Eat cheap and healthy tips

Cut Your Electric Bill 8

A watched pot never boils, it is said. I’m not so sure about that. When I was a kid I kept my eye on a pot on the stove, and sure enough, it boiled. Electric bills are out of control. There are so many phantom energy drains in the average home that half or more of electricity consumption goes down the drain without any benefit to the homeowner. Read more about recording your electricity consumption here. This one simple step can lower your energy costs significantly.

We're all seasoned veterans of buying shit on sale but...

Try buying stuff on sale in luxury and nice area grocery stores! Rich people won't buy things for the DUMBEST reasons. Just got a bottle of evoo for half price because the bottle was oily - totally sealed Ann's everything! Oh and the FRESH PRODUCE, god help me, the reduced trolley was so freaking cheap you wouldn't believe!

It's much easier to cook if you're not super hungry!.

I feel like this is a piece of advice for beginners that should be added to the sidebar: it's substantially easier to cook if you can do it before you're really hungry!  I used to be the type of person who hated cooking, mainly because I thought it was too frustrating. Turns out I would get frustrated because I was cooking when I was really hungry. Prepping things before you're hungry is so much better!

You can caramelise onions in a pressure cooker.

Just tried this today - I threw some onions in with some oil in a pressure cooker, let them cook and let out some water for a bit. Pop a lid on the cooker and let them cook for ~20 minutes (I have one of the old-school pressure cookers with a weighted release so YMMV), throw in a splash of water to deglaze, and bam, delicious caramelised onions in a fraction of the time they would have taken otherwise!

Packaged frozen berries from the dollar store.

I was casually looking at the dollar store freezer, where there's usually just boxed meals stuffed with sodium and fat when I found something different: frozen berries. I grabbed the package to see because I immediately assumed it would be full of conservatives and chemicals. Turns out it's purely berries. No added sugar, HFCS, nothing. For $1, it seems like a good deal. I bought a bunch of them to eat with oatmeal and/or ricotta cheese for breakfast. Fresh blueberries at my local grocer were $5 for a small box, so for me that was a great finding.

I always see charcoal briquettes in the discount section of big stores during the summer.

Over the past month and a half and I haven't checked out the discount section and NOT found charcoal of one variety or another. Cuts the cost of grilling way down!

Learn to be full

This one takes some practice. We’re just not accustomed to listening to our bodies anymore. We’re always on the go-go-go and don’t take the time to eat. So we shove the food in our faces and end up feeling stuffed. We’ve forgotten what it feels like to just be full. Cut what you are eating in half for a few meals and see what your body thinks. Your body is going to want more food. But most times it’s a mental craving, not a physical craving. *This is not intended to be medical advice and you should consult with a doctor before doing anything crazy with your diet or nutrition.

Keep portions in check

Americans are notorious for heaping plates of food. Limit yourself to reasonable portions—here’s a visual guide to what moderate servings actually look like. In the long run, portion control will help you maintain a healthy weight and save tons of money. One of the easiest tricks is to use smaller plates. Adopt this attitude when you eat out, too—those loaded appetizers and main dishes are perfectly shareable. And you don’t have to eat them all in one sitting—take some home for later.

Throw everything but the kitchen sink in a pot

Vegetable-rich one-pot meals save you time and supply tons of healthy leftovers, which you can always freeze.

Make your own broth

Save your residuals from meat and vegetables like bones, onion tops, carrot tops, even wilted veggies, and brew your own batch of broth. It’s easy:

  • Store leftover pieces in the freezer until you’ve got a few cups.
  • Once you do, just add water, boil, and simmer on low heat for a few hours.
  • For vegetable broth, use olive oil, coarsely chopped onion, carrot, crushed garlic cloves, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns.
  • For chicken or beef broth, just add chicken or beef bones to the recipe above. You’ve managed to make the most of what would’ve been tossed in the trash, and you’ve got an excellent cooking base to work with.