How to Save $ Buying Food and Squash Pockets

25 Apr

I wouldn’t necessarily say I am thrifty.

In fact, I am the complete opposite…Unless of coarse Hubby is asking me, then I am very frugal, and always shop in the bargain/clearance section.

Ya right.

I wish I could say I could walk into a thrift store and find something worth buying, but..


And Probably the most thrify-ish shopping you will find me doing is at Ross or Marshalls.

But since I have been married, and Hubby has been in grad school, you can only imaging we are far from high-rollers. And even though Hubby would bet his life savings that I have it in my mind we are Bazillionaires, I am learning, key word, that I need to be better at how I spend my money.

Especially on groceries. Let’s just say, if one looked at my grocery bill, then you could assume I was feeding a family of 5. yikes. AND, one might also assume, since I am really only feeding a family of 2 1/2, that by the cost of my purchases, we must be hefty eaters.

Not true. Well, hefty eaters, I dunno, I really… food.

So where did it all go wrong? For some time now, I have really focused on my spending, and why I would end up spending so much on groceries. I thought, maybe I should share some tips on what not to do when buying groceries, because like I said, I am still learning on what to do.

The DEFINITELY DO NOTS of Grocery Shopping

1. Don’t buy EVERYTHING organic.-I assumed that because it was organic, it was better for you. And although this is definitely the case in some regards, it is not the case in others. Here is how it goes: When buying organic fruits and veggies, follow the rules of the Dirty Dozen. ONLY the items on the dirty dozen list is best to be purchased organic. Items like pineapples and avocados don’t. And trust me, the price of an organic avocado to a non organic one is a great difference. I also always buy dairy and meat for my Hubby organic. No questions asked. That will not change.

2. Don’t buy everything you see.-I am like this in the grocery store: “I’ll take that, and that, and that, and that. Oh wait, how much is it? OK here is my leg and my arm to cover the bill..”

I have learned that going with a list is crucial. At the beginning of the week I have written everything down that I want to make and want to have in the house. That way I go with a plan, instead of using my head/stomach to decide for me.

3. Don’t get sucked into labels. -I will buy something if it says “Buy me, I am Delicious!”, but for others, things like low fat, no sugar, healthy, brand new, yadda yadda can grab your attention. Research products out before spending a hefty penny on something they say is worth it.

4. Don’t Covet-Being a blogger, I read tons of other blogs and get SUCKED into wanting to make what they posted RIGHT.THAT.VERY.SECOND. Alot of ingredients are unheard of, have to be ordered on line, and are pretty darn expensive. RESEARCH! I am not even going to mention some of the ingredients I have in my household that I purchased that I have NO idea what to do with them. Research recipes, research what the ingredients are for and their benefits.

5. Don’t always shop at natural food stores. -There is this certain store by where I live that I call hell. If I walk in there, I am gonna get hell for it when I get home 🙂 kidding, but I really have a hard time not spending Baby Boo’s college fund in there. Certain things I agree are necessary, but not everything. AND a lot of times, the natural food grocers jack up their prices JUST because they can. Rude I know. Smart, but rude.

I hope some of these tips help you like they have been helping me…and my wallet.

And my relationship 🙂

But buying cheap only does so much for the Hubby. It’s the delicious dinners that really win him over..

What a sucker..

Squash Pockets



1/4 large onion diced


2 TB chopped garlic

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup chopped artichoke

2 cups diced butternut squash( i used precooked frozen butternut squash)-

1/4 cup diced walnuts

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

salt and pepper

Thawed Phyllo dough


1. In a heated pan, add EVOO, onion, and garlic and cook 4-5 minutes on med-low heat until they begin to caramelize. Stir Frequently. Then add spinach and stir every so often until spinach begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Then add artichokes & squash and stir until combined. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let cook about 6-7 minutes med heat. Stir frequently. Then add in walnuts. Season with more S & P to taste.

2. Prepare phyllo dough according to packages. I cut mine in half.

3. Place a couple spoon fulls of filling at the top of one side of the phyllo dough and add a few crumbles of goat cheese.

4. Fold Phyllo dough all the way down. I folded mine like you were folding up a flag.

5. Repeat steps until all the filling is used. I stuffed my pockets pretty full, so I only got about 5 or 6 pockets, so it all depends on the size. You can fold your pockets any way your want. There isn’t a right way. Maybe there is, I just don’t know about it 🙂

6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until phyllo becomes golden brown.

I had never worked with phyllo dough until this. I have NO idea why I waited so long!?

Every crispy bite made me want to run out an buy more phyllo dough and make more!! hha

See what I mean. Impulse buyer anyone??

I hope Baby Boo doesn’t turn out like me with the whole spending regards thing,

Because I don’t know how many more arms and legs I can sell before I run out…

22 Responses to “How to Save $ Buying Food and Squash Pockets”

  1. kate@ahealthypassion April 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    The little squash pockets look amazing !! I definitely covet I see something on a blog I have to have and then go broke buying it…. currently im saving up for a dslr camera haha so my pictures will be pretty !

