HEABified Coconut Milk

by HEAB on September 8, 2010

Hello my almond butter loving friends. If you're new to HEAB, you may like to subscribe to my RSS feed or receive my posts via email. Thanks for reading!

CD and I saved so much money on groceries while we were in Michigan…and I’m scared he is going to pack me up and move me to a small town far far away from both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Hehe. So, when we got back home to Nashville, we sat down and devised different ways to save money on our food bill. We rarely go out to eat, but I’ll be the first to admit that our dining-in budget (or lack thereof) is totally out of control, and when I say “our”, I really mean “mine”. ;)

First off, I’m trying to eat less wheat, but instead of going out and stocking our cabinets with pricey gluten and wheat free packaged hot cereals, we found this gem at Costco.

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I’ve always loved this brand of brown rice – it smells so amazing when I cook it my rice cooker. Any brown rice recipes you’d like to share?

Another way to save money is to make my own non-dairy milk. I love my Almond Breeze unsweetened almond milk and So Delicious’s Coconut Milk Beverage, but it’s really quite easy to make your own versions at home. For my homemade almond milk recipe, click here, and for the coconut milk beverage, you’ll need the following…

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Into my Vita-Mix went 1 can of coconut milk, 2 tsp of lecithin (Works as an emulsifier and keeps the liquids from separating. Lecithin is available in the supplement section of most health food stores or click here to order it from iHerb), and enough water to fill the blender. I then blended away and ended up with 64 ounces of HEABified coconut milk for less than $2.00! I mean if you look at the ingredients for the So Delicious stuff, it’s basically just diluted coconut milk fortified with vitamins. So, why not make your own and pop a mutli?

My version has more coconut flavor than the So Delicious brand, which makes me happy as I love anything coconut! In fact, yesterday, I used it to make a delicious bowl of chocado ice-cream.

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Ingredients:

1 cup HEABified coconut milk

1 avocado

Cocoa powder

1/2 tsp guar gum

1/3 tsp xanthan gum

Ice

Toppings: dark chocolate chips and peanuts

YUM!

What’s your favorite money saving tip when it comes to grocery shopping?

Oh, and the winner of the Artisana squeeze packets is…

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Congrats Laura! Hope you enjoy your coconut butter. :)

{ 128 comments }

VeggieGirl September 8, 2010 at 7:57 am

Can’t go wrong when it’s HEABified! :-D

Jessica @ How Sweet September 8, 2010 at 7:59 am

That is an AWESOME idea! I drink the So Delicious brand everyday. I’d love to try making my own!

eatmovelove September 8, 2010 at 8:02 am

Such a timely post for me HEAB. I really need to find ways to save money as my financial situation is desperate. Now, can you come and make all that stuff for me? :)

LOVE the pic of the ice cream!

I “try” to save money by buying “no-name” brands and staying away from the fancy products that I love and dream about ;) .

melissa @ the delicate place September 8, 2010 at 8:12 am

oh i’m a bargain shopper. we spend $70-90 a week for groceries 7 days of meals. we never eat out! maybe 1-2x monthly! i buy sale produce, near expired meat, bargain at the farmer’s market, use coupons etc. i think i need to find a happy medium lol. as for breakfast ideas: when i lived in india, they would cook rice in a pot with milk instead of water and grate fresh cinnamon, nutmeg over it. some people added a sprinkle of raw sugar but most ate it plain. it’s quite comforting! give it a try!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 8:43 am

Melissa,
Yes, I tried the rice cooked with coconut milk before. So good. Will try adding fresh nutmeg next time. Thx!

Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg September 8, 2010 at 8:13 am

I’m the same way– we rarely go out to eat…but I think I use that as an excuse for letting our grocery bill get WAYYYYY out of control!

Chandra September 8, 2010 at 8:14 am

During the summer months we visit our local Farmer’s Market every Saturday. We also have a budget that we stick to every single week and it’s higher than a lot of people I know but we don’t do any boxed/processed foods which makes an enormous difference in the price. But at least having the budget in place has helped us tremendously. I also don’t use cow milk but goat milk instead and it’s a bit pricey. I think it’s crazy that I have to spend more money on fresh whole foods than the junk stuff in boxes!!!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 8:44 am

Chandra,
It is pretty crazy…and very sad. :(

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 8, 2010 at 8:22 am

Great Idea.
I’ll have to try this at home

charlotte September 8, 2010 at 8:24 am

How did you know I desperately needed a coconut milk recipe?! I keep bemoaning my fate that nobody sells the So Delicious stuff here but it never ocurred to me to make my own! Problem solved! Off to buy some lecithin…

Alissa @ Not Just Apples September 8, 2010 at 8:25 am

what a fantastic idea! i must try it – another great way to save some money!

Tina September 8, 2010 at 8:27 am

You always amaze me with the things you make and come up with. I would never think to make my own coconut milk.

