Save Money on Food…Get in the Kitchen and Get Cooking!
One of the top recommendations for saving food dollars is to prepare it yourself. As a dietitian and a mother of four children, preparing food at home has been essential…for saving money and for healthy eating. This doesn’t mean we never eat out or buy convenience foods, but when we do some or all of the food preparation at home, we are putting money back in our pocket.
Host a Super Bowl party for 12 for $20
Last week I challenged myself to come up with a Super Bowl party menu for 12 people that would cost $20 or less (not counting alcohol). I wanted a menu that I could serve to my friends, and one that didn’t take my whole Sunday to prepare.
Make Valentine’s Day special…and affordable
I find Valentine’s Day a welcome break between the holidays and spring. However, everything connected with the holiday seems to cost money—cards, flowers, a special dinner out…
Amazing Chocolate Fudge
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so (I think) I deserve chocolate! But, chocolate is expensive when it comes to my calorie and money budgets. A co-worker has a recipe for fudge made with pinto beans that should be less expensive than commercial chocolates. Although it won’t be so healthy I can eat all I want, it will be less un-healthy than what I might otherwise buy. The fudge is called Amazing Chocolate Fudge.
Is fruit really too expensive?
On a recent shopping trip, I started thinking about the cost of produce—bananas to be specific. It seems their cost has really skyrocketed over the past few years. I’m probably dating myself by admitting that I remember when I could buy bananas for 25 cents a pound! On this shopping trip to a big box store, the cost was 64 cents a pound. Well, it’s no wonder families are tempted to buy snack food to satisfy their hungry members instead of produce. So, being a home economist, I decided to do a comparison. I bought 5 bananas that weighed 1.71 pounds; the cost was $1.09. That meant that each banana cost between 20 and 21 cents each.
Vending Machines Eat Money
When I go by a vending machine, it is tempting to stop for a snack. But, just like everything, prices have gone up. If I buy a $.75 item every day, it adds up to $3.75 per week and $195.00 in a year. I can think of lots of things to do with $195.00—like getting several massages, or taking my family out for a special treat.
Am I spending too much at the grocery store?
Last fall my sister asked me how much I thought she should be spending on groceries (it turns out her husband thought she was spending too much).
Spend Smart with SafeFood©
We all know there is a cost to buying food, but that cost can be magnified if the safety of products is not considered. Products past their expiration dates or damaged items may have deep discounts. For some types of foods that can mean good savings. But, for other types, over aged or damaged foods could put you at risk for a foodborne illness—and that will cost you, not just in physical pain but also lost work time and reduced productivity. So, think about what foods on sale are a good deal in the long run—to your health.
Am I spending too much on groceries? Part II
As I mentioned earlier, my sister asked me if she was spending too much at the grocery store, and I offered to take a look at her grocery receipts.
Am I spending too much on groceries? Part III
As I looked at my sister’s grocery receipts, I noticed she bought lots of fresh, canned, and frozen fruits and vegetables, which is great! There are not many prepackaged meals or convenience items—also a plus. The meat purchased was quite economical with the exception of chicken strips. They are generally not a smart buy in terms of nutrition and cost.
How to tell when food has gone bad
One way to save money is to not throw food in the garbage. Adjusted to our 2008 economy, an average family of four tosses out $1,039 annually, regardless of income, ethnicity, education, and other socio-economic factors.
Could you make it on $42 a week?
Last March an Ames couple challenged themselves to eat on $42 a week. That’s about $1 per meal each, less than what they would receive on USDA’s SNAP Thrifty Food Plan. (SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. The Thrifty Food Plan is the basis for food stamp allotments.)