Whole Foods Market Virginia Beach Sneak Peak (Opens 10/24)

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Last night I was treated to a sneak peak of the new Whole Foods store in Virginia Beach opening at 10am on Wednesday, October 24th.

Whole Foods Market is the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first national certified organic grocer.  I have to say, the store is absolutely gorgeous! One walk through this impressive mecca of food and I’m hooked!

First Glance

I was awestruck pulling up in front of the massive 40,000 square-foot building.  The wide, covered front porch is filled with overflowing boxes of multi-colored pumpkins, gourds and squash.  You feel like you’re walking into Fall as you step into the much anticipated Virginia Beach location.  Just inside the front doors is a dramatic display of blooming orchids.  These local beauties almost made me want to try to (not kill) another orchid, almost :)

Product Department

Beyond the orchids are gracefully displayed towers of fruit and vegetables perched on top of salvaged and refurbished wood. The store boasts 200 organic produce varieties and over 60 local produce (from within a 100 mile radius!)  In addition to the fresh produce, you can purchase pre-cut organic fruit which is definitely a first for our area.  Make sure to take a moment to talk with one of the healthy eating specialists to get your healthy eating habits on the right track.

Cooking Department

Just past produce is one of my favorite locations in the store – the Cooking Department featuring Luke, the Whole Foods Cooking Coach.  I’ve already decided he is going to be my new BFF (he just doesn’t know it yet!)  If you find a product in the store you’d like to try or notice a great sale but aren’t sure how to prepare it, Luke has you covered with recipes and tips to make your meal a success.  You can even send an email asking for cooking advice!  See, I’m not the only one who wants to be buddy-buddy with Luke!

Whole Foods wants you to have fun cooking, so they offer 315 scoop your own items.  Want to try curry in a dish, but don’t need an entire bottle?  Save money and purchase just the amount for your recipe.  It’s brilliant!

Seafood Department

The seafood department is up next on the tour. Fresh seafood will be delivered 6 days per week (7 days for the first few weeks) including local fish and shellfish.  The seafood department displays 3 color codes for their fish.  Red (source of wild depleted), yellow (wild source moderate) and green (plentiful in the wild).  Whole Foods Market doesn’t sell fish in the red category.

All farm facilities are verified and are MSC certified to know where the fish are coming from.  My husband was thrilled upon learning Whole Foods takes such pride in knowing the safety of their seafood.  I am no longer allowed to shop elsewhere for seafood, seriously.

Want to get more out of your seafood purchase?  Have your purchase cut, cleaned, steamed and marinaded complementary before leaving the store.  You can also get recipes on how to prepare your purchase at home.

Meat Department

The meat department is a carnivores dream come true!  There is a 5-step Animal Welfare rating.  I was fascinated by the attention to detail and treatment of the animals.  My husband desperately wants to try steaks from the Dry Aged Beef Case.  I plan to cook him a special birthday meal next month (and hopefully not ruin the expensive steak in the process!)  The first batch of meat will be ready on opening day.  Arrive early – this is sure to sell out quickly.

Need a turkey for your Thanksgiving meal?  Whole Foods has selection of gobblers to suite your needs at reasonable prices.  Orders can be placed starting opening day or online.  Please note that supplies are limited.

Cheese, Wine and Beer Department

I am a wannabe cheese and wine connoisseur.  Whole Foods Market has a huge selection for all tastes and budgets:

  • Over 300 types of cheese from all over the world.  Some local items made specifically for the VA Beach location
  • Over 30 wines from Virginia
  • Over 400 beers to tempt any beer lover

Bakery Department

Oh my!  I gained 5lbs just drooling over these treats!  Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, tarts and more will tempt your taste buds.  Special dietary products are also offered such as Kosher and Gluten-free.  Need a cake for a special occasion?  Let Whole Foods Market bakery create a cake for your big day.

Whole Body Mini Store

The health and beauty section offers soaps, vitamins, and supplements with no artificial coloring, chemicals, or animal testing. You can even make you’re won bath salts and scrub!

Join the 365 Vitamin Club to earn savings on future vitamin purchases.

Prepared Food Department

The chefs in the Prepared Food Department have a passion for food.  You can find 4 bars (soup, chef inspired, seasonal salads and an organic salad bar.) Visit the deli which includes a made-to-order sandwich bar, fully cooked prepared dishes, sushi or Surfside Eats for grass-feed beef burgers, hotdogs and wood fire pizza.

The prices appeared to be similar to others stores that offer a lower quality of food.  Pizza by the slice is $3.49 which is comparable to other retailers.

The Porch

The Porch includes an organic coffee bar and the Pub which focuses on local, craft and seasonal beers.  The Pub includes 7 local beers and 1 local cider on draft.

