Thursday, June 11, 2009

Savvy Supermom Food Savings - Gluten Free Larabars/JamFrakas for Celiacs, Protein Mix & Kashi Cereal

Our family is not a health-nut family, though I do like to make sure we stay on the healthier side of the curve. We are conscious about the money we spend on food and I like to keep my budget around $50-100 a week for a family of 4 products that are healthy/organic/natural or less processed. I've not really found the coupon programs to work for me because there aren't many things that I need in the coupon section. We shop at Costco and do a bit of stock-piling on items like toilet paper and paper towels, but outside of chicken or fresh vegetables we don't do a lot of food stockpiling because I don't have an extra freezer or a lot of extra space in the house.

That said, I try to find bargains when I can, even in the most unlikely of places. Surprisingly, Big Lots has been a great source of healthy foods. This week I picked up the following:

1. Larabar Pistachio - $8 for a pack of 16/ARP $25 if bulk/ARP $2 a single bar
2. Larabar Jam Frakas box of 18 for $8/ARP $25, single bar/ARP $1.75
3. Naturade Soy Protein Shake - $4 for 2lbs/ARP $20
4. Kashi 3-boxes of cereal - $5 /ARP $3.75 a box

Grand Total: $25
Approximate Retail Price: $81 for bulk/$95 buying single items
Savvy Savings: $56 /$70

If anything this should be a testimony to buying things in bulk packages instead of a single bar here and there when you're on the run.

Now I realize that some adults and kids don't like this kind of stuff, but I've always used health bars as a snack item for my kids figuring that it was a quick easy thing to stuff into my pocket that would keep us from making bad choices when we were out and about and hungry. I also used bars like these when I was pregnant to keep my blood-sugar up and my nausea at bay. For now these are the bars that I stuff into my bag when we head to the gym so that we have something to snack on because they (and I) are always so hungry when we're finished playing!

Per the company - LARABAR is a delicious blend of unsweetened fruits nuts and spices - energy in its purest form. Made from 100 raw whole food each flavor contains no more than six ingredients. Pure and simple just as nature intended. As a celiac, my mother in law eats a gluten-free diet and she loves these bars. If you do a Google search on it you may find that there was a recall earlier this year, but that was for the peanut butter versions of both brands.

The Naturade shake mix is for my husband and what I use to make him a quick breakfast to go. We use frozen fruit from Costco (or whatever fruit is getting overripe in our house), water and a scoop of dahi yogurt (Indian yogurt) from our local Indian market or Kefir when it's on sale. We usually spent the $19 for a months supply of protein powder at Whole Foods, so this was a change for us, but at $4 I was willing to try it. Our oldest loves protein shakes and though our youngest doesn't as much, she seems to like this Strawberry Creme flavor.

The Kashi cereal is for me, and while the kids may eat it from time to time, it's a good way to grab a quick breakfast and or midday snack.

Overall I do love finding deals like this at Big Lots, which happens more often than not, and while I may save a lot doing this, I realize that people who like specific brands may not be able to find these type of savings consistently. I have found for us, the flexibility of trying a new product from time to time does help the bottom line for our family.

A Note to My Local Savvy Shoppers - This deal was found at the Franklin Big Lots store.

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