

2 jars of organic salsa- 7.69

1 jar green chili- 7.89

1 bag of organic sweet potatoes- 7.99

1 bag of onions- 4.29

1 bag of organic sweet potato fries- 8.99

1 bag organic green peas- 6.39

1 bag organic green beans 4.89 (these were on sale)

(We already have the organic trio of carrots, peas, corn) This is a great one!

1 bag organic broccoli- 7.49

1 packet of corn tortillas- 2.99

1 box of organic diced tomatoes- 6.29

                                                     Total: 222.21

  It took a lot of work but it was totally worth it. I budgeted $100 a week for food; so I have about $25 a week left for extras and eating out. As a side note here are a few others things I think are a great buy at Costco that may or may not have ended up in my cart today.

Organic Peanut Butter- 2 jars: 10.99

Organic triple berry blend frozen- 9.99

Local Honey- 10.99

Organic Coconut Oil- 2 huge jars-  24.99

Organic Olive Oil- HUGE 15.99

Organic Coffee- 10.50

These are not things I purchase every time I go; but are a great deal when I need to restock the pantry. There a few other favs as well- like their gluten free coconut flour, their strawberry organic jam, their organic eggs (although we are now getting eggs from a neighbor). Costco really can save you money- you just have to stay away from all the other awesome things they want to sell you as well! 🙂 Did you try this meal plan? Did it work for you? Any other organic/ healthy favorites at your local Costco?

One Month at Costco for $250??

   Today is meal planning Friday. I’ve been brainstorming ways for us to save money on food- while still eating high quality, healthy ingredients. My goal for this week: Make one month worth of dinners for less than $250 all at Costco. Save a few dollars per week for fresh produce, dairy products, etc. Think I can do it? I was inspired by $5 dinners- she has done a lot of the work and I will be using a few of her recipes; however, I am in need of gluten free and dairy free as well so I will be making a few adjustments. So for now I meal plan. Any ideas? I’m open to any and all ways. What awesome organic products do you love at Costco? I will be back soon with my report.

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