Monday, November 11, 2013
Vitacost 101: For Families
Many people have asked what it is that I actually buy from Vitacost since I posted about my new meal planning efforts with 100 Days of Real Food and Cook Smarts meal plans. I am still learning about the items that will work best for my family, but so far I'm off to a great start!
For those people who have an Earth Fare or Whole Foods down the street you may not need an online place to purchase these types of items. For people like me those stores aren't close, they are very overpriced, and/or they don't have what you want in one store. Vitacost may be the answer if this sounds familiar. Some of these things can randomly be found at Kroger or on Amazon. I price compare every Vitacost item with Amazon because I like to take advantage of my Amazon Prime account when possible. Vitacost has always been cheaper than Amazon. Typically, Vitacost runs a decent amount cheaper than grocery stores (assuming you meet the $49 minimum to get free shipping).
All that I ask is that you use me as your referral to Vitacost if you find this post helpful and you haven't already registered with the site. If this is you please comment or message me and I will email you a referral that will earn both of us a $10 credit. (NOTE - If you have already registered but not actually purchased anything neither of us can get the referral bonus. I learned this the hard way.)
Below is the rundown of what I have bought so far based on the type of product. This Vitacost post will be the start of a runnings series of reviews as I find and purchase items. Please leave a comment if you shop on Vitacost and what you buy and love!
I'm making an attempt to not live off of caffeine so heavily. My solution is green tea!
- Traditional Medicinal's Organic Green Tea with Ginger -
I purchased both of these items per the grocery list from 100 Days of Real Food's meal plans. They are both basic, but good. They both have minimal number of ingredients which is what I'm aiming for along with organic ingredients.
- Ak-Mak Stone Ground Sesame Crackers -
- Arrowhead Mills Puffed Corn Cereal -
I use these ingredients (and others like the rolled oats below) to make these. Lila calls them "balls that you eat".
- Bob's Red Mill Coconut Flakes -
- Bob's Red Mill Natural Raw Sunflower Seeds -
There are a million ways that I use rolled oats and rice! My favorite recipe with oats is this one. And my current favorite recipe with rice is this one.
- Bob's Red Mill Regular Rolled Oats -
- Lundberg Organic Long Grain Brown Rice -
I love these! Throw them in a trail mix or eat them solo. So yummy.
- Eden Food Organic Pumpkin Seeds -
- Canned Foods -
I've purchased multiple organic canned food items on Vitacost. They are cheaper than buying them at the store, but you do typically have to buy more than one.
* Eden Foods Organic Black Beans
* Eden Foods Organic Garbanzo Beans
* Eden Foods Organic Kidney Beans
* Farmer's Market Organic Canned Pumpkin
- Tomato Based Products -
All of the items below are great for all sorts of things. We make mini pizzas once a week, so I buy a lot of pizza sauce. I also love to make this chili.
* Muir Glen Organic Pasta Sauce
* Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce
* Muir Glen Organic Premium Diced Tomatoes
* Woodstock Farms Organic Tomato Ketchup
Lastly, one of Seth's favorite dinners is Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup. The recipe I used was pulled from a magazine, so I don't have a link, but if you're interested in having it let me know!
- Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk -
For a while I was making my own countertop spray. Seth hated the smell of it (vinegar based) so I finally decided to try something different. This spray is awesome. It smells wonderful, a little goes a long way, and it's a brand I trust. Sold! Vitacost also carries the 32 oz refill.
- Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Countertop Spray Lavender -
I love California Baby (CB) products. My girls have sensitive skin and I swear by their products. However, I am constantly on the hunt for similar alternatives because California Baby is outrageously priced. In comparing ingredients I use the website Skin Deep. The products below that I have purchased and used have almost the same rating as the California Baby products. In my mind if the product is "in the green" as far as their rating system goes I'm comfortable with it.
- Bug Band Insect Repellent Spray Lotion -
(not listed on Skin Deep, but I compared ingredients with CB bug spray)
This bug spray is excellent if you are looking for a safe option for your kids. It has a strong smell, but what bug spray doesn't? It works well and isn't as sticky as some other natural bug sprays.
- Nature's Baby Organics Ah-Choo Chest Rub Eucalyptus -
With cold and flu season upon us I decided to buy this even though no one was sick when I purchased it. It's a safe alternative to Vick's Vapo Rub. Those sleepless nights when your child has a terrible cough are brutal, and this stuff really seems to help!
- Nature's Baby Organics Shampoo and Body Wash Lavender Chamomile -
This shampoo and body wash is a great alternative to CB. The smell isn't as amazing, but nothing will beat the smell of CB products for me. It's a great, gentle wash with a fresh scent.
- Tom's of Maine Children's Natural Toothpaste Fluoride Free Silly Strawberry -
This is our go to toothpaste for kids. It doesn't have the crazy taste that brands like Crest have which makes my girls more agreeable to brushing in general. It is cheaper here than I have found it anywhere else.
ITEMS PURCHASED THAT I WILL NOT BUY AGAIN
- Hugo Naturals Color Protecting Mango Shampoo and Conditioner -
These were my first attempt at using a more natural shampoo and conditioner. I do color my hair because the grey is taking over! I know that isn't a very natural thing to do, but sometimes concessions have to be made. I do not love this product. It has a great rating on Skin Deep and got good reviews on Vitacost. I found it left my hair flat, dull, and lifeless.
- Nature's Baby Organics Bubble Bath Tangy Tangerine -
This product is very watery which means a lot comes out at once. It creates minimal bubbles, and the kids always want you to put more in. We haven't had it long and it's almost gone. I would love suggestions for a good, natural bubble bath alternative for kids.
That's it for my gigantic first Vitacost post. Again, please contact me if you would like a referral to earn $10 towards your first purchase.