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red and brown potatoes

Cut your Fresh Produce Bill in Half

Raise your hand if you enjoy spending more money on food than you need to. Anyone? If I could see through your screen, my guess is your hand would be down. Most people like the idea of eating well while also keeping an eye on their grocery budget. With increasing food prices, that feels more difficult to do and can feel out of our control. However, there are steps you can take to put you on the path toward saving money on food.

kitchen spices

Stock Multi-Purpose Spices

Are you tired of the same old salt-and-pepper flavor combo for your meals? If you want to spice things up a notch, stocking your kitchen with a few basic, versatile spices can save you money and precious pantry space.

clean fridge

A Fresh and Clean Refrigerator

We have reached the last task of our January kitchen refresh! Cleaning out the fridge likely doesn’t fall high on anyone’s priority list; however, it always feels good to get it done.

oven cleaning

Smelly Drains and Grimy Oven?

As we continue our January refresh of our kitchens, we have two more tasks to complete.  These are cleaning our sinks and oven. Neither of these are tasks that we look forward to doing, but after they are done our kitchen will be ready to tackle anything that the winter months bring us!

food waste

Foiling Food Waste Frustrations

There are a few things that frustrate me in the kitchen. Want to hear about them?

kitchen spices

A Spicy New Year

We are refreshing our kitchens here at Spend Smart. Eat Smart. in the new year. Last week Jody shared how she is working on getting back in the groove of meal prepping by making some meals ahead to pack for her lunch. She highlighted our Vegetarian Chili recipe and also shared some great tips on managing our canned food at home to make sure we use the oldest items first. The same principle applies to our spices and the start of a new year is a great time to take a look at what you have.

baking Christmas cookies

Delicious Gifts!

The holiday season is in full gear now! I enjoy gift-giving and thinking of things that the people in my life will enjoy and use. I love cooking for other people and I think it is a great way to show your love and care for them. Food gifts can be an easy and inexpensive way to acknowledge someone at the holidays. Here are some that I enjoy!

slow cooker pork roast recipe

Slow Cooker Pork Roast

It’s finally my favorite time of year for cooking! In my opinion, you just can’t beat cooking fall dishes. Our recipe of the month is Slow Cooker Pork Roast and it is a winner!

nuts, tomatoes, an apple, and other various snacks in small bowls

Christine’s Snacking Challenges

Confession time, friends! I sat down to write a blog about my habits around snacking and one thing keeps coming to mind. My habits are not great in this area! Don’t get me wrong, I eat snacks and I love snacks. Some of my favorites are string cheese, crackers, and nuts. I am just not as strategic about them as I could be. I tend to only think about snacks when I am home and have access to them. That is often after dinner when I don’t really need much more energy for the day. I suppose this is coming at a good time as it is forcing me to think about what I could do better.

bags of frozen vegetables in freezer

Dinnertime Shortcuts

All of a sudden it is time to go back to school and routines are changing for many of us. Schedules get a little busier and we have less time to cook. The temptation to grab takeout is definitely there, but we can save money and make more nutritious choices by using some shortcuts at home instead.

grocery store aisle

Meals from a Dollar Store

In my home state of Iowa, there are a lot of us who have a significant drive to get to a big grocery store with a wide variety of food. Trips into larger cities take time and money for transportation. In small towns and certain areas of larger cities, we are more likely to find a dollar store that sells a variety of items including some food. Most dollar stores have shelf-stable foods and some have refrigerated or frozen foods too. I gave some thought to what I could make with the shelf-stable foods my local dollar store carries. Here are some of the products that stood out to me as particularly useful and how I would make them into a meal.

various produce

Peppers on Parade!

It has been a fun month reading all about our favorite summer produce items. It is a real joy to have summer produce from the grocery store, farmers market or even your own back porch. I enjoy nearly all summer produce, but I would say peppers rise to the top for me. They are delicious raw and cooked and they can be sweet or spicy.