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 8:44 am

Tina,
Yeah, I didn’t either…it was CD’s idea. :)

Felicia September 8, 2010 at 8:27 am

brown rice pudding!
and that coconut milk is genius !

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) September 8, 2010 at 8:30 am

You two are going through what we did about a year ago. Gluten free and dairy free (oh and soy free) stuff just gets so expensive. We are doing a lot of brown rice lately. I am not a white rice fan (unless we are talking about rice pudding) so I am really happy now that the whole family is loving brown rice. I make my fried rice with it and our rice with peas and carrots! I like using it in vegetable soups too.

S @ extremebalance.net/blog September 8, 2010 at 8:32 am

Have you ever made home-made almond milk? I found a recipe that I really wanted to try, but without a food processor… can’t! I heart Almond Breeze’s unsweetened chocolate, but you’re right: pricey. I think I spend almost as much on food as I do on my car every month, which is shocking now that I see it in print. Hm.

Cutting down on the devotion to Whole Foods is a good way to trim the budget, but I look at it as an entertainment expense as well as food expense: strolling the aisles, reading packages, dreaming of foods to be made… it’s just fun!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 8:46 am

S,
Yes, here is my recipe for almond milk: http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/recipes/almond-milk/, and I have to agree, I could spend hours at Whole Foods. It is a very entertaining place. :)

S September 8, 2010 at 9:03 am

Totally should have known… thanks!

jananib September 8, 2010 at 8:36 am

Cool! Do you think I could sub in Irish Moss for the lecithin?

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 8:47 am

Jananib,
I’m not sure, but if Irish Moss acts as an emulsifier, then I don’t see why not. Definitely worth a try!

Holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 8, 2010 at 8:39 am

I love your ice cream :)

For saving money I go to TJs for as much as food as possible and I avoid WF like the plague. That place just sucks the money right out of my bank account!

I plan my meals for days at a time and I go to the store with a list and I stick with it. I also bring cash only for food. Yes sometimes I am mentally adding up costs in my head, but that way I can’t buy extra stuff or splurge. It helps me stay on track.

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 8:48 am

Great tips Holly. Thanks!

Noelle September 8, 2010 at 8:48 am

My husband and I are on a tight budget and we try to keep our grocery bill for the two of us to $200 a month. I haven’t been doing too good following that recently because my husband eats a lot and I am trying to stay away from prepackaged junk food, pesticides, and growth hormones etc. But last week I got a calculator and took it with me to the store and added everything up as it went into the cart. It helped a lot and I stayed under $50 this week. If there is something on the list I can’t afford, it gives me the opportunity to be creative and find a cheaper substitute and forces me to buy only what is in season. I plan a menu for the week that is focused around what I already have on hand and only go shopping once. Other things I do are make big batches of food like spaghetti sauce to use for several meals and cook my own beans at home. It saves on money and time! I am also going to start couponing and stocking up when things are on sale.
Hope that helps. The biggest thing is figure out what you want to spend, and make a commitment to stay within that budget. You will be surprised by how much more thrifty you will become :) . It is very self gratifying too, and I probably get more excited than I should when I can save even a few dollars.
By the way, I love your blog and I have been reading it for about six months now. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I am always inspired!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

Noelle,
Thanks for reading my blog and for the grocery budget tips – very helpful. Yeah, I really think we should just come up with a number and stick to it, and I think CD would be the one getting more excited than he should if I managed to save a few dollars. ;)

Alison (Fueling for Fitness) September 8, 2010 at 8:54 am

I totally agree about making your own milk at home! I made a big batch of almond milk earlier this week, but I only use water and almonds since I don’t mind stiring it up before use. :) I was wondering about the lack of fortified vitamins since you usually get more protein and calcium in regular milk or fortified soy/rice/almond milk brands. But the multi-vitamin thing makes total sense! :) I tossed my ground up almonds in the freezer (last time they went bad after I left them in the fridge for too long) and I am waiting for some inspiration on what I can use them in (I’m thinking baked cookies or something?).

I have yet to try making my own coconut milk but I think that might be next on the list ;)

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

Allison,
Make burgers with your leftover pulp! http://www.choosingraw.com/conservation-burgers/

Alison (Fueling for Fitness) September 9, 2010 at 9:12 am

What a wonderful idea!!! THANK YOU! :)

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) September 8, 2010 at 9:05 am

I NEED to go to the grocery store with a plan, otherwise I end up spending WAY too much!

I love the idea of your coconut milk drink. I need to try to make some myself! I spend waaayy too much on almond milk :P

xo
Kris

Nicole September 8, 2010 at 9:08 am

Oh Heather you are amazing! I actually just bought SO Delicious Coconut milk (again) to give myself a different option and I really dont’ like it. I also bought a can of coconut milk so I am going to run to Whole Foods on my lunch break and buy the lecithin so I can try making my own when I’m done with this carton. I tried the unsweetened kind and it tasted like water to me, and the regular kind just tastes like sweet water to me. There’s barely any coconut flavor!

