Food and Drink http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/209/all en-US How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-dinner-460418003-small.jpg" alt="family dinner" title="family dinner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Can you eat for just $20 a week? Well, I've been feeding my family of three on an average of <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/search/label/aldi">$65 a week</a> for several years now &mdash; so you can certainly get close. Beyond a basic shopping list, eating on a budget &mdash; any budget &mdash; takes some patience, planning, and creativity.</p> <p>When I was cooking for only myself, I found shopping for two weeks at a time most helpful with my budgeting. Packages of food don't seem to be made for the individual alone; it's easy to create food waste if you don't plan out meals in advance. Thing is, the same concept applies no matter how many people I'm shopping for. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals?ref=seealso">What to Eat Every Day: A Month of Frugal Meals</a>)</p> <p>Check out this healthy foods grocery list and (mostly vegetarian) menu plans for a week of eats &mdash; no coupons required.</p> <h2>Shopping List</h2> <p>My family has switched to shopping at discount grocery stores like Aldi. The prices below are from my own Aldi receipts, so be sure to check out the prices at your local grocer to compare. If you haven't checked out this stripped down way of shopping, it's worth your time and effort, as I'm always amazed at just how much I can fit into a single grocery cart without breaking the bank. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-reasons-to-shop-at-aldi">6 Awesome Reasons to Shop at Aldi)</a></p> <div dir="ltr" style="margin-left:0pt;"> <table style="border:none;border-collapse:collapse"> <colgroup><col width="202" /><col width="141" /></colgroup> <tbody> <tr style="height:29px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #000000 1px;border-top:solid #000000 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Item</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #000000 1px;border-top:solid #000000 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Cost</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #000000 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Box of spaghetti noodles</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #000000 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$0.89</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Container rolled oats</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.99</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Flour tortillas</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.19</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Loaf sliced bread</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.19</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>3-pack of bell peppers</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.99</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Couple heads broccoli</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.19</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Bag of apples</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.49</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>2 bunches of bananas</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.50</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Cauliflower</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$2.39</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>3 pounds onions</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.39</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>2 pounds carrots</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.19</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>5 pounds russet potatoes</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$2.89</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>2 cans chickpeas</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.20 ($0.59/each)</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>2 cans black beans</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.20 ($0.59/each)</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>2 cans other beans</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.20 ($0.58/each)</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>1 large can peeled tomatoes</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:bottom;background-color:#ffffff;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.50</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Jar of peanut butter</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.69</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Jar of pasta sauce</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.99</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>2 cans of tuna</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$2.30 ($1.15/each)</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Jar of salsa</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.99</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>2 tubs low-fat yogurt</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$4.00 ($1.99/each)</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>2 blocks of hard cheese</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #cccccc 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$4.00 ($1.99/each)</p> </td> </tr> <tr style="height:0px"> <td style="border-left:solid #000000 1px;border-right:solid #cccccc 1px;border-bottom:solid #000000 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>Dozen eggs</p> </td> <td style="border-left:solid #cccccc 1px;border-right:solid #000000 1px;border-bottom:solid #000000 1px;border-top:solid #cccccc 1px;vertical-align:top;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <p>$1.55</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p><strong>TOTAL:&nbsp;$41.91 (for two weeks)</strong></p> <p>Now that you have your groceries, let's talk meals. The key with shopping and cooking on a budget is making your precious ingredients stretch. Use the same types of ingredients in different ways to make simple meals without any fuss. And there is also a certain level of predictability &mdash; learning to love cheap meals and to rotate them into your routine often.</p> <h2>Breakfast</h2> <p>As a vegetarian, I like to start my day with a dose of protein. About three times a week, I scramble or fry two eggs. The rest of the time I like oatmeal or toast because it fills my stomach. If you start to run out of sweeter staples, you can always cook veggies for breakfast!</p> <ul> <li>Eggs atop toast</li> <li>Eggs with potatoes and veggies</li> <li>Oatmeal with peanut butter and sliced bananas or apples</li> <li>Peanut butter toast with yogurt</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes">Bean burrito</a> with diced veggies and beans</li> </ul> <h2>Lunch</h2> <p>Sandwiches are an inexpensive, portable lunch option. You can serve them with sliced fruit and veggies on the side to make it a fuller meal. And a note with the bread: I like to divide the loaf I buy in half and then freeze half (around 12 slices) so it stays good for the following week.</p> <ul> <li>Peanut butter and banana sandwich</li> <li>Tuna sandwich, subbing lowfat yogurt in for the mayo</li> <li>Egg salad sandwich</li> <li><a href="http://pinchofyum.com/how-i-make-hummus">Tahini-free hummus</a> melts</li> <li>Toasted cheese sandwich</li> <li>Veggie stuffed baked potato</li> </ul> <h2>Dinner</h2> <p>Beans are a fantastic protein option for dinners because they are filling and frugal. With many of the following meals, you might consider making enough for two nights and eating leftovers to save some time, all while using up the ingredients from your grocery list.</p> <ul> <li>Veggie stir-fry, using spaghetti noodles for bulk</li> <li>Roasted or grilled vegetables with cheesy beans</li> <li><a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/03/veggie-loaded-quesadillas.html">Veggie quesadillas</a> with salsa and yogurt for dipping</li> <li>Stuffed bell peppers (beans and veggies) topped with melted cheese</li> <li>Spaghetti with sauce and roasted veggies</li> <li><a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/01/10-steps-for-slow-cooker-perfection.html">Crock pot soup</a> (use leftovers for lunch!)</li> <li><a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/09/vegetable-burgers-in-bulk-frozen.html">Veggie burgers</a> on toast or tortillas</li> </ul> <h2>Final Notes</h2> <ul> <li>Most of these meals don't require much in way of recipes. Instead, it's all about learning to cook basic meals with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elevate-your-kitchen-skills-with-these-5-easy-cooking-techniques">basic methods</a> (roasting, for example). That way, if you find yourself with a random set of leftover ingredients, you can whip something up without wasting food in the process.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Vegetarian and vegan meals are inherently cheaper, but that doesn't mean you need to change your entire diet to eat on a budget. Instead, aim for a few sans-meat meals per week to see some savings.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep an eye on seasonal items and certain sales at your store. Although stocking up may initially cost more, you can enjoy some major cost reductions by shopping smart.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>And if you do stock up, learn some basic <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts">food preservation methods</a> to get the most out of your investment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Shopping in larger increments &mdash; like an entire month &mdash; can also be a great way to save time and money. If you're interested in trying this method out, I wrote all about a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend">month of freezer meals</a>, complete with instructions and meal ideas.</li> </ul> <h2>More Cheap Eats</h2> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-friendly-meals-everyone-should-know-how-to-make">10 Budget Friendly Meals Everyone Should Know How to Make</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">25 Frugal Foods for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-delicious-rice-and-bean-dishes">35 Delicious Rice and Bean Dishes</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Vegetarians</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-cheap-and-healthy-filler-foods">9 Cheap and Healthy Filler Foods</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">50 Ways to Use Canned Salmon</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Options</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals">What to Eat Every Day: A Month of Frugal Meals</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-clever-ways-to-dress-up-cheap-food">25 Clever Ways to Dress Up Cheap Food</a></li> </ul> <p><em>What's your weekly food budget? How do you keep it frugal?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)" 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 Cheap Food meal plan weekly meal plan Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1167994 at http://www.wisebread.com If You're Eating These 6 Things, Your "Diet" Is Doing Nothing http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smoothie-bar-149720194-small.jpg" alt="smoothie bar" title="smoothie bar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dieting is hard. But guess what? <em>Bad</em> dieting can require the same amount of stress and effort, and no positive result. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dumb-things-holding-you-back-from-losing-weight?ref=seealso">14 Dumb Things Holding You Back From Losing Weight</a>)</p> <p>If you're trying to lose weight, it's hard to know what foods to avoid. Sometimes we fall into the traps set by food marketers, or fall prey to our own sweet tooths. We're especially susceptible to foods that superficially &quot;feel&quot; healthy, but are actually working against our regimens. If you're eating these six things, your diet is for nothing.</p> <h2>&quot;100-Calorie&quot; Snacks</h2> <p>We know that chips, crackers and cookies are bad, but even those 100-calorie snack packs are unhealthy. Part of the problem is how they train you to think about calories. The wrong idea that &quot;<a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/09/fed-up-asks-are-all-calories-equal/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_r=0">a calorie is a calorie</a>&quot; fuels the marketing of the seemingly innocuous packs, which cause an insulin spike that works against you by storing more fat.</p> <p>What's more, research shows that consuming a package boasting low-calorie count actually <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://newscenter.nmsu.edu/Articles/view/9304/beware-100-calorie-snack-pack-warn-nmsu-researchers">makes us eat more</a>. Thus, diet ruined.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: A small handful of unsalted nuts will give you the power to last between meals without the useless empty calories.</p> <h2>Meatless Frozen Foods</h2> <p>Veggie burgers, meatless chicken nuggets, and everything else marketed as healthy or eco-conscious alternatives to meat are still processed foods. Many frozen veggie foods are full of grains and <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.blisstree.com/2011/03/30/food/processed-meat-substitutes-may-be-unhealthier-than-actual-meat/">genetically modified soy</a>. Also, think of the carbs. Put a bun on that Boca Burger and now you have three times the carbohydrates!</p> <p>Many processed veggie patties also have upwards of <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.fitsugar.com/Calories-Veggie-Burgers-1133716">400 mg of sodium</a>, which can increase the risk of <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002415.htm">high blood pressure</a>.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Make your own veggie patties with as few ingredients as possible. Skew to tasty but nutritious foods like <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-best-ever-veggie-burger-96967">beets and black beans</a>.