Food and Drink http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/209/all en-US Best Money Tips: Eat Better Food For Less http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-eat-better-food-for-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-eat-better-food-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grocery-shopping-478469001-small.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-steps-to-make-sure-you-buy-the-right-house">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on eating better food for less, making big life decisions, and cheap baby essentials under $30.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freetopursue.com/blog/2014/6/20/shop-like-the-french">Shop Like the French. You'll Eat Better Food For Less</a> &mdash; Shopping often and buying whole foods can help you eat better food for less. [Free to Pursue]</p> <p><a href="http://color-me-frugal.com/making-big-life-decisions-regret-test/">Making Big Life Decisions: The Regret Test</a> &mdash; When you are making a decision about what to do, think about which you would regret more: doing what you are thinking about doing or not doing what you are considering doing. [Color Me Frugal]</p> <p><a href="http://farnoosh.tv/money-musings-from-mommyhood-week-8-cheap-baby-essentials-under-30/">Money Musings From Mommyhood, Week 8: Cheap Baby Essentials Under $30</a> &mdash; A wipe warmer and multi-use pads are just a couple cheap baby essentials any new parent should consider investing in. [Farnoosh]</p> <p><a href="http://www.takeasmartstep.com/financial-success/?hvid=5E2pCy">Warning: Two Factors Stopping Your Financial Success</a> &mdash; Are you having trouble being financially successful? Your mindset may be the cause of your difficulties. [Take a Smart Step]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyplansos.com/10-ways-we-pay-attention-to-money-mpsos155/">10 Ways We Pay Attention to Money</a> &mdash; Take the time to balance your bank accounts monthly and reassess your emergency fund balances annually. [MoneyPlan SOS]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/used-washer-budget-time/">Want a Used Washer? Budget Some Time</a> &mdash; If you are thinking about buying a used washer, start looking long before you will actually need it. [Mighty Bargain Hunter]</p> <p><a href="http://www.joetaxpayer.com/tips-for-financing-your-first-car/">Tips for Financing Your First Car</a> &mdash; When financing a car, stay away from dealer financing and read the fine print. [Joe Taxpayer]</p> <p><a href="http://www.miss-thrifty.co.uk/2014/06/26/four-tips-for-glamping-on-a-budget/">Four Tips for Glamping on a Budget</a> &mdash; To glamp on a budget, cook from scratch instead of eating out or buying ready made food. [Miss Thrifty Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/the-5-best-toddler-car-seats">The 5 Best Toddler Carseats</a> &mdash; Are you in the market for a carseat for your toddler? Check out the Clek Oobr Booster Car Seat. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Why-Important-Take-Risks-35261852">56 Ways to Be a Risk Taker Today</a> &mdash; Signing up for a class and doing a DIY are just a couple ways you can take a risk today. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-eat-better-food-for-less" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Eat Better Food For Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink best money tips better eat Food less Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1195553 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-reading-menu-122565575-small.jpg" alt="man reading menu" title="man reading menu" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans love to dine out. We spend an average of <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2013/09/25/lunchtime-americans-spend-nearly-1k-annually-eating-out-for-lunch/">$1,000 annually</a> just on going to lunch. In total, we each spend about $2700 annually in restaurants and on take-out.</p> <p>And where I live (New York City), it's that much worse. So I decided to do a price comparison to discover the restaurant menu items that serve up the biggest cost difference from homemade versions. As a reference, I used the menus of my local, reasonably priced diners and mom-and-pop restaurants. If you eat out at more expensive restaurants, the price difference will be even more extreme. Here's what I found.</p> <h2>1. Pasta</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/pasta%20dish.jpg" /></p> <p>Nothing could be simpler to prepare at home than pasta. Whether you buy dry or fresh pasta or make your own (as I recently started doing), pasta is generally a ripoff at most restaurants. My local Italian place serves its simplest and least expensive pasta dish for $10. I can make the exact same simple dish at home for less than $1.</p> <h2>2. Salad</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/salad%20dish.jpg" /></p> <p>Whether you buy your produce at the grocery store, farmer's market, your local CSA, corner produce vendor, or grow your own, a simple veggie salad is a dish you should avoid at restaurants, especially during the summer months when local fresh vegetables are plentiful. I tallied up what it costs to make a simple salad at home with ingredients from my grocery store, and it costs less than $2 for all of the ingredients. My local diner charges $9 for the same salad.</p> <h2>3. Wine</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/wine%20bottles.jpg" /></p> <p>Wine is my drink of choice. A reasonably priced local wine bar in my neighborhood has wines at $8 by the glass and $34 by the bottle (a bargain compared to a lot of New York City restaurants). My local wine store, however, has these same bottles for $14 each. A bottle easily serves four good-sized glasses of vino.</p> <h2>4. Coffee and Tea</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/coffee%20cup.jpg" /></p> <p>We are a country of coffee lovers. As many as <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/04/09/coffee-mania/2069335/">83% of Americans drink coffee</a> and in total we consume 587 million cups of joe per year. Excluding Starbucks, local coffee shops, and the artisanal coffee retailers that tend to charge high per cup prices, I toddled over to my local diner to browse their coffee and tea selection. They cost a minimum of $1.55 per cup. Not bad, especially with free refills. Then I broke down what it costs to brew my favorite gourmet coffee and tea at home and found it only costs $0.25 for the coffee and $0.15 for the tea. Grab your travel mug and home brew your morning fix.</p> <h2>5. Juice and Sodas</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/soda%20cup.jpg" /></p> <p>These are items best bought at the grocery store. Juice is $3.50 per glass at my diner. Soda is $2.50 per glass. I recently bought 64 ounce bottles of each through Freshdirect for $2.50. Doing the math, a glass of either at home costs me $0.31. At the restaurant, stick with good ol' free tap water.</p> <h2>6. Dessert</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/pie%20slice.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Given my sweet tooth, I'm always tempted by the dessert case. My frugal ways help me to steer clear of ordering, however. A slice of pie, conservatively, runs about $5 per at my local diner. I can buy an entire 8-slice organic, fresh-baked pie at my Whole Foods for $10. If I bake that same pie myself, the cost for the whole pie is about the cost of a single slice at the diner.</p> <h2>7. Simple Sandwiches</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/grilled%20cheese.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>When it's lunch time and I'm out and about in the city, I often crave the simplest sandwich. Grilled cheese, ham and swiss, and a classic BLT are some of my go-to options. Then I look at the menu of some of my regular cafe stops and at their least expensive, these sandwiches ring up at $6 each. That same sandwich costs less than $1 to make at home. Grabbing a simple lunch on-the-go for the sake of convenience and time certainly comes at a cost!</p> <h2>8. Egg Dishes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/egg%20toast.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Eggs are a staple in my fridge and for $2.50 a dozen at the grocery store, they're one of the most nutritious bargains, too, at about $0.20 per egg. At my diner, an egg with a few potatoes and a couple pieces of toast will cost you $5. You don't even need your calculator to realize eggs are best consumed at home.</p> <h2>9. Baked Goods</h2> <p><img width="605" height="339" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/muffin%20dish.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>I used to tell myself I was no good at baking. Turns out I just needed to realize that baking and cooking require a different focus. While in cooking you can fudge measurements of ingredients, in baking you can't. Precision counts. Once I realized that, I started baking regularly. No need to spend $2 to $3 per muffin at my local bakery anymore. I can quickly whip up a batch of 12 for that price. I just put them in a ziploc bag and pop them in the freezer to warm up throughout the week.</p> <h2>10. Pizza</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/pizza%20dish.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>For a long time I believed pizza was worth buying because pizzerias deliver that chewy crust I crave. Then a friend told me that a $10 pizza stone would transform my homemade pizzas into works of art. Now I whip up homemade pizzas, with all the toppings I love, for a dime a slice. Even my local $2 slice joint can't compete with the cost-savings of my pizza stone.</p> <p><em>What's over-priced at your local eatery? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items" class="sharethis-link" title="Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink dining out expensive food restaurants Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Christa Avampato 1197727 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Satisfying Stir-Fries in 20 Minutes or Less http://www.wisebread.com/9-satisfying-stir-fries-in-20-minutes-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-satisfying-stir-fries-in-20-minutes-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stir-fry-cooking-87469726-small.jpg" alt="stir-fry cooking" title="stir-fry cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the fastest, cheapest meals I make on a regular basis is the stir-fry. As a vegetarian, it's a great way to get a big dose of vegetables and protein in one convenient pan. Meat eaters, too, can get their fill of healthy foods in just about 20 minutes. And the best part? There's little clean-up when you're done cooking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-keeping-your-kitchen-clean-while-you-cook?ref=seealso">10 Tricks To Keep Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook</a>)</p> <p>So check out these 10 fantastic stir-fries that will have you eating more and scrubbing less.</p> <h2>1. Chicken and Broccoli</h2> <p>The most delectable part of this <a href="http://www.cookingminette.com/2013/01/chicken-and-broccoli-stir-fry-20-minute-meals.html">Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry</a> is the marinade, which features ginger, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, and lemon zest. If you're not into meat, you can always substitute your favorite protein, like fried tofu. (The same trick applies to any non-vegetarian recipes that follow &mdash; and vice versa.)</p> <h2>2. Blackened Shrimp</h2> <p>Onions and peppers make up the veggies in this tasty <a href="http://sweetcsdesigns.com/20-minute-blackened-shrimp-stir-fry/">Blackened Shrimp Stir-Fry</a>. The seasoning is a hefty dose of Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Seafood Magic. If you cannot find it in your local grocery store, try this <a href="http://recipelink.com/msgbrd/board_0/2014/APR/87893.html">copycat recipe</a> that contains several common herbs and spices with a spicy kick of paprika.</p> <h2>3. Thai Peanut</h2> <p>One of my favorite meals is this delicious <a href="http://veggieandthebeastfeast.com/2013/09/17/simple-thai-peanut-noodle-stir-fry-and-exciting-news/">Thai Peanut Stir-Fry</a> with fresh veggies atop brown rice noodles. The sauce is made extra thick and creamy with full fat coconut milk. Don't skimp on the sprouts &mdash; they give the dish a nice crunch.</p> <h2>4. Chicken Fajita</h2> <p>Part stir-fry, part salad, this <a href="http://www.auntbeesrecipes.com/2014/07/stir-fry-chicken-fajita-salad.html">Chicken Fajita Salad</a> is ready in just 20 minutes. It's a healthy twist on this Tex-Mex favorite, complete with liquid smoke for extra flair. I'd use black beans in this recipe for some solid vegetarian protein.</p> <h2>5. Almond Veggie</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/almond-vegetable-stir-fry">Almond Vegetable Stir-Fry</a> recipe is simple yet complexly flavorful. You'll notice that cornstarch is a key ingredient in the sauce, which is meant to give the dish thicker texture and also a more vibrant color. You can also substitute in arrowroot powder at an equal ratio.</p> <h2>6. Indian Style</h2> <p>I adore Indian food, and this <a href="http://yummilyyours.com/vegetable-jalfrezi/">Vegetable Jalfrezi</a> recipe looks authentic without the fuss. The author claims this recipe takes 25 minutes to make from start to finish, but I imagine if you're in a pinch, you can cut off 5 minutes or more if you chop veggies in bulk at the beginning of the week. