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Coupon SAVINGS!

Wow! Since my last shopping trip I have started learning the tricks of couponing!
Today I went shopping and saved $54.92, for a total of 55% off my total grocery bill, combining both trips.

Some of my awesome finds at Von's combining sales and coupons included:
Lactose free yogurt for .17 cents each (normally .99)
Playtex Sport 36 count tampons for $3.49 (normally $8.99)
Dove Body Wash for $1.99 (normally $5.59)
International Delights dairy free coffee creamer for $1.99 (normally $3.49)

At Albertson's I saved $26.17 (only spent $12.98!) for a total savings of 67% on my bill. This is my best trip yet!

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Vegan / = Vegetarian

So you should know I am now a "vegetarian chick" instead of vegan. The past two months I have adopted a 99% vegan diet and I will continue to do this, but I don't think it is fair to classify myself as vegan if I do continue to consume ceaser dressing or occasionally have whip cream with my coffee. Just an FYI to anyone who sees my journal here!

Coupon Test Run

So after my last post about vegan couponing, I delved into the world of the extreme coupon-er. Two words. Mad respect!
The show really makes it look a LOT easier than it is. I spent about an hour looking online for manufacturer coupons and printing off the ones I planned to use. Made my shopping list. Got to the store. Turns out, the products I had coupons for were no where to be seen! It seems I need to work it the other way around. Go TO the store. Make shopping list. Print coupons, then return to store.
I saved a grand total of $4.75 today. On a total bill of 79.46. A measly 5.9% savings. Or a Starbucks soy latte.

Things I learned:
Look first, then print.
Don't shop before breakfast, you buy more.
Go on smaller, coupon specific shopping trips (less impulse desire)

Vegan Coupons

If you havent yet seen the commercials, Gardein has a "Cheat on Meat" campagin going on. 
You can visit their website, enter your email address and get a $1 off coupon on any Gardein product. Sounds cool right? And THEN I thought, HEY! A coupon I can print from my home computer and use in the store? There must be more! So here is a short list of coupons I found this evening for some Vegan-friendly shopping carts: (they usually require you to register an email FYI, I use an old email address I check not-so-frequently so I am not subjected to SPAM)

1) Gardein: $1 Gardein Product (As always, check the ingredients section to confirm Vegan status. They advertise meat-free and some of the products I looked up are Vegan as well.)

2) Wholly Guacomole: $1.50 Off

3) Organic Valley: 50 cents off Soy Coffee Creamer

4) Whole Foods: Love this store! Their coupon section has 75 cents off Earth Balance Organic Soymilk, $1 off three Larabars (all but the chocolate chip varieties are Vegan) and $1 off two Almond Breeze Soymilks just to name a few!! They have lots of great beans, quinoa etc coupons too, browse around.

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Vegan Food Pyramid

For all of my Vegan friendies!
Take a look at this food pyramid and make sure you aren't just eating one food group. 


Vegan Cupcakes - Happy Friday!

It's been a few days since I posted, but the result is good! After my first cupcake disaster I decided I wasn't going down without a fight. Here is round two! They turned out tasty and I'm quite pleased. I need to work on the frosting, as it started to run off a bit on these (maybe I didn't let the cupcakes or frosting sit long enough.)



The frosting I adapted from a recipe on a cookie cutter I bought; here is my version.
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tb soy/vegetable butter
1 Tb vanilla soy milk
1 Tsp vanilla extract
Melt butter, combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Let sit to thicken.
(This only makes 1/3rd cup of frosting, enough for a couple cupcakes
so multiple based on how many cupcakes you are making)
I got the cupcake recipe from All Recipes website

The chocolate sprinkles are vegan! I bought the Let's Do Sprinkelz brand at my local Sprout's Market.

Magical Adventist Loaf

Had to share this, will elaborate more later!

http://www.veganlunchbox.com/loaf_studio.html

I was raised in the Seventh Day Adventist church (but not raised Vegetarian, only about 35% of SDA's are Vegetarian and 4% are Vegan according to the latest Adventist Health Study) so this was both humorous and familiar to me having grown up eating Special K loaf at church potlucks.

Im looking forward to trying these magical Vegan options and making a Vg-Special K loaf tonight! For those who haven't had the pleasure of eating SKL, here is a photo! It is pretty much pecans, cottage cheese (or tofu) and Special-K cereal. You eat it like traditional meatloaf, either baking the ketchup/tomato paste on top or dipping it in afterwards, usually served with vegetable or mashed potato sides. Leftovers are used to make sandwiches!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Vegan Frozen Yogurt: Milky's

Today was a day for trying Vegan Frozen Yogurt in my neighborhood.
I must say, I am extremely lucky to have so many Vegan options here.
If I were in Wyoming for example this would be a very different adventure.

Milky's is a frozen yogurt shop with a Vegan selection.
They had four flavors today and I tried the chocolate.
It was completely satisfying and left no after taste.
It is made with soy milk. I am in heaven!
Chocolatey Vegan Goodness!

Real Potatoes & Running

238. Down another 3 pounds in 2 days. Im quite pleased!!

Went running at 24hr Fitness this evening to evaluate where on the c25k program I am. Im starting at week 3. Glad to know I didnt lose ALL my stamina. I did four 3 minute sprints with 2 minute cooldowns.

After my run I was dying for some salt and made a bad choice to get a medium french fry on the way home. I havent checked but probably should see what they are fried in, as I just recalled some restaurants use animal fat instead of vegetable oil*. Anyway, this text was on the back of the package: "Real potatoes were harmed in the making of this product." It made me wonder how many people might consider going Vegan if a similar warning " real chickens were harmed in the making of this product" was included on a Chicken Fingers box.

*After checking when I got home, I found Carl's Jr restaurants in the States fries their potato fries in vegetable (soybean) oil. Though it still doesnt make French Fries healthy for me, darn! :)

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Name: The Veggie Grill

Location: The Farmer's Market @ the Grove, Los Angeles, California

Description: A casual deli-style restaurant that features 100% plant-based dishes and contain no high-fructose corn syrup or trans fat.

Price: $10-$15

Review: The Veggie Grill is all about fresh, good tasting, Vegan cuisine. My husband and I started with the Uptown Nachos as an appetizer for a very resonable $4.95. Tortilla chips, chili, VG-cheese, corn salsa, avocado, soy cream and just a few jalapenos made for a great start to our meal. It was a small enough portion that we didnt feel full before our main dish came, but large enough to satisfy. The nachos were crisp and the toppings were not overloaded, though I did use my fingers to scoop some gooey goodness off the plate. I already want to go back today for another order. For my entree I ordered the Chickin’ Caesar Wrap: Blackened chillin’ chickin’, VG-caesar dressing, romaine, avocado, corn salsa, VG-chipotle ranch.  Again, reasonably priced at $8.95. While it was delish, I personally thought the chikin' was a bit dry and I could have used more of the VG-ranch and will ask for it on the side next time I have this dish. I could also choose a side dish and tried my luck at Mac-n-Cheese ($3.50). It consists of Quinoa pasta, VG-cheese and toasted garlic bread crumbs. While not my previous favorite Velvetta brand, this Mac was creamy and the texture was right on with many whole-grain pastas I have eaten. This is Vegan Comfort food at its best. They also had an assortment of natural sodas, teas and lemonade. My favorites were the Pomegranate green tea and Strawberry Lemonade. To conclude, I can only say that I am anticipating my next visits to try the Santa-fe Crispy Chickin' and VG-Cheeseburger.

For the record, The Veggie Grill has no knowledge of my review and therefore I received no compensation. This was an impromptu, personal review of a Vegan restaurant by a new dietary Vegan.