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Comparision Shopping, Food Storage, and a 30 Day Experiment

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Welcome to the 30 Days of Change Blog Carnival hosted by Living Peacefully With Children and Hybrid Rasta Mama. In celebration of the New Year and forgotten resolutions , we’re sharing the results of our 30 day commitment to addressing one habit the we either needed to eliminate, reframe, or include in our life. We hope you are inspired and energized to make one positive change in your own habits.

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Change. The act or instance of making or becoming different.

Change is not easy. It is not comfortable. It requires determination, perseverance, and work. Most human beings avoid change like the plague. However, change can be very rewarding with outcomes beyond your wildest expectations.

I decided that my theme word for 2013 is ”positivity.” Aside from having a positive attitude about life and life’s challenges, I also wanted to make positive changes with regards to certain aspects of how I manage “life.” Two huge chunks of this pie involve supporting smaller businesses that match my values and needs and also preparing for future shortages or needs by way of a food storage program.

For my 30 Days of Change challenge, I stepped outside of my “comfort shopping zone” and did some hard and firm comparisons of different retailers that offer the type of food, household, pet, and natural health products that I currently use and love.

Since Tiny is not in the age bracket where I am chomping at the bit to physically take her on errands, I do a lot of my shopping online. Specifically, I order through Amazon. As most of you already know, Amazon pretty much has everything you could ever want. But it always bugged me that I was forking over my money to a company that really didn’t care about me or anyone else for that matter. They want to make sales and money. My “needs” are not even a blip on their radar.

I checked out a few different online retailers but really could not find one I was happy with. They were either expensive, didn’t carry what I needed, or had lousy customer service. And then…

I had heard the name mentioned many, many times before but honestly did not put much faith in the success of a new company claiming that they would be THE one-stop shop for organic food, green household products, natural pet products, and natural health products. I mean, in this economy how on earth would a new business like that succeed? Especially one whose fate rested in the investment of people like me.


Fast forward to December of 2012 and I decided to take the plunge and patronize The Green Polka Dot Box as part of my 30 Days of Change Challenge. My goal was to ONLY order from them and then see how prices stacked up to Amazon at the end of the month.

It took me several hours to review the entire Green Polka Dot Box site. Wow! Since I first gave them a look last year, their product offerings have increased dramatically. Other than my duck eggs, I literally could purchase everything I eat through them if I wanted. (Local trumps however, and I will continue to support my local farms and organic produce growers).

It took me no time at all to fill my online cart with all the items I normally order for the month. The Green Polka Dot Box carried them all (plus a few impulse buys – ooops!) Anyway, I went to check out and was floored. Even with the extra items, my total was 9% less than what it normally is on Amazon. Better yet, shipping was free AND all my items arrived at one time, not in a bazillion different shipment. Not only was this convenient for me, but it saved valuable resources via less packaging. Super huge win!

Towards the end of January I found myself in need of a few additional food items. On auto-pilot, I headed to Amazon and filled my cart. Thankfully, I caught myself before I checked out. I headed over to the Green Polka Dot box, placed the same order, and found that I had kept $19.72 in my pocket! That may not seem like much but every penny adds up these days! I make that $19 go a long way!

I am now a complete and total Green Polka Dot Box convert thanks to this challenge. It feels good to support a family owned, grass roots business that really cares about me and my health! Their customer service is truly legendary and they bend over backwards to make your experience one that you want to share with your friends and family. Plus, they fight against Big Ag making sure that all of their products are GMO free and organic whenever possible. So I don’t have to worry about label reading. I can trust that I am ordering the highest quality products.

The second part of my challenge focused on food storage. I am a bit of an organic canned pumpkin hoarder but only out of my sheer love of it. I occasionally take advantage of a sale and stock up on things like raw apple cider vinegar, honey, coconut flour, and the like. But honestly, unless I want to eat canned pumpkin for a month, we are in sad shape if disaster strikes and we need to live out of our reserves.

Thank goodness that KerryAnn from Cooking Traditional Foods has a Real Foods Storage And Preparedness Guide for those of us (myself included) who have no clue how to even go about starting a food storage program. Even better, at least for me, it deals with food restrictions such as gluten free and/or diary free diets.