Lea @ Healthy Coconut September 8, 2010 at 9:25 am

This is such a great idea, I will definitely try to make this, just need to pick-up lecithin.

I don’t have a Vitamix yet so hopefully it will still work out with my blender.

Have you tried hot coconut milk with cinnamon? It’s pretty tasty, similar to Orchata (rice milk with cinnamon). I can think of many ways to enjoy this coconut milk, mix in with my chai tea.

Thanks Heather.

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

Lea,
I have tried cinnamon in my almond milk, and I’ve used it to make chai tea as well – so good! Hope you enjoy the recipe, and it should work with your regular blender. The lecithin isn’t totally necessary either – it just really helps to keep the liquid from separating, but as long as you give your milk a few shakes before using, I’m sure it would be fine. :)

Maria @ Oh Healthy Day September 8, 2010 at 9:27 am

I buy in bulk! Those bulk bins at Whole Foods may look pricey, but I’ve found them to be less expensive, because I just take what I need. If I take too much, the food will go to waste (eventually) and that’s not saving pennies.

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:17 am

Maria,
Yes, the bulk bins are the cheapest place to buy shredded coconut and oat bran. Love them! :)

Angie September 8, 2010 at 9:27 am

I’ve never had coconut milk, but you have me convinced to try it.

I think some of the biggest money saving tips I have is I try to make alot of things from scratch. For instance, I just started making homemade Greek yogurt. I’ve had a bit of a Fage habit for the past couple of years, but it gets pretty expensive. Now I make my own with yogurt starter and milk. I just have to strain it overnight, and voila, Greek yogurt. I also make my own butter, granola and coconut butter (thanks to your tutorial).

We also try to focus on eating seasonal produce which is generally less pricey and more nutritionally dense than the out of season stuff that’s shipped here from South America.

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:19 am

Angie,
Thanks for the tips, and happy to hear you’re enjoying the homemade coconut butter. I need to start making my own granola again as I’ve been craving crunch cereal at night, and Puffins are not cheap! ;)

Heather (Heather's Dish) September 8, 2010 at 9:29 am

oh my gosh this looks amazing! can you pack some with dry ice and ship out here? pretty please? :)

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:19 am

Heather,
I totally would if I could. :)

Emily September 8, 2010 at 9:49 am

What is guar gum and xanthan gum? Are they good for you, or just “ok”? What is their purpose?

I’m tempted to try your avocado ice cream recipe, but I tried an avocado chocolate pudding a few weeks ago and didn’t like it at all…so now I’m afraid to try again!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:22 am

Emily,
You can read all about the gums here: http://smoothiegirleatstoo.blogspot.com/2009/12/saturdaysunday-smoothie-guar-and.html. They really help to thicken up blender ice-cream and or smoothies. Helps make them extra creamy as well.

If you didn’t like the avocado chocolate pudding, then I’m thinking you probably wouldn’t like the ice-cream either. :( However, there are tons of combos for blender ice-cream with the gums…no avocado required. :)

Mary @ Bites and Bliss September 8, 2010 at 10:11 am

I save money by coupong clipping like it’s my job and buying generic brands when I can. Oh, and shopping sales like the ones Kroger has. You can save some serious cash if you’re able to combine coupons + sale prices!!

Maggie @ Say Yes to Salad September 8, 2010 at 10:19 am
Maggie @ Say Yes to Salad September 8, 2010 at 10:20 am

Lots of recipes! (your spam blocker caught my last comment bc i had too many links)

http://www.thesaladgirl.com/2009/02/25/the-best-coconutty-butternutty-rice-ever/ (you could totally use kabocha)

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:23 am

Thanks Maggie – I’ll despam you. :)

Maggie @ Say Yes to Salad September 8, 2010 at 10:20 am
Emily September 8, 2010 at 10:27 am

Really awesome how you have found ways to recreate some of the pricier necessities we buy weekly at the store. I’m also a huge brown rice fan and pretty much make it the base of my big steamed or roasted veggie dinners, can’t go wrong!

Annie@stronghealthyfit September 8, 2010 at 10:28 am

Very cool. I’d love to make my own nut or seed milk. Thanks for the reminder of how easy it is!

Gaby September 8, 2010 at 10:34 am

I love it! And even more coconut flavor is a big plus in my book. Do you think xanthum gum would work or do I need to go buy lecithin? I REALLY need to cut back on my food spending too.
I always seem to get coupons for free almond breeze from Kroger, but it’s not my favorite brand. I love the new Silk one though!
Maggie, that recipe looks great!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:25 am

Gaby, that’s funny as I always get Kroger recipes for the Silk stuff, but I prefer Almond Breeze. :) I think So Delicious uses guar gum in their coconut milk and so yeah, the xanthan would probably work. I’m just not sure how much you would need to use. Honestly, the lecithin isn’t 100% necessary – you’ll just need to shake your coconut milk a bit before consuming as the water and coconut milk will separate. Enjoy!

