Cheap Food http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2656/all en-US Best Money Tips: Ways to Make Cheap Food Taste Delicious http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-make-cheap-food-taste-delicious <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-make-cheap-food-taste-delicious" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cooking-salad-kitchen-Dollarphotoclub_76336361.jpg" alt="woman cooking kitchen" title="woman cooking kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on ways to make cheap foods taste delicious, how to create a minimalist wardrobe, and tips to help you save on pet costs.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/6-ways-make-cheap-foods-taste-delish/">6 Ways to Make Cheap Foods Taste Delicious</a> &mdash; Simple adjustments to your cooking technique can bring out huge flavors in your food. For example, roast veggies instead of boiling or steaming, and cook rice with chicken stock instead of water. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/the-classy-frugal-ladys-guide-to-creating-a-minimalist-wardrobe">The Classy (&amp; Frugal) Lady's Guide to Creating a Minimalist Wardrobe</a> &mdash; Pick a color scheme and set a few style rules to limit the clothing pieces you buy. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/life-style/new-cat-or-dog-save-money-on-pet-costs-with-these-5-tips/">New Cat or Dog? Save Money on Pet Costs With These 5 Tips</a> &mdash; Buy quality pet food. It'll cost more upfront, but your pet's health (and fewer vet trips) is worth it! [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/5-Meals-34402716#photo-34402716">Make These 86 Amazing Meals for $5 or Less</a> &mdash; Make roasted shrimp and spaghetti squash if you want some pasta without the carbs! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2015/0217/Starbucks-launches-a-delivery-service-that-brings-coffee-to-your-front-door">Starbucks Launches a Delivery Service That Brings Coffee to Your Front Door</a> &mdash; Starbucks' new subscription service will deliver a bag of their gourmet coffee within 3-5 days of being roasted at the Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-steps-to-healthy-teeth">8 Steps to Healthy Teeth</a> &mdash; Soda and juice contain A LOT of sugar. If you need a refreshing drink, go with water instead. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/credit/T025-S001-proven-tactics-to-overcome-big-debts/index.html">Proven Tactics to Overcome Big Debts</a> &mdash; Michelle Schroeder-Gardner paid off $40,000 in seven months by taking side gigs and creating other streams of income. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/how-to-be-stress-free-this-tax-season/">How to Be Stress Free This Tax Season</a> &mdash; You don't have to do your taxes in one sitting! Take a break to refresh yourself during the process. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/how-to-teach-kids-the-value-of-a-dollar/">How to Teach Kids the Value of a Dollar?</a> &mdash; &quot;Farmer Boy&quot; by Laura Ingalls Wilder contains a great lesson about the value of money. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/ready-landlord/">Are You Ready to Be a Landlord?</a> &mdash; Pick a city with a strong rental demand, like college towns, military bases, and urban centers. [Listen Money Matters]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-make-cheap-food-taste-delicious">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen">21 Surprising and Delicious Ways to Cook Instant Ramen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy">Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-clever-ways-to-dress-up-cheap-food">25 Clever Ways to Dress Up Cheap Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips Cheap Food Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1308809 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-woman-restaurant-beach-Dollarphotoclub_67762409.jpg" alt="young woman restaurant" title="young woman restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco continue to dazzle and delight foodies, many cities are in the midst of a culinary renaissance that is not to be missed, and often at far lower prices than these more expensive traditional foodie towns. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-americas-awesomest-cheap-cities?ref=seealso">10 of America's Awesomest Cheap Cities</a>)</p> <p>Artisanal food, locavore, and farm-to-table movements are spreading like wildfire to every corner of the U.S. So here are seven U.S. cities that will make your taste buds and tummy happy without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>1. Orlando, Florida</h2> <p>Wait, what? Isn't Central Florida home to strip malls and fast food establishments galore? Well, yes, it is. But it's also got a burgeoning food scene that's getting national attention. <a href="https://www.eastendmkt.com/">East End Market</a> is an artisan market occupied by local food entrepreneurs in the newly revitalized Mills 50 District. <a href="http://www.caskandlarder.com/">Cask &amp; Larder</a> and <a href="http://txokoskitchen.com/">Txokos Basque Kitchen</a> have garnered James Beard Award nominations, and Iron Chef Morimoto will open a flagship operation of his widely-acclaimed sushi restaurant in the new Disney Springs. If you're a frugal foodie, Orlando is a place that should be on your &quot;to visit&quot; list.</p> <h2>2. Grand Rapids, Michigan</h2> <p>Grand Rapids is a scenic and charming city situated on the Grand River. The <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/about-grand-rapids/colleges-universities/secchia-institute-for-culinary-education/">Secchia Institute for Culinary Education</a> at Grand Rapids Community College is one of the country's top culinary schools, so it's no wonder that the food scene here is hopping. For the latest in food trends, head to <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/things-to-do/shopping/downtown-market/">Downtown Market Grand Rapids</a>. Only two years old, it offers a full year indoor market full of artisan food businesses as well as a huge outdoor summer market and culinary events of all shapes and sizes.