</p> <h2>Flavored Yogurt</h2> <p>If you're eating yogurt that is not &quot;plain&quot; or &quot;unsweetened,&quot; you are hurting your diet with unnecessary sugar and calories. The average flavored yogurt contains around <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/10-diet-foods-that-make-you-fat/">16 grams of sugar</a>. Some yogurts have more sugar content <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/26/yogurt-sugar-twinkie_n_5379590.html">than a Twinkie</a>.</p> <p>Yogurts that read &quot;fat-free&quot; could be worse, because additives like cornstarch (known on labels as &quot;maltodextrin&quot;) provide extra carbohydrates.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Buy plain yogurt and add fresh (not preserved or dried) fruit for flavor to get more nutrition, decrease sugar, and fight the fitness plateau.</p> <h2>White Flour</h2> <p>We've been lying to ourselves with our flour tortillas, wraps, flatbreads, and &quot;gluten-free&quot; pasta. It's all refined carbs, and sometimes those items are even more calorie and sugar dense than regular old Wonder bread.</p> <p>The author of the book <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1609614798/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1609614798&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SHHO4HEWTSQSI5Y2">Wheat Belly</a>, Dr. William Davis, goes so far as to suggest that grains are the <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2014/06/grains-endocrine-disrupters/">root of problems</a> such as gut flora imbalance and diabetes. Other doctors suggest to keep some of your favorite white flour items to a minimum and mostly eat more satisfying <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-about-white-foods">high-fiber carbs</a>.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Choose high-fiber carbohydrates that will make you fuller, longer, such as a plate of vegetables. If you're jonesing for a sandwich, go for a half- or open-faced sandwich using a high-fiber, sprouted grain bread.</p> <h2>Smoothies</h2> <p>Delicious smoothies. They can be great for you. But the ones we're drinking the most, the ones we order while on the go from places like <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.eatingrules.com/2010/08/healthy-choices-jamba-juice/">Jamba Juice</a>, are basically just sugar delivery systems. Let's be honest, we usually don't use them as full meal replacements as intended, and here's why: You experience a sugar spike, crash, and then two hours later you're starving again.What do you do? Reach for whatever is closest to you regardless of health value (which, let's face it, is probably pizza). (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" 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>Eat Instead</strong>: Make smoothies for yourself at home <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.healthysmoothiehq.com/what-makes-a-smoothie-unhealthy">without unhealthy ingredients</a> like sugary fruit juices, excess dairy, or added sweeteners.</p> <h2>Dried Fruit</h2> <p>Dried fruit can be mor accessible than fresh fruit. However, it's also a lot easier to overeat, because it's addictively sweet. Dehydrating fruit makes it taste sweeter and makes each unit smaller than its fresh equivalent. This places dried fruit high on the <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/disadvantages-dried-fruit-3227.html">glycemic index</a>. For example, a cup of grapes is 60 calories, while a cup of raisins is <em>460</em>.</p> <p>Dried fruit is also <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.jessainscough.com/2013/05/the-dry-facts-on-dried-fruit/">harder to digest</a> than fresh fruit, making your attempt to eat healthy for nothing.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Default to fresh fruit because it's easier to reap the benefits of its nutrients. If you do eat dried fruit, measure out a small amount (⅛ cup) before eating and mix it with a handful of nuts such as raw almonds.</p> <p><em>Can you think of anything else that's touted as healthy but is actually killing you diet?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing" class="sharethis-link" title="If You&#039;re Eating These 6 Things, Your &quot;Diet&quot; Is Doing Nothing" 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 diet fitness health food junk food Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1166924 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Easy Pesto Recipes (And Only One Uses Basil!) http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-pesto-recipes-and-only-one-uses-basil <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-easy-pesto-recipes-and-only-one-uses-basil" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/basil-pesto-178633073-small.jpg" alt="basil pesto" title="basil pesto" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love summer (and fall) for the bountiful produce we receive from our CSA share each week. Thing is, as the weeks go on, the fruits and veggies start to pile up faster than I can use them in my cooking. Thankfully, I've learned some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts">basic preservation techniques</a> so we can enjoy them in the off-season. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts?ref=seealso">Preserving In-Season Foods for Off-Season Feasts</a>)</p> <p>Of all the foods to preserve, pesto is hearty and highly adaptable &mdash; and it freezes particularly well. I like using it on pizzas and pasta, and it even makes a perfect sandwich topper for most any combination I create. What's better? I have made pesto using a wide array of vegetables (and fruits), and each one has its own unique flavor.</p> <h2>1. Basil Pesto</h2> <p>I've made plenty of basil pesto recipes using raw basil with fantastic results. If you'd like to elevate your spread, try this classic <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pesto-Genovese-Classic-Basil-Pesto">Basil Pesto</a> where the leaves are blanched, meaning they are boiled briefly, then shocked by an ice bath. The process helps the pesto gain a brighter green color and also mellows the bitterness.</p> <h2>2. Cilantro Pesto</h2> <p>For a different taste, try mixing together this <a href="http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-cilantro-pesto/">Cilantro Pesto</a>. It's basically the same standard basil pesto recipe, just using cilantro leaves instead. The flavors marry well with Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and more.</p> <h2>3. Garlic Scape Pesto</h2> <p>For a powerful dose of garlic and onion flavor combined, try using those curly green scapes in <a href="http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2006/06/garlic-scape-pesto-weekend-herb.html">Garlic Scape Pesto</a>. Just chop scapes finely and then combine with all the usual ingredients &mdash; nuts, garlic, Parmesan, and olive oil &mdash; in a food processor.</p> <h2>4. Kale Pesto</h2> <p>One of the most vibrant pesto recipes I've ever made featured kale as its base ingredient. This <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/02/lentil-quinoa-burgers-baby-kale-pesto.html">Baby Kale Pesto</a> works great on burgers and uses almond meal versus pinenuts. You can also substitute out the Parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast if you'd like to make it vegan.</p> <h2>5. Spinach Pesto</h2> <p>Walnuts go well as the nut in this <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/spinach-pesto-pasta-00000000008994/">Spinach Pesto</a> recipe. If you don't have the full 10 cups of spinach on hand, you can cut the recipe in half and make a smaller batch. If you do make too much, just freeze leftovers in a ice cube tray (I place mine in a baggie for extra freezer burn protection) for later use.</p> <h2>6. Tomato Pesto</h2> <p>I've made this <a href="http://onesweetappetite.com/sun-dried-tomato-pesto/">Sun Dried Tomato Pesto</a> using slow roasted cherry tomatoes. To roast, simply cut tomatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then bake at <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2012/08/slow-roasted-tomatoes.html">250 degrees Fahrenheit</a> &mdash; tossing occasionally &mdash; for two to three hours.</p> <h2>7. Swiss Chard Pesto</h2> <p>For a quick weeknight meal, blend together this vegan <a href="http://www.veganricha.com/2012/01/farfalle-with-swiss-chard-pesto-vegan.html">Swiss Chard Pesto</a>. The tough leafy veggie might not seem so appealing on its own, but when blended with olive oil, raw cashews, and a little basil to soften the flavor, it goes famously together with pasta.</p> <h2>8. Kohlrabi Pesto</h2> <p>Stuck on how to use the greens on your kohlrabi? (Yes! You can eat the greens, too!) The author of this three-ingredient <a href="http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/08/17/kohlrabi-greens-pesto-for-grilled-pizza">Kohlrabi Greens Pesto</a> recipe chops a bunch up and then sautes in some olive oil before blending together with nuts (almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, etc.) and a little salt and pepper.</p> <h2>9. Beet Pesto</h2> <p>This <a href="http://dailywaffle.com/2013/02/06/roasted-beet-pesto/">Beet Pesto</a> recipe is sure to turn most any meal from blah to wow with its color alone. If you've never roasted beets before, just preheat your oven to <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2012/07/roasted-beets-and-smoky-chutney.html">400 degrees Fahrenheit</a>, scrub beets and chop off stems, then toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in a dutch oven for an hour. Let cool before gently rubbing off skins before use.</p> <h2>10. Zucchini Pesto</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/04/zucchini-pesto.html">Zucchini Pesto</a> is made with a half cup of spinach (or other greens) and raw walnuts for some fun flair. I have found that it's a wonderful recipe if you have leftovers in the fridge and just need to use them up. Since zucchini is watery by nature, you'll need less liquid, so be sure to add a little at a time to achieve your desired consistency.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite un-basil pesto recipe? Please share a bite in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-pesto-recipes-and-only-one-uses-basil" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Easy Pesto Recipes (And Only One Uses Basil!)" 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 basil herbs pesto Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1166923 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Cheap Eats Edition http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-cheap-eats-edition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-cheap-eats-edition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating-iStock_000009969295Small_0.jpg" alt="eating" title="eating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></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 of the best articles from around the web on ways to keep your food expenses low.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://andthenwesaved.com/cheap-and-easy-food-to-make/">98 Cheap and Easy Foods to Make Under 5 Bucks!</a> &mdash; Did you know you can make breakfast burritos and French Onion soup for under $5? [And Then We Saved]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/2012/03/how-to-afford-organic-foods-on-a-budget-2.html">How to Afford Organic Food on a Budget</a> &mdash; Afford organic food on a budget by planting a garden or joining a CSA. [Money Saving Mom]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Items-Dont-Expire-23603961">10 Grocery Items With a Long Shelf Life</a> &mdash; Vinegar can last indefinitely, while canned soda can last for about a year. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/the-frugal-shopper/2014/02/21/5-ways-to-save-money-at-restaurants">5 Ways to Save Money at Restaurants</a> &mdash; Taking advantage of happy hour deals can help you save the next time you dine out. [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalconfessions.com/food/helping-to-make-one-grocery-trip-last-two-weeks.php">Helping to Make One Grocery Trip Last Two Weeks</a> &mdash; To make one grocery trip last two weeks, cook with squash and make pesto. [Frugal Confessions]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cashthechecks.com/save-money-at-the-grocery-store/">Save Money at the Grocery Store</a> &mdash; Planning out your meals for at least a week can help you save at the grocery store. [Cash The Checks]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/what-should-and-shouldnt-i-microwave-1532532172">What Should and Shouldn't I Microwave?</a> &mdash; It's ok to microwave food in glass containers, but not aluminum foil. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="http://financialhighway.com/money-saving-barbecue-menu-ideas/">Money-Saving Barbecue Menu Ideas</a> &mdash; Gourmet hotdogs are a frugal and fun barbecue menu option. [Financial Highway]</p> <p><a href="http://canadianfinanceblog.com/5-ways-to-enjoy-eating-out-without-spending-a-lot-on-food">5 Ways to Enjoy Eating Out Without Spending a Lot on Food</a> &mdash; To dine out frugally, go for a picnic or attend a local Farmer's Market. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/top-10-resources-for-delicious-and-nutritious-baby-food-recipes">Top 10 Resources for Delicious and Nutritious Baby Food</a> &mdash; Weelicious.com and NurtureBaby.com are a couple great places where you can find nutritious baby food. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-cheap-eats-edition" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: The Cheap Eats Edition" 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 cheap dining eating Food Thu, 17 Jul 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1146781 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Tricks to Get More Out of Your Slow Cooker http://www.wisebread.com/7-tricks-to-get-more-out-of-your-slow-cooker <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-tricks-to-get-more-out-of-your-slow-cooker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/slow-cooker-93529521-small.jpg" alt="slow cooker" title="slow cooker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A slow cookers is one of the best tools for making delicious, easy meals (which can conveniently be ready right when you get home from work). Make your slow cooker recipes even more awesome with these seven tricks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=seealso">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy (or Lazy) Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sear and Brown Meats</h2> <p>A common criticism of slow-cooking methods is that meats end up gray and tasteless, although my personal opinion is that this is usually due to a faulty recipe, not to the method itself. You can also boost the flavor of your slow cooked meats by searing or browning them before placing them into the slow cooker.