Alex September 8, 2010 at 10:52 am

Oooh that looks good! I’ve always bought the powdered coconut milk from Dr. Ben Kim. It is soooo decadent and very coconutt-y!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:26 am

Alex,
Really? I’ve never tried powdered coconut milk. Interesting. I’ll be on the lookout as I love anything coconutt-y! :)

Alex September 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Yeah, it tastes sooooo much better than So Delicious, or any other canned kind. I know they sell different types of powdered coconut milks, but I’ve only ever tried Dr. Ben Kim’s: https://www.drbenkim.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=94

It is worth the shipping cost! (Plus he has deal sometimes where he throws in a bottle of lotion or goji berries)

brittac September 8, 2010 at 10:59 am

oh that bowl looks fit for a chocoholic!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:30 am

Brittac,
It was. ;)

Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter September 8, 2010 at 11:02 am

I shop at 3 or 4 stores to get the best prices on everything. Trader Joes, local Health food store, local grocery store and the produce stand. It’s kind of ridiculous.

Becky September 8, 2010 at 11:03 am

There’s this restaurant where I’m from that makes these delicious Yumm bowls of brown rice/veggie combos and they use their special Yumm sauce (that really is what it’s called) and it’s some combo of oil, nutritional yeast, almonds and lemon juice. It’s super expensive (for me) so I make mine at home out of tahini, nutritional yeast and a little dijon mustard and it is DEELICIOUS! It is my favorite way to eat rice!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:30 am

Becky,
Your Yumm sauce sounds perfect to me. Thanks for the idea! :)

Lisa September 8, 2010 at 11:17 am

Wow—thanks for the coconut milk recipe! I can’t wait to try it. I’ve been buying the SoDelicious stuff, but it is very price-y. I have the same grocery-spending issue that you have. I just can’t seem to compromise anything! I hope you’ll share tips when you come up with other strategies!
Lisa

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 11:33 am

Lisa,
Will do! :)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 8, 2010 at 11:48 am

I just did a pretty big post last week about saving money at the grocery store. I won’t link drop on ya :) but the gist of it is to not be married to organic, it’s great, but not always realistic$$.
Shop whatever is on sale at the front of the store.
Use iherb or amazon for ALL Dry goods and non perishables from nooch to bath wash.
Dont think farmer’s markets are cheaper, they are supporting local farmers but they arent always cheaper.
Dont go to the store tired/hungry/cranky or with a child who is that way or you will spend more.
Do know if for your family’s needs warehouse stores save you money or make you buy things you ordinarily wouldnt need/buy, that 8 lb tub of mixed nuts. Does one really need that or not?
And don’t shop at WFs unless you have checked and can 100% verify that the item is cheaper there OR only available there. For me, that singular item is Vegenasise. The rest of my entire life’s needs, I buy elsewhere. That’s what i have found for us works best. Too much temptation to even go into WF’s$$

I have more on my site but love that you guys saved money. And that you realized you needed to make changes and are doing something…that’s awesome!!

:)

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Thanks Averie – awesome tips, and yes, I totally get in trouble at both Whole Foods and Costco…I mean do I really need that HUGE bag of brown rice chips…my belly says “yes”, but my wallet says differently. ;)

Ana September 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Cool idea to make your own coconut milk! I like making my own almond milk, much cheaper and delicious! (I love Almond Breeze almond milk as well!)
Love the looks of that ice cream Heahter, looks sooo creamy!
Ana

Song September 8, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I’m scared he is going to pack me up and move me to a small town far far away from both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Hehe

L….
O……
L………!!!!! So cute!!!

I sometimes go to Korean markets when I’m in the super saving mode. They have fresh fruits and veggies with very cheap price.!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Song,
Yes, I used to go all the time for kabocha squash and I’d pick up other veggies while there. So much cheaper than other local grocery stores!

Alyssa September 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Great recipe Heather! I’ll have to give it a whirl :-) get it? Like in a blender!

Alyssa :-)

Caitlin (EatFeats) September 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm

How fun, I would love to try to make my own Almond Milk! Constantly buying specialty foods gets PRICEY. Also that ice cream looks fabulous! I saw a VitaMix demo at Costco, and fell in love after the employee made ice cream in it.

Sylvia September 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Aww shucks! I should’ve waited until I saw your post about the HEABified version of coconut milk. I just placed an order with iHerb for some protein powder (it’s not Jay Robb but it’ll have to do for now ;) ) and of course, guar gum because I bought xanthan gum at the health food store near my place (near being I have to take 10 different trains to get there! Lol*) Oh well, my next order will definitely include the emulsifier and then I can finally make your lovely version of coconut milk. It looks slurpilicious* :P

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Sylvia,
The lecithin is not 100% necessary – you’ll just have to give your coconut milk a good shake before consuming. :)

Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' September 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm

So smart to make your own coconut milk! You know, I made my own coconut butter the other week (thanks to you!) and now I’m never going back! It’s so easy and CHEAP!!