</p> <p>Craft breweries are a big deal in this city and include gems such as Founder's Brewing, <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/listings/HopCat/5636/0/0/">HopCat</a>, <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/listings/Grand-Rapids-Brewing-Company/5720/0/0/">Grand Rapids Brewing Company</a>, and <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/listings/The-B-O-B-/2004/0/0/">The B.O.B</a>.</p> <p>The fertile soil of Western Michigan creates one of the finest growing regions in the country. For this reason it's <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/restaurants/farm-to-fork/">home to numerous farm-to-table restaurants</a> that make dinner a difficult, and delicious, choice.</p> <h2>3. Madison, Wisconsin</h2> <p>Love farmer's markets? Then you need to check out Madison. With a young and highly educated population, the <a href="https://madisonfarmersmarket.com/">Saturday Farmers' Market in Madison</a> is one of the largest in the country with 200+ farmers selling their freshest crops and food products. Additionally, there is also the Dane County Farmers' Market, Eastside Farmers' Market, Northside Farmers' Market, and South Madison Farmers' Market. And you thought all they made in Wisconsin was cheese!</p> <h2>4. Boise, Idaho</h2> <p>People in Boise are known for their friendliness and easygoing ways. The food scene reflects that with its many casual and welcoming dining options. <a href="http://cafevicino.com/">Cafe Vicinio</a> serves up delectable Italian eats. Winemaking is making a big splash in Boise thanks to local businesses like <a href="http://boise.coop/wineshop/">Boise Co-op Wine Shop</a>. With the third largest Basque population (outside of Spain and Argentina), Basque cuisine is thriving. <a href="http://www.bargernika.com/">Bar Gernika</a> is a wonderful stop situated right in an area known as Basque Block.</p> <h2>5. Cincinnati, Ohio</h2> <p>Cincinnati chili is one of my favorite varieties of chili, but this city is now known for much more than that when it comes to culinary innovation. The pulled pork at <a href="http://elisbarbeque.com/">Eli's</a>, the finest French croissants and quiches at <a href="http://jrtable.com/french-crust-cafe/">French Crust Cafe</a>, and the authentic Indian food available in every neighborhood across the city prove that Cincinnati has diversity and imagination in its many bustling kitchens.</p> <h2>6. Reno, Nevada</h2> <p>Nevada has another city besides Las Vegas? It sure does! Convenient to Lake Tahoe, Reno showcases its unique culinary scene through its many and varied farmers' markets, local eateries, and cafes. There are so many to mention and visit that it's best to just <a href="http://www.ediblerenotahoe.com/2012-01-27-04-24-16/eat-local-guide">check out this link</a> to see what's on offer that speaks to your taste buds.</p> <h2>7. New Orleans, Louisiana</h2> <p>You'd really have to work hard to eat badly in New Orleans. This city is just as famous for its food as it is for its music, mystery, and revelry. A beignet and a chicory coffee at <a href="http://www.cafedumonde.com/">Cafe Du Monde</a> is the best way to start any morning. Then it's a seafood, gumbo, and cajun paradise around every corner. You can eat well for very little money in New Orleans though it offers a huge variety of price options to fit every budget: the fried chicken stand at <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/brothers-food-mart-new-orleans-4">Brothers Food Mart</a>, mid-range <a href="http://boucherie-nola.com/">Boucherie</a>, and fancy <a href="http://www.restaurantaugust.com/">Restaurant August</a> are some of the most popular food meccas in a city that reveres and celebrates cuisine with wild abandon.</p> <p><em>Have you found culinary gems for a small price tag in your city? Please share your recommendations in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tricks-for-enjoying-fine-dining-on-a-budget">7 Tricks for Enjoying Fine Dining on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-restaurants-dont-want-you-to-know">6 Secrets Restaurants Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more">12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink Cheap Food dining out foodie restaurants Tue, 10 Feb 2015 10:00:04 +0000 Christa Avampato 1286591 at http://www.wisebread.com 21 Foods That Cost Under a Buck a Pound — With Recipes! http://www.wisebread.com/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-grocery-shopping-159289223-small.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever look at your inflated grocery bill and think, &quot;Maybe I should have just gone to the drive-through?&quot; Cooking can feel a little pricey, especially if you're not a seasoned deal finder. It might be time to change the way you approach a visit to the supermarket. Luckily, many of the healthiest foods are also the cheapest, so you can save money and be healthy at the same time. Start with the following foods, which can all be found for under $1 a pound! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck?ref=seealso">10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck</a>)</p> <p>While exact prices depend on where you live, where you shop, and even what time of year it is, no matter where you are or the season, all of these food items are worth their weight.