Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mama shops Walmart Super Center - some Organic finds to be had!

I'm starting to make my way up the learning curve on how to cook and keep enough real food in the house so that we don't have to rely on processed foods. So Phase 2 of the MamaEatsClean project is starting: tying to buy more organic food at a reasonable price. Its not realistic to think I am going to buy everything organic because of both accessibility and price. If you are just starting out like me and overwhelmed by which produce items should be organic, one quick article you might want to read is "The dirty dozen and the clean 15 of produce". Its not an all-encompassing list but it points out which items you probably want to pay the extra for organic. Worth a quick read.

As part of Phase 2, I spent some time at the Walmart Super Centre to try and see what kind of products I could get for a reasonable price that were organic and found some other deals along the way. Going clean can get a bit expensive so I try and learn my prices and am sharing what I've learned to try and help you along the way. Also, Walmart stores are a lot more accessible to most people, than for instance Costco, so hopefully this gives you some more options. So here is what I found that I thought was worth passing along:

Organic Baby Food (yes - I should make my own but I'm a little short on time)
They have various organic baby foods available. I chose these two brands because the Gerber brand was on sale for $1. That's a fantastic deal. I also like the "Love Child" brand because it had a couple neat options like the pear/kale/peas - love giving the little guy some leafy greens with his fruit. And it has quinoa in it. I like that option for when we are on the go so I don't have to bring a cereal with us and a fruit/vegetable mix. They were $1.47. Does anyone know if they recycle these types of containers in Manitoba? Leave me a comment if you know. I probably won't buy them if they don't.


This was $4.98. Its organic and brown rice. And I like the pour spout.
Organic Milk 
Only 2 of 5 of us in the house still drink cow's milk. Organic milk is super expensive so I don't always buy it but really I should. The price was $7.97 for a 4 litre. That is way cheaper than anywhere else I have noticed it so I went for it.


Nitrate-Free Sausage and Ham
In a perfect world I would find a supplier of meat that is grass-fed and antibiotic free. I'm not there yet. But these Country Naturals sausages are nitrate and preservative free and a decent price - $6.47 for a pack. That's only a bit over $1 per sausage - not bad food cost (my husband used to be in food sales/cooking so we actually talk about these things).


And I've posted about this before, only about $8.97 for 700 g of nitrate free ham. Its really good and that's a pretty good price compared to sliced deli ham so its a good way to eat clean on a budget.



Organic Lettuce and Spinach
We go through a ton of this stuff since we eat salads almost everyday for lunch. You don't have to go organic on all your produce but leafy greens is one item that YOU REALLY SHOULD PAY THE EXTRA FOR ORGANIC - they are on the dirty dozen list.  They have a large surface area and non-organic are treated with potent pesticides. Its convenient since its pre-washed and the price difference is not crazy. These were $5.27 each. You could probably get non-organic for $3.99 each but its not worth it. It pays to go organic if it is accessible to you.


Organic Yogurt
I just did a whole post on yogurt that didn't even discuss organic because I never really noticed it anywhere for a reasonable price. But today they had this Greek organic yogurt with probiotics for a great price - $3.47 for 650g. Its not high protein Greek yogurt but it will be perfect for the kids and the sugar content wasn't crazy.


Vita Eggs
I normally buy this brand of eggs at Costco so was excited to see them at a bit cheaper price at Walmart. Didn't notice until I got home that the Costco brand are Free Run and these are not. Poor little hens didn't have access to scratch and dust-bathing areas to make these. Anyway - they are antibiotic and preservative free so that makes me happy but they come from less happy hens. Since antibiotic free meat is less accessible I spend the little bit extra and at least make sure we are eating antibiotic free eggs. Baby steps.......
These were $5.27 each. That's actually cheaper than I get them at Costco.
My overall Walmart organic shopping experience:
Pro's :

  • You can do almost all your shopping at one store (versus going to a healthy food store for specific items and still having to go grocery shopping at another store);
  • I got some good prices on dairy, meat and eggs;
  • Some of the packaged goods like baby food had a good selection of organic at good prices; and
  • Generally throughout the store they have organic/natural options for most things but not a wide variety for each item. 

Con's:

  • They don't have a good selection of organic produce other than lettuce. I find a lot more organic produce at my local Super Store and Safeway. Since vegetables are a key component of our diet this is a big drawback; and
  • The organic products are spread throughout the store so it takes time to find them all.
So overall there are definitely organic options to be had at a reasonable price but because of the lack of variety of organic produce its not somewhere I will be shopping often. 


Just had to share a couple other deals I found worth mentioning - not organic but fantastic none-the-less:

This 400 g bar of 72% dark chocolate was only $3.98. Seriously good deal. You usually pay at least $3.00 per 100 g. And we tried it immediately when we got home and it was good. You could chop and use in baking if you don't like dark chocolate straight up. 

Raw pumpkin seeds. I just saw them for almost $9 per lb somewhere else. These are about $6 per lb. I go through these quick when I'm on a protein bar making kick like last week. And they are good sprinkled on most things.
After searching high and low for all these deals, I was behind schedule and rushing home. Realized when I got home that I left a pair of winter boots I bought in the cart.....................wiped out any money I saved and then some. Big huge sigh.......................that's life for you!

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