</p> <p>Browning ingredients produces the coveted <a href="http://modernistcuisine.com/2013/03/the-maillard-reaction/">Maillard reaction</a>, which caramelizes the sugars and amino acids in the food and gives it a deeper flavor (contrary to popular belief, browning does not &quot;seal in juices&quot;). Even non-meat ingredients can benefit from a little browning in a pan &mdash; browning onions, carrots, and other aromatics, for example, can help to give a little more oomph to your final dish.</p> <h2>2. Add Less Liquid</h2> <p>Because very little liquid evaporates from the slow cooker, you don't need to add much additional liquid, which can make the finished dish soupy and less flavorful. For a typical stew, I add less than half a cup of additional liquid. The juice from the meat and vegetables makes plenty of savory sauce. Since it doesn't reduce down, make that additional liquid count in terms of flavor, using a flavorful stock, salsa, tomato sauce, or pureed vegetables.</p> <h2>3. Make Plenty of Gravy</h2> <p>One easy and healthy way to make gravy is to slow-cook some aromatic vegetables, such as onions and carrots, along with your meat. When the dish is done cooking, remove the meat and puree the leftover vegetables and liquid together with an immersion blender. This creates a thick and flavorful sauce which can be seasoned to taste.</p> <p>Another way to thicken your sauce is to roll the meat in a little flour before browning it and adding it to the slow cooker. By the time the dish is finished cooking, the flour has thickened the sauce. You can thicken sauces after they are done cooking by using a cornstarch (or arrowroot flour) slurry.</p> <h2>4. Use the Low Setting</h2> <p>Try to plan ahead and use the low setting instead of the high setting, even though it will take twice as long. Higher temperatures can toughen meat, especially the already tougher cuts (chuck, rump, shoulder, shank), so keep it low and slow. The lower temperatures are more forgiving too, so you're less likely to overcook the dish. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-make-cheap-cuts-of-meat-taste-expensive">25 Easy Ways to Make Cheap Meat Taste Expensive</a>)</p> <h2>5. Don't Under or Over-Fill</h2> <p>For the most even cooking, and to avoid burns and spills, your slow cooker should be at least half-full and no more than two-thirds full. If you're making individual portions, then a smaller slow cooker (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002CA3C6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002CA3C6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GTWRAHZ5WQFO3S5Y">a 1.5 quart slow cooker</a>, for example) might be better for you. Although, why not make several servings and have plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week?</p> <h2>6. Make a One-Pot Meal</h2> <p>Make meals easier on yourself by cooking a full meal in the slow cooker. Not only can vegetables be cooked along with the meat, but you can also add beans, rice, couscous, quinoa, and other staples to the dish as well.</p> <p>If adding rice or quinoa, add it about 2-3 hours before the end of the cooking time. Add canned beans within the last hour (they're already cooked and you don't want them to turn to mush), and couscous within the last 10 minutes.</p> <h2>7. Think Outside the Box</h2> <p>While cooking with your slow cooker works extremely well for braises, curries, soups, and stews, don't forget other kinds of dishes that you can make in the slow cooker as well. <a href="http://www.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.com/2012/08/how-to-make-greek-yogurt.html">Yogurt</a>, <a href="http://www.seededatthetable.com/2014/03/06/slow-cooker-lemon-poppy-seed-cake/">lemon cake</a>, <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-crock-pot-macaroni-and-cheese-81853">mac 'n' cheese</a>, <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/341223/slow-cooker-triple-chocolate-brownies">brownies</a>, <a href="http://www.bhg.com/recipe/spicy-turkey-lasagna/">lasagna</a>, and <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/30656-slow-cooker-steel-cut-oatmeal">overnight oatmeal</a>, are all dishes you can try making in this great kitchen multi-tasker.</p> <p><em>What are your go-to slow cooker secrets? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tricks-to-get-more-out-of-your-slow-cooker" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Tricks to Get More Out of Your Slow Cooker" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</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 crock pot easy meals slow cooker Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:36:45 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1157888 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is How You Grill Pizza at Home http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-grill-pizza-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-how-you-grill-pizza-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grilled-pizza-153160329-small.jpg" alt="grilled pizza" title="grilled pizza" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="726" height="397" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Now that summer is in full swing, you might be getting bored of standard hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill. Spice up your next party by trying something new and different &mdash; grilled pizza! I live near an old Italian restaurant that has built its reputation on its flavorful grilled pies. After eating many myself, I have spent years replicating them at home. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-make-restaurant-quality-pizza-at-home?ref=related">This Is How You Make Restaurant Quality Pizza at Home</a>)</p> <p>If you make your own pizzas on the regular, you probably know the drill. Grilling pies outdoors, though, requires a bit more foresight and a slightly different method. Below are the points you should consider before you get started &mdash; as well as detailed instructions for the grilling process from start to finish.</p> <h2>Build Your Crust</h2> <p>A great, grill-able pizza crust is one that is stretchy, but also firm enough to withstand some extra transport. Really, though, any dough recipe should work. I like using <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/04/pumpkin-garlic-knots.html">my own recipe</a>, which contains pumpkin puree for extra flavor. You'll want a hearty dough from the start that isn't too wet or sticky. I use all white flour versus mixing with any whole wheat to ensure the most gluten production and avoid tears in the crust's surface.</p> <p>Once your batch is mixed together and set to rise for at least a few hours, you can start in with the rest of the ingredients. I often make my pizza dough the night before I bake it, whether grilling or oven baking, as I feel it helps the flavor develop better.</p> <h2>Choose Your Sauce</h2> <p>One of the tweaks that has worked best for me is to put down a layer of cheese before placing any sauce on your grilled pizza. This way, there's less chance your dough will become soggy. As a result, I've modified the type of &quot;sauce&quot; I use over the years to include bulked up versions versus smoother purees.</p> <p>The Italian restaurant near me tops its grilled pies with coarsely crushed tomatoes and roasted garlic. At home, think diced tomatoes or salsa or even dabs of homemade pesto. The chunkier the better. However, you may also wish to try using spoonfuls of thick barbecue sauce to fit your BBQ theme. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-pizza-night-fun-again-with-these-30-pizza-sauce-alternatives?ref=related">Make Pizza Night Fun Again With These 30 Sauce Alternatives</a>)</p> <h2>Prepare Your Toppings</h2> <p>Perhaps the most important part of grilled pizza prep is getting your toppings out and ready for action. I like to make a toppings station with pinch bowls for cheese and sauce. If I want something more complicated, like veggies or meat, I prepare these ingredients ahead of time. Cooking pizza atop fire is a rapid process, so toppings should already be cooked before you toss them into the mix or you risk burning the crust waiting for them to heat fully.</p> <p>Here are some ideas:</p> <ul> <li>Cheese (shredded mozzarella, Jack, cheddar, really any melty block cheese will do)</li> <li>Sauce (I often just use canned crushed tomatoes that contain garlic)</li> <li>Grilled veggies, like zucchini, onions, peppers, and mushrooms</li> <li>Protein, like prosciutto, pepperoni, and grilled sausage</li> <li>Olive oil (for brushing)</li> <li>Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and other herbs/spices</li> </ul> <p>Summer is also a wonderful season to experiment with using cold toppings (once the pizza is cooked) to compliment the hot. I love sliced avocado, balsamic reduction, ranch dressing, and even grilled romaine lettuce, just to name a few additions you might want to include.</p> <h2>Grill</h2> <p>On a gas grill, you'll want to turn the heat all the way up to high before starting. Let your grill get hot and then turn it down to medium heat when you are ready to begin. You'll start by making sure the grill grates are clean and then brush them with a little olive oil. Stretch out your dough on a flat surface and brush with additional olive oil (around two teaspoons). Then carefully place the oiled side of your dough on the grill and cook for just 1 minute before flipping onto the next side and oiling. It should bubble considerably.</p> <p>This is where all the prep ahead of time will start to make sense. You'll immediately need to lay down a thin layer of shredded cheese and then dabs of your sauce and other toppings before closing the lid of the grill to let everything melt. Believe me: This all needs to happen quickly so you don't burn the bottom of your pizza in the process. You will only cook on this side for another minute or two maximum, so be sure to make the time count.</p> <h2>Cool, Slice, and Serve</h2> <p>Remove your pizza from the grill and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. The crust texture should be crunchy and chewy all at the same time. Don't worry if your burn your first pizza a little, you will eventually get the hang.</p> <p><strong>Note</strong>: I have made grilled pizza on both charcoal and gas grills. If you have a charcoal grill, the process is much the same as outlined above with the exception of the heat control. Likely your grill and coals we be quite hot, so after cooking on the first side and flipping onto the other for topping (and an initial searing), you may wish to transfer to a metal pan to finish up melting the cheese without burning while the cover is closed. Alternatively, if your grill has cooled off, you may wish to cook up to three minutes on each side.</p> <p><em>Have you ever grilled pizza? What tips do you have to share?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-grill-pizza-at-home" class="sharethis-link" title="This Is How You Grill Pizza 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 grilled pizza homemade pizza pizza Tue, 15 Jul 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1157257 at http://www.wisebread.com Guacamole, Wine, and 23 Other Surprisingly Refreshing Popsicle Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/guacamole-wine-and-23-other-surprisingly-refreshing-popsicle-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/guacamole-wine-and-23-other-surprisingly-refreshing-popsicle-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/popsicles-493886673-small.jpg" alt="popsicles" title="popsicles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's officially July. Which means it's officially Popsicle Mania.</p> <p>I use plastic popsicle forms to make all sorts of crazy flavored popsicles, but don't worry: You can alternatively use small paper cups and popsicle sticks (which you can find at craft stores). Amazon also carries a wide <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=popsicle%20forms&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=RRGB5HKITDVTT5WS">selection</a> of popsicle forms. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-never-feel-guilty-about-eating-ice-cream?ref=seealso">Why You Should Never Feel Guilty About Eating Ice Cream</a>)</p> <p>Why make your own 'pops, when they are easy to buy at the store? When my daughter was younger, I liked that I could control the sugar content of the popsicles and avoid food dyes. They are also more economical. There are so many fun flavor combinations, and talk about refreshing during this hot weather!</p> <h2>1. Good 'Ol Coke</h2> <p>When I am really thirsty, I know I should drink water&hellip; but sometimes, if I'm also tired <em>and</em> thirsty, I reach for a Coke. I know, it's not a healthy pick-me-up, but dang, it's good. These <a href="http://lilluna.com/coke-float-popsicles/">Coke Float</a> popsicles are totally addictive. We'll just consider them a once-in-a-while treat.</p> <h2>2. Sale on Strawberries?</h2> <p>Sometimes, I get those two-for-one deals and need to use up strawberries quickly. These <a href="http://diethood.com/strawberry-kiwi-fruit-popsicles/">Strawberry-Kiwi Popsicles</a> are just the ticket. They are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.</p> <h2>3. S'more, Please</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Simple-Smore-Popsicle-recipe-roasted-marshmallow-ice-cream-4637562">S'mores Popsicles</a> are amazing, but I'd recommend modifying the recipe to add more marshmallows. The first section of the recipe calls for toasting the marshmallows, but I ate some of mine, so had to start over!