Wednesday June 7th 2023

Keep citizen journalism alive!



Eating Better and Saving Money in 2021


 By the time you read this, the holiday season will be a faded memory, even if the tree is still up dropping needles all over. Many of us have made and already fallen off our New Year resolutions, like spending less on take out and eating healthier. 

Reducing what we spend on food isn”™t just a New Year”™s concern, though, it is a year-round issue. And, it”™s a tough one. We do have to eat and food costs money. We also have to contend with our busy, hectic lives. How many times have you stopped at a fast food place after picking up kids because everyone is tired and crabby? I only have my tired and crabby self to deal with these days and I”™ve stopped more than I care to admit. 

Cook BIG on the weekend 

What”™s a solution to the tired/ crabby syndrome? Cooking big. I always say, “If you”™ve cooked and don”™t have leftovers, you”™ve just wasted your time.” I know a few people who cook something new each night, but when I finish work hungry and worn out, I will eat whatever is easiest, which is typically not the healthiest and comes directly out of a bag. 

Make a BIG pot of soup, stew, casserole, or salad on the weekend. Go for low-cost but protein-packed beans. Flavor with meat, if you like. There are a million different kinds of beans, each with unique taste and texture. 

Load up your pot with vegetables. Add kale, spinach or other greens to everything, whether it is included in the recipe or not. Chop it up fine if you have complainers to appease ”“ that hidden nutrition will be easily overlooked. If fresh produce isn”™t in season, go for frozen. Frozen vegetables typically retain more vitamins than the produce in the grocery store that has traveled half-way around the world. And they can be less expensive than fresh produce in the dead of winter. Get adventurous with vegetables. Sweet potatoes in chili? Why not? Variety is the key to getting the full complement of vitamins and minerals we need. 

Great time for life lessons 

Cooking on the weekends is far less stressful than weeknights when you are tired and crabby, so it is much easier to have kids get involved. We all need to learn to cook, after all. What is the proper way to chop vegetables to retain all your fingers? How to be safe around the stove and appliances? Take turns picking out a recipe. Dole out cooking chores as appropriate. Bonus – give everyone a cleanup chore! 

Neighbors in the next door apartment will be envious. Not only will you have a few dinners in the fridge that just need heating up, you”™ve got lunches, too! When that chili is heating up in the microwave, I can guarantee someone will notice how good it smells, and wish they could trade their factory-produced flavorless frozen entree for a bowl of your chili. 

The pay off 

Investing the time on the weekend will pay off. You”™ll save money staying away from the drive-thrus, and feel better for the delicious and nutritious meals your family will have. 

Author Mary Ellen Kaluza is a Certified Financial Counselor with LSS Financial Counseling. A version of this blog first appeared in Sense & Centsibility blog page. 

LSS Financial Counseling offers free counseling for budgeting, debt, student loans, foreclosure prevention, credit report reviews, and much more. 

Phone: 888- 577-2227 Website: www.lssfinancialcounseling. org 

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2022 Alley Communications - Contact the alley