Pretty much everything is cheaper in bulk. Unfortunately, when you buy produce in bulk, it often goes bad before you eat it all.
I frequently buy large amounts of fresh food that’s supposed to keep well—like apples, potatoes, and onions. But, inevitably, I find a few rotten surprises a month or so later.
Lately, I’ve been making a conscious effort to avoid food waste. And thanks to intensive Internet research, I’ve learned ways to help avoid moldy strawberries, wilted lettuce, shriveled onions, and the spoiling of these other common produce items.
One of my best tricks for cutting down on meal costs is to go meat-free. For me, this is easy, because I was raised on a vegetarian diet. (My parents were young and didn’t have much cash, which my dad says is one reason he stopped eating meat.)
However, I know a lot of people cringe at eating vegetarian, thinking it won’t fill them up or taste good. So, I’ve come up with four protein-packed meat alternatives and ideas for what to do with them. These foods not only are inexpensive, but they’re also delicious.
Ramen is the epitome of broke food. And while that’s great if you’re pinching pennies, it’s less good for you in a couple other ways. First, ramen isn’t the most nutritious choice (surprise!). Second, eating ramen over and over gets boring—which could lead to a budget-busting takeout night.
Fortunately, it’s easy to spruce up your noodles. Here are three of my favorite cheap recipes for adding protein (to fill me up nutritiously) and flavor (besides the salty MSG-filled seasoning packet) to my ramen.
I’m ashamed to say, but I haven’t been a great frugal foodie lately.
When it comes to budgeting, being an employed young professional can be more challenging than being a broke student/recent grad. That’s because saving money becomes a self-control issue, rather than a necessity.
As a goal for 2014, I want to put more money money in my bank account, not my belly, by being a better meal planner. If you want to do the same, check out my ideas for making this happen.
Last week, I didn’t have any butter for 3 days. It was a bit pathetic, because I live across the street from 7-Eleven and a block from Whole Foods. Yet, I didn’t feel like braving the elements (or those stores’ inflated prices) to get groceries.
Like squirrels do with acorns at the start of winter, this is the time of year to stock up on essentials.
It’s that time of year—your office is hosting a holiday party, your friends are doing the annual gift exchange, or you’re gearing up to attend that big family reunion. It can be expensive and daunting to pick out gifts for all these people, so save yourself some cash and stress by making homemade treats.
Everyone loves food, and DIY gifting is one of the best ways to stretch your dollar this time of year. Try one or more of these five easy (no baking required!) edible holiday presents.
With the holidays around the corner, your relatives may be nagging you about your wish list. Instead of requesting electronics or gift cards, consider asking for gifts that keep giving: kitchen appliances.
Cooking from scratch saves a lot of money, but it does require more effort. The following six appliances won’t do the work for you, but they can bring down your food budget if you plan your meals carefully, shop smart, and actually use them—instead of letting them collect dust in the pantry.
Back when I first moved off campus, I thought shopping for one was about buying for one, not planning too far ahead, and eating whatever I wanted—especially unnecessary, expensive foods that my parents wouldn’t let me buy when I was a kid. (Looking at you, Lucky Charms.)
When I graduated college and was flat broke and unemployed, I finally educated myself about all the ways I could save—including at the grocery store.
If spring launches BBQs, then fall definitely kicks off potluck season. It’s easy to come up with tasty, easy, and cheap contributions for any fall foodie gathering using fresh produce from the grocery store or a farmer’s market.
Here’s a list of recipes containing autumn harvest items, with pricing estimates to give you an idea of how affordable it can be to make yummy home-cooked fall dishes.
For the last month, my Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds have been chock full of the wonders of autumn: brilliantly colorful foliage, piles of pumpkins, and lots of artsy shots of apple picking.
I went and picked 20 pounds of apples with a few friends. I kept them all, because I paid—but what’s a girl to do with 20 pounds of apples? I’m guessing many of you have an excess of apples, too. So I’ve been brainstorming easy, cheap apple recipes so none of those babies go to waste.
Here are some of my favorites.