</p> <h2>1. Pumpkin</h2> <p>A fall favorite, pumpkin also happens to be reasonably priced and versatile. You can make desserts, soup, bread, side dishes, and more, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-fun-ways-to-use-pumpkin">including non-food items</a>.</p> <h2>2. Beans</h2> <p>Beans are healthy, easy to prepare, and a great source of protein. Good thing they're so cheap! Two of the cheapest beans, pinto beans and chickpeas, can be used in a variety of ways, including a <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mediterranean-bean-salad/">fresh and tasty bean salad</a>.</p> <h2>3. Bananas</h2> <p>This potassium-rich yellow fruit is the ultimate snack on-the-go. Even organic bananas cost well under $1 a pound, and you can use over-ripe fruit for baked goods like <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/banana-nut-muffins-recipe.html">muffins</a>.</p> <h2>4. Potatoes</h2> <p>A cornerstone of the American diet, potatoes are also a good source of fiber and potassium. They can be used in all sort of ways, but as a <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/parmesan-roasted-potatoes">simple roasted side dish</a> is a good place to start.</p> <h2>5. Canned Tuna</h2> <p>A protein that is shelf-stable for years, canned tuna is ultimately convenient. You can't go wrong with a classic <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/essential-recipe-tuna-salad-recipes-from-the-kitchn-194944">tuna salad.</a></p> <h2>6. Apples</h2> <p>Many common varieties of apples are under $1 a pound when bought in three or five pound bags. Lucky for us, since apples are delicious and great for you. An easy and satisfying way to eat apples is to simply <a href="http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/baked-apples-with-cinnamon/">bake them.</a></p> <h2>7. Cantaloupe and Honeydew</h2> <p>These melons play a starring role in any successful fruit salad, and happen to be easy on the wallet. Cantaloupe and honeydew also successfully straddle the sweet and savory line, often featured with cured meat or <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/315726/cucumber-cantaloupe-and-squash-salad#Cantaloupe%20and%20Honeydew%20Recipes%7C/275379/cantaloupe-and-honeydew-recipes/@center/276955/seasonal-produce-recipe-guide%7C315726">in salads.</a></p> <h2>8. Grapefruit</h2> <p>A healthy citrus fruit that makes a great breakfast, grapefruit is also very affordable. Sprinkle a little sugar on your grapefruit halves and <a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/broiled-grapefruit.html">broil them</a> for a real treat.</p> <h2>9. Limes</h2> <p>Another biggie in the citrus world, limes are a zesty accent to many dishes and drinks, and are cheaper than their yellow counterparts. They can also be big players in desserts <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/07/10-minute-lime-cracker-pie-recipe.html">such as pie.</a></p> <h2>10. Plain Yogurt</h2> <p>Yogurt contains beneficial probiotics and much-needed calcium, and is often priced under $1 a pound for the plain variety (not Greek-style). Yogurt pairs well with sweet fruit, granola, or in smoothies and drinks like a <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/10689-mango-lassi">mango lassi.</a></p> <h2>11. Oranges</h2> <p>Not just for juice, eat a Valencia orange and get a juicy boost of Vitamin C. Oranges add a nice flavor to many dishes sweet and savory, like in salads and <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/citrus_salsa.html">salsa.</a></p> <h2>12. Cabbage</h2> <p>A crunchy cruciferous vegetable that is full of fiber and vitamin K, cabbage is a real bargain. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and serves as the base for the popular side dish <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/classic-coleslaw">coleslaw.</a></p> <h2>13. Onions</h2> <p>Many great savory recipes start with cooked or raw onion, and for good reason. Onions add layers of flavor to dishes, and can even be used as a <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/02/french-onion-soup/">main ingredient.</a></p> <h2>14. Pineapple</h2> <p>This funny looking tropical fruit is juicy budget-friendly. Simply eaten as is or made into a <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grilled-Pineapple-102083">grilled dessert</a>, pineapple is a crowd-pleaser.</p> <h2>15. White Rice</h2> <p>White rice might not be as healthy as its cousin brown rice (which costs a little more), but it's easy, versatile, and affordable. Combine it with beans or <a href="http://shewearsmanyhats.com/chicken-and-rice-is-oh-so-nice/">chicken</a> for a low-cost meal.</p> <h2>16. Sweet Potatoes</h2> <p>These brightly-colored tubers are vitamin-filled and taste great simply baked in the oven or <a href="http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000000522028,00.html">roasted with herbs</a>.</p> <h2>17. Carrots</h2> <p>Another orange powerhouse, carrots can be eaten raw, baked, steamed, sauteed, or juiced. They make a nice crunchy snack and a <a href="http://www.onceuponachef.com/2013/03/curried-roasted-carrots.html">flavorful side dish</a>.</p> <h2>18. Corn</h2> <p>You can buy corn fresh, frozen or canned, and use it in a number of ways. Fresh corn on the cob is perfect grilled, briefly boiled, or steamed with a little seasoning. Using canned or frozen corn, you can make a hearty <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/recipes/CORN_CHOWDER">corn chowder</a>.</p> <h2>19. Eggs</h2> <p>Believe it or not, there are still eggs to be found for less than $1 a pound. Eggs are a great source of protein and play many roles in cooking and baking. They also make a satisfying main dish, like a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/dining/151mrex.html?_r=0">simple frittata.