Whole Foods Shoping Experiment

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I have often thought of how cool it would be to do ALL my shopping at Whole Foods. How much time would be saved going to just one store where I can get all my food, body care and specialty items. We have all heard the phrase “Whole Paycheck” and like many others Whole Foods just seems so pricey to me.  It seems like it would be impossible to do my normal grocery shopping there. Before this experiment I would only go to Whole Foods for the body care section or if I needed some unusual ingredient for a gluten free vegan dessert or dish I wanted to make. Tyler and I cook 95% percent of the time breakfast, lunch and dinner so we do a LOT of shopping. I feel like I think Whole Foods is so expensive because when I go there I’m buying a few items that are higher priced, things that get use over a month(s) like lotion or raw cacao powder, not everyday things like rice, beans and broccoli.

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The opportunity came my way to test and see if the “Whole Paycheck” phrase was true for me. Tyler and I headed to Whole Foods on a normal Tuesday evening with our typical shopping list, debit and credit cards, just in case, with the intention of doing a weeks worth of normal shopping. The experience was fun because it was something new and we only had to go to one place to get everything we needed. I think this last piece is a BIG reason why I really wanted to do this.

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You see, we do a hodge podge of shopping, going to Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Vons, Whole Foods and the farmers markets depending on what we are making that week. There is never less than 2 stops on any given shopping trip. I’ve read many articles about other plant based diet eaters enjoying going to the store to pick up fresh ingredients multiple times a week and maybe this would be the case for me if I lived in Europe or a city with much better public transportation (this is a whole other topic). If I could walk to the train each day to get to work and on my way home stop at the market I might enjoy it as well. Sadly that is not the case, I would rather come home from work and spend the evening cooking, hanging out with loved ones, blogging, working in the yard and relaxing, not running yet another grocery errand. Sadly grocery shopping often just turns into a task, something else to do like laundry. I’m all about having enjoyment in my life and finding simple ways to infuse more joy into it.  As we filled the cart I found myself getting very nervous that our bill would break the bank but we did not hold back, we bought all our normal items.

Once we were done we headed to the check out line and held our breaths. The total was $174.  Although it was more than we typically spend it did not make me want to faint. We typically spend $90 to $120 at Trader Joe’s then another $20 to $50 at the other store(s) that we go to that week.  I’m not waving a flag boasting about the great deals at Whole Foods I’m just sharing that maybe though it’s pricey it stops me from impulse buying at more than one store (but those berries just look so good!), saves time and my sanity. Even after this experiment Tyler and I are still racing around San Diego to multiple places for our food each week.  I feel better actually knowing what it costs to shop there rather than just assuming it will be my Whole Paycheck.

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As I work towards finding my way while living a fun filled eco-lifestyle I know eating local and organic food is a part of it. In sharing my experience I would love to know what your shopping routines look like? Do you go all the time? Once a week? Visit multiple places? Seriously I want to know! Also if you love grocery shopping share your tips with me…I need them.

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15 Tips to Save Water

 

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I hope you had a great 4th of July! I celebrated in Big Bear with friends and family. It was nice to be in the mountains and to watch the fireworks show over the lake. Where we watched the fireworks from should have been underwater. I didn’t take a picture, but wish I had (sorry), we were sitting next to docks that should have been floating. In Southern California we are in a pretty serious drought and living in San Diego means that we are at the end of California’s water supply line. While the dry part of the lake made for a great spot to see the fireworks, it made me realize that I need to start doing more to conserve water. Sadly this isn’t my first drought but luckily I was taught while growing up in Southern California many important water saving methods. Many of these tips I already do around our home but it’s time to up my game and take on a few more, I hope you’ll join me!

Let’s save some water (15 Tips to Save Water)

  1. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth (Seriously why are people still leaving the water on?) You can save up to 4 gallons a minute!
  2. Water outside plants and planters boxes with watering cans instead of the hose or make sure your hose has a shut off nozzle.
  3. Check for leaks inside and outside AND fix them.
  4. Only run the dishwasher (I wish we had one) or washing machine if you have a full load.
  5. Plug the sink while washing dishes, it can save up to 1 liter of water every 6 seconds!
  6. Replace faucets, shower heads and toilets with low flow water efficient ones. I’m an eco nerd and I must admit I get excited when I see a toilet has the half flush option…blushing.
  7. Put mulch around the base of your outside plants to help reduce water evaporation.
  8. Buy and plant drought tolerant plants.
  9. Use a broom to clean up driveways and sidewalks not the hose.
  10. Use less plastic.
  11. Eat less meat.
  12. Take shorter showers, about 5 minutes.
  13. Although many would say it’s not a water saving tip to take a bath they are way too relaxing and necessary at times. A tip to saving water while still enjoying your bath is to plug the tub right when you turn on the water.
  14. Use a small bucket to collect water while your shower is warming up and use it to water outdoor plants.
  15. Collect the water you use while rinsing your fruits and veggies to water houseplants.

Want even more eco-lifestyle water saving tips? Click here

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4th of July Treehugger!

What do you do already or what are you going to start doing to save water? I’d love to know. Our world needs our help and we can make a few little changes and save A LOT of water.

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3 Steps for Overcoming Overwhelm

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As an environmentalist I often times find myself, trying to stay current with the state of our planet and become overwhelmed. Often the news is about land losing protection, species going extinct, or policy makers not standing up for the environment. I created this blog as a place where other environmentalist could come and take a break from the doom and gloom of the state of our planet and find ways to feel empowered by making small fun changes in our personal lives.

The past two months I have found myself overwhelmed by this blog, which was a new experience for me. I have truly been loving blogging and like other hobbies I wanted to find out more and learn to be better at it. Enter stage left, “Blog Overwhelm”. I would spend hours doing research about design, analytics, post ideas and blogging theory, then have no energy or time to actually blog! I woke up today and realized, I have been so sad not blogging this past month.  All this new information has been great, and I’m sure will prove useful in the future, but it has made me feel overwhelmed into inaction.

Below are the top three things I do to get out of overwhelm and back into action and living my life. Believe me I used all three today!

  1. Get Grounded: Put your feet in the grass. Drop the drama and do a true assessment about what the situation really is and not how you have been perceiving it (this sometimes needs outside help). Call on a friend and look at the situation with a fresh pair of eyes, it really makes a huge difference in finding solutions.
  2. Get into Action: Do something, do anything. Even the slightest bit of movement will help relieve some of the pressure you are feeling. One of my favorite quotes is “Done is better than perfect”. Perfectionism is just a form of procrastination, trying to make something perfect is just a way of putting off finishing it. If the state of our world has me down one of the most helpful actions I do is go to a service project.  I go out on a Saturday and pick up trash on the beach with other volunteers and feel empowered and happy to see other community members caring too.
  3. Drop the Overly Serious Outlook: Have some fun! Take a night off from worrying about whatever has you paralyzed by overwhelmed. Often times when we give ourselves a chance to step away and have some space from the situations or things that are stressing us out, we create the space for new and creative solutions to come in.

I hope you use even just one of these next time this state of mind as taken over. Let me know if overwhelm is something you struggle with and/or what you do to move through it.

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