Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Latest Shopping Trip At Farmer's Market

Now that I wrote yesterday's blog post about my intention to lose weight and get in shape, I can finally write this post about my shopping trip yesterday at the farmer's market.
I had some produce in my fridge before going to the farmer's market- don't get me wrong. But I had some produce I really wanted, especially with this new diet of mine, and I hadn't been to the farmer's market in a long time.
Things have changed up a bit at the farmer's market- some of the stalls I used to buy from are no longer there, and some of the ones I went to no longer are selling the things I used to buy from him, so I explored the farmer's market anew.

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I found a stall selling a bunch of past prime produce- I bought 2 extra large bunches of bananas for 39 cents a pound, for freezing to make smoothies.
I then found another stall selling oddly shaped zucchinis for 26 cents a pound and bought a bunch... and then found another stall selling oddly shaped zucchinis for 19 cents a pound. Even though I'd just bought zucchini, I figured I might as well buy some more at such a low price, since they're low carb, easy to prepare, they can freeze well, and they're super versatile. (Not to mention that I really like them.)
I also went to one of the stores I used to shop in a lot, since it's mostly past prime produce... and I bought a whole bunch of avocado, persimmons, beets, pears, and onions for $10.

I passed a store selling fish. I asked them their prices for sardines, since that usually is the cheapest fresh fish I can find, and since I am trying to do lower carbs, I am relying more on animal proteins, and wanted to be able to change it up a bit and not just serve chicken breast all the time, but at the same time, I don't want to be spending too much.
They didn't have sardines, but while I was standing there, I noticed a bunch of absolutely giant fish heads and a bunch of giant salmon carcasses with lots of meat on them.
"How much are these?" I asked them.
"$1.29 per pound for the carcasses and $2.85 per head, but if you get 2, its $4.28 for both (working out to $2.14 per head) and if you get 3 its $5.71 (working out to $1.90 per head)."
I decided to get both- a few whole salmon carcasses, and 3 heads. 2 of them I chose since they were the most giant (if it's being sold per item and not per pound, I'll try to get the largest one I can find), but I honestly have no idea what type of fish it is... but the heads are each over 2 lbs, and with a lot of meat on them... and I got a third, slightly smaller, salmon head. (There were no more giant heads.)
I actually made the salmon head for supper tonight, and it was unbelievably delicious and the texture was beyond amazing. Half the head had more than enough meat for one meal for me- the other half I'm saving for tomorrow. So I can just imagine how much meat is in the larger heads...
I know my kids won't eat the fish heads, but that's fine- I got this for myself, not them. And no, I'm not squeamish about eating things that look like real animals- I've even been known to eat fish guts... and I make fish head soup...
As for the carcasses- I'm still deciding what to do with them... but the possibilities are endless. And whatever bones remain of any non boiled fish parts, I'll be keeping to make fish bone broth...

After getting my fish, I stopped off at a store that sells a bunch of amazing cheeses. My guilty pleasure.
I've mentioned before about how with frugality, if you push yourself too far, if you don't allow yourself any little luxuries, you'll snap, and go on a spending binge. The same holds true for dieting, in my opinion. If you're gonna be super strict on a diet, its important for you to also pamper yourself within the confines of the diet. So for me, that means getting some proteins that are a treat for me- like some goat and sheep cheeses. I got a few ounces of cheese- these were super expensive, unfortunately... but they'll be well appreciated!

I also stopped and picked up a double package of mushrooms- one of regular mushrooms and one of baby portabella mushrooms, for a discounted price. I rarely buy fresh mushrooms, but these are low carb and yummy... and since it's just for myself, I'll stretch it to go further.

My last stop was at an Ethiopian store in the farmer's market. I had read about green coffee bean extract, and its aiding in weight loss. (I did the research about it, and it seems pretty legit, not scammy.) I wasn't sure I wanted to invest a lot of money in seeing if it would work, so I googled to see if I could make my own green coffee extract from green coffee beans, and read how to do so, so I decided to make my own extract. I remembered seeing green coffee beans at Ethiopian stores before when I bought teff, so I went back and bought some green coffee beans, and I'll try out making and taking the extract.
While I was there, I asked them if they knew where I could get ready made injera, and they told me that they sold it- they just happened to be out- for $1.70 for a huge injera the size of an extra large pizza pie- not bad at all. I plan on buying there in the future, since it tastes great, is very healthy, and I haven't managed to successfully make injera and I love making Ethiopian meals...

To be honest, I'm not sure how much exactly I spent at the farmer's market. I should have kept better track... But I think total it was somewhere under 50 or 60 dollars...
But all in all, I think it was a good trip.

Have you had any good shopping trips lately? Anything especially frugal or cool or interesting you got? 
Are you a fan of cheeses? Are they expensive where you live? Do you indulge in them, and if so, when? What occasion? 
Ever eat fish's "nasty bits" like heads and fish carcasses? How much did you pay for them? What were your favorite recipes?


  1. I would be wary about spending your money on the green coffee beans. A randomized controlled trial of green coffee bean (GCB) has been officially retracted from the medical literature recently (link here: http://retractionwatch.com/2014/10/20/authors-retract-green-coffee-bean-diet-paper-touted-by-dr-oz/ )

    From what I've read about it, the studies backing it aren't strong (here's another article explaining the studies: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/lessons-from-the-dubious-rise-and-inevitable-fall-of-green-coffee-beans/ )

    Best of luck with your weight loss and congrats on the 20 pounds!

    I think it's amazing that you were able to get so much produce for so cheap! And I totally understadn the need for a treat- mine is chocolate :) I bought some on amazon using gift card money last week so it didn't break the bank much and I'm set for a while.

    1. I spent a few bucks on the green coffee beans- i figured- if it works, it works... and it not, no harm done.

      Thank you!

      And yes, fortunately produce is relatively cheap here... Makes up a little for the overpriced everything else.....

  2. You are blessed that produce is so cheap in your country!! Here in the US, produce is RIDICULOUSLY expensive, especially if you're trying to eat organic, which we aren't. I just wish I could get my 10 yr old to eat veggies. He won't. He'll eat raw carrots but not cooked. He'll eat cooked potatoes. Baked Potatoes. Corn and that's about it. He won't touch peas, green beans or anything else. It's sad really because those were staples in his premade baby foods.

    I don't mind cooking...I can follow a recipe and the last thing I cooked, my family ATE up! Pork chops, well ribs, sliced up, in a crock pot with 2 cans of cream-of mushroom soup. cooked on low for 6-8 hours. Turned out sooo moist and yummy! My kitchen area isn't much bigger than yours, well maybe it is because I have more cupboards to stash things. My husband abhors clutter! Me, I'm ok with it because I grew up with some clutter ;) When I put stuff away, I can't find it. :( :/


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