New Year: Save Money!

Who doesn’t want to save money? Taking small steps here and there can really add up, so let’s take a look at how you can save money every time you eat! That’s at least three opportunities every day to keep a little extra cash in your stash!

Buy in bulk. If you belong to a warehouse style club or have a grocery store that carries bulk items, it will cost more up front, but will save you more money in the long term usage. The key here is to buy what you know you will use, and once you get home …

Pre-portion your groceries. You certainly won’t use all 10 pounds of meat, 6 pints of berries, and 4 loaves of whole grain bread at once, so break it up into usable portions. Keep what you need for that week in the refrigerator or pantry, and freeze the other divided portions for later use.

Wrap with care. When freezing your bulk groceries, be sure to properly wrap and package them to protect against freezer burn, or risk throwing it away because it won’t taste good. Be sure to use a zip top bag made for freezers because they are thicker than other ones. On the bag, include the contents and date that it was frozen so there’s no guessing what’s inside.

Dining out. Everyone enjoys dining out from time to time, but the portions are often so large that there are leftovers. Consider ordering an appetizer or two instead to provide a variety and smaller portions, or share one entrée between two people. This can also help trim the waistline in addition to fattening up your pocketbook!

Portion size matters. Whether you’re dining out or eating at home, knowing how much food you should eat can help you save you money AND slim down. Most Americans eat more than they should, so find out how much you should be eating and buy food based on your needs, and to avoid waste. (Check out our blog on our favorite nutrition apps by clicking here to see which one best fits your needs).

Buy fresh. Fresh fruits and vegetables are tasty, nutrient dense, and more affordable than their processed counterparts. Instead of buying dried fruits or vegetables, eat them fresh and in their natural state. This also cuts down on added sugar intake, which contributes to better overall health.

Prepare for the week. Pack your food (lunch, snacks, or whatever you need) for your work day. Preparation is key, but if you can spend just a little bit of time, let’s say on Sunday for example, to make some healthy food choices and package it so you have it ready to go throughout the week (or at least part of the week, then repeat), you’ll cut down on your expenses of dining out or paying for pricey vending machine snacks. The added benefit is that if you prepare the food, you know exactly what’s in it! Just don’t forget to pack in a reusable lunch bag/box to cut down on any additional waste, and even better is if the food contents are packed in the same manner! #reduce #reuse #recycle

Water is good, but disposable is not. Staying hydrated is essential to get you through the day for all body processes, so be sure to carry a bottle with you … just make it a reusable glass, stainless steel or washable plastic bottle that you can refill instead of buying single use plastic water bottles from your store. Not only will this help you save money, but it will also help save the planet by limiting the amount of plastic bottles in our recycle centers and landfills.

Nutritional supplements. If you consume a diet that is complete and meets your daily intake needs, especially through whole, nutritious foods, you should already be getting all the vitamins and minerals you need and can skip most nutritional supplements. Cha-ching on saving money here!

If you use a budget tracker of some sort, whether it’s a checkbook, expense spreadsheet, or any type of accounting software, start tracking your food expenses to see how much you can save. And remember, every little bit counts, so start now to save big!

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