What a sweet quilt, too! I have been known to eat an entire bag of the Twins’ kremes as well– and I’m not preggo, so I don’t have a good excuse! Ha ha. They’re so good, though! ;)

Lauren @ 40Apples September 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Totally hear ya on the needing to come up with some new $-saving methods to continue to eat like I do – sans expensive products!! Great call on the brown rice! I love the stuff but don’t have any truly innovative recipes to share… I do a delicious veggie “sushi” bowl with it (all the ingredients of a roll – plus a few extra veggies for good measure ;) – chopped up and put over rice, sprinkled with soy sauce and sriracha).

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Lauren
Sushi bowl – great idea as I hate nori. Now, I can have my sushi sans seaweed! :)

Kate D @ Walking in the Rain September 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

$2.00 for Coconut milk! o_O

I wonder if I can leverage this in someway to convince my husband I need a Vitamix. lol I’ve heard those blenders are noisy, so I’ll have to wait until we are in our own house and not a condo.

I like to make a list and then stick with it. The list helps cut down on impulse buys.

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Katie,
The coconut milk should work in any blender – you may just have to cut the recipe in half. And yes, the Vita-Mix is super loud. I wear my noise blocking headphones whenever I use it, and CD is afraid our baby is going to be hard of hearing.

Kristen September 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Heather-
Where can I get some of the Artisana squeeze packets?
I would like to try the Artisana products, but I cannot afford the jars for a test run. That is just way too spendy!

As for cutting grocery costs- couponing. My mom got a copy of “Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey” and seemed to find some really good tips. Natural/organic brands often have coupon sections on their websites, or you can write to the company for coupons.
Mother Earth News just put our their yearly supplement on saving money on groceries. I haven’t gotten a chance to peruse the whole book, but I know that buying in bulk is part of it.
Rice, grains and beans can actually be put up in 5 gallon buckets with dry ice (http://www.survival-center.com/foodfaq/ff17-co2.htm#Dryice) When co-ops and places like Costco have good prices on rice, grains and beans at a good price, get a goodly amount for putting up. Same goes for end of season produce. Strawberries can be canned, dried or frozen, as can tomatoes, peaches, corn, etc…
Yes, new skills must be learned, but those skills will pay off during the winter.
Oh, the book “Preserving Summer’s Bounty” has instructions on making a good root cellar- for all your apple, carrot, and potato storage needs.

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Kristen,
I have not seen the Artisana squeeze packets here in Nashville, but others tell me some Whole Foods are selling them. Unfortunately, mine does not stock them. :(

Thanks for all the wonderful tips – I want to learn how to can before next summer!

ida September 8, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I walk or bike to the store- then I only buy what I can carry. Keeps me from buying stuff I don’t need, and stick to the list.

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Ida,

Great idea, and you get in some exercise as well. Thanks!

Marcia September 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Well, I’ve got lots of tips on grocery budgeting (Frugal Healthy Simple blog, ya know). And it all depends a lot on what you eat. If you eat beans and rice, it’s easy to be cheap.

- Not eating out
- planning meals
- no processed foods
- eating in season
- shopping at farmer’s markets – around here, the produce is of higher quality and lasts longer (saving money). It is sometimes cheaper, sometimes not. However, there are several farmer’s markets in town, and the larger ones have more competition and the prices are better.
- not turning down free food (my boss has avo and peach trees)
- keeping a price book – where the best prices are for each item, by store
- shopping sales – using the price book – knowing the cheapest price of each item you buy – what store, etc., and buying only on sale. So, if you know that you can get brown rice on sale at $0.75 a pound at store X, but it only goes on sale every two months, you buy a lot. If Whole Foods has a sale on chicken every month, buy what you need to last a month.
- more beans, less meat
- if you eat meat, get it on sale. Even Whole Foods has great sales on meat.
- Don’t waste food!
- Get a budget and stick to it. Last year I alternated months – $160, then $320 (for three). Managed to go 9 months that way.
- Calculate the cost per meal for your favorite meals, and then have the cheaper meals more often

Other great blogs/ sites that I’ve found inspirational and helpful are:
broke foodie
Cook for Good
Hillbilly Housewife
Cheap Healthy Good
The Grocery Shrink

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Wow, wonderful. Thanks Marcia! Now, if only I could find someone with an avo tree. ;)

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan September 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I love your homemade coconut milk idea!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Thanks Amber…but I have to give CD credit for this one! :)

Danielle (Runs on Green) September 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I am addicted to almond breeze! But one of these days I should really give homemade milk (or ‘mylk’) a shot.

My favorite brown rice recipe ever was one from Vegan With a Vengeance- the Indian rice! Or, you could cook it in some coconut milk and make Thai rice? Or blended rice bfast pudding?? The options are endless

Kiersten September 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I am pretty careful about spending money on food. I allow myself to splurge on occasion, but I usually do pretty well staying within our budget. When it comes to our regular weekly groceries (veggies, fruit, beans, and other random things) I try to buy things that are on sale and cheaper brands when I can. I buy a lot of bulk items at Costco too, which usually lasts for a few months (except peanut butter, which disappears way too quickly). I let myself splurge on “specialty” items occasionally, depending on what it is.