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend?ref=seealso">Save Time and Money with a Monthly Assembly Cooking Weekend</a>)</p> <h2>7. Easy Veggie</h2> <p>This <a href="http://greatist.com/health/vegetable-stir-fry-healthy-recipe">Vegetable Stir-Fry</a> is so fresh, it might just make your regular meal rotation. If you have a garden or CSA farm share for the growing season, you can always substitute in whatever you have in your fridge for the other vegetables in this recipe.</p> <h2>8. Fig, Apple, and Pear</h2> <p>Fruit for dinner? Yes! This <a href="http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/fig-apple-and-chicken-stir-fry">Fig, Apple, and Chicken Stir-Fry</a> can be cooked in 20 minutes flat if you're smart with your preparation. The fruit only takes three minutes to cook, so the rest is in getting that chicken done. Cutting it into small chunks from the start should help.</p> <h2>9. Sumptuous Steak</h2> <p>I love the mix of vegetables that accompany this <a href="http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=3324">Steak Stir-Fry</a>. Bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, and even edamame. Don't have all these on hand? No problem &mdash; use what you've got! And one of my favorite tricks for quick meals like these is using frozen mixes of veggies. They always stay good and require zero prepping before being tossed into the pan. Many also contain those more traditional blends of stir-fry vegetable favorites.</p> <h2>A Frozen Veggie Secret</h2> <p>And if you'd like to skip the marked-up frozen veggie packages at the store and make your own, <a href="http://www.frugalfamilyhome.com/food/freezer-cooking/make-frozen-stir-fry-packages">this method</a> is the way to go. Chop up vegetables and then blanch them before cooling to freeze in plastic zip bags. Take advantage of in-season vegetables or whatever is on sale to make your custom mix. Then enjoy dinners in a flash whenever the days get busy. With back-to-school just around the corner, I think we all need a trick like this in our back pockets.</p> <p><em>Do you have any favorite go to stir-fry recipes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-satisfying-stir-fries-in-20-minutes-or-less" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Satisfying Stir-Fries in 20 Minutes or Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink easy meals quick meals recipes stir-fry vegetarian Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1193087 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-buying-milk-178486201-small.jpg" alt="woman buying milk" title="woman buying milk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What does it mean to get the most for your money when it comes to food? If you want to get the most calories for your dollar, you needn't look much further than the nearest fast food chain, which will gladly serve up a high-calorie burger, french fries, or a milkshake for less than $1.</p> <p>And that cheap food sure feels like a bargain. You're full, only $1 dollar poorer, and you can be back at your desk within 20 minutes' time.</p> <p>But whether that food is <em>really</em> the most cost-effective thing to eat depends on how you look at value. Sure, you'll probably get the most <em>calories</em> for your money from fast foods or junk food. The problem is that in the United States, what most people need isn't more calories, it's more <em>nutrients</em>.</p> <p>The latest statistics show that more than two-thirds of <a href="http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/obesity-in-the-us/">Americans are overweight or obese</a>. And while corpulence used to be considered a sign of wealth, rates of obesity are just as high or <a href="http://civileats.com/2012/06/27/the-obesity-paradox-overfed-but-undernourished/">higher in the most disadvantaged populations</a>. But despite all those calories, most Americans <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/eib-economic-information-bulletin/eib96/report-summary.aspx#.U-pGqfldWy4">fall short of the recommended dietary guidelines</a> for many key nutrients. In other words, the concept of getting the most for your money when it comes to buying food has changed. And, at a time when more people than ever are overfed but still undernourished, experts suggest we should be stretching our food budgets by seeking out the foods that cost the least and provide the highest possible level of nutrition. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans?ref=seealso">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a>)</p> <p>A publication created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2012 looked at different ways of <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/eib-economic-information-bulletin/eib96.aspx#.U-pZjfldWy5">measuring the value of food and food costs</a> beyond cost-per-calories. It compared cost per 100 calories, cost per 100 edible grams, and cost per portion. What it found is that you can fill your plate &mdash; and your stomach &mdash; with some very healthy foods for less than the cost of a fast-food burger.</p> <p>So what are the cheapest healthy foods you can buy? Here are the 10 top contenders.</p> <h2>Corn Tortillas</h2> <p>Corn tortillas are cheap food no matter how you look at them; they're cheap per calorie, they're cheap per portion, and they require little or no preparation (although if you're ambitious, <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/corn-tortillas/">you can make your own</a>.) These aren't nutritional powerhouses on their own, but they're <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/baked-products/5183/2">relatively low in calories</a> and if you stuff them with some of the other foods on this list, you'll have a great, low-cost, nutritious meal.</p> <h2>Beans</h2> <p>Pinto beans and other dried beans are among the least expensive foods per portion size. And that's good news. Beans are powerful disease fighters that are <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/beans-protein-rich-superfoods">high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants</a>. They're filling, flavorful, and they come at a price of about 27 cents per cup. And they aren't that hard to cook up. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-healthy-and-cheap-bean-recipes">Really</a>.</p> <h2>Onions</h2> <p>Onions have been a staple food in many cultures for centuries; the Egyptians even worshipped these pungent layers of peel. What's not to love? They're easy to grow, can be stored for long periods, and they add loads of flavor to any dish. Plus, <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/onions-full-of-nutrients">they're high in vitamin C and disease fighting compounds</a>. And, at 55 cents per pound, onions are one of the least expensive vegetables out there.</p> <h2>Carrots</h2> <p>Carrots can be cooked into <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/curried-carrot-soup-recipe.html">soups</a>, baked into <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/carrot-pie/">pies</a>, or are great with a little dip as an afternoon snack. They also come with <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2383/2">plenty of fiber and tons of vitamin A</a>. The cost? About 63 cents per cup.</p> <h2>Potatoes</h2> <p>Potatoes have gotten a bad rap in recent years, mostly as a result of diets like Atkins or South Beach, which aim to limit carbohydrates. However, it's important to remember that potatoes have been a staple food for people around the world for centuries. Plus, many of the studies that have vilified potatoes have lumped steamed or baked potatoes together with French fries and potato chips. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/end-potato-prejudice-10-reasons-why-you-should-eat-potatoes?ref=seealso">End Potato Prejudice: 10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Potatoes</a>)</p> <p>In reality, a plain potato is <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2770/2">relatively low in calories, and very high in fiber and vitamins</a>. Plus, potatoes have also been <a href="http://www.mendosa.com/satiety.htm">found to be the most satisfying food on the Satiety Index</a>, which means a helping will keep you feeling fuller longer. All that for about 53 cents per cup.</p> <h2>Bread</h2> <p>Bread is another food that many health-conscious people have banished from the table, and in some cases for good reason. Research has shown that eating too much starchy food &mdash; especially at the expense of fruits and vegetables &mdash; contributes to obesity. That said, whole grains are associated with <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-about-bread-and-diet">lower levels of unhealthy belly fat</a>. The bottom line? If you stick to whole grain breads and avoid overdoing it, you'll be just fine. Look for day-old bread at your local bakery, or buy in bulk on sale and freeze it for later.</p> <h2>Oatmeal</h2> <p>Whole grains are good for you, but oats might just be the best of the bunch. Beyond providing a healthy dose of fiber, <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080108102225.htm">oatmeal's soluble fiber has been shown to reduce LDL (or &quot;bad&quot;) cholesterol</a>. Eating oatmeal regularly may also reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and prevent hardening of the artery walls. For the biggest benefit, use rolled or steel cut oats. And be sure to buy them unprocessed; instant oatmeal packets tend to cost more and be loaded with sugar and salt.</p> <h2>Milk</h2> <p>A gallon of milk might look pretty expensive; <a href="http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost">according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>, a gallon of milk cost an average of $3.62 as of June 2014. Even so, <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/600474/eib96_1_.pdf">the FDA ranks 1% milk as less expensive than regular soda</a> for an average serving. Full-fat milk is also cheaper on a cost-per-calorie basis, as it has more calories than the same volume of soda. And no matter what kind of milk you choose, it has far more nutrients than soda or even fruit juice, including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Debates about milk's value as a health food aside, there's no question that it's a better, more nutritious choice than soda. It's good to know it's healthier for your budget, too.</p> <h2>Eggs</h2> <p>Eggs are the ultimate low-cost food. Not only are they inexpensive, but they are easy to prepare. They are a great source of complete protein, and include vitamins and minerals that are hard to get from other food sources, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/30/health-benefits-of-eggs-yolks_n_2966554.html">such as vitamin D, vitamin K and choline</a>. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a carton of eggs punches in at about $1.95. Breakfast (or lunch or dinner) for a few cents!</p> <h2>Peanut Butter</h2> <p>Peanut butter is nutritious, filling, practical &mdash; and cheap! One serving will give you a dose of vitamin E, magnesium and potassium, and B vitamins. Research has shown that regular consumption of peanuts and other nuts <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18716180">can protect against heart disease</a>, and can significantly<a href="http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/9/1752S.full"> lower your risk of diabetes</a>. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can bring home a one-pound jar for about $2.50.</p> <p><em>What healthy foods help you stretch your food budget? Let me know in the comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping Health healthy eating healthy food nutrition Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Tara Struyk 1193085 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Pantry Foods That Keep Longer Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/18-pantry-foods-that-keep-longer-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-pantry-foods-that-keep-longer-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pantry-458145953-small.jpg" alt="pantry" title="pantry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a big difference between the &quot;use-by&quot; and &quot;sell-by&quot; dates on a bottle of ketchup.</p> <p>Americans in particular are notorious for throwing out perfectly good eats, a habit that has recently given life to <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/the-daily-table-sells-expired-food-2013-10">a grocery store of expired foods</a>, that are still safe to eat. And while it's pretty easy to detect fresh milk from sour milk, it can be tricky to discern the difference when it comes to condiments and other dry goods. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-wasting-13-of-the-food-you-buy-heres-how-to-stop?ref=seealso">You're Wasting One-Third of the Food You Buy</a>)</p> <p>Tricky, but not rocket science. So we've figured it out for you. (We recommend printing this comprehensive guide to freshness and keeping it in the pantry, right next to the Worcestershire sauce.)</p> <h2>Coffee Beans</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/coffee%20beans.