</p> <h2>4. Think Reese's, on a Stick</h2> <p>Do you like peanut butter cups? If so, you will love these <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Popsicles-18883349">Peanut Butter and Chocolate Popsicles</a>. Make small quantities because you will want to devour them all on the spot.</p> <h2>5. Healthy Yogurt and Roasted Berry</h2> <p>These <a href="http://cookieandkate.com/2012/roasted-berry-and-honey-yogurt-popsicles/">Roasted Berry and Honey</a> popsicles are delicious. I left out the lemon because the brand of yogurt I bought was already extremely tart. Either way: great treat and zero guilt!</p> <h2>6. Couldn't Be Simpler Bananas</h2> <p>Smash four bananas in a bowl. Add two tablespoons of peanut butter, a quarter cup of chocolate chips, and blend. Stuff into the popsicle forms and freeze.</p> <h2>7. Te-QUI-la!</h2> <p>This one is for adults only: <a href="http://honestlyyum.com/5453/tequila-spiked-mango-popsicles-with-chile/">Tequila-Spiked Mango Popsicles With Chili</a>. I liked both with and without the chili pepper. These are a really fun party treat.</p> <h2>8. Soup on a Stick</h2> <p>Okay, I will admit this one is a little wild, but it's <em>good</em>. Gazpacho is great when it's hot out, and if you freeze it&hellip; even better. <a href="http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/3467608-Gazpacho-Popsicles">Gazpacho Popsicles</a>? Yes!</p> <h2>9. V-8 on a Stick</h2> <p>In the same vein, I tried freezing V-8 juice into a popsicle form. The husband gave me a look, but I thought it was good. I guess you really have to like V-8 juice. I think next time I'll try this with Bloody Mary mix!</p> <h2>10. Sriracha Sauce?</h2> <p>Last Friday I tried a Sriracha Brownie, and it was delicious. Imagine how stoked I was to find these <a href="http://foodbabbles.com/2013/07/sriracha-fudge-popsicles/">Sriracha Fudge Popsicles</a>! If you like the spicy plus chocolate combination, you have got to try these, too!</p> <h2>11. Terrific Tamarind</h2> <p>Have you tried <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamarind">tamarind?</a> It is really good, and unusual. I would describe it as &quot;tart.&quot; You may find it in concentrate or in the pod form at your grocery store. I buy the pod and smash it up to add to my barbeque sauce. When you mash it, its consistency is sort of like a date. I think it is delicious, and so of course I loved these <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Tamarind-Chile-Ice-Pops-Paletas-de-Tamarindo-y-Chile">Tamarind-Chile Ice Pops</a>.</p> <h2>12. Quintessential Summer</h2> <p>The addition of mint to these <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/minted-watermelon-popsicles">Watermelon Popsicles</a> makes them extra-refreshing. These are especially good after a heavy barbeque dinner.</p> <h2>13. Caffeine Buzz</h2> <p>My husband and I could eat these <a href="http://www.theblackpeppercorn.com/2012/08/iced-coffee-popsicle/">Coffee Popsicles</a> all day in the summer. I think we need to switch to decaf popsicles in the afternoon.</p> <h2>14. India-Inspired</h2> <p>Go ahead, eat some super-hot Indian food and then cool off with a <a href="http://www.dessertsforbreakfast.com/2010/09/mango-lassi-and-strawberry-honey-yogurt.html">Mango Lassi</a> Popsicle. These are awesome. Do not leave out the cardamom! That makes all the difference.</p> <h2>15. Kale. Yes, Kale.</h2> <p>Put your healthy <a href="http://signalmountainfarm.com/kale-smoothie-popsicles/">smoothie</a> into a popsicle form and it's even <em>more</em> refreshing on a hot day for breakfast. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-with-kale-easy-recipes-for-real-people?ref=seealso">Cooking With Kale: Recipes for Real People</a>)</p> <h2>16. Carrot</h2> <p>As long as you have juicer all fired up from kale smoothies popsicles, let's make some <a href="http://whenbreadisbroken.com/2012/06/25/carrot-ginger-popsicles/">carrot popsicles</a>.</p> <h2>17. Uncork Some Wine&hellip;</h2> <p>&hellip;and make <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/article/wine-fruit-freezer-boozy-ice-pops">popsicles</a>? Sure, if you also add some fruit and sugar. Make sure &quot;mommy's popsicles&quot; aren't within reach of the kids!</p> <h2>18. Pucker Up</h2> <p>Tart, creamy, fabulous <a href="http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/08/key-lime-pie-popsicles/">Key Lime Popsicles</a> &mdash; what a creation! I love the graham-cracker sprinkles.</p> <h2>19. Guacamole Popsicles</h2> <p>Just joking. But why not <a href="http://www.skinnytaste.com/2014/06/avocado-coconut-popsicles.html">Avocado-Coconut</a> popsicles? Avocados are fruit, after all, and they mix so well with creamy coconut.</p> <h2>20. Bean Popsicles</h2> <p>No, really, I am not kidding, this time. Adzuki beans are tiny red beans, frequently used in Asian desserts. In Hawaii, they are popular in shave ice, which is very similar to this delicious <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/29788-red-bean-ice-pops">popsicle</a>.</p> <h2>21. Goat?</h2> <p>Okay, that sounded really gross. But <a href="http://joythebaker.com/2010/08/raspberry-and-goats-milk-yogurt-popsicles/">Goat's milk yogurt</a> is delicious, especially paired with raspberries.</p> <h2>22. Spa Popsicles</h2> <p>What do you think of when you think &quot;spa beverage&quot;? Water with lemon and cucumber slices, right? Go one better and try these <a href="http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2010/08/03/lemonade-cucumber-spa-popsicle-recipe/">Lemon Cucumber</a> popsicles. And don't forget the massage.</p> <h2>23. Oreo Lovers, Rejoice</h2> <p>Hurray! Someone figured out how to make <a href="http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2013/06/20/oreo-pudding-pops/">Oreo popsicles</a>. Just don't try to twist them apart.</p> <h2>24. Pad Thai and&hellip;</h2> <p>&hellip; Iced tea, right? The tea is just so complimentary of the food. Of course we can make that into a <a href="http://www.thesassylife.com/thai-iced-tea-popsicles/">Thai Iced Tea</a> popsicle!</p> <h2>25. Use Up the Herb Garden</h2> <p>Well, or maybe just a few springs of the cilantro, in these <a href="http://keepyourdietreal.com/food/dessert/pineapple-coconut-cilantro-popsicles/">Pineapple Coconut Cilantro Popsicles</a>.</p> <p><em>Alright readers, do you have any favorite hot summer day popsicle recipes? Anything crazier than these?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guacamole-wine-and-23-other-surprisingly-refreshing-popsicle-recipes" class="sharethis-link" title="Guacamole, Wine, and 23 Other Surprisingly Refreshing Popsicle Recipes" 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 cool treats ice cream popsicles strange food Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:00:11 +0000 Marla Walters 1154564 at http://www.wisebread.com 40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts http://www.wisebread.com/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior-couple-restaurant-80408262-small.jpg" alt="senior couple restaurant" title="senior couple restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As we age, there are many benefits to look forward to, including retirement, time for travel and hobbies, wisdom, and the joy of being a grandparent. Sometimes, however, retirement means a decrease in income and spending. Many businesses recognize this fact and offer discounts to senior citizens. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-senior-discounts?ref=seealso">Big List of Senior Discounts</a>)</p> <p>Below is a list of 40 restaurants that may offer customers (some starting at age 55) a discount for their business.</p> <h2>Fast Food</h2> <p>Many fast food restaurants will offer a discount, which ranges from 5%-15% as well as a reduced price coffee or soft drink. Discounts may vary from location to location, be sure to ask before you order.</p> <h3>Arby's</h3> <p>10% discount for those over 55.</p> <h3>Burger King</h3> <p>10% discount for those 60 and older.</p> <h3>Captain D's</h3> <p>Discount on select days (usually Sundays and Wednesdays) for seniors 62 and older.</p> <h3>Carl's Jr.</h3> <p>10% discount on meal or drink.</p> <h3>Chick-fil-A</h3> <p>Free small drink or coffee plus a 10% discount for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>Del Taco</h3> <p>10% discount or a free drink for customers 55 and over.</p> <h3>Hardees</h3> <p>Small drinks are 33 cents with the purchase of a meal for those 65 and older.</p> <h3>Jack in the Box</h3> <p>Seniors 55 and older can save 20%.</p> <h3>Kentucky Fried Chicken</h3> <p>Free small drink with the purchase of a meal for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>Long John Silvers</h3> <p>Discounts vary by location for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>McDonald's</h3> <p>Discounted coffee and soft drink for customers over 55.</p> <h3>Popeye's</h3> <p>10% discount or a free drink for customers 55 and older.</p> <h3>Sonic</h3> <p>10% discount or a free drink for seniors 55 and over.</p> <h3>Subway</h3> <p>10% discount.</p> <h3>Taco Bell</h3> <p>A free drink for seniors or 5% off to seniors 65 and older.</p> <h3>Wendy's</h3> <p>10% discount on your purchase if you are over 55.</p> <h3>Whataburger</h3> <p>Offers a free drink or a 10% discount.</p> <h3>White Castle</h3> <p>10% discounts for customers 62 and over.</p> <h2>Casual Dining</h2> <p>Whether you are sitting down for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these restaurants offer you discounts on your meal. Some offer a senior menu (which may have smaller portions as well as a lower price), but be sure to check on the value, if you are a big eater or want to take leftovers home, the regular menu may be a better value for your dollar.</p> <h3>Applebee's</h3> <p>10%-15% off on your meal if you are 55 or older.</p> <h3>Bob Evans</h3> <p>Senior Menu for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>Boston Market</h3> <p>10% discount for seniors 65 and older.</p> <h3>Chili's Grill and Bar</h3> <p>10% discount for seniors 55 and older.</p> <h3>CiCi's Pizza</h3> <p>Seniors 60 and over receive a 10% discount.</p> <h3>Culver's</h3> <p>Customers 60 and older receive a 10% discount.</p> <h3>Denny's</h3> <p>Senior Menu for 55 and older, AARP members receive larger discounts.</p> <h3>Golden Corral</h3> <p>10% off to customers over 60.</p> <h3>Hometown Buffet/Ryan's/Country Buffet and Others</h3> <p>Sign up for a discount card and receive deals and coupons all year long.</p> <h3>IHOP</h3> <p>Senior Menu for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>O'Charley's Restaurant</h3> <p>10% off for customers 60 and over.</p> <h3>Papa John's</h3> <p>Save 25% if you are over 55 or an AARP member when you order online using the promo code &quot;AARP25&quot;.</p> <h3>Steak and Shake</h3> <p>Customers 55 and over can receive a 10% discount on Mondays and Tuesdays but locations vary, call ahead.</p> <h3>Waffle House</h3> <p>10% off your meal on Mondays for customers 60 and older.</p> <h2>Desserts and Treats</h2> <p>When you need a sweet treat or a great dessert, you can continue to score discounts at these great restaurants.</p> <h3>Ben &amp; Jerry's</h3> <p>10% discount for seniors 60 and over.</p> <h3>Dairy Queen</h3> <p>10% discount or free drink for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>Dunkin Donuts</h3> <p>Free donut with the purchase of a coffee.</p> <h3>Friendly's</h3> <p>Discounts are available for those 60 and older, inquire at each location for specifics.</p> <h3>Krispy Kreme</h3> <p>10% off for those customers 55 and older.</p> <h3>Mrs. Fields</h3> <p>10% discount for customers 60 and older.</p> <h3>TCBY</h3> <p>10% discount for customers 55 and older,</p> <h2>Additional Discounts and Tips</h2> <p>Ask at every restaurant you visit. Even those not on this and restaurants local to you may offer discounts. Also, if you happen to be an AARP member, you can <a href="http://discounts.aarp.org/dining/index/uSource/HCTN">save even more</a> by showing your membership card. They also offer discounts for buying gift cards to restaurants through a partnership with <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-5674461">Restaurant.com</a>. If you are a member of AARP, it might be worth checking out those deals before dining out.</p> <p>Many of these discounts could vary by location, it is best to give them a call before heading out and expecting a discount. Be sure to bring your identification to show your age, in case the restaurant requests to see proof before offering a discount.</p> <p>For even more discounts available to seniors, check out <a href="http://www.seniordiscounts.com/">SeniorDiscounts.com</a> or <a href="http://www.sciddy.com/">Sciddy.com</a>.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite senior discounts? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts" class="sharethis-link" title="40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</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 discounts restaurants senior discounts Thu, 03 Jul 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1153214 at http://www.wisebread.com 17 Ways to Enjoy Greek Yogurt http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-enjoy-greek-yogurt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/17-ways-to-enjoy-greek-yogurt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grocery-100268381-small_0.jpg" alt="yogurt" title="yogurt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe it's because I live near Chobani, one of the largest manufacturers in the entire country, but I am obsessed with Greek yogurt. As a vegetarian, too, I am always looking for tasty, convenient sources of meat-free protein to add to my diet. To avoid added sugar, I usually go for the plain variety, but that doesn't mean this healthy stuff can't be dressed up from time the time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yogurt-should-you-try-making-your-own?ref=seealso">Yogurt: Should You Make Your Own?</a>)</p> <p>Per cup, nonfat Greek yogurt contains 17 grams out of the daily recommended <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/how-much-protein">46 grams for women</a> and 56 grams for men. So, here are 17 smart and surprising recipes to tantalize your taste buds plus three helpful tips for how to make Greek yogurt your new favorite ingredient.