</a></p> <h2>20. Mustard and Collard Greens</h2> <p>Dark leafy greens are a superfood, and are loaded with valuable nutrients. Shred them up into salads or saute them as a healthy <a href="http://www.pauladeen.com/quick-spicy-collards">side dish.</a></p> <h2>21. Butternut Squash</h2> <p>This rich-tasting squash can be roasted, put in pasta, made into soup, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-squash-recipes-for-fall">and more.</a> Plus it's a real bang for your buck!</p> <p><em>What's your favorite buck a pound food? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-prairie-farmer-s-meal-plan-eat-for-a-buck-or-two-a-day">A Prairie Farmer’s Meal Plan: Eat for a Buck or Two a Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ghetto-mac-yours-for-1">The GHETTO MAC - yours for $1.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-ways-to-spice-up-rice">25 New Ways to Spice Up Rice</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink cheap eats Cheap Food Staples Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:00:11 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1252175 at http://www.wisebread.com 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://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.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> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen">21 Surprising and Delicious Ways to Cook Instant Ramen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy">Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-clever-ways-to-dress-up-cheap-food">25 Clever Ways to Dress Up Cheap Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> 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 15 Life Hacks for College Students (or Anyone Else Trying to Save Money) http://www.wisebread.com/15-life-hacks-for-college-students-or-anyone-else-trying-to-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-life-hacks-for-college-students-or-anyone-else-trying-to-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chemistry-student-83402553-small.jpg" alt="chemistry student" title="chemistry student" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many, college is the first time living away from home &mdash; and often living without a lot of money.</p> <p>Necessity is the mother of invention, though, this is why students discover and develop hacks to save money. Beyond the Ramen meal cliche, college students are true DIY masters that know how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Here are 15 useful college student hacks that can help anybody save money around the house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students?ref=seealso">20+ Freebies for College Students</a>)</p> <h2>1. Double Your Storage Space</h2> <p>By folding your T-shirts <a href="http://lifehackprofessional.tumblr.com/post/57638036704/so-this-came-up-in-a-different-moment-but-i">the right way</a> and re-using soda can rings to stack <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=YDOxYV0JIMs">hangers on hangers</a>, you can increase your room for storage. Another closet organizing trick is to use an empty wine box to keep shoes neat and organized under your bed, and avoiding the where-is-that-darn-shoe game before rushing to your morning class.</p> <h2>2. Find Free Air Freshener</h2> <p>If you cannot afford a can of Febreze or scented candle, here is a nifty trick. Since you must wash your clothes, you might have some dryer sheets. Once your room starts getting smelly, tape the dryer sheet to your AC and crank it up. This trick also works with regular fans. Leave your AC unit or fan running for a couple of minutes and &mdash; voila! &mdash; fresher room.</p> <h2>3. DIY Speakers</h2> <p>Fit your smartphone into an empty plastic bottle, and you will amplify the sound of your device. Another trick to make your phone's alarm clock sound extra loud is to drop into a glass vase. Not only will you have a harder time pressing the snooze button, but the sound will be much louder.</p> <h2>4. Make Vintage Soft T-shirts</h2> <p>Skip the $30 dent on your wallet and give any T-shirt that smooth feeling with this trick. Mix one quart of water and half a cup of salt. Brine your T-shirt in the salt water mix for about three days. Then machine wash with a dash of detergent. Tumble dry, and enjoy.</p> <h2>5. Unclog Any Drain</h2> <p>To save money, students often get roommates, and having several people sharing the same bathroom puts a lot of pressure on plumbing. <a href="http://www.crunchybetty.com/clean-your-drains-with-baking-soda-and-vinegar-surprise">Baking soda, vinegar, and hot water</a> get the job done as well as expensive chemical products and are much friendlier to the environment. First, pour some piping hot water down your drain. Then, pour half a cup of baking soda and wait about 5 minutes. Then add a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup hot water. Wait 10 minutes, and then wash down the mix with piping hot water again. Open (drain) sesame!</p> <h2>6. Clean a Cast Iron Skillet</h2> <p>Cast iron skillets are awesome for crafting some amazing breakfasts. However, they can be really hard to clean, and too many people end up throwing away these expensive kitchen tools because they cannot remove stuck-on food or use steel wool scrubbers. If you scrub too hard or use chemicals, the skillet is ruined. Instead, scrub the pan with a paste of coarse kosher salt and hot water. If you are trying to remove rust, rub the skillet with half a raw potato and a sprinkle of baking soda. After using either method, you often need to re-season the skillet.</p> <h2>7. Take Care of Stripped Screws</h2> <p>Too many pieces of flat pack (or Ikea) furniture cannot be fixed because people strip those screws. During my college days, a friend of mine would give &quot;ruined&quot; chairs, book shelves, and night stands a second life with this trick: Place a rubber band on top of the stripped screw, and then put the screwdriver on top of that. The rubber band helps the screwdriver grab the stripped screw.