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>When it comes to coffee beans, air is the enemy of flavor and freshness. So you'll want to store your beans in an air-tight container. Even so, <a href="http://www.ncausa.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=70">coffee beans are best within the first one to two weeks</a> after purchase. They won't ever go bad, but they will slowly grow stale and lose their boldness.</p> <h2>Honey</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/honey%20jar.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Like coffee beans, honey never spoils. But it loses its perfectly goupy consistency when it's not stored at room temperature.</p> <p>Honey stored at cooler temperatures will sometimes crystallize, <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030881461301546X">a natural chemical process</a> that is no cause for alarm. In fact, crystallized honey tastes just as delicious. But if you want to revert it back to goupy goodness, simply run the container under warm water or relocate it to a warmer part of the house.</p> <h2>Maple Syrup</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/maple%20syrup.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>A sealed canister of maple syrup will last <a href="http://andersonsmaplesyrup.com/files/MapleSyrupStorageRetail.pdf">up to two years in the pantry</a> before discoloration begins to take hold. Even still, syrup can last on the shelf this way for up to four years without much flavor adulteration. Once unsealed, maple syrup will stay fresh for several months in the refrigerator.</p> <p>Syrup bottled in glass stays fresher longer than syrup kept in plastic containers. So if you make pancakes once in a blue moon, it's probably better to buy syrup that's packaged in glass.</p> <h2>Pasta</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/tri%20color%20pasta.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>When stored at room temperature in <a href="https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/information_center/storage_life_of_foods.htm#link12">an air-tight container</a>, dry pasta can retain freshness for eight to 10 years. Pasta stored at warmer temperatures or in containers that are not air-tight will last up to two years. After that, you'll be stuck with stale-tasting fettuccine alfredo.</p> <h2>Nuts</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/peanuts.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Nuts are <a href="https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/information_center/storage_life_of_foods.htm#link12">chock-full of oil</a>, which causes them to go rancid after four to 12 months on the shelf. Hazelnuts and pistachios fall on the lower end of that spectrum while almonds and brazil nuts land on the higher end. Falling somewhere in the middle, around four to seven months, are cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts.</p> <p>The only exceptions are pine nuts, which have a shelf life of about two months, and pistachios, which stay fresh for about three months.</p> <h2>Peanut Butter</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/peanut%20butter.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>A sealed jar of peanut butter has a shelf life of two years. But once the seal is broken, it'll only last about three to six months &mdash; depending on the brand. All-natural spreads tend to last longer, while <a href="http://www.jif.com/jif-faq">processed spreads like Jif</a> and Peter Pan perish more quickly.</p> <h2>Bread Crumbs</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bread%20crumbs.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>A sealed package of dried bread crumbs will last two years in the refrigerator or up to six months when stored in <a href="http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/pdf/5401.pdf">a cool, dry place</a>.</p> <h2>Flour</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/flour.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Flour can last up to five years when stored at room temperature in an air-tight container. But opened flour packages only have a shelf life of about a year.</p> <p>Ditto that for all other food products made of cracked or ground seed, such as all cornmeal, cracked wheat, germade, and gluten. Same rules also apply to refried beans and wheat flakes.</p> <h2>Sugar</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/sugar.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Sugar will last indefinitely when kept sealed away from moisture.</p> <h2>Salt</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/salt%20shakers.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Salt will never perish so long as it is stored in a dry place.</p> <h2>Spices</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/spices.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Whole spices have a shelf life of two years. Dried or ground spices stay fresh half that time. All spices should be stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight. That means don't store your spices near the stovetop or toaster oven. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-store-herbs-to-make-them-last-longer-and-taste-better?ref=seealso">How to Store Herbs to Make Them Last Longer and Taste Better</a>)</p> <h2>Oils</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/cooking%20oils.jpg" /></p> <p>Canola, corn, peanut, and vegetable oil should be stored in the pantry, while sesame and walnut oil <a href="http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/pdf/5401.pdf">should be refrigerated</a>. All of these oils will stay fresh up to six months after opening.</p> <h2>Ketchup</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/ketchup.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>An unopened bottle of ketchup has a shelf life of about 15 months. <a href="http://www.heinzketchup.com/faq.aspx">Once that seal is popped</a>, its life shortens to about six months when stored in the refrigerator. Same rules apply to barbecue sauce.</p> <h2>Mayonnaise</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/mayo.jpg" /></p> <p>An unopened jar of mayo will stay fresh on the pantry shelf for two to three months. It will last another two to three months if it's refrigerated after opening.</p> <h2>Mustard</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/mustard.jpg" /></p> <p>An unopened container of mustard has a shelf life of two years. Once that seal is popped, mustard will last six to eight more months when refrigerated.</p> <h2>Rice</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/rice.jpg" /></p> <p>White rice has a shelf life of eight to 10 years. Brown rice, on the other hand, is full of oils that go rancid as they oxidize, which is why it has a shelf life of only six months &mdash; though it can last up to two years when stored in an air-tight container.</p> <h2>Beans</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/red%20beans.jpg" /></p> <p>Beans of all types have a shelf life of eight to 10 years when stored at room temperature.</p> <h2>Dehydrated Fruit</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dried%20fruit.jpg" /></p> <p>Dried fruit such as raisins will stay tasty and fresh for up to five years when stored in a cool dry place. It's also best to keep them out of direct light, which speeds up the perishing process.</p> <p><em>How often do you check your pantry items for freshness?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-pantry-foods-that-keep-longer-than-you-think" class="sharethis-link" title="18 Pantry Foods That Keep Longer Than You Think" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink food storage fresh food pantry sell-by shelf life stale food use-by Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:00:03 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1192002 at http://www.wisebread.com The 12 Most Dangerous Foods You're Buying http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-most-dangerous-foods-youre-buying <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-12-most-dangerous-foods-youre-buying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating-hot-dog-173299216-small.jpg" alt="man eating hot dog" title="man eating hot dog" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>True fact: Some of the most popular foods are simply unhealthy and pose higher risks of illness. Also true? Many of those unhealthy foods are in your kitchen right now. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-food-additives-youre-probably-eating-every-day-and-what-they-do?ref=seealso">11 Food Additives You're Probably Eating Everyday</a>)</p> <p>Steer clear of these 12 dangerous foods you're buying.</p> <h2>1. 5-Hour Energy and Other Energy Drinks</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/energy%20drink.jpg" /></p> <p>Many studies have concluded that massive amounts of caffeine paired with other synthetic substances such as aspartame are to blame for the huge <a href="http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CFSAN/CFSANFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/UCM328270.pdf">health risks</a> associate with this afternoon booster, including high blood pressure, heart attack, seizure, and death.</p> <h2>2. Soda Pop</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/coke%20bottle.jpg" /></p> <p>This big part of everyday consumption for many, especially children, is dangerous <a href="http://www.rodalenews.com/facts-about-soda?page=1">on many fronts</a>. Soda not only erodes tooth enamel, but common soda pop ingredients can increase risk for diabetes, fatty liver, high blood pressure, cancer, nerve disorders, hormonal imbalances, and more.</p> <h2>3. Microwave Popcorn</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/microwave%20popcorn.jpg" /></p> <p>That faux-buttery flavor of microwave popcorn is definitely fake, but that is not where all the health risks originate. It's the chemicals <a href="http://blog.aarp.org/2012/03/22/microwave-popcorns-health-problem-its-the-bag-not-the-corn/">lining the microwaveable bag</a>, such as POOA, that are cause for concern. Not only can these chemicals cause cancer in adults, but they can also make children's vaccines less effective.</p> <h2>4. Caffeine Pills</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/coffee-pills-480539261-small.jpg" /></p> <p>As with 5-Hour Energy, too much caffeine is not as unhealthy in the short term as it is in the long term. For example, consumption of too much caffeine in adolescents <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204111804.htm">can lead to drug use</a> later in life.</p> <h2>5. Margarine</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/margarine-493378047-small.jpg" /></p> <p>The truth emerged only recently after years of buying margarine that it does not lower your cholesterol, nor is it healthier than natural butter. In fact, <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/HEALTHbeat_062106.htm">margarine dramatically increases LDL</a> levels. Time to go back to using real butter, olive oil, or grapeseed oil.</p> <h2>6. Aspartame</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/aspartame-180448500-small.jpg" /></p> <p>The negative buzz on artificial sweeteners only seems to persist, especially in the case of aspartame. In addition to low-level <a href="http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/03/jan03/012203/02p-0317_emc-000199.txt">side effects like headaches</a>, long-term consumption of aspartame can <a href="http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/aspartame">possibly cause cancer</a> in both adults and prenatal children.</p> <h2>7. Food Dyes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/food-dyes-136361711-small.jpg" /></p> <p>While laws now require most manufacturers to categorize dyed foods as &quot;adulterated,&quot; and places like Trader Joe's have promised to only use natural coloring (i.e. beets and greens), dye is still a problem. Three regularly used dyes can cause cancer, and four others can cause <a href="http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/07/popular-food-dyes-linked-to-cancer-adhd-and-allergies/#.U-F-zIBdVz0">serious allergic reactions</a>.</p> <h2>8. Alfalfa Sprouts</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/alfalfa-sprouts-184885116-small_0.jpg" /></p> <p>Alfalfa and other types of sprouts can be very difficult to clean and are generally eaten raw. This can lead to contracting really bad bacteria such as <a href="http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types/fruits/sprouts.html">salmonella, listeria, and E. coli</a>. Children, elderly, and those with weak immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts.</p> <h2>9. Cassava</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/casava%20root.jpg" /></p> <p>The cassava root, also known as tapioca, is in a lot more foods than you may think. It can be <a href="http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1967235_1967238_1967250,00.html">dangerous if prepared incorrectly</a>, activating its traces of deadly cyanide. Also? If you are allergic to latex, you may be allergic to cassava.</p> <h2>10. Hot Dogs</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/hot-dog-474196549-small.jpg" /></p> <p>This is a tough one to hear, because America loves frankfurters. While processed meats are already risky, the additive sodium nitrate pushes hot dogs into <a href="http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/dropthedog">cancer danger</a>. In addition, hot dogs cause 17% of food-related asphyxiations among children under 10 years.