Tuesday, August 31, 2010

trusting yourself with a BOGO sale.

hi, my name is teachergirl, and i am a serious sucker for a BOGO sale.

in case you have not been recently privy to the amazingness that is BOGO, it means a buy one get one free sale and for a food bargain hunter like me, it's a song that sings joy to my heart and to my pocketbook. i very much like it when i can look at my grocery store receipt and see that half of what i bought was given to me...FREE.

i like free.  free makes me happy.

unfortunately, it's fairly rare (with the exception of bagged salads or the occasional pint of blueberries) that superfoods are on BOGO sale. no, what's mostly BOGO are the things that we try to avoid.  my particular temptation last week was donuts. 

(don't ask, especially after ashlee's transfat post yesterday.  but suffice it to say that i looked at the nutrition fact and my better nature told me to move along.)

yes, the BOGO sale can sometimes be a temptation to stock your pantry with terrible things that will call to you in the middle of the night, telling you that you just need one more cookie to be well and truly satisfied.

if you're anything like me, when you're trying to keep yourself healthy, you spend money on the good stuff. maybe you try to match your fruit needs to what's on sale (cherries have been routinely on sale lately here, so my husband and i have greatly enjoyed that particular treat), but for the most part you might always buy bananas or grapes or whatever fruit or vegetable your family enjoys. if you can get them to eat it, you buy it.  but you might try to stick strictly to that rule of shopping the outsides of the store, venturing into the aisles only for virtuous things like whole wheat pasta and yummy spices to make something extraordinary from scratch.

some days, that's me.

but lately?  lately, i've been quite lucky to cook at all.  someday i'll tell you all about what's been going on in musicboy/teachergirl world, but for right now suffice it to say that convenience foods have quickly gone from THE GREAT SATAN to...eh, maybe?

so when i saw that necessity was quickly forcing me into new choices that incorporated more things that were easy to fix, i began looking at the bogo sales more closely. here's what i'm beginning to realize: discipline and healthy eating can incorporate a BOGO diversion. 

BOGO doesn't always have to be evil is my point, roundabout as may be.

sometimes, you need to relearn how to incorporate some of these foods into your world successfully. for me, it means that i choose the reduced fat chips ahoy instead of the chunky chips ahoy because i get more bang for my serving size buck.  for me, it's choosing to buy the frozen yogurt ben & jerry's instead of the full fat version.  it's stocking up on the whole wheat bagels with lots of fiber, because i know that half of one of those can make a breakfast that makes my online food diary smile at me. 

convenience foods can't make up the substance of your healthy diet.  but sometimes, when push comes to shove, you can make wise decisions and still incorporate them.  just like with any food, whether it come from a box or a produce bin, you need to understand serving size and be diligent about recording what you're eating.  with any convenience food, you need to be aware of sodium and fat content and, of course, the preservatives that are a part of these foods.

but, overall, i'm learning that a little bit of moderation can go a long way.  sometimes, it's about doing the best that you can do with what you've been given.  when we don't have easy access to fresh, whole foods, sometimes we have to do the best with what we have. i am beginning to believe that with some diligence we can make healthy choices in whatever circumstances we're in. 

i'll admit--i feel a bit like the black sheep of this blog right now because here i am admitting to having four packages of chips ahoy in my pantry and being happy to have stockpiled 98% fat free hot dogs in our freezer.  but healthy living has to exist within real life. one of the things that makes me craziest is when people try to tell me how to be healthy in abstract, unrealistic terms.  of course it's easy to lose weight when you work out 9 hours a day. of course it's easy to lose weight when you have a nutritionist on staff. of course it's easy to lose weight when that's your absolute a primary focus. 

of course it's easy to be healthy when life doesn't get in the way.

but if you're anything like me, life routinely gets in the way. it doesn't, however, have to get in the way of your commitment to making good decisions.  when a choice is placed before you...choose the healthy way.  you can do that anywhere, anytime.  you can do that with any circumstance and in whatever particular condition you find yourself. 

do your best.   that's really all you can do.  and you should feel really good about it.


  1. You should know that there is a tub of cookie dough in my fridge right now (I have been baking for a variety of reasons). If a bit of the dough happens to end up on the tip of my finger (or on a spoon) and somehow winds up in my mouth...I'm OK with that.
    You are not the black sheep! :)

  2. My name is Meghan and I'm the cereal bogo queen.

  3. Ummm... I have about 10 pounds of birthday cake in my fridge right now. I think I've had cake for breakfast 3 days in a row.

    You're no black sheep!

  4. We all have our vices! But BOGOs can definitely be useful for saving on cereal, as Meghan pointed out, and for things that can be frozen. True, bagged salad can't -- but I've been buying fresh fruits all summer on BOGO and flash freezing them on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, they can go into zipper freezer bags or plastic containers -- allowing you to scoop out only what you need at a time. Cherries have to be pitted first, of course, and melon has to be cut into chunks -- but you might be surprised at what you can freeze for use later. Same goes for fresh vegetables. Unfortunately, it's been so blasted hot down here, my frozen fruit stashes are all gone now. (I eat 'em like popsicles or in lieu of ice cream. They also make great smoothies. So ... thanks for the reminder to stock up again!)

    What's more, with hurricane season in full swing, BOGOs are a great way to purchase canned goods and non-perishables that you would have to stockpile anyway.

    Thanks for all of the great posts -- I learn something new with each one!

  5. A wishful thinking to find a BOGO for foods. good luck to us in finding one. God bless.