</p> <h2>1. Chocolate Cake</h2> <p>You'll enjoy the goodness of Greek yogurt in both the base and frosting of this <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/07/greek-yogurt-in-cake.html">chocolate cake</a>. Top with crushed cookies or even fresh fruit.</p> <h2>2. Cinnamon Buns</h2> <p>These <a href="http://roxanashomebaking.com/overnight-cinnamon-rolls-buns-recipe/">Overnight Cinnamon Buns</a> look worth the wait. There's a half cup of yogurt in the actual bun, and I'd suggest replacing the cream cheese in the frosting with more Greek yogurt in equal ratio.</p> <h2>3. Pancakes</h2> <p>Take your morning meal to the next level by adding a dose of lowfat protein to the mix. These <a href="http://www.chobani.com/culture/recipes/perfect-pancakes/">10-Minutes Pancakes</a> are easy to make and only 240 calories per serving.</p> <h2>4. Frozen Bites</h2> <p>Perfect for summer, these <a href="http://mayihavethatrecipe.com/2013/12/23/frozen-greek-yogurt-and-pomegranate-bites/">Frozen Pomegranate Bites</a> are encased in cool Greek yogurt. Yet another genius use of an ice cube tray and totally adaptable. Use whatever fruit you have on hand! (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-wont-believe-how-much-you-can-save-with-an-ice-cube-tray?ref=related">You Won't Believe How Much You Can Save With an Ice Cube Tray</a>)</p> <h2>5. Yogurt Pops</h2> <p>All my favorite flavors mingle in these chocolate, peanut butter, and banana <a href="http://keepyourdietreal.com/food/dessert/frozen-chocolate-peanut-butter-banana-greek-yogurt-pops/">Greek Yogurt Pops</a>. After you blend the core ingredients, pour into plastic cups or molds. Once frozen, top with melted chocolate and any toppings your heart desires.</p> <h2>6. Tropical Smoothie</h2> <p>Greek yogurt works wonderfully in smoothies and sounds particularly delicious in this <a href="http://www.bhg.com/blogs/delish-dish/2013/03/28/ingredient-obsession-tropical-berry-smoothies-with-greek-yogurt/">tropical mix</a>. I love a quick, portable breakfast that's full of good protein. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grab-and-go-post-workout-breakfasts?ref=related">15 Grab-And-Go Post-Workout Breakfasts</a>)</p> <h2>7. Cookie Dip</h2> <p>I'm salivating at the mere idea of this <a href="http://www.newimagecamp.com/blog-cookie-dough-greek-yogurt-recipe/">Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt</a>. It has all the flavor without the guilt, and you can use whatever nut butter or sweeteners you have in your pantry.</p> <h2>8. Chocolate Pudding</h2> <p>I most often eat Greek yogurt this way: Combine 1 cup nonfat yogurt with 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder and about 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup. You can also add vanilla extract to taste. Mix together with a fork until fully incorporated. A healthy pudding snack!</p> <h2>9. Breakfast Bowl</h2> <p>And you can't beat the classic breakfast bowl combining a cup of Greek yogurt, sliced seasonal fruit, and cereal or granola. It's the fastest way to get all the health with an extra punch of flavor.</p> <h2>10. Mac and Cheese</h2> <p>Please the whole family with this <a href="http://cookingalamel.com/2013/08/creamy-greek-yogurt-mac-cheese.html">Mac and Cheese</a> recipe is incredibly creamy and also full of spinach for some extra flair.</p> <h2>11. Brownies</h2> <p>Who doesn't love a dense, chocolatey brownie? This <a href="http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-yogurt-brownies/">particular batch</a> contains over a cup of yogurt and seems to have replaced some of the butter/oil and the eggs.</p> <h2>12. Dipped Fruit</h2> <p>Another cool trick (literally): Take fruit &mdash; like strawberries, bananas, blueberries, etc. &mdash; and dip them in Greek yogurt. Then freeze atop a baking sheet. That's all you do for this good-for-you treat!</p> <h2>13. Biscuits</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-recipes/fluffy-greek-yogurt-biscuits">Fluffy Greek Yogurt Biscuits</a> are like dinner rolls on steroids. I've made this recipe several times, and I make them savory by omitting the sugar and lemon zest and adding extra pepper.</p> <h2>14. Popsicles</h2> <p>Impress your friends with these <a href="http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2014/05/blueberry-greek-yogurt-popsicles.html">Blueberry Greek Yogurt Popsicles</a> at your next party. They're not only gorgeous, but you can also use a wide variety of fruit to flavor the base recipe in equal ratio.</p> <h2>15. Cheese</h2> <p>Yes. <a href="http://www.tasteloveandnourish.com/2013/07/31/greek-yogurt-cheese/">Greek yogurt cheese</a> is a thing! And all that's involved is cheesecloth, a sieve, and some patience. Just drain the whey from the yogurt, which takes three days, and enjoy.</p> <h2>16. Deviled Eggs</h2> <p>That backyard picnic is just begging for these healthy <a href="http://www.fannetasticfood.com/recipes/healthy-deviled-eggs/">Deviled Eggs</a> made with &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; Greek yogurt. Just boil your eggs, then mix the hard yolks with the yogurt, some mustard, and spices, and you're ready to relax before company arrives.</p> <h2>17. Ice Cream Sandwiches</h2> <p>Delicious <a href="http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2013/08/chocolate-dipped-strawberry-greek.html">strawberry yogurt ice cream</a> is the highlight of this frozen dessert recipe. Just mix all the ingredients together, line a baking dish with graham crackers, spoon on the ice cream, chill, and proceed with the chocolate coating.</p> <h2>Non-Specific Greek Yogurt Tips</h2> <p>Crazily enough, Greek yogurt's viscous reach extends beyond these 17 recipes! True yogurt heads may find the following tips helpful.</p> <h2>1. Make a Simple Swap</h2> <p>I make a habit of swapping out certain ingredients &mdash; like sour cream &mdash; with Greek yogurt. If you're looking to streamline your refrigerator, check out Stonyfield's <a href="https://www.stonyfield.com/sites/default/files/attachments/yogurt-substitution-guide_1.pdf">helpful guide</a> for subbing in yogurt for butter, oil, mayonnaise, heavy cream, buttermilk, and more. Most are a 1:1 swap.</p> <h2>2. Shop Around</h2> <p>Large quantities of Greek yogurt can cost upwards of $6 or more per container. Over time, that can feel like quite an investment. I recently discovered that a 32 ounce container of Greek yogurt at my local Aldi store is only $3.89, which saves my family around $110 per year from our previous buying habits.</p> <h2>3. Try Homemade Yogurt</h2> <p>Still, if you find yourself grabbing for that container more and more each day, you might consider making your own Greek yogurt at home. All you need is milk, nonfat milk powder, and a little yogurt to get started. The trick is <a href="http://www.savorysimple.net/homemade-greek-yogurt/">in the straining</a>, which will take around 7-8 hours to let 2 cups of liquid drain and create the classic consistency you're after.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to enjoy Greek yogurt? Please share some in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-enjoy-greek-yogurt" class="sharethis-link" title="17 Ways to Enjoy Greek Yogurt" 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 dieting greek yogurt snacks yogurt Thu, 03 Jul 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1152745 at http://www.wisebread.com The Sweet 16: Delicious and Healthy Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/the-sweet-16-delicious-and-healthy-frozen-yogurt-and-ice-cream-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-sweet-16-delicious-and-healthy-frozen-yogurt-and-ice-cream-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/homemade-ice-cream-481884595-small.jpg" alt="homemade ice cream" title="homemade ice cream" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Now that it's officially summer, my tastebuds have decided they'd like to cool off for a while. So, rather than making all my standard baked desserts, I like to try my hand at ice cream and frozen yogurt recipes. Something about the chill makes these treats feel healthier, but if I'm not careful, I can consume way too much heavy cream and sugar. Those ingredients aren't exactly a bikini body's best friend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-make-delicious-ice-cream-with-the-lello-gelato-junior?ref=seealso">Stuff We Love: Make Delicious Ice Cream With the Lello Gelato Junior</a>)</p> <p>Here are 16 frozen delights that feature whole foods and lighter ingredients. Enjoy!</p> <h2>1. Classic Chocolate</h2> <p>This no-churn <a href="http://vegan-magic.blogspot.com/2012/07/no-churn-coconut-chocolate-ice-cream.html">Chocolate Ice Cream</a> uses full fat coconut milk as a base and agave as a sweetener. After combining all the ingredients, a few hours of chilling time is all you need before attacking the bowl with a spoon.</p> <h2>2. Simple Vanilla</h2> <p>Dust off your ice cream maker for this <a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/12/07/four-ingredient-ice-cream/">4-Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream</a> recipe. You can use two cups of your milk of choice, including non-dairy creamer or even coconut milk. Then add some sweetener and vanilla extract and follow your machine's freezing instructions.</p> <h2>3. Banana Whip</h2> <p>One of the healthiest and easiest &quot;ice cream&quot; recipes around involves nothing more than <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/06/ultimate-vegan-ice-cream.html">frozen bananas</a> blended together in a food processor. You can add peanut butter, cocoa powder, or any other flavors to your taste.</p> <h2>4. Cherry Froyo</h2> <p>I picked cherries at a neighbor's tree as the base for this pleasantly tart <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/07/tart-cherry-frozen-yogurt.html">Cherry Frozen Yogurt</a>. Combine cherries and sugar on the stove and let cool. Next add the yogurt and coconut milk and chill for three hours. Then follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to make the magic happen. I think this recipe would also work well with other fruits or even chopped rhubarb.</p> <h2>5. Green Cream</h2> <p>This deliciously green <a href="http://www.nutritionistinthekitch.com/2013/06/27/healthy-almond-pistachio-frozen-yogurt-no-ice-cream-machine-needed/">Almond Pistachio Froyo</a> has a secret up its sleeve. Not only can you make it without an ice cream maker, but there's an added dose of spinach and avocado that the author claims is undetectable.</p> <h2>6. Rainbow Sorbet</h2> <p>No special tools needed for these vibrant <a href="http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2011/07/summer-sorbets-cool-creamy-easy.html">fruit sorbets</a>. Each is sweetened naturally with banana and a little maple syrup or agave nectar. Whether you like blueberry, strawberry, pineapple, or mango, you can enjoy them frozen all summer long with a quick pulse of your blender.</p> <h2>7. Cookie Dough Paleo</h2> <p>Simply stir almond-based chocolate chip cookie dough into homemade vanilla ice cream for this delightful <a href="http://deliciouslyorganic.net/paleo-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-ice-cream-grain-free-gluten-free/">Paleo dessert</a>. Those of you with nut allergies can substitute your favorite nut-free cookie dough.</p> <h2>8. Chocolate Peanut Butter</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.alaskafromscratch.com/2013/07/10/chocolate-peanut-butter-frozen-greek-yogurt-soft-serve-style/">Greek yogurt soft serve</a> recipe combines the best of chocolate and peanut butter. The author divulges that the trick to getting this consistency at home is serving directly from the ice cream maker sans added chill time.</p> <h2>9. Vegan Fudgesicles</h2> <p>I can't wait to try my hand at these <a href="http://slowclubcookery.blogspot.com/2013/06/homemade-vegan-fudgesicles.html?m=1">Vegan Fudgesicles</a>. You need a can of coconut milk, some cocoa powder, sweetener, vanilla, sea salt, and &mdash; of course &mdash; a popsicle mold.</p> <h2>10. Jungle Pops</h2> <p>Slice any fruit you fancy and pop them into popsicle molds. Fill the empty spaces with coconut water and let freeze overnight. Not only are these <a href="http://thenerdswife.com/2014/02/bare-necessities-fresh-fruit-pops.html">Jungle Pops</a> a quick fix, they are also undeniably good for you.</p> <h2>11. Avocado Cream</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/magazine/recipes-view.php?title=avocado-ice-cream&amp;home=1">Avocado Ice Cream</a> is full of good fats. Once you've made a zesty syrup of lemon and lime and let it cool, you just blend together with the avocado flesh and some whole milk. Use an ice cream maker for the rest or whip by hand and set in the freezer.</p> <h2>12. Blueberry Chocolate</h2> <p>As another great coconut milk-based recipe, this <a href="http://www.henryhappened.com/blueberry-chocolate-chunk-vegan-ice-cream.html#_a5y_p=1838791">Blueberry Chocolate Ice Cream</a> is also highly adaptable. Use whatever fruit you have on hand or is in season and combine with bittersweet chocolate chunks.</p> <h2>13. Dark Chocolate</h2> <p>If you love the idea of avocado ice cream but need more convincing, try this <a href="http://spoonopolis.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/chocolate-avacado-vegan-ice-cream/">Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream</a> recipe. The green flesh is blended with raw honey, as well as carob and cocoa powders to make a dark treat you'd never suspect is full of nutrients.</p> <h2>14. Peanut Butter Hemp</h2> <p>This <a href="http://marmaladeandmileposts.com/archives/25863">Peanut Butter Ice Cream</a> recipe cuts the heavy cream a bit by using hemp milk in its base. Hemp milk is high in plant-based protein and essential fats, so it's a great substitute. For an extra punch of staying power, add a scoop of protein powder.</p> <h2>15. Banana Bonbons</h2> <p>If you want the most taste with the least effort, <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/06/frozen-banana-bites.html">Frozen Banana Bites</a> are what you're after. Cut bananas into chunks and freeze with a mixture of melted chocolate chips and peanut butter on top. You can dip them into any toppings you like &mdash; from nuts to crushed cookies. Then chill until frozen.