</p> <h2>11. Raw Honey</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/raw-honey-493248645-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Despite the benefits many raw food and homeopathic fans may tout, raw honey contains the legitimately <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3760356.stm">harmful toxin grayanotoxin I</a>, which can cause nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, and fainting.</p> <h2>12. Ground Turkey</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/ground%20turkey.jpg" /></p> <p>Ground turkey, while a sound alternative to beef and pork, has its downside too. Turkey tends to be the <a href="http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/foodborne_illness/Ground_Turkey.php">poultry with the most bacteria</a> &ndash;&ndash; including listeria, salmonella, and E. coli. The only way to combat gross bugs is to buy organic (to avoid antibiotic-resistant salmonella) and always cook turkey to 180&deg;F (to kill off all bacteria).</p> <p><em>Any other dangerous foods to watch for? Please warn us in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-most-dangerous-foods-youre-buying" class="sharethis-link" title="The 12 Most Dangerous Foods You&#039;re Buying" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Health and Beauty dangerous food Food poison unhealthful food Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1190087 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More http://www.wisebread.com/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/good-resturant-service-135702380-small.jpg" alt="good restaurant service" title="good restaurant service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I lived in Columbus, Ohio, my favorite spot was a little place called The Blue Danube, familiarly known as &quot;The Dube.&quot; In addition to the usual inexpensive bar fare, the menu there offered the <a href="http://imgur.com/fDIrmSR">Dube Dinner Deluxe</a> which paired a bottle of Dom Perignon with a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches (made with Roquefort cheese) at a cost of $185.</p> <p>Though I always regarded the Dube Dinner Deluxe as more of a joke than anything else, I've since come to realize that including it on the menu was a savvy marketing strategy on the part of the bar's owners.</p> <p>Due to a cognitive bias known as <a href="http://moneyning.com/money-beliefs/how-anchoring-in-behavioral-economics-explains-your-irrational-money-choices/">anchoring</a>, diners are more likely to buy mid-priced items when the menu highlights a very expensive meal. Just the existence of a high-priced item is enough to make the other prices on the menu seem reasonable in comparison. &quot;Menu engineers&quot; (and yes, that's a real profession) actually describe these very high priced items as &quot;<a href="http://youtu.be/aZ_G2gQr8Uw">decoys</a>,&quot; since they're only there to soften the sticker shock of other offerings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-overpriced-restaurant-items-that-waste-your-money?ref=seealso">13 Overpriced Restaurant Items</a>)</p> <p>As it turns out, restaurants have a pretty good handle on behavioral psychology &mdash; which is why you often end up leaving with a fuller belly and a lighter wallet than you intended. Here are 12 of the sneakiest tricks that restaurants use to get you spend more.</p> <h2>Menu Presentation</h2> <p>A well-designed menu is the single greatest asset for a restaurant's bottom line, as it can help to steer customers to the items the restaurant most wants to sell. That's why you'll find nearly all restaurants have many or all of the following features on their menus.</p> <h3>1. Visual Highlights</h3> <p>If you have ever wondered why some menu items are placed in a text box or otherwise bolded, it's because the restaurant wants to draw your attention to the item. Often, the boxed-off menu item is something that is a major profit-maker for the restaurant &mdash; like chicken wings, for example. Wings cost the restaurant pennies, so the more they sell, the more they profit.</p> <p>In addition, menu designers recognize that most people's eyes are drawn to the <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/jan/21/menus-cunning-marketing-ploys?guni=Article:in%20body%20link">top right-hand corner</a>, so that is where the big money-maker dishes are often placed. You may have noticed this if you've ever searched in vain for a simple burger on a menu. Burgers and sandwiches and the like don't tend be super profitable in some restaurants, so they are often confined to &quot;menu Siberia,&quot; where you'll have to read through the pricier items before finding them.</p> <p>Finally, photographs of food tend to be powerful motivators, which is why restaurants will place photographs of only some of their menu items. The ones appearing in photographs are the most profitable dishes.</p> <p>Even in high-end restaurants, where photos on the menu are considered a little déclassé, you will often find line drawings or other visual representations of the big money makers.</p> <h3>2. Offering Two Portion Sizes</h3> <p>I often order salads when I dine out, and I have noticed that salads are usually offered in two sizes. This practice is called &quot;bracketing,&quot; and it's a no-win for the customer. Most customers will order the smaller/cheaper portion, thinking that the lower price is a better deal. But the menu does not specify how much smaller the cheaper portion will be, and in general the restaurant is actually hoping you'll buy the smaller size. If you do splurge on the larger salad, often the size difference will be made up in inexpensive lettuce.</p> <h3>3. Feeling Like Family</h3> <p>Diners tend to like seeing the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/dining/23menus.html?pagewanted=all">names of mothers, grandmothers, uncles, and other relatives</a> on their menus. That's why you'll see something listed as &quot;Bubbie's Chicken Soup&quot; or &quot;Uncle Doug's Famous Burgers&quot; rather than simply chicken noodle soup or &frac14; pound burgers.</p> <h3>4. Brand Name Recognition</h3> <p>Going along with that, menu designers have discovered that using <a href="http://www.foodpsychology.cornell.edu/pdf/pre-prints/descriptivemenulabels-2001.pdf">brand names helps boost sales</a>. For instance, T.G.I. Friday's offers Jack Daniel's sauce, and many restaurants make sure to specify that their juice is from Minute Maid. The name recognition is enough to help sell the food.</p> <h3>5. Descriptive Language</h3> <p>A study by Cornell University revealed that foods described in a more flowery or beautiful way were more appealing and popular with diners than the same items presented more plainly. For instance, the study would either label a dessert as &quot;New York Style Cheesecake with Godiva Chocolate Sauce&quot; or simply as &quot;Cheesecake.&quot; The results showed that diners chose the more descriptive menu items <a href="http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/summaries/sales_labels">27% more often</a> than the more plainly labeled items.</p> <p>Restaurants will often use this effect to highlight a profitable dish &mdash; while using much plainer description on a less profitable menu item placed nearby.</p> <h3>6. Price Shenanigans</h3> <p>One of the things you won't find in almost any menu, from a formal foodie haven down to Mom's Diner, is a dollar sign. Omitting the symbol from the price seems to be enough to spur diners to spend significantly more, according to another Cornell study.</p> <p>In addition, you'll notice something funny about the numbers on menus. You will rarely see any prices ending in a 9. For instance, a dessert will be listed as $4.95 <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/party-like-its-1999-the-psychology-of-pricing">rather than $4.99</a>. Apparently, numbers ending in 5 seem &quot;friendlier,&quot; while numbers ending with 9 connote value, but not necessarily quality.</p> <p>Many restaurants will leave off the cents entirely, listing their dishes as a clean and simple number. All of these gambits make prices abstract, which makes spending feel less threatening and painful.</p> <h3>7. Price Placement</h3> <p>Many menus will avoid listing prices in a column, since that will make it much simpler to compare prices between meals. Instead, many restaurants will bury each item's price beneath the description.</p> <p>Even if prices are listed across from the dishes, restaurants generally do not print leader dots between the dish name and the price. It's harder to scan across to the price without those dots, meaning you're more likely to focus on the dish.</p> <h2>Service</h2> <p>The menu is not the only way restaurants try to manipulate your spending. Your friendly server is also in on it.</p> <h3>8. Introducing Themselves by Name</h3> <p>When your server introduces himself as Todd and claims he'll be &quot;taking care of you this evening,&quot; he's not just being friendly. Studies have shown that <a href="http://drjaydill.com/PSY500/Garrity-Degelman_1990.pdf">restaurant tipping is higher when servers introduce themselves</a> because the interaction feels more personal.</p> <h3>9. Upselling</h3> <p>Servers are trained to ask you if you'd like to add to your meal during every step of the ordering process. For instance, when you order a cocktail, your server might offer you a choice of brands of liquor &mdash; letting you know that the restaurant carries both Bombay and Beefeaters gin, for instance. What the server does not tell you is that there is also a perfectly good and inexpensive gin that the bartender would have used had you not specified either Bombay or Beefeaters.</p> <h3>10. Listing Specials Verbally</h3> <p>In addition to upselling, servers are also trained to rattle off the day's specials &mdash; from the appetizers to the soups to the entrees to the desserts &mdash; off the top of their heads. This practice provides you with a mouth watering description of the foods that the restaurant is hoping to sell, but it does not give you the price point for each special. Many diners are too embarrassed to ask about the prices of specials, meaning they are surprised when the bill comes.</p> <h3>11. Beverage Timing</h3> <p>You've probably noticed that good servers get your beverage from the bar very quickly after you place your order. That's partially because if the timing is right, you'll run out of your drink either before your entrée arrives or in the middle of your meal &mdash; which will often mean you ask for a refill. If you're drinking a bottle of wine, you might find that your server is Johnny-on-the-spot with refills, since you might be persuaded to purchase another bottle if the first one is empty before your plate is.</p> <h3>12. The Midas Touch</h3> <p>Waitresses in particular are known for being very friendly and even lightly touching diners on the shoulder or hand. That's partially because studies have shown that both men and women tend to tip significantly more when their waitresses touch them in a friendly way. Researchers have dubbed this the <a href="http://psp.sagepub.com/content/10/4/512.abstract">Midas Touch</a>.</p> <p>This Midas Touch <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/work-matters/201005/women-have-the-midas-touch-not-men">does not extend to male servers</a>, however. Diners are more likely to see that kind of touch as creepy rather than friendly or nurturing when it comes from a waiter rather than a waitress.</p> <h2>Limiting Your Restaurant Spending</h2> <p>Unfortunately, the restaurants hold most of the cards when you decide to treat yourself to a meal out. Since you are there to enjoy yourself, it can be very difficult to attempt to counteract the psychological tricks since doing so will likely negatively affect your enjoyment.</p> <p>The best way to deal with these issues is to plan ahead. Bring cash so you cannot spend more than you brought. Check out the menu online and decide what you will order before you arrive. Make sure you ask questions of your server if you're not sure of prices or options. And plan to savor your food and drink, since it will help you be more satisfied and lessen the possibility of over-ordering and overeating.</p> <p><em>Have you noticed any other tricks of the restaurant trade? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more" class="sharethis-link" title="12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping dining out psychology restaurants spending tricks Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1189022 at http://www.wisebread.com The 6 Most Surprisingly Unhealthy Beverages http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-most-surprisingly-unhealthy-beverages <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-most-surprisingly-unhealthy-beverages" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boy-drinking-soda-101067133-small.jpg" alt="boy drinking soda" title="boy drinking soda" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think what you're eating is what matters most in your diet? Maybe it's what you're washing it all down with that's really the problem. According to statistics compiled by the Harvard School of Public Health, the rising consumption of <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/sugary-drinks/#ref31">sugary drinks is a major contributor to obesity</a> in the United States. In fact, for about 25% of Americans, these drinks contribute 200 or more calories to their diet each day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda?ref=seealso">22 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda</a>)</p> <p>Of course, the obvious culprit is soda (or &quot;pop,&quot; depending on where you live). Fizzy, sugary drinks are also the indulgence that get vilified the most in the press and nutritional publications. Unfortunately, that isn't the only unhealthy drink you should be avoiding. Check out these six surprisingly unhealthy beverages you may have overlooked.