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“Smart Shopper”

Moms, Chaundel Holladay and Kim Moeller Share Ways to Eat Well on a Budget

Pastor Tom’s wife, Chaundel Holladay, offers the following tips for cost-effective shopping for healthy foods.

  • Buy what’s in season
  • Buy what’s on sale – stock up – even consider freezing, like berries: Build your menus around what’s on sale but also keep things on hand that you often use in recipes – like canned black beans, canned tomatoes, canned tuna. Write out healthy meal and snack menus and then watch for the items in that menu to go on sale.
  • Learn where to buy what and when – compare prices on the things you use all the time.

For example:

"Henry’s (now named “Sprouts”):

  • Double ad Wednesdays – last week’s ad and this week’s ad both valid all day Wednesday
  • Bulk items – organic rolled oats, etc. – again watch for sale and stock up
  • Fish – what’s on sale
  • Chicken breast/tenders – every few weeks will go on sale for $1.80-1.99/lb for boneless/skinless chicken breast – no antibiotics or hormones – use fresh and buy a package for the freezer
  • Whatever vegetables are on sale that week


  • Organic spinach
  • Organic frozen blueberries
  • Organic milk
  • Cage free eggs
  • Agave (natural sweetener)

99 Cent Only Store

Foothill Ranch near Chipotle;  El Toro and Rockfield)

  • Go in morning on days they get produce deliveries (ask-usually Tues, Thus, Sun)
  • Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries lots of the year - $1
  • Baby carrots, grated carrots – 20 oz. $1
  • Sometimes you can get large tubs of organic salad greens or spinach - $1
  • Asparagus – doesn’t need to be organic from what I’ve read
  • Other fresh vegetables – mushrooms, cabbage, zucchini, peppers, etc.
  • Jasmine Brown Rice

Farmers’ Markets

http://orange.cfbf.com/cfm.htm - Farmers’ markets aren’t necessarily cheaper but the quality is great


While there aren’t a lot of manufacturers coupons for fresh produce if you cut coupons to save on health and beauty items, paper products, cleaning supplies and other non-food items then you have more “grocery money” available for healthy foods.

Use them at a store like Ralph’s that doubles coupons (up to 50 cents) or use on an “extra bucks” item at CVS or Rite Aid and sometimes they will be paying YOU to buy the item.

From Volunteer “Smart Shopper” Kim Moeller

The Daniel Plan received additional tips for cost-effective tips to feed a family from volunteer Smart Shopper Kim Moeller.

  1. Keep a case of Costco water bottles in your trunk. It’s great to have waters on hand for kids who are thirsty after sports or for me as the designated taxi driver.
  2. Replace diet or soda drinks, buy sparkling water.  Add a lemon or lime to it. Or, you can also buy flavored stevia sweetener bottles at Henry’s. One of the flavors is root beer, and it’s delicious. You just add about 8-10 drops to the water, and the taste is similar to root beer soda.
  3. Invest in an “immersion blender.” This tool is a handheld blender the kids can use to make their own smoothies. Just add the fruit, soy milk, or protein powder and put the blender in a cup. It blends a single serving without having to get out the entire blender.
  4. Grill more chicken than you need on a Sunday evening. Eat the chicken for Sunday dinner and then use the extra chicken throughout the week for soup or quesadillas or paninis on whole wheat bread.
  5. Invest in a Panini maker and the kids can quickly make a healthy snack after school, with grilled veggies, grilled chicken and a low fat cheese.
  6. Save money on your produce or veggies by shopping early morning or late afternoon. Ask your produce manager when they discount the various items in the produce department. Often, I will see the veggie trays, salads, sometimes packages of strawberries marked at 75% off provided. I arrive around 9 a.m. at my local grocery store.
  7. Be a part of a co-op. I pay $20 a week and I receive a bag of fresh veggies and fruits. Sometimes, the bag also includes eggs, fresh lunchmeats, and fresh chicken breasts. Every time I go and pick up my food, I bring a reusable grocery bag.  A new recyclable bag is already packed for me and ready to go. I pick up my food every Tuesday between 9:00 – 2:00 pm at the Dove Canyon plaza. On Mondays, the co-op emails everyone a healthy recipe to use for the week. Most of the ingredients are contained in that week’s bag.  Whatever else I will need is listed separately in the email along with the complete list of co-op items for the week. Their phone number is: 949-888-5956, ask for Nancy.
  8. Whenever I am in Newport Beach area, I love to buy my produce at Grower’s Direct. It’s right near the corner of 17th and the 55 freeway. The prices are amazing and the produce is grown locally. It is always crowded because the quality is excellent as well. During berry season, they have beautiful flats of strawberries and great prices on their raspberries and blueberries.
  9. Buy big tubs of greek yogurt at Costco. It’s a lot cheaper and a great snack when mixed with fruit for the kids.
  10. Finally, a quick recipe to save you money and time that the kids love:


(I usually purchase all of the ingredients at Trader Joe’s)


  • 2 boxes of chicken broth
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 bag of turkey meatballs
  • 1 bag of bowtie pasta uncooked (can use whole wheat pasta as well)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Fresh parmesan cheese


Pour the chicken broth into the crock pot with one cup of water. Add a generous tablespoon of tomato paste, and 3-4 shakes of the cayenne pepper. Add the bag of frozen meatballs. Let simmer for 2-3 hours.  About 20 minutes before serving, add the bag of uncooked pasta and the spinach to the crock pot.  Do not over cook.  Once the pasta is ready, serve in bowls with fresh parmesan cheese  and whole wheat rolls on the side.