Monday, April 15, 2013

Family Field Whole Foods

You knew it was coming! This past weekend we took our first family trip to Whole Foods Market. We have two in our area, a smaller one that is 18 miles away and a larger one that is 28 miles away. We chose to go to the smaller one and just browse around and check things out. This trip was very informative for us and I wanted to share some of the things that we learned. 

#1- Saturdays at Whole Foods are very busy! I think this is true for any store but it seems like on Saturdays Whole Foods pulls out all the stops. There were samples everywhere!! It was great because we got to try a few products that we ended up buying (or will be buying in the near future-but more on that in a moment!) We also learned that buying any premade products from the deli (like tuna salad) are going to cost you big! (A small container of tuna salad-the half pound size was $8! Yikes! But admittedly- it was the most amazing tuna salad I've ever had! lol) So that leads us to rule #2.

#2- If you want to save money at Whole Foods stay away from the premade items. Don't journey over to the salad bar unless you want to drop some major dough! The soups and various salads taste fabulous but they will seriously drive up the end cost. 

#3- Not everything in Whole Foods is organic! I didn't know that! But everything in the store has to follow the list of banned ingredients so things there are considerably healthier than their counterparts that I might pick up at Kroger or Walmart. 

#4- The store brand 365 Everyday is very good. We got several items just to try them out and we have been very pleasantly surprised. We got their ruffled potato chips seasoned with sea salt. They were yummy. But we also learned that there quite a few brands of chips that would be considered "acceptable". For example, Kettle brand and Tarro. And these are often on sale at my local Kroger. Now, having said that chips are still junk food so buying them is for treats only and are not something we will suddenly keep in the house all the time just because they aren't full of artificial colors. 

#5- According to Steven "Eating healthy is expensive!" (I told him to shut up and stop being counterproductive! lol) And it definitely can be. But I learned that at Whole Foods just like other stores you want to shop the perimeter of the store and stay away from the inner aisles which house all of your prepackaged foods. That's where you are going to drop the money and get into the idea that "Well, it's from Whole Foods. It must be OK." Well, chips are still chips and boxed Mac and Cheese is still boxed Mac and Cheese. You don't want those things to make up the majority of your diet. But, I will be buying them occasionally because the break from cooking from scratch every meal, every day is one that I will be welcome I'm sure! 

So what did we buy? Well, let's take a look at a few things we were especially excited about, especially after we tasted them. 

We bought a couple different pasta sauces. One was this roasted vegetable. I guess it would be comparable to Ragu Chunky Garden Veggie. As soon as I got Steven to open the lid (Yup! I'm a wimp sometimes!!) I knew this sauce was going to be amazing! It smelled incredible in the jar. As we were eating dinner we just kept commenting on how it was so good. Steven couldn't believe I hadn't added anything to doctor it up. It didn't need it! It was just that good!

And take a look at the ingredient list. We were able to pronounce everything on it! Score!

Tomato Puree, Diced Tomatoes, Roasted Tomatoes, Roasted onions, Roasted Red and Green Bell Peppers, White Wine Vinegar, Roasted Minced Garlic, Salt, Expeller Pressed Soybean Oil, Cane Sugar, Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, Savory, Thyme, Parsley. 
 It truly was amazingly good. We have a roasted garlic sauce in the pantry that I can't wait to use. And at $1.89 a jar you better believe I will be stocking up on that stuff!

Next up was a cereal. It's made by a company called Three Sisters. This is their version of Lucky Charms. The marshmellows are colored with blueberry, pumpkin and other such natural colors derived from fruits and veggies. And the taste? Well, let's just say my kids will not miss Lucky Charms that's for sure! They love this cereal! And I will be going back for more of it, and others in the line. And the price- well, it was definitely comparable to other bagged cereals. One other thing I loved- they use 100% wind energy to create their product. How freakin' cool is that?!?!

What kid doesn't love Mac and Cheese- especially the kind that comes out of that blue box with neon orange cheese sauce?!? Well, I'm a little ticked off at the maker of that product right now so we are looking for an alternative. Yes, I know that making mac and cheese from scratch is super easy and much tastier (I make it, I know. It's awesome!) but sometimes you want an enjoyable shortcut. We haven't tried these yet, but I can't wait to see how they compare.

We wanted to try some of the body products so we snatched up the 365 Everyday Citrus Grapefruit body wash. It is yummy! It's made with essential oils, no artificial fragrances, no parabens and no sulfates. Win! Win! And this bottle was only $2.00! Not too shabby!

We also snatched up a big bottle of both the shampoo and conditioner. Again, no artificial colors, or fragrances. No parabens or sulfates. And it's is so scrumptious! And this big bottle of shampoo was only $3.89. Score again!!

As for toothpaste we are saying adios to Crest and Colgate and their neon blue messes! Our choice for right now is Tom's of Maine, which is a very reputable company. The good thing about Tom's is I can find it at any grocery or drug store around me so it's a good choice. The kids so far like the strawberry flavor, although I think the greyish tinge take a while to get used to when you're used to neon blue with sparkles! I'm already not missing the crusty blue mess left behind in the sink! lol

As an alternative to Goldfish crackers Whole Foods offers quack'n bites. Cute name. These little cheesy crackers are organic. And they are pretty tasty. They aren't as cheesy as Goldfish but since we don't buy them often I think these will be a good choice!

We got to try these awesome corn chips from Shagbark Seed and Mill at the store. The company is local-just outside of Columbus, OH. They are non-GMO certified (yippy!!) and in the next few years will be USDA certified organic as well. These chips were super crunchy. They will hold up to any salsa or cheese sauce out there. And I can pretty much assume that you could lather these things with some chili and they would not loose their crunch. The kids begged for a bag, and daddy was happy to appease! :-) These are going to taste awesome with my favorite local salsa from Remke!

Probably our favorite thing we tried was milk and butter from Snowville Creamery. They are a local creamery about 2 hours from us. Their cows are grass fed, they don't use growth hormones or antibiotics. Their milk is sourced, pasteurized, packaged and delivered to the store within 2 days! How fresh is your milk?  That's probably the freshest milk I've ever had! It was also the tastiest milk I've ever had. The kids went absolutely crazy over it, especially the chocolate, which tasted like a milkshake. It was amazing! It's as close to raw milk as we can get here since raw milk is illegal. And it is expensive- a half gallon was around $4! But we're discussing it because we think it would be worth it for good, quality milk. I wish they did home delivery in glass bottles. I'd totally be sold! lol I really want to try some of the recipes on their website. Wow! The custard style ice cream totally had me salivating!

So there you have it! Our first trip to Whole Foods and some of the things we learned and tried. I'm feeling very excited about this journey and can't wait to share more of it with you!


Michelle said...

I know someone that has bought some beef from . They are on Colerain Ave in Cincinnati. She said the beef was very good, and I think she had ordered the grass fed beef. That's another option, and if you have a freezer you could buy a whole side and have them butcher it for you. :)

The Fischer Family said...

Thanks for the tip Michelle! That's good to know!

The Fischer Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Fischer Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.