</p> <h2>1. Rice Milk</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Rice%20Milk.jpg" /></p> <p>Cow's milk often gets a bad rap, whether for its saturated fat content, or the hormones that are too often fed to milking cows, or to the conditions in which those cows produce their milk. And while those may all be valid concerns, many milk substitutes have problems of their own. Rice milk, in particular, <a href="http://www.rd.com/slideshows/unhealthy-foods/#slideshow=slide11">is essentially just starchy water</a>; if it isn't fortified, it provides virtually nothing in the way of protein or vitamins. Much like soda, rice milk only promises empty calories.</p> <h2>2. Smoothies</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/smoothies.jpg" /></p> <p>When it comes to having a refreshing summer treat, a smoothie seems like a good bet. But you might be better off getting the ice cream. Because let's face it: That's what you really want anyway, and you probably won't be any worse off for it.</p> <p>Smoothies tend to start out as being pretty healthy. They often contain yogurt and fruit. But then, many smoothie and drink chains add sugar, protein powders, juice, and ice cream, ratcheting up the calories to as many as 500 per cup. That said, a few chains do make healthy, relatively low calorie smoothies. Just check the nutritional information rather than assuming that a smoothie is a health food. Or take control of what's in your smoothie by <a href="http://greatist.com/health/healthy-smoothie-recipes">making your own at home</a>.</p> <h2>3. Vitamin Water</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Vitamin%20Water.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Vitamins and water. It sounds like a good combo, right? After all, our bodies need both. But before you pop the cap on one of these drinks, take a look at the label. Sure, there are plenty of vitamins, as promised. But there's also a lot of sugar. About 120 calories' worth in a typical bottle. That's less than what you'll find in the same about of soda, but not by much. And as for vitamins, well, even the leading vitamin water producer says <a href="http://foodidentitytheft.com/lawyers-for-vitaminwater-admit-drinks-health-benefits-not-meant-to-be-believed/">they probably won't do you much good</a>. Is it any wonder vitamin waters are hawked by major soft drink companies like Coca Cola?</p> <h2>4. Iced Tea</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Iced%20Tea.jpg" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/drink-your-tea-types-health-benefits-and-how-to-brew-a-perfect-cup">Tea has tons of health benefits</a>, but when it's brewed and bottled and sold as iced tea, its health benefits get a little murky.</p> <p>Most people drink what those in Southern United States call &quot;sweet tea.&quot; According to the United States Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Database, a 12-ounce glass of iced sweet tea is almost entirely made of water and carbohydrates, with 136 calories, no fat, fiber, or protein, and 32 grams of sugar. Compare that to a typical can of soda, which has about 150 calories. Sure, there are some antioxidants in that tea, but in bottled varieties,<a href="http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/dont-drink-bottled-green-tea-for-antioxidants"> those levels are often pretty low</a>. In other words, iced tea isn't much better than soda unless you make your own and keep sugar to a minimum.</p> <h2>5. Fruit Juice</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Fruit%20Juice.jpg" /></p> <p>A glass of fruit juice has long been represented on the USDA's Food Guide as a serving of fruit. Unfortunately, more recent research has found that while 100% fruit juice is made of fruit, it doesn't act like fruit in our bodies. Juice does include some vitamins and minerals, but it lacks whole fruit's fiber, which is what helps all the sugar in fruit enter our bloodstream at a slower rate. Plus,<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/juice-as-bad-as-soda-docs-say/"> many fruit juices are as sugary as soft drinks</a>. In small quantities, the vitamins in juice make it a little healthier than soda, but not by much.</p> <h2>6. Diet Soda</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Diet%20Soda.jpg" /></p> <p>If you're a diet soda lover, you probably know it isn't <em>healthy</em> for you, exactly, but you may assume think it's a cut above sugar-sweetened fizzy drinks. Unfortunately, calorie-free diet drinks aren't free of health consequences. According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study, just one diet soda a day is linked to an <a href="http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/4/688.short">increased risk of metabolic syndrome.</a> A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that downing two or more cans of <a href="http://www.healthyhorns.utexas.edu/n_dietsoda.html">diet soda per day increased people's waistlines by 500%</a>. Diet soda consumption has even been linked to <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20091102/diet-sodas-hard-on-the-kidneys">kidney problems</a> and <a href="http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/acid-reflux-and-soda-connection/#axzz39Z9xpQZy">acid reflux</a>.</p> <p>The bottom line? Many drinks that are marketed as being healthy &mdash; or healthier &mdash; are just as bad for your health as soda.</p> <p><em>Any other surprisingly unhealthy beverages? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-most-surprisingly-unhealthy-beverages" class="sharethis-link" title="The 6 Most Surprisingly Unhealthy Beverages" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink beverages healthy food junk food pop soda tea unhealthy food Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:00:05 +0000 Tara Struyk 1189082 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Steps to Grocery Savings Without Double Coupons http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-steps-to-grocery-savings-without-double-coupons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-steps-to-grocery-savings-without-double-coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grocery-shopping-134205951-small.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on grocery savings without double coupons, things that annoy hiring managers, and coming to grips with paying your rent on time.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/2014/08/6-steps-to-saving-without-double-coupons/">6 Steps to Grocery Savings Without Double Coupons</a> &mdash; You can save at the grocery store without double coupons by comparing what you purchase and tracking sale prices. [Pocket Your Dollars]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/What-Annoys-Hiring-Managers-34912002">9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers</a> &mdash; Being too persistant can really annoy hiring managers. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyqanda.com/coming-grips-paying-rent-time-universal-credit/">Coming to Grips With Paying Your Rent On Time</a> &mdash; To make sure you pay your rent on time, budget rent as a priority and make cut backs where possible. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/5-times-its-worth-booking-a-hotel-while-backpacking">5 Times It's Worth Booking a Hotel While Backpacking</a> &mdash; If you are backpacking and become concerned about your safety, it is probably worth it to book a hotel. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="http://shopmyclosetproject.com/how-to-dress-for-the-summer-heat-for-less/">How to Dress Cheaply for the Rest of Summer</a> &mdash; Rocking cotton and linen and remembering that dresses are your friend can help you dress cheaply for the rest of summer. [The Shop My Closet Project]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/10-things-need-fix-to-slow-down-the-march-of-identity-theft/">10 Things We Need to Fix to Slow Down the March of Identity Theft</a> &mdash; In order to slow down identity theft, consumer apathy and security must be dealt with. [Credit Sesame Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://commonsensemillennial.com/do-what-you-love/">Ready to Do What You Love and Find Your Ideal Career?</a> &mdash; Teaching yourself something new and establishing a side hustle can help you find your ideal career. [Common Sense Millennial]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/08/14/are-you-driving-a-lemon/">Are You Driving a Lemon?</a> &mdash; If your car is a lemon, contact the manufacturer as well as the dealer to report any problems with your car. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-tips-on-how-to-act-on-the-sidelines-of-your-child-s-sporting-event">6 Tips on How to Act on the Sidelines of Your Child&rsquo;s Sporting Event</a> &mdash; It is important to be positive and not yell at the coach when attending your child's sporting event. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/law-mandates-instate-tuition-vets-public-colleges.html">New Law Mandates In-State Tuition for Vets Studying at All Public Colleges Starting Next Year</a> &mdash; Starting next year, vets will pay in state tuition fees at all colleges, even if they attend college in another state. [Bargaineering]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-steps-to-grocery-savings-without-double-coupons" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Steps to Grocery Savings Without Double Coupons" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping best money tips coupons Food grocery market supermarket Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1185498 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Delicious But Difficult Recipes Made Easy http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-but-difficult-recipes-made-easy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-delicious-but-difficult-recipes-made-easy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-making-sushi-476093573-small.jpg" alt="mother making sushi" title="mother making sushi" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Would you care for some pate' on fresh bread? Perhaps some sushi? No trouble, I'll just whip some up. Really. Okay, some of these recipes require a little planning, but these are true time-savers. You don't need to think you are compromising, because they're also delicious. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elevate-your-kitchen-skills-with-these-5-easy-cooking-techniques">Elevate Your Cooking Skills With These 5 Easy Techniques</a>)</p> <h2>1. Strawberry Freezer Jam</h2> <p>My best friend's mother used to crank this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-freezer-jam/">strawberry jam</a> out every summer. The beauty of freezer jam is that once you've made it, you've made jam like some dang pioneer. However, you don't need one of those massive canning kettles, boiling water, fancy jars and lids, and the worry of &quot;did they properly seal?&quot;</p> <p>I like the quantity of this recipe, which makes five pints. That's enough to store a few and share some. Freezer jam is great over toast, waffles, and pancakes. A little bit on the runny side, this jam is also great to stir into plain yogurt, or put over ice cream. I liked mine over a well-buttered English muffin.</p> <h2>2. Refrigerator Pickles</h2> <p>My aunt used to make pickles, and that's why I haven't. The work involved is too daunting. You have to make a brine, and get out the giant kettle, sterilize the jars, trim the ends of the cucumbers if they are too tall, and worry about if they have sealed properly&hellip; ugh, no thanks. Target has excellent pickle prices.</p> <p>So when a co-worker said, &quot;Just make <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/monas-easy-refrigerator-pickles/">refrigerator pickles</a>,&quot; I thought well, let's look into that! These are delicious. Based on the recipe comments, I used apple cider vinegar instead of white. They remind me very much of Japanese sunomono, a cucumber salad (the difference being the use of rice vinegar, ginger root, and sesame seeds). Refrigerator pickles are not at all daunting and they are very delicious.</p> <h2>3. No-Knead Bread</h2> <p>&quot;Even a six-year-old can do it!&quot; Those are my kind of instructions.</p> <p>This <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Ah9ES2yTU">no-knead bread </a>is amazingly easy. It does need to rest for twelve hours, so you will need to allow for that. However, it makes a fantastic loaf.</p> <p>Sometimes, though, I want my bread even faster! Did you ever make a pot of soup and think, &quot;I wish I had some fresh bread to go with this&quot;? <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Beer-Batter-Bread-104160">Beer bread</a> is one of my favorite quick bread go-to's. I always seem to have these ingredients around&hellip; including the beer.