We can all use a little help in the $ department round this time of year. Even the most frugal will spend a little more around the holidays. But one of the places that we often don’t think about is in the grocery bill! It is so easy to buy that extra box of candy canes, that peppermint mocha or bottle of eggnog. Why? Well because they remind us of the holidays and fun and we won’t see them again till next year!
So how do we have our cake and eat it too? Try these 5 tips on for size!
Not only will these save you money but they may also save you some calories for those extra Pumpkin Lattes!
1. Vegetarian – what is the most expensive thing in the grocery store – yup, Meat. At least the meat that is recognizable as meat is pretty expensive. Try eating a vegetarian meal a few times a week. Here are some links for you.
Greek Style Polenta– dried polenta is so inexpensive! Really it is just fast cooking corn grits – but not grits!!
Honey Lentil Stew – you must try this! There is something so amazing about these flavors, we serve this with quinoa or rice.
2. Vegan – what is the next most expensive item – you got it Dairy! So try these meat and dairy free meals! They are hearty, amazing and cruelty free! You can eat with a clean conscience!
10 Spice Vegetable Soup – from one of my very favorite blogs ever!
Serve with some hot corn bread yum!! Try this recipe
3. Beans – you might already be catching on that beans are a seriously amazing way to save money and provide your meals with that belly satisfying, filling quality! Now canned beans can get expensive and we are all learning about the downfalls of foods sitting in cans leaching the metals and plastics in to our foods. So to take the health and $ savings a step further buy bulk Dried Beans!!
I usually take one day every month or so to cook up tons of beans. I usually soak 3 or 4 different kinds of beans over night. The next day one kind goes in the crock pot, one on the stove top and then I usually will do 2 batches in my pressure cooker. I make tons and then store them in mason jars, cool completely then toss them in the freezer till I need them!
4. Bulk bins – buying food, herbs and spices in the bulk aisle is key to saving a few bucks! So many people try to argue that it is too expensive to shop at our local food Co-op. On one hand I agree, if you want to buy boxed, prepackaged, semi-prepared, or junk foods then yes you are absolutely right! But if you are buying whole real foods and ingredients you will be astonished at the savings.
I love to buy my oats, grains, beans, nuts, dried fruit and more in the bulk aisle. I can buy a pound of Oatmeal for about 80 cents! Seriously! Buying herbs and spices is a huge cost savings too. I mean, really, when you make that special meal who really needs a whole jar of Marjoram? Not me! Just buy what you need, no more. So instead of a $7 jar of a spice you can’t pronounce you can buy a fraction of an ounce for under a dollar!
5. Soups, Stews – Soups and stews are an amazing way to stretch a meal. We love warm soups and stews in the winter, then we take them to work and school the next day (another way to save $) So often soup is even better the second day so make a big batch and load up your thermos the next morning.
Here are two belly warming, deeply satisfying winter meals!
Maple Sweet Potato Lentil Stew – we made this for company and we were fighting over who got the leftovers the next day!
There you have it! Enjoy the recipe links and save a few cents in the process!
By the way if you have not heard about the 12 and 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge starting in January head over and find out more now!!!! We are already having a blast with the folks who have signed up. Get ready to make this year the best yet!!