</p> <h2>16. Ice Cream Pops</h2> <p>Ok, so this specific combination might not be the healthiest, but it's the concept of these <a href="http://chefthisup.com/recipe/9934/peanut-butter-ice-cream-pops/">Ice Cream Pops</a> that intrigues me. The idea is to take your favorite ice cream (think sorbet or frozen yogurt, too) and then layer it with toppings and other flavors for a unique treat. I'd use whole fruit, nuts or nut butter, and maybe some chocolate chips for my own mix.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite homemade frozen treat? Please share a scoop in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sweet-16-delicious-and-healthy-frozen-yogurt-and-ice-cream-recipes" class="sharethis-link" title="The Sweet 16: Delicious and Healthy Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Recipes" 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 dessert frozen yogurt Homemade ice cream treats Tue, 01 Jul 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1150363 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Secrets to Saving at the Super Market http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-secrets-to-saving-at-the-super-market <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-secrets-to-saving-at-the-super-market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grocery-shopping-app-136344681-small.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on secrets to saving at the super market, affordable beach weddings, and things you should check before buying a used car.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://kiplinger.com/article/saving/T050-C011-S001-10-secrets-to-saving-at-the-supermarket.html?si=1">10 Secrets to Saving at the Super Market</a> &mdash; Downloading store apps and learning how to recognize the best sales can help you save at the super market. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Beach-Wedding-35077586">12 Tips for an Easy and Affordable Beach Wedding</a> &mdash; To save on a beach wedding, keep it intimate and provide practical favors. [POPSUGAR Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/06/25/6-things-you-should-check-before-buying-a-used-car-but-dont/">6 Things You Should Check Before Buying a Used Car, But Don't</a> &mdash; Before you buy a used car, look into maintenance costs and insurance premiums. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/find-good-doctor/">How to Find a Good Doctor You Can Trust</a> &mdash; Researching experience, certifications, and success can help you find a good doctor you can trust. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/seniors-at-risk-for-identity-theft/">What Seniors (and Their Caregivers) Need to Know About Identity Theft</a> &mdash; Seniors should get a secured, locked mailbox to protect themselves from identity theft. [Credit Sesame]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://asklizweston.com/qa-when-to-start-taking-social-security/">Q&amp;A: When to Start Taking Social Security</a> &mdash; When it comes to taking survivors benefits, it may be better to start them sooner as opposed to later. [Ask Liz Weston]</p> <p><a href="http://staplerconfessions.com/index.php/save-time-and-money-in-5-minutes-with-this-gmail-feature/">Save Time and Money in 5 Minutes With This Gmail Feature</a> &mdash; Are you using the filter messages feature in your Gmail account? [Stapler Confessions]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/mobile-finance-apps-changed-spending.html">Mobile Finance Apps Have Reduced My Spending&hellip; And I Don't Even Use Them</a> &mdash; Even if you aren't using finance apps, simply installing them on your phone can guilt you into spending more wisely. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://bargainbabe.com/half-college-grads-rely-family-but-should-they/">Half of College Grads Rely on Family: But Should They?</a> &mdash; Do you think college grads should lean on their family for help after graduation? [Bargain Babe]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/9-tips-to-become-a-more-attentive-parent">9 Tips to Become a More Attentive Parent</a> &mdash; If you want to be a more attentive parent, work while your kids are in bed and ban smartphones during family time. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-secrets-to-saving-at-the-super-market" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Secrets to Saving at the Super Market" 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 groceries saving Secrets super market Mon, 30 Jun 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1150192 at http://www.wisebread.com I'm Eating What? 12 Gross Things in Your Food http://www.wisebread.com/im-eating-what-12-gross-things-in-your-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/im-eating-what-12-gross-things-in-your-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/disgusted-dv2014033-small.jpg" alt="disgusted" title="disgusted" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="149" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You are what you eat. Vitamins, minerals, protein, fat&hellip; and you might also be eating bugs, clones, breast implants, and viruses. If you want to avoid the last half of that list, it's time to learn about all the gross stuff you're eating &mdash; and how to avoid it in the future.</p> <p>Good health requires relatively healthy eating habits. Health insurance companies and consumer agencies alike now advocate consuming nutritious foods as a preventative health care measure. Ignore what you're eating, and you could end up paying the price via higher health insurance premiums and medical bills. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/multivitamins-arent-as-good-as-you-think-eat-these-real-foods-instead?ref=seealso">Skip Multivitamins and Eat These These Good Foods Instead</a>)</p> <p>So forget old &quot;this food is gross&quot; standbys like gelatin and pink slime. This list is chock-full of 12 food additives that you might be eating, but had no idea.</p> <h2>1. Beaver Glands</h2> <p>In the wild, beavers use smelly castor glands (and urine) to mark their territory. In epicurean alchemy, the gland secretions help create tasty vanilla and raspberry flavor compounds.</p> <p>Castoreum, according to the U.S. Library of Health, is extract from the &quot;dried and macerated castor sac scent glands (and their secretions) from the male or female beaver.&quot;</p> <p>Don't worry, though &mdash; this <a href="http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=582.50">all-natural ingredient</a> is expensive to extract, and is only used in a very small portion of processed foods. It is, however, commonly found in perfume &mdash; so if you aren't gulping it down, you may be slathering beaver secretions all over your body instead.</p> <h2>2. Flame Retardant</h2> <p>Brominated vegetable oil, commonly referred to as BVO, contains bromine, an active ingredient in flame retardants.</p> <p>According to the New York Times, 10% of U.S. soft drinks (including sports drinks) contain BVO. The substance can build up in human body tissue over time, and has been linked to neurological damage, hormonal imbalance, thyroid problems, and more.</p> <p>In 2013, both Pepsi and Coke announced they were <a href="http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/25/gatorade-listens-to-a-teen-and-changes-its-formula">phasing out use of BVO</a> altogether. The substance is already banned for food consumption in the EU and Japan.</p> <p>(<strong>Note</strong>: This does not mean you can pour a can of soda over your head and attempt to recreate scenes from &quot;The Princess Bride.&quot; It doesn't work like that.)</p> <h2>3. Insect and Rodent &quot;Filth&quot;</h2> <p>You knew this one was coming. Yes, bugs invade our food in all life stages, from eggs to maggots to adults. Rodent hairs, excrement, and undocumented parts play a supporting role.</p> <p>Thankfully, there are specifics on the levels of bugs and rats we can expect in our food, thanks to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The &quot;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/sanitationtransportation/ucm056174.htm">Food Action Levels</a>&quot; booklet has strict regulations as to the percentage of insect and rodent filth allowed in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-food-processing-strong-stomach-required">processed</a> foodstuffs. Below are some examples.</p> <h3>Asparagus, Canned or Frozen</h3> <p>As long as the number is under 10%, spears or pieces can be infested with beetle eggs and/or egg sacs. This defect is categorized as &quot;aesthetic.&quot; That's probably not the word most of us had in mind.</p> <h3>Macaroni and Noodle Products</h3> <p>Cannot exceed 4.5 rodent hairs per 225g. The average serving size of dry pasta is 80g to 100g, so just over 1.6 rodent hairs per serving.</p> <h3>Tomato Paste and Sauces</h3> <p>Must contain less than 30 fly eggs per 100g; or less than 15 fly eggs and one maggot per 100g; or less than two maggots per 100g. One serving size of pasta sauce is about one cup or 244g. You do the math.</p> <h2>4. Shellac</h2> <p>Sometimes, bugs add beauty to our food. Thank insects for shiny produce aisles and <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20588763_5,00.html">smooth candy shells</a>. (Plus glossy wood furniture and floors.)</p> <p>Shellac, commonly used for both food and furniture, comes from a resin secreted by lac bugs. Luckily, it's easy to avoid by skipping shelled candy and scrubbing produce thoroughly before eating.</p> <h2>5. A Smorgasbord of Feces</h2> <p>The FDA has a fancy term for animal poop in food &mdash; &quot;mammalian excreta.&quot; Unfortunately, no phrase is refined enough to make people forget they're eating traces of excrement.</p> <p>Sources of contamination by mammalian excreta are vast and wide. In some factory farms, when animals are slaughtered, their entrails &mdash; filled with feces &mdash; spill out along with the meat. Many spices contain traces of mammal excrement as well. <a href="http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074458.htm">Fennel seed</a> and ground ginger, for example, cannot contain more than 3mg of animal feces a pound as per the FDA. Less than that is fine.</p> <h2>6. Spray-On Viruses</h2> <p>Cocktails of viruses are conveniently available as a spray to prevent bacteria from forming on perishable foods. Typically, this is used mostly on ready-to-eat cheese or meat products, but it can be used on goods marked organic.</p> <p>While it sounds odd, scientists deem the practice, known as &quot;preparation by bacteriophages,&quot; a good <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/14410160/ns/health-infectious_diseases/t/fda-oks-bacteria-eating-virus-treat-meat">alternative to antibiotics</a>.</p> <h2>7. Arsenic</h2> <p>A favorite poison of the Medici, arsenic is added to livestock feed to make pork and chicken meat pink and appealing. Due to water and soil pollution, trace amounts can also be found in juices, seafood, and grains.</p> <p>While poison in our food sounds scary, most studies don't distinguish between organic and inorganic arsenic &mdash; and there are big differences. Low levels of organic arsenic aren't harmful. Inorganic arsenic has been linked to <a href="http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v024je08.htm">lung cancer</a> in humans.</p> <h2>8. Breast Implant Material</h2> <p>Eating a chicken McNugget is basically like eating part of a <a href="http://lmgtfy.com/?q=mcnuggets+breast+implants">breast implant</a>. Or a few ounces of Silly Putty, if you prefer.</p> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydimethylsiloxane">Dimethylpolysiloxane</a>, one of the filler ingredients in McNuggets and other forms of fast food, has off-plate uses that range from caulk and hair products to breast implants, adhesives, and Silly Putty. To date, there haven't been any significant studies on safety and human consumption.</p> <h2>9. Clones</h2> <p>The TV show <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BVMXBDO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BVMXBDO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DJXBMPQ7KDCS5DEC">Orphan Black</a> begins in your local supermarket.</p> <p>Cheese is made with help from an enzyme in <a href="http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/pg/244-FAQ-Cheesemaking-and-Rennet.html">rennet</a>, found in the lining of a calf's fourth stomach. Since the demand for calf stomachs apparently exceeds supply, cheese makers have decided to clone them instead.</p> <p>A common alternative is vegetable rennet, genetically modified from the genes of a cloned calf but somehow made without animal products. Estimates place the percentage of bioengineered cheese (<a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/a-complete-meal-vegetarian-the-112672">animal or plant based</a>) at around 70%. There are no long-term studies on the effects of eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but some people prefer to avoid eating them.</p> <h2>10. Fish Bladders</h2> <p>The next time you admire the amber hue of your favorite craft beer, remember &mdash; fish bladders might have made it possible.</p> <p>Isinglass, widely used in the brewing process to improve the clarity and reduce residue in beer, comes from dried fish bladders. The collagen-like substance, also used to repair parchment paper, isn't known to cause health problems in humans, but vegetarians and vegans may want to avoid it.</p> <h2>11. Bisphenol A (BPA)</h2> <p>The bane of mommy bloggers everywhere (as it should be), Bisphenol A (BPA) has a long list of detrimental effects, running the gamut from cancer to obesity. BPA is so toxic that even small amounts of exposure infiltrate the human body. A <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2199288/">study by the Center for Disease Control</a> found that the majority of children under age 6 (90%) have trace amounts of BPA in their bloodstream.