</p> <p>Another favorite (no need to wait for St. Patrick's Day) is <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/moms-irish-soda-bread/">Irish Soda bread,</a> which I think is absolutely great for breakfast. No buttermilk? Don't worry. Just substitute lemon juice or <a href="http://frugalliving.about.com/od/condimentsandspices/r/Buttermilk_Sub.htm">vinegar into regular milk</a>, in place of buttermilk.</p> <p>Special diet? Here is a no-knead <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Oatmeal-Whole-Wheat-Quick-Bread/Detail.aspx?evt19=1">oatmeal </a>bread that works with with soy milk. No yeast is used. I found that if I added some finely-chopped apple (about a half-cup), it was like dessert.</p> <h2>4. Sushi</h2> <p>As much as I love sushi, you would think I would be better at making it. Not so! Any type of cooking that requires good manual dexterity is not my thing. I have tried sushi, spring rolls, shaped baked rolls, but mine come out looking pretty ugly.</p> <p>Loving the flavors of sushi, I was so happy to find a recipe for &quot;<a href="http://www.foodland.com/video/pan-sushi">pan sushi</a>.&quot; Keoni Chang is the chef for the Hawaii chain of Foodland stores and this is a fun demo. Try with imitation (or real) crab, Spam, tuna, or let your imagination go crazy. I like to add a layer of Japanese omelet or tofu, spicy ahi poke, bacon and/or fried chicken pieces. A layer of sliced green onions is also good.</p> <h2>5. Ice Cream</h2> <p>I do own an ice-cream maker. It makes wonderful ice cream and frozen yogurt, but it takes a lot of pre-planning and time. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't easier to use.</p> <p>When I am not in the mood to get all the parts out, I have two &quot;cheater&quot; ice-cream recipes that are great. The first one? <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-creamy-ice-cream-with-just-one-ingredient-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-93414">Frozen bananas</a>. No kidding. Slice a banana, freeze it, pummel it in the food processor or blender and ta-daah! Ice cream. I use a blender, which is powerful enough that it works fine. Keep in mind the advantages of the frozen banana ice cream: Fat-free, gluten-free, vegan&hellip; you get my drift. What is really unusual is that I first thought it would just taste, oh, I don't know, just banana-y. But oddly, and especially when you add a little chocolate syrup on top, or peanut butter, or coconut shavings, well, that other flavor seems to be the dominant one. It's a little like a blank slate.</p> <p>My second &quot;fake <a href="http://www.macaroniandcheesecake.com/2012/03/two-ingredient-ice-cream-no-ice-cream-maker-required.html#comment-7739">ice cream</a>&quot; trick? Whipping cream and condensed milk. Again, add whatever flavorings you want (if any). I challenge you to wait until it is completely solid. The first time we made this ice cream, my husband and I waited an hour and a half and decided we would &quot;check&quot; it. Like quality control. Just to make sure it wasn't horrible. Well, we ate it. All. It was like soft-serve ice cream, and it was a hot day, and we'd had a small lunch&hellip;</p> <h2>6. Margaritas</h2> <p>If I ask my husband to make me a margarita, it is an undertaking. He makes a simple syrup, picks fresh limes, and gets out some fancy glasses and coarse salt. If I have been marinating carnitas or simmering a mole, that kind of margarita fuss is justified. But hey, tacos? No. Let's just make an easy <a href="http://www.onceuponachef.com/2010/05/margaritas.html">margarita.</a> I keep frozen limeade (which is also cheap) around just for this purpose.</p> <h2>7. Pate</h2> <p>Pate, anyone? Why, yes, thank you, I would love some. Would you believe that, aside from the chicken livers, I had the makings in my pantry? I had never considered making it, thinking it would be really complicated. Wrong! This Emeril Lagase recipe for <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/chicken-liver-pate-terrine-de-foies-de-volaille-recipe.html">chicken liver pate</a> is surprisingly easy. It does take a little pre-planning, so if you want to throw a dinner party on Saturday night, you will need to shop and cook on Friday. I used brandy rather than cognac and served on toasted baguettes.</p> <h2>8. Hollandaise</h2> <p>When my mother wanted to impress her guests, out came the fresh asparagus with hollandaise sauce. Couldn't you just swim in this sauce? I don't own a double boiler, and I certainly do not have the patience for all the stirring and monitoring. Fortunately, some smarty came up with a blender <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/blender-hollandaise-sauce/">hollandaise sauce</a>. I use a little Sriracha sauce in mine for extra zip. Great on asparagus, of course (roasted, not boiled &mdash; sorry, mom) and of course on Eggs Benedict. You could put this sauce on just about anything and it would be great, shoe leather included.</p> <h2>9. Pasta</h2> <p>I used to have a pasta maker. It did make very nice pasta, but it also had many parts, needed assembly each use, and the clean-up was a nightmare. I ended up selling it. However, I do love fresh pasta, and was feeling a little deprived until I looked into making it without the equipment.</p> <p>What do you really need for good, fresh pasta? Basically, a good, sharp knife and a rolling pin.</p> <p>I found instructions in lots of places online, but I like <a href="http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/tools-and-techniques/how-to-make-pasta2.htm">this fresh pasta recipe</a> the best.</p> <p>There was some trial and error involved. I did not have good luck with whole-wheat flour, which fell apart a lot. In my cookbooks, &quot;semolina flour&quot; is recommended, but I just used plain flour and it worked fine.</p> <p>There is a lot of debate online about whether to allow the pasta to dry or to cook it immediately. Most people seem to agree that results are better if you allow spaghetti or linguini to dry for between one and three hours. If you do decide to dry your pasta, you're going to need a rack or a tree to hang it from. When I had a pasta maker, I also had a drying tree &mdash; no problem. But when I got rid of that maker, I sold the tree with it. What to do if you don't have a pasta drying tree? Improvise.</p> <p>I took my cookie rack (like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Q3EZNY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000Q3EZNY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VD5Q3KYAT7MMN35L">this one</a>), put it between two tall standing books (making a sort of bridge), and put the noodles on the rungs of the rack to dry. I also put some waxed paper underneath the noodles, as some of them fell off and I wanted them to land on a clean surface.</p> <h2>10. Pie Crust</h2> <p>I have no issues with using those ready-made crusts, but sometimes, I don't have them around at the ready. Also, I am not terribly handy with a rolling pin and I really hate getting flour everywhere. But wait! You don't need all that stuff. I love this <a href="http://www.thecountrycook.net/2012/09/wham-bam-pie-crust.html">simple pie crust recipe</a> &mdash; and it works! How? Smushing. Yep, you just &quot;smush&quot; the dough into place. It takes a little practice, but this dough recipe is very forgiving. I am not very good at decorative crusts, but I think mine turned out looking fine and definitely had a homemade touch.</p> <p><em>See, anybody can look like a total gourmet on a day's notice. Any easy recipes to share, readers?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-but-difficult-recipes-made-easy" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Delicious But Difficult Recipes Made Easy" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink difficult recipes easy recipes recipe secrets Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Marla Walters 1185373 at http://www.wisebread.com Wise Bread Reloaded: Late Summer Grilling http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-late-summer-grilling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-bread-reloaded-late-summer-grilling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-barbecue-451837635-small.jpg" alt="family barbeque" title="family barbeque" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In some parts of the country, the <a href="http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Record-Wash-state-apple-harvest-expected-270897041.html">apple harvest is already underway</a>, and a summer that seemed so endless when it began is already closing in on another fall.</p> <p>But there are still a few more weekends of grilling season left. If you've grown weary of the usual backyard BBQ fare, consider some of the recipes, ingredients, and grill techniques we've collected below in this week's edition of Reloaded.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-vegan-grill-recipes?ref=classicwb">Great Vegan Grill Recipes</a> &mdash; Mikey Rox offers up six delicious vegan grill dishes, including a precious grilled peach dessert.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-grill-pizza-at-home?ref=classicwb">This Is How You Grill Pizza at Home</a> &mdash; It sounds crazy, but a grill really is a great way to prepare pizza, primarily because you can raise the temperature to 700 degrees or more, almost as hot as a wood-fired pizza oven. Ashley Marcin's method puts dough right on grill, but a pizza stone works too.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-easy-new-ways-to-top-your-burgers?ref=classicwb">15 Delicious New Ways to Top a Burger</a> &mdash; If you are determined to go with the classic burger, mix it up with one (or several) of Marla Walter's fun burger toppings. She also offers recipes for several non-beef burgers, including turkey, salmon, black bean, and crab.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-chicken-leg-and-thigh-recipes-from-around-the-world?ref=classicwb">15 Chicken Leg and Thigh Recipes From Around the World</a> &mdash; The recipe for Korean BBQ chicken thighs Camilla Cheung included in her collection of leg and thigh recipes is why we've included the post here, but you'll find 14 other great recipes for dark meat after the click, too.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-and-delicious-marinades?ref=classicwb">10 Cheap and Delicious Marinades</a> &mdash; All of these marinades are suitable for the usual grill proteins (the ones that come from animals), but they'll do well on vegetarian and vegan vehicles such as tofu and tempeh, too.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-things-to-do-before-the-summer-is-gone?ref=classicwb">15 Fun, Cheap Things to Do Before Summer Is Gone</a> &mdash; When you're done grilling and eating, Jennifer Holder offers a double handful of fun, frugal things to do before school and bad weather return.</p> <h2>This Year's Record Breaking Apple Harvest</h2> <p>The Wall Street Journal tells us that this year apple harvest in Washington state will be <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/APd7532607e3bb48d2bdc0fc1e1f0e3499.html">record breaking</a>. Just don't expect too much downward pressure on prices. That's because Washington grows varieties such as Gala and Honey Crisp that other apple growing regions do not. Nevertheless, what should we do with the bounty?</p> <p>Grill 'em, of course &mdash; <a href="http://www.extraordinarybbq.com/grilled-apple-slices/">sliced</a> and dusted with cinnamon and sugar, or whole and <a href="http://www.grilling24x7.com/apples.shtml">stuffed with chocolate</a> and marshmallows.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-late-summer-grilling" class="sharethis-link" title="Wise Bread Reloaded: Late Summer Grilling" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink BBQ Grill Grilling outdoor food Sat, 16 Aug 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Lars Peterson 1186465 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Starbucks Hacks That Will Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-starbucks-hacks-that-will-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-starbucks-hacks-that-will-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee-shop-466257859-small.jpg" alt="coffee shop" title="coffee shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on Starbucks hacks that will save you money, money mindsets to adopt today, and starting a business you love.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-Saving-Money-Starbucks-3751741">14 Starbucks Hacks That Will Save You Money</a> &mdash; Did you know if you bring your own cup to Starbucks they will give you a ten cent discount? