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Mini Vacation Grocery Haul + Sugar Free January Update

Here’s a Mini Vacation Grocery Haul for y’all from our trip to Florida!

Mini. Vacation Grocery HaulAs you know if you read my Life Lately post (or if you follow my InstaStories), we took a vacation to Florida in January! It was a wonderful, refreshing time to reset and prepare ourselves for the last leg of winter. Though I will say that it was hard coming back to the bitterly cold weather.

Before we left for Florida, I had already determined that I wanted to do a bit of grocery shopping so that we wouldn’t have to eat out for every single meal. Call me weird, but I prefer home cooking to most restaurants. Choosing an Airbnb that had a full kitchen was a priority for me.

So I made a meal plan and wrote out a grocery list that I brought on the plane. Grocery lists are one of those things that are hugely important to me: if I were to lose or forget it, I would have a ton of mental work to do all over again.

After discussing the meal plan with Reuben before we went to the grocery store, we decided to drop a couple of the meals I had planned so we wouldn’t have a lot of leftover food that we would have to either leave behind or throw out. If I had it to do over, I would go ahead and buy the extra food. We had to eat out a lot the last few days, and it just didn’t make me feel great.

Anyway, on to the vacation grocery haul!


Mini Vacation Grocery Haul

The night we flew into Florida, we made a pit stop at a Walmart to buy a few groceries for breakfast. We got a dozen Vital Farms eggs, some butter (It was pretty cool to find President butter at Walmart. We also got Plugra European style butter, and it was awful!), some natural bacon, and a grapefruit.

The next day, we did a little more extensive shopping at the Sprouts in Sarasota. It was my first time shopping at a Sprouts!


Mini. Vacation Grocery HaulFruits and Vegetables:

We got frozen strawberries (they were quite expensive!), broccolini (I’ve never seen organic broccolini before), parsley, oyster mushrooms, baby bella mushrooms, a tomato, a sweet potato and regular potato, carrots, red bell pepper, and a lemon. All of it was organic except for the oyster mushrooms.


Mini Vacation Grocery HaulStarches:

Boulder Canyon coconut oil potato chips (I’d never seen these before), legit sourdough bread (it was actually risen using a sourdough starter, not yeast), a bit of white rice, and capellini pasta (basically angel hair).


Mini Vacation Grocery Haul

Meat and Dairy:

Organic Valley Grassmilk, Organic Valley heavy cream, Noosa lemon yogurt (for Reuben), organic chicken breasts, wild-caught lobster tails, sugar-free bacon, Rumiano organic gouda cheese, and Jones “all-natural” pork sausage. This wasn’t completely sugar free, so I only had half of a patty.

Mini. Vacation Grocery Haul

There were also star fruit and grapefruit trees in the backyard of the house we were staying at, and our hostess told us to pick and eat the fruit if we wanted. Of course we wanted!


Mini Vacation Grocery Haul

It was awesome to be able to eat fruit that was fresh from the tree.


Mini Vacation Grocery Haul

Here are some of the meals we made from these groceries:


I cooked up the sweet potato, regular potato, and some of the broccolini just like I do for my Roasted Veggie Bowls. We had that along with some leftover mushrooms, bacon, fried eggs, and fruit for a couple of meals. We also had smoothies made with the frozen strawberries, cream, and milk. And a scramble with the baby bella mushrooms, sausage, and fruit.

We didn’t eat any breakfasts out!

Mini Vacation Grocery HaulLunches:

We made sandwiches for a couple of lunches with the sourdough bread, butter, leftover chicken, tomato, and gouda cheese. We also had a few lunches of supper leftovers and eating out.

Mini Vacation Grocery HaulSuppers:

The second night in Florida we had chicken rice bowls with stir-fried carrots, peppers, and mushrooms. And of course I had to have a slab of butter along with it.

Mini Vacation Grocery HaulWe also had a really awesome meal of lobster with pasta in a creamy lemon sauce with garlic broccolini. Yum!

