When in money-saving mode, it can seem like your whole life gets stuck in a rut. You do the same things every night, wear the same things without the chance to go shopping, and eat the same things day after day in the name of frugality, and that’s smart and responsible. However, it’s also boring as hell. If you’ve tried saving money at one time or another, I’m sure you can relate.
I noticed that what I used to do as a vegetarian was I would try to live off of simple carbohydrates. Peanut butter sandwich for breakfast, rice and beans for lunch, chips and salsa for a snack—these are all cheap and easy meals using mostly non-perishable foods, and it’s no wonder that I turned to them time and time again. But this kind of a diet isn’t sustainable in the long run. It doesn’t offer our bodies enough nutrition, no matter how kind it may be to our wallets.
So what’s to be done? If you can’t afford much, how can you feed your body what it needs?
For the last two months, I’ve been writing about our prepaid card grocery budget experiment in an attempt to get our ever increasingly out of control grocery budget under control. (See post 1 and post 2.) We’ve been doing the experiment for two months now, and today, I have the final update for you on how things have been going and my final thoughts on the card.
As I mentioned in the first post, we partnered with the Visa Clear Prepaid Program and the Prepaid Visa® RushCard and quickly learned of the program’s standards for clearly communicated fees and great consumer protections. The RushCard meets those standards and it’s accepted everywhere Visa Debit is accepted.
We all know eating out is expensive but do know exactly how much more you’re getting charged than if you were to cook at home? Restaurants.com reports that pop is marked up 800%, potatoes 977%, pizza 600 to 800%, salmon 900 – 1000%, chicken noodle soup has a 1650% markup, and since eggs wholesale for less than 10 cents apiece — and are one of the least labor-intensive dishes — they are one of the absolute most marked up restaurant foods with the average egg dish costing $5-$12.
Eating out is easy, fun, and quick but if you find yourself indulging a bit too much you may be pushing your wallet to the limit. Today, I’ve got 8 quick tricks to get yourself to eat at home more.
8 Quick Tricks to Get Yourself to Eat at Home More…
1.Don’t let yourself get too hungry or tired.
Who hasn’t been on the way home after a long day at the office and you know the last thing you want to do is cook a meal. Be sure to take an actual lunch break and eat snacks throughout the day if you need to. Also, resist the urge to stay up late scrolling through an Instagram black hole into the wee hours of the night so you get all the sleep your body requires.
Having a plan in place will help you end that omnipresent question: “What should we eat for dinner?” Pre-planning your meals for the week really doesn’t take that long (use these free meal-planning calendars) but it makes a huge difference with how much time and money you can save by doing so.
The great thing about smoothies is that they make for a healthy, quick breakfast. I love that you can throw just about anything in them and they’re probably, most likely, going to be amazing.
Usually, I avoid strawberries in the winter because they are sooo expensive (use this In Season Fruits and Veggies guide to stay on track) but I lucked out the other day at the grocery store and got a pound of them for $2.50! When I ran across this Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe I knew I had to give it a try. I love using oatmeal whenever I can because it’s so cheap, filling, and nutritious. These smoothies are super tasty and they stick with ya!
My husband, Trevor, has a green thumb, remnant of a country-boy upbringing, I imagine. When we were house hunting a few years ago, his number one priority was a backyard for a beautiful garden. And, mind you, this was before gardening was a cool hipster thing to do. So I rolled my eyes and shrugged my shoulders through the entire first planting season after we moved into our house. He poured hours into that garden, moving raised beds to different places in the yard, carefully mapping and marking what should go where at what time.
How to Plant a Garden and Save Some Dough in the Process…
Rice and beans is usually the first thing that comes to mind (regarding food) when we start thinking about saving money, and why do we think about rice and beans? Because they’re both really cheap, and lucky for us if we choose black beans and brown rice it’s super healthy and filling because of all that fiber they’ve got up in ’em.
Sometimes, I get major buyer’s remorse and a spending hangover (both feel terrible), and I like to take breaks from spending because there’s something about not spending that is, surprisingly, kind of a relief.
If you want to give your wallet a bit of a break here are some super tasty and healthy rice and bean recipes to consider while getting your finances back on track.
I can hear the jokes now “Your arm pits are ripe” hardy har harrrr…
Groceries started off as my biggest savings obstacle and continue to be so. In the winter I was doing really good eating my way through the cabinets. Like the roach I am. So, when we moved across town in mid-April I had eaten just about all of my canned soup and had only a couple boxes of miscellaneous rice and falafel and hummus mixes left. It seems old habits die hard. I glanced in the cupboards the other day only to notice that my subconscious “Emergency-bomb-shelter-canned-and-boxed-food-kit” have suddenly started to breed while left unattended… despite my stern warning that they stay put and keep their hands to themselves.
I even realized that I had a jar of Wheat Germ that somehow became 1 year old! erm.. Happy B-day.
That Wheat Germ (short for germination) was bought with the best of intentions and there it sat for a year (maybe more) un-opened and heavily refrigerated. I dumped some on my salad in a effort to justify the Wheat germy purchase. Who doesn’t like an “Excellent Source Of Vitamin E & Folic Acid”? I can assure you, I do. For those of you who haven’t heard of Wheat Germ it’s kind of like the tofu of the wheat sprinkle world. It doesn’t really taste like anything. It was a hit in the 70s and it’s rumored that it makes skin look like glow-y. Who knows. Oh, also, another fun fact- it can go rancid so smell it and if stinks don’t use it. d’oh.
So you ask:
1) why the apricot photos?
2)Why the “Ripe” post title?
3)Why the Wheat Germ talk?
Your not thought out answers:
1) I’ve recently acquired a ton of apricots from my buds apricot tree. Truly, too many to actually eat before they go bad. This is a great way to cut down on fruit costs. Even though fruit is cheaper this time of year than any other. But why spend when you can save? Yeah. Exactly.
2) Cause I couldn’t think of anything else.
3) Wheat Germ! Such a strange name. Plus, I’m eating some right now as I write this post. It is on my salad and a friend saw it and wondered what in the world it was. So there you have it a little Wheat Germ tribute salute. To the one I faux-love.
Below is a bit more info about wheat germ:
Nutrients in Wheat Germ
Wheat germ contains many essential nutrients and is a good source of:
B vitamins such as folate, niacin, thiamin, and vitamin B6
Omega-3 fatty acids
Health Benefits of Wheat Germ
Wheat germ contains phytosterols which have been shown to lower cholesterol and promote heart health. In addition, wheat germ contains high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect the body from damaging free radicals. Wheat germ is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids promote heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, are important for nervous system functioning, and help elevate mood. Wheat germ is also a good source of fiber which has many benefits including improved bowel function and may reduce the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes and prevent weight gain.
Yay for free fruit off of friends tree and using old stuff from your cabinets.
Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Also! We're building a Tiny House and we're going to be on Tiny House Nation. Follow along!!
⭐︎Come back throughout the day for updates.
My Photo Biz
And Then We Saved® , Spending Fast® & Spending Diet® are registered trademarks.
Disclaimer: All data and information provided on this site is for entertainment purposes only. And Then We Saved makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is on an as-is basis. And Then We Saved®, Spending Fast®, and Spending Diet® are registered trademarks. All rights reserved.