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.leahmanderson.com/change-money-mindset-7-mindsets-adopt-now/">How to Change Your Money Mindset + 7 Mindsets To Adopt Today</a> &mdash; Having the money mindsets that money looks better in your bank account than on your feet and that financial success is possible for you can help you be successful with your finances. [Leah Manderson]</p> <p><a href="http://momanddadmoney.com/6-first-steps-starting-business-love/">6 First Steps to Starting a Business You Love (and Finding Your Freedom Along the Way)</a> &mdash; When starting a business you love, be helpful and stay focused. [Mom and Dad Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cfinancialfreedom.com/4-steps-achieve-financial-success/">The 4 Basic Steps to Achieve Financial Success</a> &mdash; To achieve financial success, spend less than you make. [Celebrating Financial Freedom]</p> <p><a href="http://www.smartasset.com/blog/money-saving-tip/6-old-school-ways-to-save-more/">6 Old School Ways to Save More</a> &mdash; Driving your car longer and learning to barter can help you save more. [SmartAsset Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/dont_mess_with_taxes/2014/08/back-school-education-tax-breaks.html">School's Back. So Are Some, But Not All, Education Tax Breaks</a> &mdash; The American Opportunity tax credit renewed through 2017, so don't forget to take advantage of it if you or your child is in school. [Don't Mess With Taxes]</p> <p><a href="http://financiallyauthentic.com/inspire-honest-authentic-money-conversations-relationship/">How to Inspire Honest &amp; Authentic Money Conversations in Your Relationship</a> &mdash; Appreciating the other dynamics at play in your relationship can help you inspire honest and authentic money conversations with your partner. [Financially Authentic]</p> <p><a href="http://genyplanning.com/2014/08/13/can-money-buy-happiness-gen-y/">Can Money Buy Happiness for Gen Y?</a> &mdash; If you want to align your money and happiness, think positively and practice gratitude. [Gen Y Planning]</p> <p><a href="http://creativemoney.biz/2014/08/12/freaked-personal-finance-start-trust-inspired-action/">Freaked by Personal Finance? Start With Trust and Inspired Action</a> &mdash; Trusting yourself is a vital part in being successful with your personal finances. [Creative Money]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/destination-adulthood-help-your-child-succeed-step-by-step">Destination Adulthood: Help Your Child Succeed Step by Step</a> &mdash; It is important to teach your child self-control. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-starbucks-hacks-that-will-save-you-money" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Starbucks Hacks That Will Save You Money" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink best money tips Starbucks Fri, 15 Aug 2014 19:00:03 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1184665 at http://www.wisebread.com Make 15 Junk Food Favorites Healthier and Cheaper at Home http://www.wisebread.com/make-15-junk-food-favorites-healthier-and-cheaper-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-15-junk-food-favorites-healthier-and-cheaper-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chicken-nuggets-179083486-small.jpg" alt="chicken nuggets" title="chicken nuggets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether we want to admit it or not, we live in a world full of brightly packaged &quot;foods&quot; and gigantic restaurant portions. Sure, I'd love to say that I never have cravings and &mdash; instead &mdash; only fill my stomach with whole foods. I'm a child of the 1990s, however, and I'm pretty sure I subsisted on a lot of unhealthy eats throughout my teens. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people?ref=seealso">25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People</a>)</p> <p>When I get the cravings these days, I either try to skip these foods entirely or go online to find healthier ways to make them at home so they pack less of a processed punch.</p> <h2>1. Pizza Hut Breadsticks</h2> <p>I'm keen on those warm, crusty breadsticks, and this <a href="http://www.seededatthetable.com/2011/05/11/parmesan-breadsticks/">copycat recipe</a> &mdash; complete with sticks and herbed Parmesan topping &mdash; looks incredibly satisfying. If you don't need 3 dozen breadsticks, you can easily make a half batch for weeknight snacking, and I'd suggest substituting half the white flour with whole wheat.</p> <h2>2. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups</h2> <p>I don't care so much about whatever holiday is next, but I sure look forward to finding Reese's eggs, trees, and other shapes to stuff my face with. This delicious <a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/03/29/copycat-recipe-reeses-peanut-butter-eggs/">Peanut Butter Egg</a> recipe uses stevia and powdered sugar for sweetness, so it's certain to be much healthier than the original!</p> <h2>3. Peanut Butter Twix</h2> <p>Next in line after Reese's, my favorite candy is peanut butter Twix. This <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/03/homemade-chocolate-peanut-butter-twix.html">homemade recipe</a> looks a little time intensive, but it's certainly worth the effort. The best part? The peanut butter gets a more authentic texture with crumbled graham crackers.</p> <h2>4. Chicken McNuggets</h2> <p>I didn't know it was possible to make this next dish healthy, but these copycat <a href="http://cookinwithsuperpickle.blogspot.com/2010/01/chicken-nuggets-mcdonalds-style-kinda.html">Chicken McNuggets</a> are baked and gluten-free. They are also made from real chicken breast, which is far better than whatever is in the drive-through favorite. I always used to dip mine in honey!</p> <h2>5. Egg McMuffin</h2> <p>While we're on the fast food giant, check out these <a href="http://www.recipesquickneasy.com/healthy-egg-mcmuffin-copycats/">Egg McMuffins</a> made with Canadian bacon, low-calorie cheese, and whole grain English muffins. The recipe yields 12, so you can make a big batch to freeze for quick breakfasts on the go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-make-ahead-freezable-hot-breakfast-recipes?ref=seealso">9 Make Ahead Freezable Breakfast Meals</a>)</p> <h2>6. Pop-Tarts</h2> <p>I definitely ate my fair share of Pop-Tarts growing up, and not as part of a healthy breakfast. This <a href="http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/04/homemade-pop-tarts/">tasty version</a> can be filled with anything from cinnamon to jam to Nutella, but whatever you choose is bound to be better than its packaged counterpart.</p> <h2>7. Orange Julius</h2> <p>I'd get this drink when we'd visit the mall, and what a treat it was! This <a href="http://www.blendtec.com/blog/orange-julius-copycat/">homemade copycat beverage</a> is sweetened with only fruit and made vegan by using almond milk, though I'm sure you can substitute in whatever dairy you prefer.</p> <h2>8. Wendy's Frosty</h2> <p>I've seen a lot of Frosty copycat recipes, but <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/wendys-frosty-copycat-4-ww-points-176818/photo">this chocolatey one</a> seems to be lighter than the rest. It's also Weight Watchers approved with only four points. If points don't matter and you're avoiding sugar substitutes, you could always use regular pudding mix with similar results.</p> <h2>9. Olive Garden Dressing</h2> <p>This recipe might not be entirely healthier than the restaurant mix, but it might get you eating more veggies at home. Try the <a href="http://www.frugalcouponliving.com/2014/05/18/copycat-olive-garden-dressing-salad-recipe/">Olive Garden Dressing</a> copycat and chill in your refrigerator for weeks of crunchy salads on demand.</p> <h2>10. Twinkie</h2> <p>It doesn't get more basic than the Twinkie. Here's a <a href="http://www.elanaspantry.com/gluten-free-twinkies/">healthy recipe</a> to try that also happens to be gluten free and extra gooey. If you don't like agave nectar, you can substitute maple syrup or honey for natural sweetness.</p> <h2>11. Rice Krispy Treats</h2> <p>I may need to make this recipe tonight because I'm already drooling over these <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/11/ooey-gooey-crispy-rice-treats.html">Crisp Rice Treats</a> that are made with brown rice cereal, Ricemellow Creme, and &mdash; yes &mdash; peanut butter. Drizzle some dark chocolate on top to take this dessert over the edge.</p> <h2>12. Mac and Cheese</h2> <p>I grew up on Velveeta mac and cheese, but I don't even want to know what is in that orange melty stuff. The author of this <a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/12/09/vegan-macaroni-and-cheese/">vegan copycat recipe</a> claims this has all the classic flavor &mdash; all without containing any animal products whatsoever. The secret? Nuts!</p> <h2>13. Slurpee</h2> <p>This <a href="http://pikachakula.com/recipe/strawberry-lemonade-healthy-slurpee">Strawberry Lemonade Slurpee</a> recipe will take your love of the frosty drink to a new level. There's still plenty of summer left to enjoy, and the author offers up several fruit swaps for different variations. I'll take a mango plus peach, please!</p> <h2>14. Fruit Roll-Ups</h2> <p>I can't even begin to quantify how many Fruit Roll-Ups I must have eaten as a kid. Now I make them at home for my own child using real fruit. Check out this (video) recipe to make naturally sweetened <a href="http://veggiefocus.com/blog/fruit-roll-ups-video/">Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups</a> using either an oven on low temperature or dedicated dehydrator.</p> <h2>15. Thin Mints</h2> <p>I was thrilled when I saw packaged Girl Scout style cookies pop up on grocery shelves. But they still just aren't as wholesome as homemade. Try this <a href="http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2014/03/04/paleo-thin-mints/">Paleo Thin Mints</a> recipe for a treat even your caveman ancestors might have enjoyed.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite (and wholesome) copycat recipes?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-15-junk-food-favorites-healthier-and-cheaper-at-home" class="sharethis-link" title="Make 15 Junk Food Favorites Healthier and Cheaper at Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink copycat recipes frugal recipes healthy food junk food Fri, 15 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1184055 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Dining Hacks From Restaurant Insiders http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-dining-hacks-from-restaurant-insiders <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-dining-hacks-from-restaurant-insiders" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/restaurant-menu-86488893-small.jpg" alt="restaurant menu" title="restaurant menu" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on dining hacks from restaurant insiders, reconsidering the college investment, and tools to help you find the cheapest textbooks.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Money-Restaurants-35413835">12 Drinking and Dining Hacks From Restaurant Insiders</a> &mdash; When drinking or dining out, save money by skipping the pricey liquor and only ordering an appetizer. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2014/08/06/ivory-tower-reconsidering-college-investment/">The &quot;Ivory Tower&quot;: Reconsidering the College Investment</a> &mdash; Did you know nationally, student loan debt has reached the trillion-dollar mark? [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.doughroller.net/education/websites-to-buy-and-sell-your-college-textbooks/">5 Tools to Help You Find the Cheapest Textbooks</a> &mdash; Barnes &amp; Noble and Half.com can help you find textbooks on the cheap. [The Dough Roller]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/08/04/are-you-getting-ahead-or-falling-behind/">Are You Getting Ahead or Falling Behind?</a> &mdash; If you are managing your career successfully, you are probably getting ahead. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://reddebtedstepchild.com/stuff-cost/">How Much Does Your Stuff Cost?</a> &mdash; Have you ever considered how much your stuff costs you when it comes to the time you spent buying it? [Red Debted Stepchild]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://fitnpoor.com/2014/07/30/emotional-shopper/">Are You an Emotional Shopper?</a> &mdash; If you purchase items in hopes they will improve your state of mind, you are probably an emotional shopper. [Fit is the New Poor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.amandaabella.com/2014/08/04/opportunities-for-abundance/">How to Be Open to Opportunities for Abundance</a> &mdash; Being a good steward of your money can keep you open to opportunities for abundance. [Amanda Abella]</p> <p><a href="http://financialducksinarow.com/9329/3-do-over-options-for-social-security-benefits/">3 Do Over Options for Social Security Benefits</a> &mdash; Did you take your social security benefits early? Give yourself a do-over by working it off. [Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row]</p> <p><a href="http://thebudgetnistablog.com/2014/dont-splurge-to-impress-him/">Four Items That You Don't Need to Splurge on to Impress Him</a> &mdash; Ladies, don't feel the need to splurge on makeup to impress a guy. [The Budgetnista]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-things-to-do-with-your-kids-this-weekend">10 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend</a> &mdash; This weekend, consider going on a treasure hunt or to a concert with your kids. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-dining-hacks-from-restaurant-insiders" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Dining Hacks From Restaurant Insiders" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink best money tips dining drinking hacks restaurant Fri, 08 Aug 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1179251 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Food Additives You're Probably Eating Every Day (and What They Do) http://www.wisebread.com/11-food-additives-youre-probably-eating-every-day-and-what-they-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-food-additives-youre-probably-eating-every-day-and-what-they-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating-food-night-186218666-small.jpg" alt="eating food night" title="eating food night" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My grandparents grew up in a time and place when they knew exactly where their food came from: their own backyard. That kind of transparency seems almost unimaginable to me.