Michelle (@ Housewife in the Raw) September 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I’ve found Costco to be really good for some things (like nuts and produce) and Amazon to be really good for coconut oil and other raw food staples. I was just at Whole Foods today (my first trip in a couple of months) and walked out $100 cheaper. Too many things calling to me. My frugal tip to myself may be to skip Whole Foods and get the stuff on Amazon or send the husband with my list. Lord knows he’ll not buy anything at WF but what’s on the list…

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Michelle,
Haha – CD is the same way. He never detours from the list…ever, and I always do. I think that’s another reason we saved so much money in Michigan…he did all the grocery shopping. :)

Eleanor September 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I try to buy in bulk where possible; ordered a 3kg bag of oats online the other day and only realised how big that was when it arrived! :-)
It was much cheaper though…I also order supermarket shopping online (don’t know if you can do that in America?) which stops me impulse-buying and makes me stick to what I really need… And cooking multiple portions of everything at once and freezing what I don’t eat that night seems to help too.
You must be so excited about the baby; my best friend had a beautiful girl, Jessica, six weeks ago today and says she’s never been happier… x

Eleanor September 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Sorry, I’ve just realised, this comment makes NO SENSE! I thought I was commenting on your Sugar High post : )

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

No worries Eleanor – I got it. :) Thanks for all the money-saving tips…jealous of your 3 kg bag of oats!

Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey September 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Huh, that’s really cool! I may have to try that, and I need to get better at making my own almond milk.

Mary September 8, 2010 at 9:05 pm

You ask about using basil. I just love the natural taste of it so I use it to mix in my green salads. There is nothing like biting into your salad with a fresh burst of basil filling your mouth. I also like it sliced in ribbons with fresh pasta, olive oil, lemon and parmesan. HEAVEN You can also use the left over ribbons in vanilla gelato. Sounds weird, but it’s wonderful!

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Mary, basil in vanilla gelato? Doesn’t sound weird to me! Would love to try that. :)

Namaste Gurl September 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm

That whole made coconut milk looks aMazinggg :) Thanks for the tip on making my own– Much, and I mean MUCH of my money goes to Whole Foods (they know me there!) and I stock up on non- dairy milk every time I’m there. I made my own cashew milk recently (CCV’s version) and it turned out more flavorful and nutritious than the ones you buy in stores.

If I just have a normal blender, how much would I fill it up with water after putting in the coconut milk…and by the way, how is it whole made coconut milk if your already putting a can in? :)

HEAB September 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Namaste,
Well, it’s my “homemade” version of the So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, not homemade coconut milk.

As far as your blender goes, my Vita-Mix holds 64 ounces of liquid. So, if your blender only holds 32 ounces, I would just use half a can of coconut milk and then fill the blender to the limit with water.

Alisa September 8, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Lecithin! you are a genius girl. Why didn’t I think of that? You have so saved me some coin.

I just read your other post too … so glad to hear that you and the HEABlet are healthy and doing well. She was probably just kicking at the disgusting taste of that drink. Yep, no sweet tooth there. Not a chance :)

Marty September 9, 2010 at 2:02 am

Heather – I’ll have to try the lecithin! I make my own almond milk too – idea from Dr. Ben Kim’s website – we love it. I’ll have to try the coconut milk too WITH lecithin – I’ll have to try that in the almond milk too! I told my husband I’m not buying the mylk cartons anymore as making your own is so much easier!

I am a comparison shopper, and buy when things are on sale and ONLY buy when not IF I absolutely have to have it. Kroger (Fred Meyers) is the least expensive store here, Safeway the most spendy, as is Wal-Mart! I only shop Safeway if there is something on sale (fruit or veggie) that is less than Fred’s that week. I scout out bargains constantly. I used to buy lots of 50% off items at Kroger but they seem to have them less and less these days!

I hold coupons for regularly used items UNTIL the item is on sale so I get even more bang for my $. We don’t go out to eat but 1/year for our anniversary (cheap Thai meal) , no movies (except rentals in the winter occasionally). I make everything from scratch otherwise. No meat, rarely eggs, vegetarian or vegan meals – lots of fruit and veggies, legumes and grains, all on sale – that’s how we eat a rotational diet – sales rule and rock! xxo m

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 8:53 am

Wow Marty, I could learn a lot from you. Thanks for all the great tips. We have a Kroger here, but I find that Trader Joe’s is actually cheaper. However, I be sure to keep my eye out for good sales. I’m a horrible bargain shopper – again, lots to learn! :)

Kayla @ Let's Live Wholesome September 9, 2010 at 7:02 am

Wow, that is extremely easy! I’ve never made my own milks, because I’ve always assumed they’re a pain in the butt. I might need to try this!

