I hope ya'll picked up some good tips from the Part I: Grocery Shopping and from my post on eating healthy at an affordable price. Today for Part II of saving money in the kitchen, I'm here to talk about eating and living well on a budget. One of the easiest ways to save money, is to use your kitchen! My dear friend (wishful thinking), Carrie, from Sex & The City not only eats out for every meal, but she uses her oven for storage – do not be Carrie Bradshaw in the kitchen! The last time I used an oven for "storage", I was a toddler and melted my brother's Hot Wheels car. Now that I'm an adult, I've discovered that kitchens aren't just for destroying toys and eating spoonfuls of sugar.
EATING & LIVING WELL
Have Quick Meals Ready to Go
|I pack up fruit everyday!|
Saving money is super easy, when you have quick meals or snacks ready to go. There are temptations everywhere (vending machines, cafes, candy dispensers, gas stations, etc) to spend money on quick food; the $.75 cent bag of chips seems like no big deal or even the $5 footlong from Subway doesn't seem to impact the wallet much, but all of these really add up! Find the time at home, whenever it's most convenient to you to put something together. I usually cut up a ton of fruit after grocery shopping, so I have a selection of fruit-filled Tupperware to grab on the go during the week. My no-bake granola energy balls are also great for a quick fix - instead of buying a bag of chips, which leads me to my next point…
Put the Cheeto Down
|Aldi has inexpensive fruit - even berries!|
Like I said $.75 seems like no big deal for a bag of chips, but what if I told you that you can eat produce (fruits/veggies) for approx. $.28? Not only are you saving money, but you're eating way healthier. Chances are you will feel fuller longer too. Therefore…put the Cheeto down ;)
Bake in abundance & eat leftovers
|Leftovers can be awesome.|
Leftovers are the best thing ever – not having to cook every night is awesome, you are not being wasteful and generally recipes are made for multiple servings anyway. If you usually eat lunch on the go, throw your leftovers in a whole wheat tortilla to make a wrap or into small glassware (steer clear of microwaving in plastics). You would be surprised how many things make awesome wraps! Just this past weekend, I made a wrap with boneless pork rib and mozzarella cheese – threw it on the panini maker and voila, a delicious lunch! Not to mention much healthier than those frozen vacuum packed "meals."
Replace soda and juices
|Homemade lemon aid with fresh mint|
Everyone knows soda is not good for you (my weekend indulgence) and you'd be surprised how many "juices" are basically sodas without carbonation (these top 4 have more sugar than a can of Mt. Dew!) They're not cheap either! Instead opt for fruit-infused water, homemade lemon aid (minimal natural sweetener), tea (Whole Foods has an awesome selection) or just filtered, ice cold water!
There ya go folks!