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Sav-a-Lot grocery tour

I grew up and now currently work in a small town with only 2 grocery stores, Sav-a-lot and Piggly Wiggly. My parents, friends and patients shop there often. Some are able to make a trip to Wal-mart 20 miles away, some go to Chattanooga or Crossville 30-60 minutes way and some but not all can order online. I often hear from many folks, “I can’t buy or afford healthy food here.” I set out today to Sav a lot to see what I could find. This is going to be basic as if one does not have good cooking skills, much time or money.

Mind you, nothing in this store is organic. But healthy is not an “all or none” option in my mind. Baby steps and doing what you can with what you have/able to do is going to make a difference, even if you think it won’t.

I will include some pictures of some staple items that I found today below:

what i used to prepare today’s meal
the meal i made (mashed rice cauliflower, air fryer okra and pork herb au jus in the instant pot
this and the red salsa are great to make crockpot/instant pot chicken tacos!
3 ingredients, gluten free!
my kids love these things.
not pancake syrup! 100% maple! great for sweetening things without using refined sugar or artificial sweeteners
olive oil is way better than canola or vegetable oil
add to soups or smoothies with almond milk and frozen fruit!
stir fry, riced cauliflower, and fajita veggies plus more steam able veggies
ground turkey! great price. in frozen section. leaner than beef
almond milk. dollar general also has if you are looking for a dairy free milk.
easy rice option. add tomato sauce or canned tomatoes and some cumin to make a Spanish rice

So some dinner ideas….

the whole produce section is at your fingertips if you want to bake a sweet potato as an easy side, saute some zucchini, make a salad. vegetables just in their normal form with some olive oil and seasonings roasted can be good! no need to add them to a casserole which adds cost, takes time and isn’t as healthy with added gluten or dairy products

Taco night! grab some salsa, some ground turkey, make some home made taco seasoning from the spice aisle. some corn hard shells and some black beans and rice and you will have yourself a meal!

Taco seasoning:

  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix up and keep in a glass jar. Add 2.5 tbsp to one pound of browned ground meat with 1/4 cup water

Chicken fajita night: slice up some chicken breasts cook in skillet with some homemade taco seasoning then add in the frozen fajita mix above with some rice and beans or a side salad.

Chicken stir fry: similar to above but do the stir fry mix from freezer section. or buy frozen shrimp for a simple shrimp stir fry. add some coconut aminos from walmart if you can! serve with the rice pack or riced cauliflower

Pork chops: make some cauliflower rice into mashed potatoes by added a splash of dairy free milk, smart balance butter or ghee, seasoning and blend in a blender or food processors. add a can of peas or green beans. bake the chops in oven, throw on grill or cook in instant pot with some chicken broth and seasonings!

Ground turkey burgers on lettuce wrap. add in some seasonings and bake in oven or cook on skillet. throw on a grill if you have one.

Tuna packs: add some mayo or mustard with pickles and have tuna salad. eat on cucumber slices. or add tuna to a salad.

Spaghetti: they did not have gluten free pasta options at sav a lot but who says you have to eat it with pasta? cook your ground meat, add spaghetti sauce and serve over some steamed frozen or fresh broccoli for a low carb option.

Snack ideas: nuts, raisins, tortilla chips with salsa, mandarins in 100% juice, apple sauce squeeze pouches, banana with peanut butter, apples with peanut butter.

Breakfast ideas: baked sweet potato with blueberries and maple syrup. Crumbled bacon although I could not find any nitrate free. Fruit smoothie. Eggs if you aren’t intolerant. Breakfast hash: frozen hashbrowns, frozen pepper mix, some diced ham (not nitrate free), add scrambled eggs if you wish.

That’s just a rough idea. If you have the internet, you can look up simple health recipes and just makes substitutes on your dietary preferences. If I ONLY had sav a lot to shop in forever, I would not starve. I know that’s not the only place most people have, so thankfully you can build upon this. I will try to get to piggly wiggly (expensive option) and wal-mart soon.

I had to start slowly with weaning lots of food at once. I made very SIMPLE recipes. I wanted to know what I could eat and I wanted it to be easy and I could not afford to fully restock my pantry instantly. Make small changes. The next time you run out of your canola oil, replace it with olive oil. When you run out of milk, try almond milk. When you want an easy meal, check the suggestions above and don’t stress with it. No need to spend more by adding sour cream, cheese etc to them. While it may cost more to buy healthier foods, think of all the unhealthy ones you are no longer going to by and how much better you will feel!

Love your guts,


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