Draft pints and glasses of wine are sold for $3-$5.  Stop in during Happy Hour on Monday-Friday from 4-7pm to save $1 on your pint or wine glass! The porch includes 47 seats in addition to 37 seats in the outdoor cafe and 40 seats in the cafe.  Save time to grab a beverage and a snack during your Whole Foods Market visit!

All this and I didn’t even stroll the aisles of the canned, jarred and boxed foods!

One of the Whole Foods Market values that surprised my husband and I is the dedication to the environment and fair treatment of animals and people in developing countries.  Purchase a Whole Trade brand product and 1% of the sale is donated to women in need.  Donations accepted during the sneak peak tours are being sent locally to New Earth Farm.  Not only are products from New Earth Farm sold in Whole Foods, but the farm teaches kids where their food comes from.  I plan to look into this program for my children.

It’s also interesting to note that only 10% of Whole Foods Market waste is sent to the landfill – 10 percent! Waste is turned to compost in-house as well as recyclable materials are sent back to the main store in the empty delivery trucks.  A daily donation is made to the food bank, so others can benefit from a slightly bruised peach or loaf of bread.  Bring in your #5 plastic (think yogurt cups) and wine corks to be recycled by Whole Foods Markets free of charge.

In addition to all the delightful culinary experiences, the store offers free Wi-Fi and grocery carrying assistance as well as knowledge team members and expects in each department.  Not to mention an electric car charger and fresh ice maker in the parking lot!

There are a ton of promotions during opening week.  Tomorrow will include a Seafood Circus in the parking lot!  See more Whole Foods Opening Week Events to find the best day for your visit.  I doubt you’ll be disappointed!

I didn’t even share with you all I learned on my tour last night.  Look for a post tomorrow on Ways to Save Money at Whole Foods Market.

Have you shopped at a Whole Foods Market?  Share with us your thoughts.

 

 

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Java Delight UnCups Review (Available at Farm Fresh)

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If you have a Keurig, you know how expensive K-Cups can be.  Not only do K-cups stretch the budget, they are adding more waste to landfills.  Now I admit, I love my Keurig.  It just makes my life easy especially since my husband and I are up at different times drinking coffee.

SUPERVALU has been busy developing a private label Java Delight UnCups™. They wanted to bring customers single-use coffee pods, but make them more environmentally-friendly. Java Delight UnCups are made with 30 percent less material by weight than leading national brand pods. Even the cardboard is 100% recyclable, and the inner packaging bag is made with corn resin.

You can definitely see a difference in the Uncups vs the standard K-cups just by opening the box.  First, the UnCups are in a bag instead of just a box.   In order to maintain freshness, it is suggested that you don’t put UnCups on a carousal. The mesh in the UnCup is susceptible to outside aromas.  My husband  believes that the mesh allows for a stronger cup of coffee than standard K-cups.  This is a HUGE bonus for him.  We both enjoyed the taste of the Special Roast and Donut Shop.  I honestly believe the flavor is just as good as (if not better than) leading K-Cups manufactures.

You can choose from six varieties of the new UnCup including: French Roast, Decaf French Roast, Breakfast Blend, Donut Shop, 100% Colombia Supremo, and Special Blend.   Java Delight is available at all SUPERVALU banners, including Albertsons, Cub Foods, Jewel-Osco, Shop ‘n Save, Hornbacher’s, ACME, Shaw’s, SHOPPERS, Farm Fresh, as well as other retailers across the country.

Disclosure:  I received 3 boxes of Java Delight UnCups to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.

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Luvs “First Kid/Second Kid” Promotion: To Cover or Not to Cover?

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To cover or not to cover?  That’s the question on everyone’s mind  in the world of  breastfeeding moms.  Many new moms don’t feel completely confident enough to nurse their babies in public without covers.  As time passes, and that cover becomes a tangled up mess for the 400th time, most moms will toss it in the diaper bag never to be seen again!

Breastfeeding in public is initially not the most comfortable thing for a first time mom.  The great news is, as time passes and you get better at the coordination of nursing your little one, the more confident you become.

Luvs has started a series of “First kid, Second kid” stories and scenarios that show how confidence in parenting increases with the addition of new kids.  These scenarios also highlight how moms handle situations between their first and second child completely different once they have the growing confidence that motherhood will bring you.

I personally love this video because I can totally relate with trying to cover up and rush off to a different room, to being wide out in the open, nursing in a crowd,  and not giving it a second thought!  This luvs initiative is a great way to show parents that with confidence in parenting things become much easier.

Disclosure: Luvs diapers were received as a thank you for participating in the “First Kid/Second Kid” promotion. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.

Post by: TCC helper, Courtney

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Filled Backpack Donation (Help Kids Start the School Year Right)

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Gutzy Gear challenged me to fill a backpack with school supplies for $25.  I feel we all need to work together to help children start off the school year right, so I jumped at the challenge Gutzy Gear proposed.  Couponers know how to find deals and purchase items at rock bottom prices.  Using that knowledge to benefit others, in addition to our family, is a wonderful gift and privilege.

