Posts Tagged With: food

Average Cost of Food in Seattle

 

Below, you’ll see the spreadsheet that I’ve been working on that notes the average cost of a set group of items, their cost at the 6 stores that I priced them out at and the bill you should be looking at for each store.  Also, on the lower left, you will see the average bill at the three stores (Whole Foods, Kroger & Metropolitan Market (local) that carry all the items in this list.

 

Whole Foods Safeway Fred Meyer (Kroger) Metropolitan Market Trader Joes Costco Average Cost of Item
Organic Pears (lb) $2.19 $1.19 $1.99 $2.99 $2.09
Banana (ea) $0.23 $0.36 $0.16 $0.23 $0.19 $0.47 $0.27
Organic Russet Potatoes (lb) $0.99 $1.16 $0.99 $1.19 $0.70 $1.01
Organic Green Pepper (ea) $2.50 $1.59 $1.49 $1.69 $1.25 $1.70
Organic 2% Reduced Fat Milk (gallon) $3.99 $6.99 $6.99 $6.50 $5.99 $6.60 $6.18
Free Range Chicken Breasts (lb) $7.99 $7.49 $7.99 $6.99 $5.99 $7.29
Grass Fed Ground Beef (lb) $7.99 $7.49 $7.99 $4.49 $6.99
Red Onions (ea) $0.89 $0.64 $0.70 $1.49 $0.69 $0.87 $0.88
Organic Hearts of Romaine (3 heads) $3.99 $3.89 $3.99 $3.99 $2.29 $3.49 $3.61
 Cost of bill                           $30.76                                          $15.82                              $31.29                          $34.06                               $18.10                                $21.91                                               $30.02
                                                   $31.03
Average of Stores that carry all items

I would also like to point out that the boxes that don’t have values in them are items that are not carried at the stores I visited.  Also, note that at big discount retailers (Costco in this instance) things like bananas are not exactly sold per pound but in much larger quantities.  That’s wonderful for items that you can freeze (meats) and lock in a lower rate but things that are perishable it’s not always the best use of your money.

I have also gone ahead and bolded the items that are the lowest price in each category.  Trader Joe’s comes out as almost a clear winner on produce and fruit.  To me, the difference in banana & red onion cost is a moot point.  Costco is obviously a winner for the meats and I was blown away at the price of Organic milk (their 365 house brand) at Whole Foods.  The cost of the milk at WF alone puts it in contention with Kroger/Fred Meyer for overall cost.  Take out the milk and it’s a whole other ball game.

One item I didn’t include on here is fish.  Here in Seattle our fish prices are so wonky depending on the time of year that it’s more about which store carries the better quality of fish rather than getting the lowest price.  I refuse to pit farm fish (Trader Joe’s) against Alaska Sockeye (Met Mart/Kroger/Whole Foods).

So, anyone else take anything away from this little experiment?  Planning on shopping differently in the future?

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Banana bread muffins

 

2 large ripe bananas

1 cup of sugar (I used brown)

1 egg

4 tablespoons butter/margarine (room temp works)

1.5 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix bananas, sugar and egg together.  Add in the dry ingredients.  Mix until it looks right.  Scientific, eh?  Spoon into baking cups and cook for around 30 minutes @ 325.  Make sure you test with a toothpick to see if it’s clean and they’re done.

Super easy AND these freeze well!

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The case for changing to organic milk

2% Organic milk (reduced fat)

 

2% milk (reduced fat)

 

We drink 2% in our house for now and while we’re really happy with our milk delivery from local Smith Brother’s Farms (it’s mighty tasty) I’ve been looking into switching to organic.  It’s about $1.50 more per 1/2 gallon at Smith Brothers though so it’s got to be a good reason to switch.  I’ve also added organic milk to the spreadsheet I’m working on about the best places to buy organic and just generally better food.