Scott in Ohio September 9, 2010 at 7:27 am

Any chance you’ll be doing a post on grocery savings?

We currently budget (ok, my cheap a$$ budgets…LOL) $180/week for food. It’s crazy what our gluten and dairy free stuff costs.

Grass-fed/finished beef is not cheap, either, and I just spent $9 on 1.37 LBS of chicken yesterday. ((sigh))

The meals are delicious, though, right? :-)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 8:59 am

Scott,
Well, if I succeed with our new grocery shopping budget, I’ll be sure to share. I did read some great tips over at KERF not too long ago: http://www.KathEats.com/morning-has-broken-2/

As far as the beef goes, we buy in bulk from a local farm – 50 one pound logs at once. In fact, they are delivering our latest order today. We pay about $4.00/lb if we buy more than 30 pounds at once. So, not the cheapest option for meat out there, but I feel really good about buying the grass fed finished stuff, and I love the taste!

There are some other great tips in the comments on this post, and I really will try and blog about our savings soon – Ha, that should keep me motivated to stay away from Whole Foods!

Rebekah September 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I’ve really enjoyed your blog – and will be interested to hear about making your own baby food, have you decided about cloth diapers vs disposables? I totally understand, I spend so much money at Trader Joes, but always feel like I get more bang for my buck.

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Rebekah,
I’ve decided to go with disposables at first, but I’m really hoping to switch to cloth diapers once we get settled into a routine. The idea of CDing was just stressing me out as there are so many other things to think about right now. So, disposals for the first couple of weeks, and then we’ll go from there. :)

And TJ’s – definitely best place to shop for groceries in Nashville! I find it’s even cheaper than Kroger.

Rebekah September 10, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Heather – I swear I’ve seen your husband at races or running around Nashville – mostly winning them I think? I’ve been taking this year off of racing, so I haven’t been around the race circuit recently.

HEAB September 10, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Rebekah,
Yes, that would be Chris. He runs a lot – usually in Centennial Park or Percy Warner, and he has won several races. He’s actually running in a 5K tomorrow at Centennial – his first race of the season. Are you planning to run any races soon? Chris is running tomorrow and planning on doing Shelby Bottoms as well. I’m thinking of walking the Shelby Bottoms 5K. I haven’t done any racing in a few years, but I always sign up for the Boulevard Bolt. Love that race, although last year, I ended up walking some of it…OK, a lot of it. ;)

Rebekah September 13, 2010 at 8:20 am

I do a lot of running at both places as well – I love Percy Warner, I feel like I can solve so many problems our there. I haven’t done much racing this year, I decided to take the year off, but I think I’m pacing a friend at Shelby Bottoms this year, and may run one other race with her. I really miss it, but feel like it’s for the best right now. You should walk the Shelby Bottoms 5K I’m so impressed with how active you’ve stayed during your pregnancy.

Marjorie September 10, 2010 at 7:20 am

Do you have a Super Target? My Target carries So Delicious for $2.99 a carton, and there is always a $1.00 off coupon attached to the carton. Last week, it was on sale for $2.69, so with the coupon, it was ridiculously cheap at $1.69/half gallon. With Whole Foods selling it at close to $6/carton, Target is the way to go–as long as you can get out of the store without all the other stuff you “thought” you needed!

HEAB September 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Marjorie,
No, no super Target in Nashville. $1.69 for a half gallon of So Delicious?!? That is a steal…grrrr, Whole Foods!! :(

Crystal (That Vegan Blog) September 10, 2010 at 6:50 pm

I just recently found your blog and have enjoyed reading it (it’s always nice to “meet” other Nashville bloggers). I have yet to try the So Delicious Coconut Milk (afraid I’d fall in love and be hooked) so I’m excited to try your version…I even have lecithin granules in the pantry. I love brown rice (especially short grain) and just saw a post for Autumn Rice Pudding (using brown rice) on another blog and can’t wait to try it (although I’ll probably modify it to reduce the amount of sugar).

HEAB September 10, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Hey Crystal,
Glad you found me too. Love hearing from fellow Nashvillians…and I’m really interested in the Autumn Rice Pudding. I would love to hear how your reduced sugar version goes. Hope you have a good weekend. :)

Jill September 11, 2010 at 8:04 am

I just saw this post now, and it made my weekend! We can’t buy So Delicious Coconut Milk up here in Canada because of weird border laws about unpasteurized products (yes, I’ve actually looked into this). Anyways, I’ve been super jealous and have been pining for an alternative to canned milk. I can’t believe I didn’t think about transforming the canned stuff before. You rock Heather! I can’t wait to try this out!

HEAB September 11, 2010 at 9:50 am

Jill,
Enjoy. :)

Amber at Berlin's Whimsy September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I somehow missed this blog post and it’s of great interest! I’m constantly struggling with food budgeting. I spend more than I should but I also believe that it’s worth it to invest in good food and a nutritious diet. I’m sure my partner would love to move me to a small town, too!! Maybe you and I could open a natural foods store there… ;-)

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Amber,
Sounds like a plan – at least with our own store, we would get a good discount. ;)

Saba September 24, 2010 at 9:06 am

Wandered onto your blog from Gena’s & LOVE it! :) My favorite grocery shopping, money saving tip is buying (almost) all our produce from a co-op (http://www.lessismorefun.com/co-operation/) & buying my raw chocolate from Amazon.

