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Girls Gone Wild (Bars)

Question from a reader: How do you budget your groceries? All this organic stuff can get to be expensive! And the nut butters too!

Stay away from the following:

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Steep price tag alert!

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(Those bars cost a lot of Henry Dollars!)

.Henry Dollar-saving tip:

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Add cacao nibs and a mint extract to the PMS Chocolate recipe.

Voila! A chocolate bar that is mucho cheaper and just as yummy.

What’s your biggest spending vice?

For me, it’s undoubtedly grocery-related (coconut butter, organic produce, intriguing new products…). But where I splurge on food, I save in other areas of my life. For example, I don’t buy $150 pairs of jeans or designer purses like many of my friends, and I never eat fancy steak dinners or spend a fortune at Starbucks. I paint my own nails, and I don’t even spend a lot of money on scrapbook supplies anymore (‘cause I now have more than enough and therefore need to use up my incredible stockpile before buying more). So it all evens out in the end. (P.S. Junk food may be cheaper, but in the long run it’s not at all!)

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Jennifer - jcd says:

    Oh, those Wild Bars look so yummy. I have never tried one, but I imagine I would be in love at first bite.

    My biggest financial vice would have to be groceries as well. Good quality food isn’t cheap and I love my good quality whole foods. Fresh fruits and veggies, Medjool dates, maple syrup, and fair trade chocolate add up quickly. They are completely worth it.

    Like you, I make up for my grocery spending by keeping the rest of my life simple and cheap. We don’t go out to eat very often, rarely buy clothes, yet alone expensive ones, and our hobbies are fairly inexpensive too.

  2. I spend soo much money on nut butters it is a little ridiculous! I am all about using coupons though. And I am always on the lookout for sales! Cannot WAIT to see all our fat hugging photos! You look gorge with your Wild Bar :)

  3. Jess says:

    SO excited for all the hug a fat photos!

  4. Effie says:

    The new chocolate bars look absolutely delicious!

    In terms of money spending, actually since I started to eat mainly fruits and veggies, I save a lot of money. Meat, dairy, fast food and desserts were much more expensive.

  5. McKella says:

    I’m gonna jump on the grocery train too, because that’s my favorite thing to blow money on! We’ve actually cut way back on eating out so we can actually afford to buy good food, but it works. If we have good food at home, we don’t feel like we need to eat out.
    I’m a penny pincher on nearly everything else though. I buy tee shirts of the clearance rack and my beauty budget is about two tubes of mascara every year purchases with a coupon.

  6. ohh i cant wait for the photos!!! my biggest vice is def food and SHOES!! i love shoes…all types…sneakers…heels, sandals, boots I LOVE SHOES!! and they are def my biggest vice besides food :)

  7. Jocelyn says:

    I think it is ok to do as you do..and spend money where it counts! Like organic produce or amazing nut butters and new products… if you save in other areas (like clothes, entertainment, beauty) I don’t see the problem :)

    I too spend way too much on nut butters..mauaha.

  8. abby says:

    uh oh i am in trouble. i spend money on food and clothes! there’s no balance for me! :(

  9. Inspired says:

    People always ask me how I can be a vegetarian when it’s so expensive, and I don’t understand. When did beans and tofu start costing more than steaks and ribs???

  10. Sarahishealthy says:

    Even though I didn’t participate (too shy), I’m very excited to see all the other hug a fat action :). I’ll be back tomorrow!

  11. Valerie says:

    Aw those Henry dollars are precious!

  12. itstartedwithafish says:

    I’ve just started to like one or the other bar, – and of course they (I bought a sample box of organicfoods bars the other day … OI!) are not cheap over here, either, – so I am delighted to see your genius coming up with these recipes, Katie.

    Thank you from way over the pond!!!!

  13. Rick says:

    my spending vice is health/food oriented stuff. supplements, foods, colonics, ionic foot baths, far-infrared sauna, supplies like coffee for enemas and whatnot…i splurge on myself!

    also, great that you mentioned those Wild Bars today. I just bought a 12-bar CASE of them since i avoid bars that are based in almonds – all almonds in America are pasteurized :(

  14. Run Sarah says:

    Love the idea of making the PMS chocolate in bar form to go. I hate spending money on granola bars etc, they can get so expensive!!

  15. I spend a lot of my money on groceries! I <3 expensive chocolate, coconut and other nut fancy butters, and organic produce.

  16. lol i meant to say fancy nut butters…

  17. Katie says:

    Hi love!!!!! Yay for the hug a fat post tomorrow! So excited!!