</p> <p>Though the use of BPA in hard plastic goods is falling drastically thanks to negative publicity, the chemical can still be found in beverage containers and food can liners. And it's so potent that leakage into food is a big concern. <a href="http://www.webmd.com/children/environmental-exposure-head2toe/bpa">Detrimental effects of BPA exposure</a> include brain damage, fertility issues, and developmental damage to fetuses and children.</p> <p>To avoid BPA, steer clear of processed canned goods and plastic food containers. Some organic foods now have a BPA-free label on the packaging &mdash; but if that label isn't there, avoid.</p> <h2>12. Titanium Dioxide</h2> <p>Processed foods need to have filthy things added to them in order to look clean. Titanium dioxide, found in white paint, is added to everything from salad dressing to cake icing. Some studies claim it's an inert and relatively harmless ingredient &mdash; though researchers readily admit titanium dioxide is <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3423755/">possibly carcinogenic to humans</a>.</p> <h2>Check Your Ingredients</h2> <p>These resources can help you figure out what's really in your food:</p> <h3>Online</h3> <p><a href="http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/FoodAdditivesIngredients/default.htm">Food Additives &amp; Ingredients</a></p> <p>The Federal Drug Administration (FDA)</p> <h3>Mobile App</h3> <p><a href="http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm">Chemical Cuisine</a></p> <p>The Center for Science in the Public Interest</p> <p>Available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Marketplace</p> <p><em>What's the worst thing you've ever found in your food? Please share a bite in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/im-eating-what-12-gross-things-in-your-food" class="sharethis-link" title="I&#039;m Eating What? 12 Gross Things in Your Food" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/erin-c-oneil">Erin C. O&#039;Neil</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 additives BPA filthy food gross food nutrition processed food Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Erin C. O'Neil 1150220 at http://www.wisebread.com The Only Fruits and Veggies Worth Growing Yourself http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-fruits-and-veggies-worth-growing-yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-only-fruits-and-veggies-worth-growing-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/growing%20vegetables-450798673-small.jpg" alt="growing vegetables" title="growing vegetables" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not everyone has a green thumb, and growing a garden can often be a tiring &mdash; and expensive &mdash; endeavor for anyone to tackle. While it can be easy to spend hundreds of dollars on seeds, plants, additives, and water, you can make gardening worth your investment by growing the fruits and veggies that cost the most in stores today.</p> <p>Starting a plant as a seed (for veggies) or a sapling (for a fruit tree) is the best way to realize savings, although it takes longer for your harvest to come, and there is more risk. Seed packets usually run no more than $2 a packet, even for heirloom varieties. (Heirloom is original, non-hybrid, non-GMO seed stock.) With between 20 and 100 seeds per packet, if even a handful of the seeds grow into fruit-producing adult plants, you've earned much of your investment back. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-simple-recipes-for-25-delicious-veggies?ref=seealso">25 Simple Recipes for 25 Delicious Veggies</a>)</p> <p>Most gardeners hope to go far beyond &quot;breaking even,&quot; however. Considering that the recent California drought, rising gas prices, and overall food inflation will make fresh fruits and veggies even more expensive this year, it may be easier than ever to earn back what you spend on even the most modest garden.</p> <p>Here are my favorites for reaping what you sow.</p> <h2>Artichokes</h2> <p>These delicious veggies are actually cousins to the thistle, and preparing them for eating is a process way more complicated than growing them. Since they are also one of the most expensive items to buy in the store, however, any success you have in growing them will be much appreciated! They can be started from seed, shoots, or the cuttings of other adult artichokes; they do well in most any climate, and can be replanted new each year in those areas that are too cold to survive the winters.</p> <p><strong>Production Tip</strong>: Many people aren't sure <a href="http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4796/how-to-grow-artichokes/page/all">how to harvest them</a> once their artichokes are ready; by cutting them before they get too big, you can ensure energy is devoted to creating more &quot;fruits&quot; than flowers.</p> <h2>Brussels Sprouts</h2> <p>The hated Brussels sprout has become a popular choice of chefs across the country, and more people are creating delicious dishes with the veggie in their own kitchens. By growing your own, however, you can choose &mdash; among other things &mdash; how big, how tender, and how flavorful your sprout becomes. You can also grow hundreds for the price of a pound of store-bought. Starting from seed can be difficult, which is why many sprout lovers get plants from their nursery. Hot summers can kill these plants, so it is recommended to grow them for a &quot;fall garden&quot; when the chance of high temps has passed for the year.</p> <p><strong>Production Tip</strong>: Looking for the best flavor in your Brussels sprouts? Experts suggest is it a good idea to harvest <a href="http://cedarcirclefarm.org/tips/entry/brussels-sprouts-tips-from-seed-to-harvest">after the first mild frost</a> each fall. The cold weather give them a delicious note that you just can't buy in the store!</p> <h2>Tomatoes</h2> <p>You really have to have some bad luck to get nothing from a tomato plant. While veteran gardeners can take a packet of seeds and get a dozen or more healthy plants, you can expect to get amazing results from even one adult plant ready to transplant to your own garden. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-with-100-tomatoes?ref=seealso">What to Do With 100 Tomatoes</a>)</p> <p>Tomatoes all offer varying degrees of yield, but the cherry or grape tomato plants seem to give and give and give. Varieties such as Romas are great for cooking and making sauce, and with more meaty pulp than water and seeds, you can expect to get gallons of sauce from just one plant. Hard-core canners with a dozen or more plants can put up hundreds of jars of sauce at the end of the season, giving you a great return on your initial investment.</p> <p><strong>Production Tip</strong>: If you have too many green tomatoes at the end of a season, with no chance to ripen before frost, consider any one of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-tomatoes-autumn-tips-to-prolong-the-growing-season">delicious green tomato recipes</a>!</p> <h2>Zucchini</h2> <p>This very productive plant is the butt of many garden jokes, and people go quickly from appreciating their bounty to wondering &quot;what the heck can I do with all this zucchini?&quot; Luckily, this makes it a sure-fire way to get a little back on the light maintenance zucchini plants require. Whether you eat them small, sliced thin for stir-fry, or let them grow large and bake with them, there is a zucchini recipe guaranteed to help you use up your surplus. Since zucchini actually start best as seeds planted directly in the garden, their cost to get started is minimal, too!</p> <p><strong>Production Tip</strong>: If you grow tired of eating them yourself, here are some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gadzukes-10-ways-to-use-up-your-zucchini-bounty">unique ways to get rid of all that zucchini</a>.</p> <h2>Mint</h2> <p>While not exactly something to make much of a meal out of, the humble mint plant is a fantastic addition to any garden and one that will literally take over if you aren't careful.</p> <p>Mint comes in many varieties, including chocolate, pineapple, apple, and spearmint. Use it to make jellies, jams, teas, and salves. One small plant from your nursery usually runs no more than $4, and can quickly cover several square feet of raised bed within weeks of planting. (Plus, it comes back every year stronger than the previous year. You may find yourself digging much of it up to give away.)</p> <p><strong>Production Tip</strong>: Annoyed with how well your mint is doing? Consider pulling up all but a few plants each year and donating the surplus to the kitchen or garden of your favorite non-profit.</p> <h2>Kale</h2> <p>This salad must-have is nutritious and versatile. While it does best in cooler weather, once established, it can be kept in the shady part of a garden for almost the entire spring through fall time period. Cutting just the top leaves off when they are young can help keep the flavors mild and leaves tender, plus it will encourage growth. Started as seed, it's similar to lettuce or spinach, but is much more resistant to bugs, cold, and heat. Kale in the store can run $4 or more for a bag; having a single row in your garden can keep you in free salad for many months!</p> <p><strong>Production Tip</strong>: If you see your kale plants starting to get tough or &quot;prickly,&quot; it's time to start anew. Sow new seeds in between older plants and pull up the old plants when the new ones are producing. Rotating fresher stock every few weeks ensures you will always have the most tender leaves possible!</p> <h2>Other Smart Choices</h2> <p>Depending on your soil and growing season, there are a few other plants that tend to do well in most climate zones; squash, peppers, and radishes all grow well most years and either cost very little to start (like the radishes) or produce many fruits per plant (like the peppers and squash).</p> <p>As with any endeavor, it's best to plant no more than what you can reasonably maintain, care for, and harvest. Wasted produce does not count on the plus side of your ROI formula! It's also fun to factor in just how much you are earning back with your garden. Homegrown isn't just valued higher because it's fresh and free from strange growing and handling procedures. Food you grow yourself is tax-free, too! It takes far less effort to grow a tomato than to work to earn the money to buy that same tomato &mdash; after you pay income taxes, that is!</p> <p><em>What fruits and vegetables in your garden have given you the best ROI? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-fruits-and-veggies-worth-growing-yourself" class="sharethis-link" title="The Only Fruits and Veggies Worth Growing Yourself" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</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> DIY Food and Drink Green Living fresh food gardens homegrown vegetables Wed, 25 Jun 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1149042 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-blur-162586595-small.jpg" alt="shopping" title="shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've all experienced this: You need two or three items for dinner tonight, so you make a quick run to the grocery store &mdash; only to walk out 40 minutes later with 10 items you hadn't planned on buying. What happened in that &quot;quick&quot; trip to the store? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-you-shouldnt-buy-at-the-grocery-store?ref=seealso">25 Things You Shouldn't Buy at the Grocery Store</a>)</p> <p>It turns out there are good and bad times to go grocery shopping, and your favorite store knows this. In fact, they are counting on you to make mistakes during your trip that will earn them more in profits. Grocery stores <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-pay-more-at-the-grocery-store-and-how-to-stop">know how people shop and spend</a>, so why not plan to be successful yourself? Picking the right time to go shopping, preparing yourself before you go, and keeping yourself focused while you are there are all keys to avoiding purchasing budget (and diet) busters.</p> <h2>Go at the Start of Your Store's &quot;Sales Week&quot;</h2> <p>The Internet is full of advice for the best day of the week to go grocery shopping. Most will tell you it is Wednesday, because stores start their sales for the next seven days on Wednesdays and some still honor the previous week's sales. Your mileage will vary, however. Many stores in my area, for example, start their sales on either Sunday or Monday, and they never have a day when both the previous week's and the upcoming week's sales are good.</p> <p>Your best option is to find out when your store starts running their sales and shop as close to that as possible for any deals that you want to snag. Don't forget: If you can't find an item on the shelf and it is on sale, get a raincheck at the customer service desk to ensure that you get that sale price when the item is in stock.</p> <h3>Ask Department Managers for Details</h3> <p>One good way to take advantage of store scheduling is to check in with the managers of each grocery department to find out what time and day they bring out merchandise to be clearanced out. The meat manager, for example, should be able to tell you that he marks down meat with a nearing expiration date on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. By shopping close to these times, you can get much of your grocery list accomplished at a fraction of retail pricing.</p> <h2>Go When Bins Are Freshly Stocked</h2> <p>To make sure your store isn't out of what you want, the best time of day to shop is mid-morning to early afternoon. Many stores stock their fresh produce during this time (non-perishables are usually stocked in the evenings when people are not walking through the aisles). This is a great time to find the freshest produce (and in my case, sometimes the only time to find coveted items like organic strawberries which always disappear fast in my town).</p> <p>The same principle can be applied to fresh meat and seafood departments, too.</p> <h2>Go Weeknight Evenings After Dinner</h2> <p>After dinner, say between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., most people settle in for the evening, and few have the energy to tackle a big trip to the grocery store. The shelves and bins won't be quite as full as a weekday visit, but you'll have the store almost to yourself. Another advantage of going after dinner is that you won't go in hungry (see below), which often results in impulse spending.