</p> <h2>8. Cover Up Scratched Wood</h2> <p>Speaking of furniture, wood pieces in college dorms and apartments usually take a beating, but scratches on wood are no match for walnuts. Take care of those bumps and scrapes by rubbing a walnut on the damaged area. The areas will darken as you rub. My college fraternity always had a stash of walnuts in our dining room.</p> <h2>9. Polish Scuffed Linoleum</h2> <p>Many college students can only afford on old houses and apartments, which often come with scuffed linoleum floors. Using white toothpaste, rub the spot with a dry cloth.</p> <h2>10. Leverage the Power of WD-40</h2> <p>This a must-have a tool for any college student. WD-40 can:</p> <ul> <li>Take care of hard-to-open sliding windows.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Remove decals by spraying surrounding areas and lifting edges with a credit card or spatula.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean up walls with crayon markings.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Polish scuffed linoleum (make sure to wash area clean afterward!).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>And of course, lubricate squeaky door hinges.</li> </ul> <h2>11. Restore Sagging Caning</h2> <p>You don't have to wait until your chair's canning completely gives. Take action by rubbing the bottom of the sagging caning with a wet sponge that has been submerged in warm water. Let the canning dry overnight. Repeat as necessary to tighten up that canning.</p> <h2>12. Open Beer and Soda Bottles</h2> <p>People, particularly college students, are obsessed with figuring out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unusual-ways-to-open-a-bottle-of-beer-without-a-bottle-opener">how to open beer and soda bottles without a bottle opener</a>. If you can't find an opener, here's one thing you almost always can find &mdash; a Macbook charger. If it is one of those that has the metal part, you can use it to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUGlOUJXjoM">open a beer bottle</a>. Make sure that the charger is unplugged from the outlet! If you're too afraid to use a Macbook charger, then learn <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Open-a-Beer-Bottle-with-a-Lighter">how to open a bottle with a lighter</a>.</p> <h2>13. Cook With a Coffee Cup</h2> <p>Coffee is a college student's best friend &mdash; and now, the cups can be too.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/13-easy-mug-cakes-that-are-all-grown-up-195159">Coffee cup cakes</a> that actually taste good</li> <li><a href="http://heartsandlaserbeams.com/2013/04/05/microwave-coffee-mug-recipes-scrambled-eggs/">Scrambled eggs in under 2 minutes</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/food-and-cooking/recipes/coffee-cup-quiche/article_2d121f31-d6b0-564c-bbac-6fca97a08276.html">Fancy quiches</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/instant-mug-o-mac-cheese-in-the-microwave/">Mac &amp; Cheese without a pot</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/food-and-cooking/recipes/coffee-cup-chilaquiles/article_d5d6a5c0-5fb6-588f-b929-5438eff3a1f0.html">Chilaquiles</a>, a Mexican breakfast staple, in a cup</li> </ul> <h2>14. Power Up Your Wi-Fi Router</h2> <p>College students are the masters of finding free Wi-Fi. So when they pay for it, they want to make sure that they can use it as much as possible, no matter where in the house they are. Instead of buying a Wi-Fi extender (starting at $30), you can increase <a href="http://www.labnol.org/software/increase-wifi-signal-strength-with-aluminum/8064/">Wi-Fi strength with aluminum foil</a>. You can also use a soda or <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tonZeKP-Mi4">beer can to boost your router</a>.</p> <h2>15. Transform Your Hoodie</h2> <p>Another must-have item for college students are hoodies. They protect them from a cold morning or a bad hair day&hellip; or they can be turned into a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNiP953SCOg">laptop bag</a>. Or a <a href="http://www.conceptualdevices.com/2010/03/just-undo-it/">pillow, strap bag, backpack, or baby carrier</a>. No wonder Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg never left the house without one!</p> <p><em>What are other college students hacks that we could add to this list? Let us know in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-life-hacks-for-college-students-or-anyone-else-trying-to-save-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pesky-pests-easy-homemade-mosquito-and-insect-traps-and-repellent">Pesky Pests: Easy Homemade Mosquito and Insect Traps and Repellent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/original-ways-to-use-original-dawn">Original Ways to Use Original Dawn</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living General Tips budget living cheap entertainment Cheap Food frugal hacks Tue, 24 Jun 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Damian Davila 1148438 at http://www.wisebread.com 21 Surprising and Delicious Ways to Cook Instant Ramen http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-490522445.jpg" alt="ramen" title="ramen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's not kid ourselves &mdash; ramen is no health food. But sometimes when time or money is tight, a packet of instant ramen can be a meal-saver. If you get a little creative, you can make your ramen a little more interesting and a little more delicious. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-cheap-and-healthy-filler-foods?ref=seealso">Cheap and Healthy Filler Foods</a>)</p> <p>Note: Although most instant ramen is deep-fried to get it dry and crunchy, there are some brands of ramen that are air-dried, making them somewhat healthier, though also somewhat more expensive. Look for <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/09/the-serious-eats-guide-to-ramen-styles.html">air-dried ramen</a> at Asian grocers.</p> <h2>1. Make Your Noodles a Meal With Easy Add-Ins</h2> <p>The easiest way to doll up your noodles is to add ingredients that can be heated up or cooked right in the hot soup as your noodles cook. These simple add-ins are an easy way to add nutrients and heft to your meal without fundamentally changing the cooking method of the instant ramen. They include:</p> <ul> <li>Baby spinach, bok choy, lettuce, bean sprouts, or other quick-cooking vegetables<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Frozen peas, corn, carrots, edamame, and other frozen vegetables<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Furikake (a Japanese seaweed condiment) or dried seaweed<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Frozen dumplings, meatballs, fish balls, frozen shrimp (just cook them a little longer in the hot soup before adding the noodles)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A beaten egg stirred straight into the soup, or fried/boiled eggs<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Kimchi, sauerkraut, and other pickled/fermented vegetables<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Canned tuna, salmon, or crab<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Shredded rotisserie chicken<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Sliced tofu<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Canned soup (chicken or vegetable work well, just add the noodles without the sauce packet)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Leftover meat and vegetables<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Condiments such as soy sauce, miso, lime juice, sriracha, hoisin sauce, BBQ sauce, curry, fish sauce, red pepper, etc&hellip; Adding your own condiments also allows you to use less of the sauce packet.</li> </ul> <p>If you're ready to graduate beyond just adding stuff to your basic ramen, the following recipes reinvent the instant noodle dish, transforming that instant ramen into something altogether more interesting.</p> <h2>2. Kim-Cheese Ramen</h2> <p>Spicy kimchi and American cheese are no strangers to each other in Korean home cuisine, so why not put them together with a bowl of noodles? Cook the ramen according to package directions, but use only half the spice packet. When ramen is almost done, add some spicy kimchi and a slice of American cheese. Stir it all together until it's all melty and delicious.</p> <h2>3. Spicy Peanut Noodles</h2> <p>Add a little protein and a whole lot of savoriness to your instant noodles with this <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/349053/ramen-noodle-upgrade">easy ramen upgrade</a> &mdash; add peanut butter, a little soy sauce, and spicy sriracha sauce to your noodles.</p> <h2>4. Hawaiian Cold Noodle Salad</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.mylilikoikitchen.com/2012/07/28/aunty-rubys-somen-salad-2/">refreshing noodle salad</a> is typically made with somen noodles, but a package of instant ramen can stand in in a pinch. Lots of fresh lettuce, cucumbers, eggs, and ham make this an entire meal. Just substitute cooked ramen noodles (plain) for the somen noodles in this recipe.</p> <h2>5. Eggs and SPAM Ramen</h2> <p>Combine the unfairly maligned SPAM (canned ham) with a couple of eggs (hard-boiled or fried) on top of a bowl of instant ramen and you've got yourself a classic breakfast that could be served in any cafe in Hong Kong or Hawaii. Hint: Don't use the SPAM straight out of the can (ugh, slimy!). Instead, pan-fry slices of SPAM with a little low-sodium soy sauce, and use just half of the seasoning packet (the SPAM is salty enough).</p> <h2>6. Ramen Yakisoba</h2> <p>This classic Japanese <a href="http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/main-course/pasta/instant-ramen-yaki-soba.html">fried noodle dish</a> is easy to make with instant ramen. While yakisoba is usually made with yakisoba noodles, ramen is widely-available, cheap, and an easy substitute. Adding the ramen spice packet as seasoning for the fried noodles adds flavor, but can be omitted, just add extra soy sauce or salt.</p> <h2>7. Ramen Frittata</h2> <p>Eggs and ramen are both fast, cheap foods. Put them together in a frittata, and you've got yourself lunch! Put cooked ramen noodles together with beaten eggs and fry them up in a frying pan. Add shredded cheese and vegetables of your choice. Here's a basic <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/ramen-noodle-frittata/">ramen frittata</a> recipe to get you started.</p> <h2>8. Tex-Mex Ramen</h2> <p>Brown some ground beef in a pan and mix in taco seasoning and some cooked ramen noodles. Transfer to a plate and top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and grated cheese. Taco shells are optional.</p> <h2>9. Ramen Snack Mix</h2> <p>Mix raw, uncooked ramen, broken into chunks, with Chex cereal, pretzel sticks, nuts, and other small snacks. Sprinkle the sauce packet over the snacks and mix well.</p> <h2>10. Ramen Marinara Casserole</h2> <p>This super easy <a href="http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.com/2013/03/ramen-noodle-bake.html">ramen bake</a> resembles a cross between lasagna and chop suey, according to the author. Put broken up raw ramen noodles in a pan with cooked ground beef, cover with marinara sauce and cheese, and bake in the oven. Sounds like a fast and easy meal!