    I def splurge on organic and healthy food, I feel for me its the best money I spend! I also love to splurge here and there on shoes or clothes : p

  18. Meg says:

    I can’t wait to see the hug-a-fat photos 😀 yayayayay!

  19. I actually try not to spend a lot of money on organic food items so that I can spend more on going out with friends and shopping LOL

  20. Ilana says:

    Once upon a time I spent a LOTTTTTT of money on shoes. The sixty plus pair in my closet are a testament to that fact. Then I moved onto FOOD. Lots of moneyon all that organic fancy stuff.
    Then I reigned it in. I live on my own, I’m responsible for myself, and I blew a lot of money on things that I probably shouldn’t have. Now I have a $45/week food budget and i get more than enough of what I need. Once a month or so I’ll splurge on fun items like coconut oil or fancy bars or nut butters but I’m very happy with my minimalist vegan shopping trips!
    BTW – speaking of MINT CHOCOLATE, I just planted actual chocolate mint in my backyard. I had no idea such a thing exists but I just ate some and holy cow. Chocolate-covered mint everythin from now on!!

  21. Katie says:

    Besides things like mortgage and car and BIG things like that…food is definitely my #1 spending priority. It is well worth it to me to splurge on novelties at the grocery store, and cut back on clothes/shoes/beauty products. Running shoes/clothes take a close second though… 😉

  22. Thats so funny that you were to post about this, about a week ago I decided to do a study on the price of foods. I was going to compare different grocery stores, bulk, organic vs. commercial, produce vs. pre-made. I’m so excited to start this adventure!

  23. vegirl says:

    As a homeschooler, my mom has my sis and I manage our own finances (paying for classes, clothes, etc)– she hands us a check at the beginnin of every month and we decide how to use it. We don’t have to buy our own groceries, but if we want to buy a special food that mom and dad won’t buy, we have to get it ourselves. I don’t spend much on clothes (thrift shopping), hardly wear makeup (though I have mineral makeup stashed), so I just pay for exciting activities and food to feed my unfortunate food addictions (like almond butter, tahini, maple sugar, the lists go on and on). Now I’m saving up for a laptop. I work extra jobs that are 14 year old appropriate– babysitting, paper routes and pet sitting.

    Can’t wait for tomorrows post!

    vegirl

  24. can’t wait for fat photos. girls gone wild in bars? what? oh bars… mhmm

  25. Jenny says:

    Our biggest splurge is definitely food, too. That includes ordering appetizers, meal, and dessert when we are on vacation with veg restaurants. We justify it because we eat out here rarely. I’ve started buying things in bulk and from subscribe and save at Amazon, and it has helped a little!

  26. *Andrea* says:

    my biggest splurge is probably starbucks – i just can’t get enough of the grande iced soy lattes. so refreshing! i bought one of those clear personal cups that looks like the regular clear cup with the green straws though to save some money/reduce the waste at least 😉 i also spend a lot on fresh fruit and nut butters and manicures (i get one at least once every 3 weeks, but it’s because i can NOT do it on my own and it’s a necessity in the business world to have pretty nails 😉 ). i save by shopping mostly at tjmaxx, forever21 and marshalls though! my sister (love her) will spend $200 on true religion jeans etc. but i refuse lol.

    plus i say, to each his own! if you work hard and make money you should be able to spend it where you want, and for food especially it makes sense to devote money since it’s an investment in your health! plus shopping organic or local is supportive to the community :)

    love the pic of you with the wildbar! i’ve never tried them though. but i love you in BLUE :) so pretty and a picture of health – beautiful hair, eyes, skin, teeth, nails! love it :)

  27. i dont buy designer anything either… i buy all my clothes.. mostly all like 99% of them from used clothing stores.. i know for certain most of my money is spent on food.. but i will always wait for sales. sometimes i splurge but if i can make it at home then i will. certain things like non-vegetarian items are ALWAYS organic and i dont care if i have to pay twice the price.. otherwise… im not too picky.

  28. Andrea,
    Your comments are ALWAYS so sweet!!
    And I know I’ve told you this a million times, but you SO remind me of my sister lol. She treats herself to manicures, lotsa Starbucks, etc, but ohmigosh does that girl work hard!
    And you’re so right that splurging on organic produce (or locally-made items or items from small companies) helps others, so we can feel good about it :). Not to mention we’ll save money on healthcare in the long run!