There have been many studies done regarding the differences between organic and non milks.  You can read more here, here & here.  The bottom line that I have come to is that there isn’t a big difference in the actual milk (other than some trace antibiotics) but there are HUGE differences in how the milk gets to your fridge.  The whole dairy industry is completely different (how the cows live, what they eat, how the milk get processed etc) so it begs the question of “do happy cows make better milk?”.

The lack of chemicals and antibiotics is great.  The taste is better.  The cows are happier.  To me, there are brands of organic out there that come very close in price to what we’re paying for our milk delivery.  There are still local brands that are organic farming and if it means that I can get rid of one more layer of processing and crap in our food it sounds good to me.

 

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Pinterest Roundup

Brown sugar & balsamic glazed pork in a slow cooker

This wasn’t a fail but it’s not going to be going on our line up anytime soon.  First it was a little too sweet in the end for us.  The pork needs to be browned before being put in the slow cooker.  And the recipe calls for cornstarch to thicken the glaze, something that I don’t particularly like so I made the glaze the old fashioned way in a saucier.  I could see this being good on a grill maybe.

Monkey bread with dill butter

I did these in muffin tins and the ratio of butter to cooking made a greasy mess.  Less butter next time and a little more cooking time.  The middle of these just didn’t get done.  It has good flavor though and it looked impressive.

As with any time that you’re not following a recipe from a well known source (Cooks.com, Saveur, etc) and are following everyday cooks (Allrecipes.com, Pinterest etc) there is always going to be a bit of trial and error.  A lot of us post after one great batch and non-commercial cooktops and ovens (like mine!!!) sometimes aren’t showing the right temps.

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The Dirty Dozen

Everyone knows about these, right?  In trying to feed Baby B the healthiest options (and in turn getting J and I to eat cleaner) I’ve started to change my grocery shopping habits.  We have a great little produce and fruit stand outside our great little butcher shop (something that I don’t utilize enough) that sells some of the best pears in the summer and offers other organic options.  When shopping at the grocery store though, make sure that you’re choosing the following 12 foods in their organic variety to stay away from pesticides that you can’t rinse out.

 

 

I’m going to do a little shopping experience soon breaking down where to shop to buy fresh, local, organic and healthy foods.  I’ll be comparing Safeway, Metropolitan Market (local here in Seattle), Whole Foods and Fred Meyer (Kroger).  It’s so weird how such a little kiddo can change how you look at food!

 

 

 

 

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Chicken for tacos

I’m smitten with the chicken meat that our neighbor made us a couple of times now for dinner.  I know she makes it in a crock pot but I have yet to remember to ask for the recipe when I see her!  When I found this recipe on Pinterest I thought that it sounded pretty yummy AND maybe it would be close to Annie’s.  While it was scrumptious…it still plays second fiddle.  I substituted normal salsa for some mango/cilantro salsa that I found at the store.  I loved the added kick that the fruit gave it.

In a slow cooker, mix together:

One 24-ounce jar medium or mild salsa

Juice from one lime

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

One 1.25-oz. package taco seasoning

2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)

Add 4-6 boneless chicken breast halves (completely defrosted) to the slow cooker and coat with the salsa mixture. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours.

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Orange chicken in a crock pot

I found this recipe from Pinterest posted from the Six Sisters’ Stuff blog.  So easy to make and it was super yummy and neither of us found it at all overly orangey.  Only takes a bit of prep with the browning/flouring of the chicken too!

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
(Recipe from Team T Adventures)
Ingredients:

• boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks (I used about 4)
• 1/3 cup flour
• olive oil
• 1/2 Tbl. salt
• 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
• 3 Tbl. ketchup
• 6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (thaw or throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds)
• 4 Tbl.  brown sugar

In a bowl, mix the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and ketchup.  Pour the flour in a small bowl.  Cover the chicken breast chunks in flour and shake off the excess.

Pour a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and brown the flour-covered chicken.
The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked since it’s going in the crock pot.

After the chicken is done cooking, pour the pieces into the crock pot. Then cover the chicken with your sauce mixture and give the pot a stir.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3.

Serve over rice and even add veggies if you want a healthier meal.

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