    • ThE DiVa DiSh April 26, 2011 at 6:05 am #

      OH man i begged and begged my hubby for a DSL! I finally got one, but more so to take pics of my daughter…it is the best camera out there! Can’t wait for u to get one, although ur pics are already pretty 🙂

  2. Jenny April 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Wow those squash pockets look incredibly delicious especially with the goat cheese 😀 I’m pretty good when it comes to being thrifty. I went to Whole Foods the other day and left pretty empty handed. Some things don’t need to be organic lol I’d rather not go broke buying organic strawberries 😉

    • ThE DiVa DiSh April 26, 2011 at 6:06 am #

      whole foods…that store…I am glad u have will power in there..I struggle!

  3. helennaturally April 26, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Squash pockets sound like fun!

    I know what you mean about the grocery bill. I can’t seem to get mine under control. Of course the hubby blames me because I have to have my “special foods” but it is expensive to feed anyone these days.

    • ThE DiVa DiSh April 26, 2011 at 6:07 am #

      sounds like my hubby…he can’t believe how much “MY” food is..haha well sorry dear, but lot’s of things are more expensive than frozen taquitos hhaa

  4. Jess@HealthyExposures April 26, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    I can relate to everything you’ve said, i think! lessons learned the hard (read: costly!) way. I’m finally able to walk into a grocery store and not buy every new “fun” thing I see – phew! Been there with the coveting thing, too. When I first started blogging I thought I “had to have” all of the powders and other crazy things that were being broadcast all over. While I’ve found some really fun things this way (chia seeds and peanut flour!!) others were just an expensive flop. (acai powder, I’m looking at you.) And amen to the organic bit – huge price difference and half the time you’re perfectly fine with non-organic. If I had the money I’d buy local and organic all the time just to support local farmers…but I don’t, and can’t!
    The squash pockets, however, look wonderful! Last time I tried working with phyllo dough was a nightmare 😛

    • ThE DiVa DiSh April 26, 2011 at 6:08 am #

      ya I was really struggling with the phyllo me, I had a few choice words. I remember u posted about stuff u had bought due to things you saw on blogs. Chia seeds was one of mine too and I am FOREVER grateful 🙂 I havent tried peanut flour tho…hmmm.. 🙂

  5. Heidi @ Food Doodles April 26, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    I totally agree with all your tips! The health food store in town(read: tiny town, two tiiiiiiny health food stores so not much selection or competition). For coconut oil it’s $70 for something that costs like, $30-40 online. It’s not that bad but everything else is overpriced too. It’s crazy.
    Your squash pockets look so yummy 🙂 My hubby was just talking about philo pastry and cheese today, haha.

    • ThE DiVa DiSh April 26, 2011 at 6:09 am #

      oh man! That is insane!! health food stores are crazy!

      I don’t even think my husband knows what phyllo dough IS haah 🙂

  6. pawsitivelife April 27, 2011 at 12:36 am #

    Those are great unique tips. I especially like dont covet. its true, i often lust after foods I see and I want to recreate

  7. Jenn @ Peas and Crayons April 27, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    Yum! I want a squash pocket puhhlease!

    I love these tips! I need to not shop in natural stores as often as I do.. they are so darn tempting! I bought two things I didnt even need today when i went to buy flax oil. Impulse buys!

    • ThE DiVa DiSh April 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

      omg..i need either a buddy to shop with me to stop me, or I need someone to do the shopping for me…its bad..haha

  8. Alaina Rose @ Sweetness of Life April 27, 2011 at 4:52 am #

    Oh no, I’m pretty much guilty of all the “Do Nots” of grocery shopping! Okay, well…admitting that is the first step 🙂 Now I’m on the road to recovery. But seriously, thank you for this. I could definitely improve my spending habits. I’m right there with you. I LOVE food too! Those squash pockets look amazing. I bet they taste like a dream! Yum 🙂 On another note, I went through your archives and read a bunch of your old posts just for fun, and I just have to say, I love you even more now! I think we would be such good friends in real life! ❤

    • ThE DiVa DiSh April 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

      haha omg I don’t even KNOW what is in my old post 🙂 hopefully I didn’t embarrass my self! haha..I agree though! We would be GREAT friends!! what the heck am I saying?? We ARE friends!!

  9. Jessica @ Dishin' About Nutrition April 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Fabulous advice! I have also recently been using coupons! I saw that show Extreme Couponing and I could NOT BELIEVE how much they saved just using coupons! Unreal, have you ever seen it?

    • ThE DiVa DiSh April 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

      I heard about that show! I have always tried to do coupons but I really suck at it! I need to get better, because then Ill save money..and then have some left over for impulse buys :)…wrong way of thinking?? haha

  10. Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    mmm I love the phyllo dough! 🙂

    I agree with all of your tips particularly not coveting other food bloggers food! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing Ari!

  11. Of Plates & Palates April 28, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    Wow these look so good. My boyfriend would go nuts over these. I liked your tips of savings. Do you have a trader joes near you? Every blog always talk about that place but I’ve never been to one! I hear you can save a lot there.

  12. asianskinny April 29, 2011 at 4:48 am #

    These look fantastic! Kombucha is the only reason I shop in natural food stores, otherwise, I stick to Trader Joe’s and our international store.

    Glad I found your blog!

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