Nutrition on a Dime: 10 Simple Ways to Save

by on April 9th, 2010 at 7:00 am

Budgets are very hard to abide by, especially when food is involved. I always have a hard time eating healthier when I am watching my pennies.

This year, I am keeping staple foods in my house and creating meal plans for my work week. Here are 10 ways I intend on saving a dime.

  1. Be bulky- when buying boxed, processed food, buy in bulk. Pick up bulk staple foods such as beans, pastas or rice that can last for a long time and can work with almost anything. Note: while buying in bulk makes sense for processed food, avoid buying in bulk for non-perishable items such as fresh fruits and veggies because the produce may spoil.
  2. Cut the clutter- storage of non-perishable foods can be daunting; reduce waste by buying glass containers. At first it may seem expensive, but remember that glass will last you a lot longer than a plastic- so no more throwing out plastic containers.
  3. Sow your wild oats- plant your own garden and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Planting your own vegetables is really very simple. The easiest and cheapest way to start is to plant some peppers or tomatoes using the seeds from one you just ate.
  4. Say yes to less- did you know that 20% our energy cost is spent on storing and cooking our food? By eating more raw foods, you could be rewarded in energy savings.
  5. Create compost- most of the food you eat can be composted (veggies, eggshells, even tea bags) and then that compost can be used as a fertilizer for your garden. If you want instructions how to make a compost, search the dozens of “how-to’s” online and check out this blog called Compostguy.com, where you can get massive amount of information about creating your own compost.
  6. Call me Ms. Campbell’s- I realized that soup is a great filler food; however, sometimes it can get expensive-especially if you want low sodium, no MSG, and less fat. It is easy and cheap to make your own soup, and it can last a while. Use staple foods you may already have in your cupboard like beans or rice and add some veggies to it. To create a nice chicken soup, I make pasta, add a bouillon cube and peas to the water.
  7. Frozen foods- Cooking in bulk (not buying) may be a lifesaver during the week- on a Sunday I may find myself in the kitchen cooking a variety of things to last me through the work week. Cooking things like soups, stews, casseroles or even cutting vegetables a day ahead allows me to save time and money. Instead of grabbing something at a fast-food restaurant when I am running late I reach in my freezer for some pre-cooked homemade goodies.
  8. Cut-it-out- YES! Cut those coupons- and save, save, save. Also look online for coupon codes for grocery stores; they actually work! I get coupon codes from www.couponmom.com, this is a great place to look-also you can get free samples if you use this website.
  9. Stay in- yeah I know it’s not much fun but dining in saves so much dough (figuratively of course). Make a dinner plan and stick to it- this will stop the urge from “picking something up” on the way home. Also, make a plan to go out at only once a month…this saves your sanity while you are saving your money.
  10. One-dish wonders- I know the whole casserole thing makes my stomach turn too, but I found these great recipes on www.eating well.com that are quick and easy, freeze well and only use one dish!

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2 Responses to “Nutrition on a Dime: 10 Simple Ways to Save”

  1. Idna

    Apr 9th, 2010

    I appreciate all of these ideas, however using seeds from produce purchased in the supermarket is NOT the way to go. Many of these are hybrids and or have been grown in greenhouses. You should go to your local garden center for disease tolerant seeds specifically chosen for your area. They are quite inexpensive when bought in bulk.. you don’t have to buy alot to buy this way! This is safer for the environment as well as will make your growing experience a much better one. Thank you for all of the tips.

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