  29. Marianne says:

    I guess food is probably where I spend the most money right now, only because I’m back living at home, so I don’t have all the bills I used to have. I do like to buy things that might be more expensive, only because I feel they are of better quality and better nutrition than some other things out there. I definitely shop the sales though – I know who’s flyers come out on what days, and check them all out :)

    As for other areas – I am of the mindset that you always get what you pay for, and that you should buy the best you can afford. I will buy expensive shoes, purses, makeup, etc, but I don’t buy them that often. I’d rather have really good quality items that will last me a long time, rather than continually buy junk.

  30. Oh man I definitely splurge on food too. Nut butters, chocolate bars, bars, organic produce. I’d love to try those Wild Bars, but 5 dollars for a bar may be the limit for me. It does make me happy so I figure it’s money well spent 😉

    I do save money on things like clothes and entertainment stuff like movies and music by borrowing from friends.

  31. Jessica says:

    You and Henry are both beautiful! Ok, well Henry is handsome :)

  32. I definitely spend most my money on groceries. It may be dorky but I love Whole Foods, EarthFare, TJs, local natural marts..etc for the atmosphere but even Kroger’s cool with me. I use to go grocery shopping everytime I was bored and I’m trying reallllllyyy hard to break that. I’m now limiting myself to once, maybe twice a week if I have to. There’s just so many cool organics/naturals and I want to try everything!! nomnomnom

  33. shesarunner says:

    The thing that I spend the most money on is my rent, but I guess that isn’t really a vice! It certainly limits how much I can spend on other stuff though…I used to spend money on expensive jeans and clothes but haven’t gotten anything new in a really long time. Now any extra money goes towards organic produce and nut butters…and I admit that I still splurge on manicures. I could really use idea for eating healthy on a budget! I’m so bad with money…

  34. caronae says:

    The Henry Dollars are oh-so-cute! I would use them. :)

    I am exactly like you; while I splurge on nut butters and organic produce and generally nicer products like kashi, I save on things like clothes, accessories, beauty products (I own almost none!), and evenings out. I never go to bars or clubs and only nice restaurants if someone else is paying. So I think I’ve earned my nice food. :)

  35. Sydney says:

    Haha this is how my sister justifies how much she spends on clothes… she argues that I spend too much on food! :)

    1. Sydney,
      Haha my sister says the exact same thing!

  36. I spend way too much on little packages of food, I would save a lot by buying more in bulk.

  37. aimee says:

    nut butters: i get ’em in the bulk aisle at new seasons, so i’m betting whole foods, etc., has them there as well y’all – wayyyy cheaper than in the jar plus reusable packaging :)

    my favorite vices? rice dream pomegranate chip ice cream. chocolate biscotti hemp milk ice cream. (notice a pattern…?). but mostly? a good cocktail with a good friend. i don’t have a car (bike commuter), don’t have cable, don’t spend money on things like perfume or handbags or $200 shoes. put good food in your body and get good things in return. spend money at winco on garbage, you’ll pay for it later.

    ps – only thing about those yummy bars? nonrecyclable packaging :(

    1. Aimee,
      That’s another good thing about homemade bars. I definitely recycle the wrappers/packages 3 or 4 times! :)

  38. maxinthegym says:

    I tried making your PMS chocolate butter and it was amayyyyyze! I put it on my pancakes :)

  39. I wish I would budget my groceries! 😀

  40. Damjana says:

    I don’t have any particular area to spend much money but in the end it always adds up! Some for rent, some for food, clothes, shoes, travels. I make my own nut butters, bread (when I have the oven available), jam.. I never buy organic products, I get some from home, but I don’t like store-bought vegetables and fruits – tasteless.

  41. Lindsey says:

    Definitely, food takes up the bulk of my money. I just love good quality, good-tasting, and unique foods. Because I truly believe that diet effects everything that goes on in your body, I couldn’t just sit back and stuff my body full of garbage (if I really want something a little more processed, I’ll eat it, but a treat doesn’t cause the downfall of my health, either).
    I also used to spend a lot of money on make-up and beauty products, but then came a point where the amount that I had was overwhelming and taking over my life. So I am selective about those purchases now.
    I have never bought a crazy amount of clothes or accessories, but I do enjoy those things. I like to re-work all of my clothing, and I have plenty of vintage jewelry from my mother, plus I make my own.
    Like you, I do my own nails & those sorts of “extra” things. I went to cosmetology school, and I have pro tools and training, so it would truly be like flushing money down the toilet for me!

  42. Lorin says:

    Hi, I was the one that was aking if you could use vegetable oil. No, you can’t. I tried it last night and it was super bitter

  43. Aww Lorin, I’m so sorry it didn’t work out :(. I guess coconut oil is just sweeter to begin with.

  44. Ed says:

    Oh my god, you’re BEAUTIFUL!!!