bulk bins

I have to tell you about a secret treasure found at most natural supermarkets.  These make vegetarian (and non-veg) snacking so easy.   Of course I’m talking about the "bulk bins".  What a great idea!  Take a bunch of good snacks and bulk foods, throw them into a container and you can scoop your own.  Some advantages are that very little packaging is used for these products, you get exactly the amount you need and it’s cheaper than pre-packaged stuff.  Also, there are all kinds of great things there…like steel-cut oats, peanut butter filled pretzels, trailmix (a million varieties), nuts, yogurt covered pretzels, etc..   And…it’s actually pretty fun to scoop your own stuff.  There’s only one rule; keep your hands out of the buckets! :) (although it is tempting to jump in and pretend like you’re in the chocolate river of Willy Wonka’s factory)  So, the next time your at your local neighborhood natural grocery store, make sure to check it out.


eat vegetarian on the cheap

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About a year-and-a-half ago, for health reasons, my husband and I committed ourselves to a mostly vegetarian lifestyle. At home we eat entirely vegetarian; when we eat out we allow ourselves to choose meat. It’s also a priority for us to avoid the pesticides in non-organic produce and the hormones that come with non-organic dairy products. Here’s how we eat a ton of fruits and veggies at a fraction of the price you might expect.

Our top strategy is to eat locally-produced foods as often as possible. (Actually, eating locally is a priority for us based on both our physiological needs and the need for Americans to reduce oil consumption. Produce at the grocery store has traveled, on average, 1500 miles to reach us!) Because we live in an Atlanta apartment with no yard or porch, we are unable to grow anything ourselves except for herbs — so we seek out local farmers.  Locally-grown foods are sold to us at the peak of their flavor and nutritional value, making them more enjoyable. Buying from local farmers, we are also able to ask whether the foods we are buying have been grown using pesticides. (The organic certification process is expensive for small farmers, so some small farmers may use organic methods but not have government certification for years, if ever.)

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