Green Chef Delivers Organic Dinners to Your Doorstep

Life is busy. I don’t know anyone who isn’t looking for ways to simplify in order to have more time for the things they enjoy most. Last month, I partnered with Green Chef to delegate my meal planning (and shopping!) responsibilities to give me more time and simplify one more area of our lives.

Want to try Green Chef for yourself? New customers get $50 off their first box.

green chef

Handing over the reigns on what’s in the fridge can be a little intimidating. We have a couple of vegetarians, a couple of omnivores, and of course a few general preferences I have to be aware of when shopping and meal planning normally. None of that was an issue with Green Chef. They have a variety of organic meal plan preferences you can choose from. Vegan? Paleo? No Problem.

Once you pick your preferences, Green Chef sends fresh, premeasured, organic ingredients right to your doorstep. The delivery dated are flexible and there is no commitment. You can skip weeks whenever you want. The meals arrive in insulated, eco-friendly, refrigerated boxes. There is no need to be home when it arrives.

Green Chef OrganicGreen Chef Poultry

The meals they deliver are certified organic. That means no GMOs, no synthetic pesticides and no growth hormones or antibiotics. Green Chef puts an emphasis on using seasonal ingredients and sustainable suppliers, including small family farms. Knowing where the food is sourced from and supporting these growers and farms gives me a good feeling as well. You can check out all the Green Chef suppliers here.

Green Chef Menu

Ultimately, what makes this service work is the timesaving element paired with the taste and ease of cooking.  Each box includes a very easy to follow recipe card and cooking instructions with step by step pictures. I could leave this for my family and feel totally confident that they could make it with out me there. I may just order this for them to be delivered when I leave on my next travel trip.

Green Chef directions

On the average of 30 minutes, you will have a all-organic delicious meal ready to serve in about the same time it takes most people to decide on what to order off the take out menu. Your wallet and your waistline will thank you. Our family favorite was a veggie quesadilla recipe made with whole-wheat tortillas filled with Monterey Jack cheese, plus red bell pepper, pinto bans, and corn seasoned with a paprika-cumin spice blend. The side was a simple but flavorful lime-dressed slaw and cilantro-scallion rice.

Green Chef Veggie Quesadillas

My experience with Green Chef was extremely positive and the chef created dishes were very tasty. I was able to utilize more of my mental energy those weeks on projects and not meal planning. I will definitely be utilizing the Green Chef service again soon!

Want to try Green Chef for yourself? New customers get $50 off their first box!

A Better Family Snack #SensiblePortionsPuffs

Sensible Portion PuffsFinding snack options we can all agree on is often a challenge at our house. I am always pushing for lots of raw veggies/fruit and my teens are always looking for a a convenience option. Truthfully, I want to get things they enjoy and really want to make figuring out snack options easier. They are over hearing me read off the long list of fillers in their favorite packaged snacks. Recently we were sent several varieties of Hain Celestial’s Sensible Portions Puffs to try in an effort to ease the struggle. We were all VERY impressed with this new snack!

Hain Celestial’s Sensible Portions Puffs are made with organic corn and no fillers. They are also GMO-free and gluten free which met my criteria for approved snacks. ALL of our kids enjoyed the flavor and texture of them and so did I- huge win!! Sensible Portion Puffs are baked seasoned bite-size poppable treats. I felt they were a great alternative to other snacks that my kids beg me to get but I don’t feel good about purchasing. Since they come in a variety of flavors (Cheddar, Sour Cream & Onion, Veggie and Tomato Basil) They were each able to pick their favorite.

Sydney’s pick was the Tomato Basil  which was VERY surprising. It was also cool to see her try something new.

SP Tomato Basil Puffs 4oz front

Sebastian enjoyed the Cheddar Puffs most.

 

SP Cheddar Puffs 4oz front

Since we have several friends on our street with food allergies, I wanted to make sure these were safe to offer during play dates as well. I rounded up each variety and took them over for my neighbor to check out the ingredients. She was pleasantly surprised to see that these were a safe option for her child. I highly recommend every parent check the label for their own child, but I was thrilled to hear that these were a safe offering for our next play date!

The other thing I felt great about was the price point of this snack! Typically purchasing a product like this can span outside the snack budget but Sensible Portions Puffs come in 4 oz. bags and can be found at Walmart for the suggested retail price of $2.88.  Totally a reasonable amount for a family snack option that we are all pleased with.

Sensible Portions Puffs are made with the belief that an after-school snack, or a movie-watching treat, can be fun and delicious while also being a better-for-you, smarter snacking option. For more information about Sensible Portions™ and other new products from this company, connect with them on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/SensiblePortions).

GIVEAWAY!! 

Which flavor would you be most interested to try? One of my readers will win 4 bags of product, one in each flavor (total value $11.52), Just leave a comment below  telling me which would be your favorite flavor . Be sure to include your email to contact you if you are the winner.(Giveaway ends midnight 5/12/15) Easy Peasy!

Thanks again to our generous sponsor! We were provided product and compensation for the purposes of this post. 

Money Saving Tips for buying Organic & Gluten-Free Groceries

Many of us are looking for ways to s-t-r-e-c-h every dollar as we recover from extra holiday spending. I’ve teamed up with 9 other savvy bloggers to bring you money saving tips for the new year &

a chance to win a $250 gift card to Amazon.com!!!

