Healthy Mind

Big Big (HUGE) News

March 10, 2015

A few months back, I stood up in my best friend’s wedding. A few days ago, I held my other best friend’s brand new baby boy in my arms. And, there’s one more life-changing thing that happened two weekends ago. What was it? Oh yeah…

I got engaged!

Wow. Yeah. Let that sink in.

Remember how when you were younger – on your birthday – people would always ask you if you felt older? I always said yes, but I didn’t really. Nothing was different afterwards. You were still in same routine with the same responsibilities (go to school, play with friends, go to bed). But when somebody asked me the other day if I felt different after being engaged, I said yes and I FELT yes.

(Cheese alert, I know, bare with me).

Not only am I so ridiculously excited to get married to my favorite person in the world, I do indeed feel very grown up and ready for the next stage of our lives. 

And part of being grown up and responsible is planning ahead. I’ll be the first to admit – when it comes to my personal life, I am NOT good at this. I often find myself double-booking dinners and birthdays, and always leave trip preparing and gift buying till the last minute.

But something hits you when the thing you need to plan is your wedding

It’s like this weird addiction that you catch, that you think you’re exempt from. But when it happens to you, you truly cannot stop. Pinning and Googling and magazine-flipping…there are so many ideas, so many places, so many options. Ahhhh!

I’ve got a growing guest list, beach ceremony dreams and very high standards for the wedding dinner (I’m thinking fresh herbs, grass-fed meat and fresh-caught seafood). To match with that, I’ve got some big numbers looming over my head that my grown-up self has to save up for. Welp. As of last week, I have put aside a good chunk of my paycheck on auto-deposit so I can save up for the big day. Which means a new challenge for this blog. 

For the next 14 months, please meet…

HEALTHY STACEY SAVES:

The health blog that teaches you how to live, eat and shop healthy for LESS.

Here are the rules of the game:

  1. If you can make it for cheaper, you can’t buy it. There are so many fun and tempting health snacks and convenience foods out there that are easy to get swept up in. But they’ll charge you an arm and a leg for them. I’m always happier when I make my own homemade snacks and treats anyways. Goodbye Go Raw sprouted flax snacks, Coconut Chips,  and Kale Crunch.
  2. Stick to a list. NO WANDERING THE AISLES. Especially at Whole Foods.
  3. You can go to Whole Foods – with limits. Only shop here for good organic produce and the things you can’t get anywhere else (turmeric root, plantains, etc). If you do buy packaged, stick to the 365 Brand and the Value-labeled items. And stay away from the snack aisle (see #1).
  4. Cost compare online grocers with brick and mortar grocers. Find out where you can get the cheapest prices at each. A few good ones I’ve heard of are Vitacost, Door to Door Organics and Thrive Market.
  5. Only stick to the Dirty Dozen for organic foods. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, the Dirty Dozen is a list of warning foods created by the Environmental Working Group (an organization of scientists, researchers and policymakers). The produce on the Dirty Dozen has the highest amount of pesticides and other harmful chemicals, so it is highly recommended that you stick to organic when buying them. They have found that, just by eating organic for these 12, you can reduce the amount of toxins you consume on a daily basis by as much as 80%. Awesome. On the other side of the coin is a money saving opportunity. The Clean 15 is a list by the same organization. These are the foods that pose much less concern by buying conventional. CHA-ching.
  6. Shop the Farmer’s Market (as soon as the season starts, CHICAGO psshh). Not only can you can save a ton of money on seasonal produce, the experience of sampling foods and chatting up the farmers and artisans is one of my favorite things to do in the summer anyways. On it.
  7. Use coupons. I am SO bad at this because I find it so tedious and time consuming. But brands and stores are making it easier and easier for the shopper to save money. Apps like iBotta, RetailMeNot and Cartwheel from Target are all currently downloaded on my phone. Now it’s time to actually use them. And BONUS, Whole Foods is one of iBotta’s retailers.
  8. Consult other health nuts like me who are showing me up in the savings department. A simple search helped me find these gems that I can’t wait to try out:
  • http://www.couponsforpaleo.com
  • http://paleoonabudget.com
  • http://www.organicdeals.com
  • http://allnaturalsavings.com

Alright. That’s all she wrote. I’m trusting you people to hold me accountable. This can and should be about more than just a wedding savings fund. It’s my chance to show you guys that you can eat healthy without going broke (and maybe, just maybe it can actually help you SAVE money).

Comment below with healthy saving ideas – especially all you Coupon-ers out there! I’m pretty sure it’s a ninja skill you are born with. But if not, I’d love to be taught. 

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