Now there is NO WAY you can implement a food storage program in 30 days. But my challenge for myself was not to implement much. My challenge was to read KerryAnn’s book, change my mindset about real food storage, and make an action plan. This might not sound like a big deal change but for me, it was and is. Going from nothing but canned pumpkin and tons of coconut oil to actually having three designated shelves in my closet that are showing signs of becoming a bonafide start to food storage is huge for me! I actually have more than just pumpkin should disaster strike!

I really enjoyed the 30 Days of Change challenge and am making it a goal to revisit this every year. I think it is important to push ourselves over the course of a limited timeframe to make one needed change. Sure, there are other things I need to work on but these two changes were the ones that really needed to be made today. I am really pleased that I followed through. I am excited to continue supporting and saving money through the Green Polka Dot Box. You can bet that they will be a key role in my food storage program!

What changes have you implemented this year? Anything you are still wishing to tackle?

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Please take a moment to visit the blogs of our other 30 Days of Change Blog Carnival participants. The links in this list will be updated by the end of the day.

  • Finishing off 2012 depressed and negative, Survivor decided to start 2013 off with positive actions and attitudes. In her blog Surviving Mexico, watch as she discovers how to overcome the disasters and find the adventures in living again.
  • Mrs Green from Little Green Blog spent her month not just meditating, but prioritizing it in her life …
  • In The LoCo Locavore Takes OVER, our family went completely local for 30 days… IN JANUARY. Read about how we fared on our local fare. Spoiler alert! We didn’t starve. You can also find Wide Awake, Half Asleep on Facebook.
  • Mari from Honey on the Bum relates how she came to the conclusion that she should stop picking apart her body, and figuratively, her life, and briefly discusses some challenges on the way.
  • Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she made two changes; stepping outside of her “comfort food shopping zone” and starting a food storage program. You can also find Jennifer on Facebook.
  • Mercedes at Project Procrastinot demonstrates new sticktoitiveness when she joined the Ultimate Blog Challenge in January. You can also find Project Procrastinot on Facebook.
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy can be overwhelming. Join with Shannon at GrowingSlower as she takes back control of her health during her second pregnancy, all while parenting a toddler!You can also find Growing Slower on Facebook.
  • At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy has been working on making time every day just to breathe and be.

Comments

  1. There are so many great subjects in this post. I need to check out the Great Polka Dot Box. I try to buy most of our food locally or through Frontier or co-ops, but I often find myself purchasing food from Costco due to price. Those dollars do count!

    I’ve been working through the years to do more of our food stock. despite watching my mother can while I was growing up, I was only ever involved in prep and not the actual canning process. It seemed daunting until a couple of years ago when I found the resolve to just try it. I was pleasantly surprised and now can throughout the summer.

    I laughed at your pumpkin comment. I stock up on pie pumpkins every fall and cook, puree, and freeze it. I won’t tell you how many bags of frozen pumpkin I have stocked away.

    Overall, I love your goal of positivity. I’m trying to make some healthy changes in my lif ethis year, too. Taking them a little a time seems much more manageable than making a huge change which won’t stick.

  2. I enjoyed reading your post. I’m not sure what disaster you are stocking up for(internet crash, unemployment, illness) but I have to agree that having a stockpile of yummies takes the pressure off those tight weeks. And finding an organic supplier makes it that much more satisfying for you I’m sure!

  3. How exciting to find a new go-to shopping site! Amazon UK is not nearly as good as the US version, so I’m having to branch out as well and it’s hard to do. I’m also intrigued by the guide you mentioned! Will have to look into it. THanks for sharing.

  4. I never realised you could do all that on Amazon either (I’m in the UK), but how lovely you’ve found somewhere ethical that is cheaper too. I have a couple of local organic farm shops which I go to and I too am amazed how cheap it can be. I’m also more conscious in them of only buying what I need. Thanks for your thoughts on food storage too; I’m going to read the book…

    Warm wishes
    Rae aka mrs green @littlegreenblog.com

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