The other two meals that I had originally planned were my One-Pot Sausage and Veggie Rice and another seafood pasta meal. That would have been so much better than eating out! Waaah!


Mini Vacation Grocery HaulAlso, since the water where we were staying tasted like chlorine, I took to buying La Croix Water whenever I saw it in a coffee shop or cafe. I should have gone ahead and bought the 8-pack at Sprouts, but I thought I wouldn’t be able to drink it all. Ha!

Sugar Free January Update

Because I wasn’t able to stick to my Sugar Free January plan as closely during vacation (I’ll talk more about the details in my final recap post), I’ve decided to extend my SFJ for one more week. Let me know if there’s anything in particular that you’d like me to talk about in my recap post!

Also, would you be interested in a general post about our trip to Florida (with photos of beaches, palm trees, and me in a bathing suit), or only ones that are food-related? 


Jennifer W

Monday 12th of February 2018

I live in Florida, and it feels like cold weather is gone for us. I took a trip to North Carolina at Christmas and absolutely loved the cold weather and being able to use a fire place. I did not like driving in snow or ice, that is horrible!

Would love to hear more about your vacation to Sarasota. I live in Orlando, but I really like the Sarasota area too!

Hope the trip down here helps you get through the rest of winter. Here's hoping Spring comes early for you :-)

Erica Kastner

Monday 12th of February 2018

That sounds like a fun trip! I think I would have to do something like that if I lived in a state that didn't get snow. It's just fun to experience new weather/scenery, isn't it? I feel kind of bad because I SHOULD be confident driving in snow/ice (having lived in northern MN my whole life), but I much prefer to have Reuben drive in bad weather. Haha!

I'll have to write up a post about our experience!

Thank you for the spring wishes - I'm going to be over the moon happy when I see the first 40s in the forecast. Ha!

Linda J

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

I know you live in Northern MN, as I do also. What town has your closest Whole Foods? I am not aware of any in my area.....other than traveling to the Mpls St. Paul area.

Erica Kastner

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

Sadly, Maple Grove or Duluth are the closest ones for us. Or at least those are the towns we visit that have them. :)


Tuesday 6th of February 2018

As a fellow Minnesotan who is tired of dreary cold weather, I would love to hear about your trip - palm trees and beaches sound lovely.

Also, how did the prices of your grocery haul compare to MN prices? Did you find anything surprisingly less/more expensive?

Erica Kastner

Tuesday 6th of February 2018

Heehee - I know what you mean! palm trees are a sight for sore eyes this time of year. ;)

It seemed to me that the fresh produce was more affordable, but the frozen strawberries were actually a bit more expensive. At Walmart the Kerrygold butter was the same price (and the President butter was cheaper at Walmart than the Wholefoods we usually shop at). Maybe it was just Sprouts vs Wholefoods, but the sourdough bread seemed to be a great price. So some things were more expensive, and others were a better price.


Monday 5th of February 2018

I’d like to see and hear how you chose your Airbnb. I think that is the perfect accommodations when you are traveling but so far am afraid to trust the system. How do you choose a reputable/right one? Vacation highlights would be fun too.

Erica Kastner

Tuesday 6th of February 2018

Great idea, Jill! I might have to go into the details in a post. I've stayed in 2 Airbnbs so far, and have had pretty good experiences. I think the biggest things is to ask your host questions, and choose a place that has good reviews already. Both times there were a couple of unexpected things, but altogether I would use Airbnb again. It's a lot nicer than staying in a hotel, IMO.


Saturday 3rd of February 2018

I had quick question. I've subscribed, got the snack guide, cleared out my files and got rid of it, so then I tried to unsubscribe and resubscribe to get it again, but I haven't received it, so is there a way you could send it to me? Thanks.

Erica Kastner

Saturday 3rd of February 2018

Sure thing! Just shoot me an email at: [email protected] and I'll send you the link. :)

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