</p> <h2>Don't Go During &quot;Rush Hour&quot;</h2> <p>Grocery stores are busiest right after most people get off work. The aisles are packed, the lines are longer, and the frustrations can be plenty.</p> <h3>Weekend Afternoons Are the Worst</h3> <p>Even busier than weeknights right after work are weekends at the grocery store. Aisles are crowded and shelves are empty. I have noticed that Sundays around noon are the absolute worst time to go shopping in my town. It appears that a lot of people head to the store after their church service, and I have been known to turn around and go home if I realize what I've done by arriving at that time.</p> <p>Weekends are also the time when those wonderful people &mdash; product demonstrators &mdash; are most likely to be around, offering tasty samples of foods and treats you don't need. Suddenly, you've added crackers and dips, pretzel bread, and cookies to your cart because some lovely person offered you a free taste and a cents off coupon.</p> <h3>Weekend Mornings Are a Better Time</h3> <p>If your only time to grocery shop is on the weekends, like most of us, try to plan your trips for the morning. Become an early riser on Saturday or Sunday while everyone else is still lounging in their PJ's. You'll still find fresh produce, shelves that are stocked, and a quiet store. You'll get out quicker and with fewer impulse purchases in your cart.</p> <h2>Go After Making a List</h2> <p>Go in with a list (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals">based on a meal plan</a> for an entire week) and stick to it! If you shop without one, you are likely to buy too much of the foods you don't want or ones that will go bad before you've had time to eat them. You'll also keep yourself from having to make a quick trip one evening to grab one more item you need for dinner that night. Those after work &quot;quick trips&quot; are a bad idea (we'll talk more about those on down in this article).</p> <p>Need help organizing and using a list? There are hundreds of free apps and tools to help you manage your shopping. Some, like <a href="http://get.ziplist.com/">ZipList</a>, are integrated into recipes you can store for later. Others, like <a href="https://www.rememberthemilk.com/">RememberTheMilk</a>, are simple checklist tools with more than just shopping applications.</p> <h2>Never Go Hungry</h2> <p>This goes without saying, but before you step foot into the grocery store, prepare yourself to be successful at beating their marketing ploys. Eat a meal or a snack so you are not hungry. We've all found ourselves with a cart full of junk food because we made the mistake of hitting the store on the way home from work. When you're full, you are more likely to stick to your list. When you're hungry, you're more likely to buy <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/science/2011/nov/16/hunger-primes-brain-junk-food">high calorie junk food</a>.</p> <p>Another way to keep yourself from buying stuff you don't really need is to chew gum while shopping. If you should cross paths with a product demonstrator, and you have gum in your mouth, you are more likely to skip it. Those impulse buys are usually bad on the budget and possibly your waistline as well. Who knew there was so much value in a stick of gum?</p> <p><em>When's your favorite time to go to the grocery store? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping" class="sharethis-link" title="The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</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 Food groceries grocery shopping meal plan Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:00:08 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1145899 at http://www.wisebread.com Too Good to Be True? How Trader Joe's Sells Affordable Goods http://www.wisebread.com/too-good-to-be-true-how-trader-joes-sells-affordable-goods <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/too-good-to-be-true-how-trader-joes-sells-affordable-goods" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grocery-shopping-86541102-small_0.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are many die-hard fans of Trader Joe's who will assure you that it's the best grocery store ever. And that's not just hearsay. In fact, the quirky grocery chain recently came in first in a national survey that polled people on their <a href="http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/news/article.asp?docKey=600-201405302048KRTRIB__BUSNEWS_52487_18728-1&amp;params=timestamp%7C%7C05/30/2014%208:48%20PM%20ET%7C%7Cheadline%7C%7CTrader%20Joe%27s%20captures%20top%20spot%20in%20national%20survey%20of%20shoppers%20[Dayton%20Daily%20News%2C%20Ohio%20%3A%3A%20]%7C%7CdocSource%7C%7CMcClatchy-Tribune%7C%7Cprovider%7C%7CACQUIREMEDIA%7C%7Cbridgesymbol%7C%7CUS;KR&amp;ticker=KR">favorite supermarket</a>.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Conventional-vs-Organic-Grocery-Prices-18342929">Organic vs. Conventional: Price Breakdown of 10 Common Groceries</a></p> <p>The great value for quality goods is what keeps customers coming back for more. But all of us have wondered from time to time how in the world Trader Joe's manages to pull that off. Although I don't ever want to ruin a good thing, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to do some digging. Here are a couple of possible reasons:</p> <h2>1. Smaller Spaces</h2> <p>&quot;Most TJ's locations have less square footage than the average mainstream grocery store, so I'm sure they save on their overhead costs that way,&quot; says Nathan Rodgers of review site <a href="http://www.whatsgoodattraderjoes.com/">What's Good at Trader Joe's</a>. &quot;And it appears they pass some of those savings on to their shoppers.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Smaller Headcount</h2> <p>To keep costs down, the chain generally has a <a href="http://www.workforce.com/articles/fostering-a-loyal-workforce-at-trader-joe-s">lower headcount in its stores</a> than its competitors, although there are exceptions. You won't find some of the traditional supermarket positions, like a butcher and a baker, at Trader Joe's, which also helps with costs. This means that customers can only buy pre-cut meats and pre-made baked goods, but that doesn't seem to deter consumers.</p> <h2>3. Less Selection</h2> <p>Trader Joe's has a smaller selection of goods, and most of its products are offered under the store-brand label, which differentiates it from other grocery chains. Fortune estimates that the <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/20/news/companies/inside_trader_joes_full_version.fortune/index.htm">typical grocery store has 50,000 items</a>, while Trader Joe's has 4,000 &mdash; 80 percent of which are store-brand goods. Its small store sizes also don't allow for a bigger selection of goods.</p> <p>This can be a negative or positive, depending on how you see the situation, because there are definitely people who do enjoy the smaller selection. Rodgers says, &quot;Honestly, I have a hard enough time making decisions as it is. A smaller selection actually helps narrow down the choices. Plus, they're constantly shuffling things around and introducing new products. The thing that bothers me most is that they discontinue really great products occasionally.&quot;</p> <p>By limiting its selection, Trader Joe's will buy larger quantities from suppliers. And it will restock at a faster rate because of the quicker turnaround &mdash; it is able to sell more of one type of product when there aren't too many choices. These two factors will drive down the costs. Although there isn't a lot of variety, customers are OK with that because they trust that the quality will be good, according to Fortune.</p> <h2>4. Not Everything Is Certified Organic</h2> <p>Some products have the label &quot;made with organic ingredients,&quot; which Mark Kastel, co-founder of organic food industry watchdog group <a href="http://www.cornucopia.org/">The Cornucopia Institute</a>, says may mean only 70 percent of the ingredients in the product are organic. For example, the label may say the pizza was made with organic wheat and vegetables, but the cheese and meat might not be organic, which means you're getting a really &quot;cheapened product.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;When you are going to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's or any store you have to be a conscious consumer because a lot of what is most profitable to them is not organic even though they really like to tout that they are organic,&quot; says Kastel. His advice is to take a careful look at the labels to make sure the whole product is certified organic.</p> <h2>5. Private About the Suppliers</h2> <p>Trader Joe's is notoriously private about its suppliers. This is also a trademark trait of its parent company, German supermarket conglomerate Aldi. &quot;Their hallmark is what we call private label or store brand. So you don't really know who is manufacturing it and where it's from or maybe the story behind the food,&quot; says Kastel. This enables Trader Joe's to use a competitive bidding system with suppliers and go with the lowest bid. Customers won't know when the manufacturer of the product changes.</p> <p>The anonymity also benefits the suppliers as they don't want customers to know that they are making a lower-cost version for the Trader Joe's label. Last year, The Huffington Post did <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/12/who-makes-trader-joes-food_n_2664899.html">a taste test</a> comparing Trader Joe's products they speculated were produced by big brands to the actual products sold under the big-brand names. The testers found that although there was a big price difference, there were no obvious differences in taste.</p> <p>However, the secrecy can brew dissatisfaction among some consumers. Vani Hari, investigative food journalist and founder of <a href="http://foodbabe.com/">FoodBabe.com</a>, says, &quot;If you shop at Trader Joe's and buy their Trader Joe's branded products, you'll never know which companies are producing your food. You could be supporting a company with shady or unethical business practices. Other major supermarket chains like Target and Kroger are also creating their own private label products that also create similar concerns with consumers. With the increased emphasis on the 'voting with your dollars' mentality and ingredient labels, consumers want to know where their food comes from.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Efficient Distribution and Supplier System</h2> <p>The company also cuts out the middleman and buys a lot of its food directly from the suppliers, which translates to lower expenses and more savings for customers. Suppliers send their food to Trader Joe's distribution centers, where it then gets sent out to the stores. Traditional supermarkets usually buy their food through a distributor, which adds on more cost.</p> <h2>7. Food Is Sourced All Over the Globe</h2> <p>Food Babe's Hari says, &quot;Trader Joe's is able to keep their produce and goods inexpensive because they source their goods from all over the globe &mdash; especially from underdeveloped countries where prices are cheaper.&quot; The danger in this strategy is the organic food industry in foreign countries may not be well regulated.</p> <p>Back in 2008, to deal with the growing concern over organic food from China, Trader Joe's announced that it planned to phase out any <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tj12feb12-story.html">single-ingredient food item</a> from China. This is a big deal given that not a lot of supermarkets follow suit. Whole Foods did not do the same and said it was in a &quot;different position&quot; and it didn't make sense to stop the progress it has &quot;made with sourcing select high-quality products.&quot; However, although Trader Joe's phased out the single-ingredient items, it's not clear which multiple-ingredient products use organic ingredients from China and which other countries it is sourcing its single-ingredient products from.</p> <h2>8. Less Money Spent on Marketing</h2> <p>The company is known for not spending as much money on marketing and advertising as its competitors. In fact, it doesn't even have an official Facebook or Twitter page.</p> <p>Chances are, you probably heard about the grocery chain through word of mouth. The chain has such a devoted following that customers become the brand's best &quot;advertisers,&quot; promoting the stores in various ways &mdash; from uploading images of their favorite Trader Joe's snacks on Facebook to convincing friends to shop there. The bonus in this strategy is that the advertising costs won't be tacked on to Trader Joe's goods.</p> <h2>So What Does This Mean for Those Who Want Organic Food?</h2> <p>It means we have to be careful as consumers and read labels. We can also do our homework and learn how to shop smart. You can start with organizations like <a href="http://www.cornucopia.org/">The Cornucopia Institute</a>, which has several helpful reports such as one that ranks<a href="http://www.cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/index.html"> the quality of dairy of several suppliers and grocers</a>. Kastel recommends people shop at their local food co-op, which he says is the &quot;gold standard of organic retailing.&quot;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Trader Joe&#039;s fans love the store, and with good reason. But how do they manage to keep all of those great products so cheap? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Money-Whole-Foods-11376657">Insider Info: 18 Tips to Saving Big Bucks in Whole Foods</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/What-Buy-Whole-Foods-34126215">10 Things You Should Buy at Whole Foods (and 7 to Avoid)</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Making-Groceries-Last-Tips-16971878">12 Tricks to Make Groceries Last Longer and Save Cash</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</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> Consumer Affairs Food and Drink Shopping Wed, 18 Jun 2014 09:00:05 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1142513 at http://www.wisebread.com