HEAB September 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Saba,
So glad you found me and thanks for reading. Unfortunately, Nashville doesn’t have a good food co-op, but hopefully someday! And we do buy our dark chocolate from Amazon. In fact, my husband tried to get almost everything from either Amazon or Costco. We’re huge fans of both. :)

PeonyJen September 26, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Heather-Is lecithin derived from soy, or what am I thinking? I’m thinking of soy lecithin. Are all lecithins the same?
Jen

HEAB September 27, 2010 at 5:11 am

Jen,
Yes, the lecithin I use is derived from soy, but it contains no soy protein which is what bothers most people when they can’t tolerate soy. That being said, you can buy sunflower lecithin: http://www.therawfoodworld.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=1002747. I’ve never tried it myself, but I hear works well.

Eleanor October 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I don’t know whether it would work out cheaper over there but polenta (cornmeal) makes a brilliant breakfast porridge.
It absorbs so much water (I use 40g polenta with 15g oat/rice bran, for more fibre/protein, with 1 cup water or more) that you get a HUGE bowl of porridge for not too much grain!
I had mine with some coconut milk and mashed, melted banana and it was delicious; SO creamy… :-)

HEAB October 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Eleanor,
Yes, I’ve been eating grits lately which is similar to polenta, and as soon as my supply runs out, I want to buy some polenta. I’ve eaten it before but never made it myself. Sounds perfect with coconut milk and mashed banana. Hope to try soon! Thanks. :)

Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey October 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm

All right, so there is no actual measurement for how much water to put in, right? Just a can of coconut milk and eyeball it till I can’t fill the blender anymore? :P

HEAB October 10, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Kelsey,
The Vita-Mix holds 64 ounces of liquid. So, I put in one can of coconut milk and then 4 (I think) cans of water. If your blender holds less, you can simply make a thicker version or only use half a can of coconut milk. Enjoy! :)

Janelle March 3, 2011 at 8:22 am

I tried using liquid lecithin and my milk still separated! I used 4 tsp, 1 can coconut milk and water to fill Vitamix…did I not blend long enough or something do you think?
Thanks!

HEAB March 3, 2011 at 8:32 am

Janelle,
Mine still separates after storing it in the fridge, but nothing a good shake doesn’t fix. I blend mine on high for maybe 30 seconds or a little longer.

Janelle March 3, 2011 at 9:22 am

Great – thanks for the quick response!!

Heather April 17, 2011 at 7:02 am

Just wondering when making the coconut milk you say to “fiill up the blender” I have a vitamx too – so that would mean that this would make about 2 litres of milk? it just seems like a lot of water – also do you use the low fat coconut milk of the regular?
thanks

HEAB April 17, 2011 at 8:07 am

Heather,
Yes, I fill up the entire Vita-Mix when I use the full fat coconut milk, but lately, I’ve been using the Trader Joe’s lite coconut milk (I like it b/c it’s nothing but coconut milk + water), and fill up the Vita-Mix only half way. It still separates even with the lecithin, and so it’s probably not necessary. Just give it a few good shakes before each use.

deisegirl May 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm

ooh very late to the party here, but thanks for the recipe. I love coconut milk but getting pretty annoyed at the price.

Maria May 16, 2011 at 11:29 am

Hi first off let me start by saying your blog is amazing and I am so happy I discovered it (it started with me going on Linda Wagner’s blog for her Green Smoothie Recipe and then somehow a couple of clicks later and Chocolate-Covered Katie’s blog I was at your website.. :P ). Anyway I just wanted to ask what would be the calorific content of the finished product if you know, how much does it keep in the fridge and would the recipe work the same if you use a normal blender? (I’m on a diet, well actually no that’s a misrepresentation as I’m eating healthily and watch my portions with the help of my nutritionist trying to lose weight so it would help if you could tell around how many cals etc is in one serving if you’re aware of it. Thanks again! :)

HEAB May 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Maria,
Thanks so much, and I’m glad you found me. Love that Chocolate Covered Katie. :)

So, lately, I’ve been making this with Trader Joe’s light coconut milk and adding enough water to make a 5 cup batch. So each cup is 50 calories. I started using the light coconut milk and making smaller batches b/c the original recipe makes 64 ounces or so, and it was going bad before I could finish it. I usually try and use it all within 4 or 5 days, and yes, any blender will work.

Again, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the coconut milk! :)

Maria May 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Thanks you’re a doll. Really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Sounds delicious will make some tomorrow. :) I’m thinking of trying to make the coconut butter and the roasted pecan butter when I get the new food processor! Can’t wait. x

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