Save More With These Simple Ideas

Enjoy these great tips and make sure to enter here daily to win!

Our family has made many strides to improve our healthy lifestyle in the recent months through fitness, eliminating poor food choices, and replacing them with better ones. This year we are beginning an organic/gluten-free lifestyle. I knew we would feel great but the cost of switching to organic for a family of 6 was intimidating. Could we really afford to do this? The answer is YES!! It was so eye-opening to realize that not only could we stay within our current grocery budget eating organic/gluten-free, we could actually save money eating this way.

So, you are telling me I can feel better AND save money by buying organic and gluten-free groceries for my family…seriously?!?!  SIGN.ME.UP!!!

Aldi organic shopping trip

 

This week, I want to share some of my favorite money-saving tips for buying organic & gluten-free groceries for your family like we’ve been able to do, so that you can be sure to get the most out of every dollar in your budget too. These tips will cover where to shop – You’ve gotta have a starting point, right? Once you get there you are going to want to get the most out of every dollar, so I’ve provided some great tips on how to find the coupons for the organic & gluten-free products you’ll be buying. Next, you’ll find some great resources for meal planning. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. This is SO true when it comes to meal planning. I know if I don’t have a meal  ready to go we will end up caving on pizza or take-out that leaves us all feeling miserable. You ( & your budget) will love you for doing this!

 

Where to shop:

  • SHOP LOCAL Specifically shop your local co-op and farmers markets options. I HIGHLY recommended checking your area for local co-ops. These can save you money and are fresher than the produce on grocery store shelves. My favorite co-op is Bountiful Baskets– (Just $25 for an entire basket of organic produce!!) They will also often offer add-ons like organic coconut oil and olive oil at great prices. They have sites all over the nation. To find other great resources for finding local, sustainable, organic food in your area is the Eat Well Guide  and Local Harvest.
  • GROCERY STORES  Chances are your favorite grocery store now carries a selection of great organic & gluten-free options. A friend of mine that has been eating organic/gluten-free for a while recently volunteered to go shopping and take me on a grocery store “tour” to our usual H.E.B. store. I was floored at all the options that had been there all along. I felt like I had been to an entirely new market. Some of my other favorite stores that carry an organic &  gluten-free grocery line are Kroger, Aldi, Whole Foods, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, and Central Market. Don’t be afraid to shop a store brand either. If a product carries the USDA seal it is required to follow the same guidelines whether it is a brand name or a store brand. This week at Aldi’s I was able to score USDA 100% Grass-Fed Beef on sale for $4.49 lb!! Do you have a product you love that isn’t being carried at your local store? Talk with your store manager, chances are he or she will offer to order it regularly for you.
  • BUY IN BULK Memberships stores such as Costco are my favorite for finding big savings on staples like organic coconut oil, raw almonds, and chia seeds. These pantry items and more can be purchased here at a fraction of the cost.
  •  ONLINE  There are even some awesome options for buying organic and gluten-free groceries online. Amazon.com & Groupon.com will often be able to offer great deals and introduce you to new organic/gluten-free companies and brands at a great discount.heb shopping trip

Tips on finding Organic & Gluten free coupons:

  • BRAND COUPONS Brands like Earthbound farms, Amy’s, Applegate, Cascadian Farms, and Muir Glen often have coupons offered on their websites. They will also even put them inside the packaging of your favorite products do be sure to check. Also be sure to sign up for their brand emails, I’ve heard Earthbound farms will be sending out select coupons twice a month to their email subscribers only in 2014.
  • ONLINE COUPONS If you are already an avid coupon-er, you know that some of your current coupon sites already offer a coupon round-up of organic/gluten-free deals. One of my new favorite sites to find online coupons for organics is SimpleTruth.com. This site allows you to filter the coupons by the store you are visiting so you can be sure your store carries the product you have the coupon for.

 Organic & Gluten Free Meal planning:

  • HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE Once you’ve been diligent to purchase great quality healthy organic & gluten-free foods for your family and saved a ton buy using coupons, don’t let your hard work go and dollars go to waste by not using them. Make sure to create a menu plan right away. This way you wont be tempted to blow your budget by the continual pressures of “What’s for Dinner?”
  • FOOD PREP Eating healthy can still be convenient but food prep is key! Spend some time before your week gets busy making a pot of beans or quinoa. You can store them in large containers for ready to go lunches or dinners the rest of the week. Grill several chicken breasts or throw a few in the crock-pot to shred for salads or wraps during the week. One thing I do regularly is to have broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, cut up on a tray and set out after school each afternoon. They don’t have to look for something on and I’m thrilled because they are eating more veggies!
  • OUTSOURCE YOUR PLANNING Let’s face it none of us are super-mom, we all could use a little help somewhere, right? Meal planning is a great place to do that. Whole Foods provides a free weekly meal plan menu and shopping lists on their website.  Emeals.com offers an organic subscription based meal planning service that includes an entrée and side dish. I especially like this option and subscribe to it because it allows you to tailor your shopping list to the number of people you are feeding. It is another way for me to make this a goal a sustainable lifestyle for our family.

how emeals works   Now that we’ve talked about ways to get more greens in your diet, let’s get some more green in your wallet too!! Enter to win a $250 Gift Card to Amazon.com!

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Good Luck!!! & Please feel free to comment below with some of your best money saving  grocery tips!!