Heading back-to-school can be a hard time for children especially those who can’t afford the appropriate supplies.  I was able fill 2 backpacks for children in need plus donate extra supplies to my children’s school.

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Yoplait Trix Yogurt: Healthy Snacking

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Yogurt is a staple in my house.  It’s one of those foods that we always have on hand.  Breakfast, snack or dessert;  yogurt is a healthy treat for the entire family.

Keeping kids healthy requires an active lifestyle and good nutrition.  After playing outside, riding bikes, and throwing the football, my kids know the only snack they can have is a healthy one  I don’t even have to tell them that yogurt is on the “good for you” list.  They just grab a container from the fridge and chow down.  Luckily, Yoplait Trix Yogurt makes eating yogurt fun and nutritious.

The cute rabbit and fun colors grab kids attention.  While kid friendly flavors leave my kids asking for more.  Our favorite flavor is Cotton Candy.  “When you mix it, the colors make a cool swirl,” is my 8-years response to why he likes Yoplait Trix Yogurt.  LuLu (5) puts it more simply,  “It’s Yummy!”  I think that just about sums it up!

As a Mom, I like that Yoplait Trix Yogurt contains no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.  Trix Yogurt is also gluten free and is made with active yogurt cultures.  Kids might like the taste, but Mom likes the healthy benefits of snacking on lowfat Yoplait Trix Yogurt!

“Trix are for kids” but unwanted additives definitely are not. That’s why Yoplait® Trix® Yogurt comes in silly, swirly flavors kids love, without high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or sweeteners. It’s still the same bright, fun, colorful snack, only better. You’ll love that they love it!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by General Mills via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of General Mills

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ET’s Hanging with the Stars Sweepstakes (Ends 05/24/12)

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ET is running fantastic sweepstakes in conjunction with CBS – ET’s Hanging with the Stars Sweepstakes.

The GRAND PRIZE is a trip to Los Angeles, California for the ET’s Exclusive Emmy® Gala Party on Sunday, September 23, 2012!! How awesome would that be?!

The winner and winner’s guest will walk the red carpet at the party and have two seats in the VIP section during the party’s music performance. The value of the Grand Prize is $2200! There are definitely some stars I would love to rub elbows with!

In addition to the Grand Prize, there will be eight Weekly Prizes awarded. A 10 to15 minute private, off-air call with one of Entertainment Tonight’s show talent: Mark Steines or Nancy O’Dell. There will also be twenty Daily Prizes. Each daily prize winner will get at least his or her first name and last initial on Entertainment Tonight in an on-air graphic within the ticker, bumper or end credit.

I entered and it took me all of 5 seconds to submit my information.   Simply enter your first and last name, birthdate and email address and you’ll be registered to win!

Eligibility. Grand Prize winner and traveling companion must be 21 years of age or older and legal residents of one of the fifty (50) United States of America or the District of Columbia.

All Weekly Prize and Daily Prize entrants and winners must be 18 years of age or older and legal residents of one of the fifty (50) United States of America or the District of Columbia

Hurry!  The sweepstakes ends 4:59 PM PDT on Thursday, May 24th, 2012.

Head over to ET Online to enter ET’s Hanging with the Stars Sweepstakes!

Disclosure:  I was compensated or my time writing this post.  All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.

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Love The Moment in Virginia Beach – The City I Was Raised

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To me, Virginia Beach is home.  I went to high school in Virginia Beach, met my husband in Virginia Beach & fell in love in Virginia Beach. I have lived in or around the city my entire life.

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Museum, Ocean Breeze Waterpark & the Virginia Beach Oceanfront are just a few of my past haunts in this diverse city.  All these years later, I’m making memories with my own children in Virginia Beach.  Sure, things have changed and expanded but it’s still the city I love and remember.

One of my favorite areas (and not as well known) is Shore Drive.  The Bay is less hectic and offers a place for locals and vacationers alike to relax and enjoy the warm summer waters. The restaurants are top notch & have the atmosphere of a small beach community.

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Couponing for Good! Service Project: Ronald McDonald House Donation

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The Couponing for Good! Service Project for Champions for Kids utilizing All You Magazine was a huge success!  I participated in this service project to show how couponers can make a difference in the lives of others.   I believe we have succeeded on the mission!  I have read countless posts from other bloggers participating in the project.  It’s amazing how much has been donated to charities all across the US.

My Walmart shopping trip supplied items to a local Ronald McDonald House.  I chose to donate items to Ronald McDonald House because they provide a “Home Away From Home” for families who want to be near their child receiving medical treatment at local hospitals.   My local Ronald McDonald House is located just a short walk from CHKD in Norfolk. As a parent,  I can only image how beneficial it would be to have a place to stay right next to the hospital that my child was receiving treatment.