</p> <h2>11. Ramen Broccoli Casserole</h2> <p>Even the esteemed Alton Brown has a recipe for a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/broccoli-casserole-recipe.html">ramen casserole</a>. While the ingredient list may seem odd (ramen with mayonnaise, yogurt, and blue cheese dressing, along with broccoli and chicken), the end result is a crowd-pleaser!</p> <h2>12. Grilled Ramen</h2> <p>If you've got some burgers on the grill, why not up the fun factor and throw on some ramen as well? This <a href="http://www.campussqueeze.com/post/Crazy-Ramen-Recipes.aspx">grilled ramen recipe</a> has you soak the ramen block in a soy sauce-based marinade until it is slightly softened, and then grill it until charred and crisp.</p> <h2>13. Thai Green Curry Ramen</h2> <p>Aromatic green curry and lots of fresh vegetables bring a bowl of ramen to a whole new level. This <a href="http://onetwosimplecooking.com/blog/2013/4/4/thai-ramen">curry ramen recipe</a> uses fresh ramen noodles, available from Japanese grocery stores, but you can substitute instant ramen too.</p> <h2>14. Ramen Crust Pizza</h2> <p>One surprising use for ramen is in a <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/09/ramen-crust-pizza-recipe.html">ramen crust pizza</a>. Put cooked ramen noodles in a cast-iron skillet, add pizza toppings, and stick it in a hot oven until the noodles are crisp and the cheese is melted.</p> <h2>15. Ramen Pad Thai</h2> <p>You can make a <a href="http://www.culinarycara.com/2009/03/get-creative-with-ramen-ramen-style-pad.html">simple Thai dish</a> at home by using ramen noodles and adding a pad thai-inspired sauce along with some veggies and chicken. It's a great alternative if you don't have the time/budget to go out.</p> <h2>16. Ramen Cacio e Pepe</h2> <p>Chef David Chang recreates the classic pasta dish, <a href="http://www.traveleatdrinkstuff.com/2013/02/recipe-ramen-cacio-e-pepe.html">cacio e pepe</a>, using ramen noodles. The parmesan cheeses, olive oil, and black pepper make for a comforting but simple meal.</p> <h2>17. Kimchi Ramen Grilled Cheese Sandwich</h2> <p>If you don't mind carb-loading, this <a href="http://www.tastespotting.com/features/kimchi-ramen-grilled-cheese-sandwich-recipe">ramen grilled cheese sandwich</a> certainly sounds interesting. Health food it's not, but it might be delicious.</p> <h2>18. Chinese Coleslaw</h2> <p>Although I don't think you'd see this dish on any traditional Chinese table, it is definitely a unique <a href="http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/06/19/chinese-coleslaw-recipe/">twist on coleslaw</a>. The raw ramen noodles add crunch to the fresh vegetables.</p> <h2>19. Ramen Burger</h2> <p>Ramen actually makes a great substitute for <a href="http://peegaw.tumblr.com/post/61187393966/making-ramen-burger">burger buns</a>, if you'd like to make burgers with a little Asian flair. This recipe comes with a from-scratch burger patty recipe and a shoyu-based sauce.</p> <h2>20. Creamy Bacon Ramen</h2> <p>Craving fettuccine alfredo? This <a href="http://www.macheesmo.com/2009/03/4-new-ways-to-make-ramen/">creamy bacon ramen</a> might do the trick. A little cream simmered with bacon thickens right up to coat the cooked noodles &mdash; creamy, savory, and comforting.</p> <h2>21. Ramen Pancakes</h2> <p>These fun <a href="http://auntpegsrecipebox.blogspot.com/2010/07/asian-style-noodle-pancakes.html">ramen pancakes</a> are like potato latkes with a little Asian fusion added in. They'd make a great appetizer or snack, and they reheat great the next day for breakfast.</p> <p><em>How do you like to eat your ramen? Give us ideas in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy">Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-clever-ways-to-dress-up-cheap-food">25 Clever Ways to Dress Up Cheap Food</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-dollar-wise-winter-staples">15 Delicious and Dollar-Wise Winter Staples</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink add-ins amen Cheap Food filler food Wed, 21 May 2014 08:48:25 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1139950 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Cheap Staple Dishes From Around the World http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-staple-dishes-from-around-the-world <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-cheap-staple-dishes-from-around-the-world" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-179240364.jpg" alt="panzanella" title="panzanella" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For a lot of Americans, the term <em>staple food</em> conjures up images of starchy beans, dried milk, and flavorless breakfast cereal. Staple foods are the diet of poverty.</p> <p>But you don't need to think of them that way. Here are some ultra-frugal, delicious recipes using inexpensive ingredients from around the world.. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-clever-ways-to-dress-up-cheap-food?ref=seealso">25 Clever Ways to Dress Up Cheap Food</a>)</p> <h2>1. Akoori</h2> <p>(Parsi-style Scrambled Eggs)</p> <p>The Parsis are members of one of the <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/zoroastrian/">Zoroastrian</a> communities in India. They are also the Masters of Brunch, as proven by <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/12/18/akoori-indian-scrambled-eggs">akoori</a>, their heavily spiced and excruciatingly yummy scrambled egg dish. Like omlettes, akoori can turn eggs into a less-expensive alternative to meat or fish as a main dish for lunch or dinner. The most basic recipes for akoori include onions, garlic, and cilantro, so this is a great recipe to use up leftover salsa or salsa ingredients.</p> <h2>2. Alloco</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Alloco">Alloco</a>, a snack food made from fried plantains, is sold throughout the Ivory Coast. Although alloco is also a popular dish in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and Senegal, it's so popular in the Ivory Coast's largest city Abidjan, that its street-food centric Cocody neighborhood has been nicknamed &quot;Allocodrome.