Surprising Salad & Shopping Smart.

I had such a wonderful weekend with my parents. It seemed too short. For Mother’s Day yesterday, Mom wanted us to take her to a Mexican restaurant right outside of our town. I love Mexican food, but I haven’t had it for the longest time. Quite honestly, I wasn’t too pumped to go because I knew I’d be tempted by the free chips and salsa, queso dips, and worst of all…tortillas. I used to order tortillas and cheese dip as a meal. I’d hate to think what a calorie nightmare that meal was costing me in terms of nutrition. I had NO earthly idea what I would order. I reviewed the entire menu, but even the veggie selections seemed like they would be cooked in lots of oils. The only thing that sounded safe on the menu was under the “sides” section titled “Tossed Salad” and there wasn’t any description. I requested no croutons or shredded cheese. I was expecting simply iceberg lettuce…

 

…but to my surprise, the waiter brought a HUGE delicious and nutritious salad! The green and red peppers were bursting with flavor and the sweet onions were a perfect touch. The tomato slices were insanely large and the meal was really filling. I left the meal completely satisfied. I used to leave Mexican restaurants feeling overly stuffed. But this restaurant knew how to please a flexitarian such as myself.

While I wish I could have visited with Mom and Dad a little longer, I needed to head back to Lexington to prepare for the week. After unpacking my car and making a banana and peanut butter protein smoothie (I missed Krema PB!), I looked through my fridge, pantry and freezer so I could plan out my meals and make a grocery shopping list. Luckily, Mom and Dad saved me a lot of money on my grocery budget this week because they sent me back with leftovers from the weekend. I made my list, gathered my coupons and headed to Kroger.

I know it doesn’t look like a lot, but I have plenty get me through this week without letting any food or leftovers go to waste. I had NO idea that meal planning and mindful grocery shopping would help me save so much money. The grand total for my grocery shopping, including the coupons and “instore savings” was $17.82. That’s well under my weekly grocery budget of $35. Maybe I’m setting the budget too high, or maybe these haven’t been typical weeks. I’ve managed to stick to my list and avoid impulse buys. I’ll be interested to see how the next few weeks go in terms of grocery shopping so I can get a real picture of my typical spending. (A BIG thank you to Mom and Dad for giving me leftovers to use throughout the week!)

Today is my big workout day. I’ll strength tone during lunch and do Zumba after work. Like I said on Friday, I’m coming up with a schedule for goal specific workouts each day of the week. I’m tweaking this schedule now, so I’ll report back to you later on my daily focus plan.

Well, I’m off to make some cinnamon rolls for a coworker. Yesterday was his birthday and he prefers cinnamon rolls over cupcakes. Surprisingly, cinnamon rolls aren’t sounding appealing to me today. I think it’s because it’s Monday and I want to start the work week on a healthy note. It’s eggs and greek yogurt for me!

Wishing you the best. katie

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What are your smart shopping strategies to saving money at the grocery? If you respond to this question, I may feature your strategy in an upcoming post! 

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