Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Time Crunched? Reduce Cost of Food and Eat Healthy

Ticking away, the moments that make up a dull day.
The idea is simple. The less you eat the less you spend on food. The more you plan, the less you spend on food. The main goal of this post is to reduce eating out and pissing away money on convenience.

Get a Calorie Tracker
I used to love going out to Zaxby's and getting a milkshake until MyFitnessPal told me that I had just ate near 1500 calories. The slight guilt of going over your calorie limit prevents you from choosing junk food. Eating out costs more than making it yourself and when you make it yourself you choose to buy things that are good for you(for the calorie tracker). Bar-code scanning is really nice as well on MyFitnessPal.

Frozen, Your New Fast Food
Think $3 is cheap for convenient food? Regret it after putting it in the calorie counter? Many frozen foods are convenient and low calorie. Yes, they have more sodium than if you were to cook it yourself, but to me is worth it. I rush my mornings. It takes all of 2 seconds to grab a meal from the freezer and enjoy later. I recommend anything Michelina's Lean Gourmet or even the normal ones if you aren't too concerned about extra calories. They all are $1 and are 300 calories. The carby ones(noodles, rice, etc) will hold you over for dinner. Buy them from Kroger, use your card, and save money on gas.

Stop Buying Soft Drinks
Soft drinks such as Coke and Pepsi are notoriously bad for you.  Instead, drink a powder drink. I prefer to use powder for different tea flavors. They are typically 10 calories a pack and I put them in 64 oz of water. This is cheaper than buying a 12oz soft drink and the hydration is better for you, especially if you drink all of it in one day like I do! If you must have a soft drink, try something like Fresca. 0 calories and typically on sale at super stores.

Get social
This is more of a frugal trick(beggars can't be choosers). Do you have family near-by that you never see? Ask if you can have dinner with them sometime? After a few visits suggest making it a ritual. I have Monday dinners at my grandmother's house. It is a great way to visit with loved ones, eat great food, and save money.

Prepare Breakfast The Night Before

Feel rushed in the morning? No time to eat? Not eating in the morning can mess with your metabolism and throw off your diet. If you are really in a crunch for time make hard-boiled eggs the night before. Eat 2 eggs with some yogurt and you have a breakfast that takes less than a minutes to put together. Before digging these things out of the fridge start your coffee.

I tend to have more time around dinner time to cook what I want. If you don't consider this: A crock pot. These guys are awesome. Throw a chicken with random vegetables and fruit in it. Go to work. Come home and you have a delicious dinner. Maybe throw some canned foods on the side and you are good to go.

Any more tips? I know I haven't suggested a lot, but do you have any more tips that would benefit our fast-paced lives?


  1. Bacon is also not only great in the oven, but is an excellent complement to the hardboiled egg. I take an entire package, cook it in the oven, and put it in a gallon bag in my refridgerator. In the mornings, I grab a couple of slices and a hardboiled egg for breakfast. For variety, crack some black pepper on some of it, leave some of it plain, and if you've got a sweet tooth, toss some brown sugar on some as well. Mmmm sugar bacon.