I had intended to take my daughter along when I dropped off the donation items, but I ended up going while she was in school.  I was impressed with how homey the inside of Ronald McDonald House actually is.  Driving past, I had only seen the outside of the building with the iconic Ronald McDonald figure on the front porch. Unfortunately with my hands were full of bags,  I forgot to take a picture for this post.

Regardless of the charity you choose to make a donation to;  you can help make a difference!

Make sure to view photos of my #AllYouCFK shopping trip on my Couponing for Good Google Plus Album.

More information about Champions for Kids can be found at:

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others. #CBias

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What Propels You? Saving & Couponing for Family Travel

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I was recently asked the question, ‘What Propels You?’  What are my personal goals?  What inspires and ultimately propels me to achieve those goals?

The answer to that question has changed somewhat over the past couple of years. However, the basis for the answer has remained the same.

My family propels me.

All the decisions I have made since my first child was born over seven years ago was to live well within our means while being a stay-at-home mom.  I want to travel and enjoy life with my family all while saving and planning for our future.

Initially, my goals were to stay at home, live within a budget and get out of debt.  After we learned how to live on a budget through using coupons, spending cash & prioritizing our purchases;  we found that travel was a bit out of our reach.  We went camping, took afternoon bike rides & once took the kids skiing for a night.  We really couldn’t afford the kind of family vacation my husband & I remember taking as children.  We saved, worked hard, and eventually were able to get out of debt.

Now, we are finally in the position to travel as a family.  I still believe in afternoon outings that are free and cheap, but the idea of traveling is no longer a distant dream.

We finally took our first family vacation to Disney World last year.  It was an amazing experience for my entire family.  Not only did we get to FINALLY take a family vacation, we came home without a balance on the credit card!

I’m not expecting to always take big, elaborate vacations.  We just want the ability to head to the beach for a weekend or up to Washington, DC for a night.  It requires saving and planning, but I want those memories for my children.

One thing my husband and I both remember fondly is the family trips we took growing up.  The world is a huge place.  I want my children to experience life in different areas of the country.  I want quality time away from the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life.

My family inspires and ultimately propels me to work hard saving and reducing our spending, so we can afford the extra travel and family time that would otherwise be out of reach.

What Propels You?

Propel Zero – in bottles and convenient powder packs – gives you vitamins C & E, B vitamins, and antioxidants. So you can replenish, energize, and protect with zero calories and no added color.

It’s what keeps you going  – so you can do what moves you. Join the conversation about What Propels You on Facebook now.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Propel Zero via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Propel Zero

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Couponing for Good Champions for Kids All You Magazine Campaign

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I’ve been busy preparing for my Couponing for Good! Service Project for Champions for Kids utilizing All You Magazine.  I headed to Walmart (the only retail location that sells All You Magazine) and shopped for items to donate to my local Ronald McDonald House.

I’m excited to participate in this service project to help show how couponers can make a difference.  It’s extremely important for coupon users to give back to the community. Couponers are uniquely qualified to donate the maximum amount of goods for the least amount of money.  Typically, my donations are made to the Food Bank and  SPCA. I regularly purchase items free or almost free after sales and coupons.  I shop over multiple weeks then make large donations after a few months.  I am able to make a larger impact using coupons than I could ever imagine had I paid full price.

I prepared for my Walmart shopping trip by checking all the available Walmart coupon matchups.  I first looked at the coupon matchups for the February and March All You Magazines then the most recent Walmart coupon matchups to determine which products fit with the Wish List from Ronald McDonald House.  After checking the coupon matchups, I put together a shopping list and clipped all my coupons.  My coupons were obtained from recent issues of the All You Magazine, coupon inserts from the newspaper and printable coupons.

The key aspect to saving with coupons is being prepared.  After preparing for my Couponing for Good! shopping trip.  I took the following items to the store with me:

  1. Shopping List
  2. Clipped Coupons
  3. Coupon Binder (in case I found other deals)
  4. Reusable Shopping Bags
  5. Cell Phone for pictures

During my shopping trip, I purchased a few frozen items, butter, snacks, cleaning supplies and laundry supplies as requested in the Ronald McDonald House Wish List.  I also purchased a can of cranberry sauce and construction paper for myself.  Additionally, I looked at storage containers but didn’t make a purchase.

Some of my purchases were over my goal price; however, I feel that I saved a respectable amount of money using coupons to donate requested items to Ronald McDonald House.  I hope others will see how a little bit of preparation, an All You Magazine, and other coupons can make a difference in someones life.

Make sure to view photos of my #AllYouCFK shopping trip on my Couponing for Good Google Plus Album.

More information about Champions for Kids can be found at:

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others. #CBias

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