</p> <p>The carton of milk I buy might have been sourced from hundreds &mdash; or even thousands &mdash; of animals. The apples I carefully select tell me only the country or state in which they were grown. Even the fresh bread from my favorite local bakery is suspect; I know nothing about the flour, the seeds, or the hands that bring it to life. And I haven't even gotten to processed food. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/im-eating-what-12-gross-things-in-your-food?ref=seealso">I'm Eating What? 12 Gross Things in Your Food</a>)</p> <p>But let's be honest: It's pretty hard to avoid processed food entirely. Whether you're talking about technicolored junk food or just canned veggies, it all contains additives that, at best, are unnecessary and, at worst, are downright harmful. Here are 11 common food additives many of us probably ingest quite often &mdash; and what they could mean for your health.</p> <h2>Butylated HydroxyAnisole (BHA)</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/crackers-454265809-small.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A petroleum-based antioxidant preservative that helps keep fats from going rancid.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Food packaging, butter, crackers, potato chips, cereal, and beer.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: It depends on whom you ask. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, BHA is &quot;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/SCOGS/ucm260874.htm">generally recognized as safe</a>,&quot; while the National Institutes of Health says it's &quot;<a href="http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/twelfth/profiles/butylatedhydroxyanisole.pdf">reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen</a>.&quot; Studies have shown that in high doses <a href="http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v18je05.htm">it causes cancer in lab rats</a>.</p> <h2>Interesterified Fat</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/donuts-178113038-small.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A chemical blend of fully hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated oils, interesterified fat was developed in response to a backlash against hydrogenated oils, which have been <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/trans-fat/art-20046114">found to have serious health effects</a>.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: You could find interesterified fats in just about any processed food that contains vegetable oil, including deep-fried food, doughnuts, cookies, pastries, crackers, margarine, salad dressing, and mayonnaise. Look for terms like &quot;stearate&quot; or &quot;stearic rich fats,&quot; as well as &quot;fully hydrogenated vegetable oil, palm oil or palm kernel oil&quot; on the label.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: One study found that significant consumption of interesterified fats created unhealthy levels of cholesterol and unfavorable blood glucose levels that bordered on pre-diabetes. Another study<a href="http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/62/5/950.full.pdf"> found no negative effects to cholesterol levels</a>. What is certain is that this fat is less healthy than other saturated alternatives, such a coconut oil and butter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fat-filled-foods-you-should-stop-avoiding?ref=seealso">10 Fat-Filled Foods You Should Stop Avoiding</a>.)</p> <h2>Red #40 (Allura Red)</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/candy-463140557-small.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A petroleum-based food dye that belongs, along with a number of other food colorants, to a group called <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azo_dye">azo dyes</a>.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: As the most commonly used food colorant in the U.S., Red #40 is found in candy, cereal, soft drinks, pastries, maraschino cherries, fruit snacks, fruit cocktail, and even chocolate cake. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youll-be-surprised-how-much-sugar-these-10-foods-have?ref=seealso">You'll Be Surprised How Much Sugar These 10 Foods Have</a>.)</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: In 2007, the <a href="http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673607613063/abstract">azo group of dyes was linked to hyperactivity</a> in elementary school children. Questions over its potentially negative health effects have lead to its being banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, and Switzerland.</p> <h2>Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/cereal-167384740-small.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A synthetic organic chemical dye which, like Red #40, belongs to the azo group.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Cereal, pudding, snacks, macaroni and cheese, condiments, chips, cookies.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Like Red #40, Yellow No. 5 has been linked to hyperactivity, as well as reactions like <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11687081">asthma</a>, some <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1793813/">skin conditions</a>, and even <a href="http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/dyes-problem-table.pdf">cancer</a>. None of these studies is considered conclusive, however, and the coloring remains an FDA approved food additive.</p> <h2>Bisphenol-A (BPA)</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/canned-vegetables-151572910-small.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A carbon-based synthetic compound used in plastics and epoxy resins.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: BPA is used in all kinds of polymers and plastics, but when it comes to food, you'll mostly find it in canned foods, because many cans have BPA in their lining. Significant amounts have been shown to leach into food.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Although there isn't much debate about whether people ingest BPA regularly, there is controversy about whether it's safe or not. The biggest concern is that <a href="http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/">BPA disrupts endocrine function</a>. Even so, one recent study that fed rats more than 70,000 times the amount of BPA ingested by a typical American <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/26/283030949/government-studies-suggest-bpa-exposure-from-food-isn-t-risky">found no ill effects</a>.</p> <h2>Phthalates</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dairy-products-177247172-small.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: Chemical plasticizing agents that gets into our food via packaging and processing.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: A 2013 study <a href="http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1206367/">detected phthalates in all 72 of the common food products</a> it elected to test, including vegetables, dairy products, grains, meats, and processed foods.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: The use of this chemical <a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Regulations-Laws&mdash;Standards/Statutes/The-Consumer-Product-Safety-Improvement-Act/Phthalates/FAQs-Bans-on-Phthalates-in-Childrens-Toys/">has been banned in baby toys</a>, but researchers still consider its potential health risks as up in the air. According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure has been <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/phthalates_factsheet.html">shown to affect the reproductive system</a> of laboratory animals.</p> <h2>Potassium Bromate</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/baguette-164207691-small.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A chemical additive used in bread flour to strengthen bread dough and help improve rising.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Although it's banned for use in many countries, in the United States, you'll find potassium bromate in many commercial baked breads and some bread flours. Because it's an oxidizing agent, it should ideally be used up during baking, leaving no trace in the finished product. Under some baking conditions, however, traces may remain.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Potassium bromate <a href="http://www.inchem.org/documents/iarc/vol73/73-17.html">has been found to have carcinogenic effects in animals</a>. However, those effects were not found in animals fed bread-based diets made from flour treated with potassium bromate.</p> <h2>Sulfites</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dried-fruits-151531351-small.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: Compounds that contain the sulfite ion and are used as food enhancers, particularly to prevent fermentation.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Unlike many of the other additives on this list, sulfites are commonly found in the foods most people would consider to be relatively healthy, such as dried, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetable juices, tomato pastes and purees, vinegar, and wine.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Although sulfites have not been found to cause serious health effects, they have been linked to <a href="http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/pubs/securit/2012-allergen_sulphites-sulfites/index-eng.php">allergic reactions in some sensitive people</a>.</p> <h2>Carrageenan</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/yogurt-178989503-small.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A seaweed extract widely used in the food industry for gelling, thickening, and stabilizing purposes.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Carrageenan is most commonly found in yogurt, soy and almond milk, and ice cream, particularly low-fat versions.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Carrageenan consumption has been linked to <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242073/pdf/ehp0109-000983.pdf">gut irritation</a>, <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20937806">inflammation</a> and even <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242073/">cancer</a> (although an <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12389870">industry-sponsored study refuted those findings</a>).</p> <h2>Ammonium Sulfate</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bread-loaf-452498055-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: An inorganic salt that's used as both a fertilizer and a food additive.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Ammonium sulfate is used in some commercial breads to speed rising and improve browning.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Although the FDA has labeled ammonium sulfate as &quot;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/SCOGS/ucm260866.htm">generally recognized as safe</a>,&quot; the chemical <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16024153">has been found to be toxic and have carcinogenic effects</a> in lab rats.</p> <h2>Castoreum</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/vanilla-ice-cream-180915682-small.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: Secretions from a beaver's anal gland used to create vanilla or raspberry flavoring in some foods.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: You'll be happy to note you probably aren't eating this particular additive very often; there are plenty of alternatives, so annual consumption in the U.S. is low. However, castoreum is approved for use by the FDA and may only be listed as &quot;natural flavor&quot; on the label.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Using a beaver's butt juice as a flavoring agent might seem weird, but this one actually <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17365147">has a long track record for safety</a>. That said, it's kind of&hellip; gross&hellip; and it's definitely a no-no for vegans and vegetarians.</p> <p>Although it's virtually impossible to avoid all additives, the best way to reduce exposure is to consume whole and unprocessed foods as much as possible. If you're really ambitious, you can even grow or produce some of your own &mdash; just like your grandparents did.</p> <p><em>What food additives do you watch out for? Please share in comments so we can watch for them, too!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-food-additives-youre-probably-eating-every-day-and-what-they-do" class="sharethis-link" title="11 Food Additives You&#039;re Probably Eating Every Day (and What They Do)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Health and Beauty food additives processed food pure food Fri, 08 Aug 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Tara Struyk 1178259 at http://www.wisebread.com