&quot;</p> <p>Alloco is traditionally fried in palm oil, that heart attack-inducing fat that gives movie theater popcorn its signature flavor, but any other oil will do. In the Ivory Coast, the fried plantains are topped with everything from chili peppers to onions to fried egg to tomato sauce, and served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.</p> <p>It should be noted, however, that unlike <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/puerto-rican-tostones-fried-plantains/">tostones</a>, the Puerto Rican dish that uses green plantains, Alloco is best made with really ripe plantains. Wait for the peel to get completely black to ensure the sweetest flavor.</p> <p>Since plantains are also a staple food throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, Oceania, and South East Asia, look for them in Latin or Asian markets.</p> <h2>3. Arroz a Banda</h2> <p><img width="605" height="402" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/arroz-a-banda-115965087.jpg" /></p> <p>Paella is a rice dish that originated in Valencia, Spain and is the dish that most non-Spaniards associate with the country. Although 18th century paella recipes called for water vole, a type of rodent, as one of the main ingredients, over time paella has become a pricey dish with the addition of expensive ingredients like saffron, duck, and shrimp. Penny-pinching Spanish cooks substitute garden snails as the main protein in homemade paella to bring the cost of ingredients down, but paella is still kind of a pain to cook, which is why it&rsquo;s often the most expensive menu item at seafood restaurants.</p> <p><a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/09/12/arroz-abanda-recipe">Arroz a banda</a> is a staple rice dish of Spanish fishermen from Alicante to Murcia. With its crunchy crust and intense fishy flavor, arroz a banda is paella's scrappy, country cousin. Arroz a banda literally means &ldquo;rice apart&rdquo; in Catalan, and the dish was developed by frugal fisherman to squeeze a second dish out of their catch of the day.</p> <p>Most traditional arroz a banda recipes start with boiling a fish (or fish parts) in water with spices to make a broth. Once the broth is made, the fish is removed and set aside as the main course. Rice and vegetables are then added to the fish broth and cooked down to make arroz a banda. Since <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Strong-Fish-Stock-105266">yummy fish broth</a> can be made from cheap fish or from fish heads, fish bones, and shrimp shells, arroz a banda falls into the budget category even with the addition of saffron. If you have a fish market nearby, negotiate a cheap price with your local fishmonger for the heads and bones. If I call in advance, the fish guy at my grocery store will save the day&rsquo;s bones for me, for free.</p> <h2>4. Bobotie</h2> <p><a href="http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5109/bobotie">Bobotie</a> (pronounced <em>ba-boor-tea</em>) is the national dish of South Africa. Similar to <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/moussaka/">Greek moussaka</a>, bobotie is a curried meat casserole topped with a baked cream sauce. Although it can contain some high-ticket grocery items like dried fruit or nuts, South Africans have as many recipes for bobotie as Minnesotans have for <a href="http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/24960566/hotdish-off-frozen-dessert-hotdish-ties-for-2nd-place">hotdish</a>. (Be sure to read through the comments on the linked bobotie recipe, for alternate versions of this classic dish).</p> <h2>5. Bulani</h2> <p>My Afghan-American Agricultural Inspector compares his homeland's vegetable-filled turnovers to tamales: They are often communally prepared holiday treats. Although they are hand-labor intensive, bulani recipes elevate inexpensive ingredients like onions, potatoes, and pumpkin (use up that Halloween jack-o-lantern), so the kitchen prep is worth it. <a href="http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/bulani">Bulani</a> are extra delicious when served with fresh yogurt and <a href="http://www.afghanistan-culture.com/chatni-sauce-recipe.html">chatni sauce</a>, a spicy pesto.</p> <h2>6. Cholent</h2> <p>I always wondered why every Crock-Pot cookbook contains a recipe for bean stew, because what's so hard about making that on the stove top? While researching this article I discovered the reason why: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/dining/24hanukkahrex4.html">Cholent</a>, the traditional bean stew enjoyed by Jews on four continents as their Sabbath lunch, is the very reason for the Crock-Pot's existence.</p> <p>No. Really. That's not hyperbole. The Crock-Pot was invented for Cholent.</p> <p><a href="http://www.beyondbubbie.com/my-dad-the-inventor-of-the-crock-pot/#more-2135">Irving Naxon</a>, an American inventor, was inspired by his mother's story of growing up Jewish in Lithuania. Every Friday, the Jewish ladies in her town would bring a crock of stew to the local bakery. Since observant Jews do not do any work during Sabbath, which includes turning on the stove, it's hard for them to get a hot lunch on the table on Saturdays. So instead of cooking at home, the Jewish ladies would put their pots of Cholent into the still hot coals of the village bakery's oven, and the residual heat would be enough to slow-cook the meals over the next 24 hours. Naxon wondered if there was a way to electrify a crock so Jewish moms, without access to a wood-fired bread oven, could have a similar, slow-cook, (no)work-around. Thus, the Crock-Pot was born.</p> <h2>7. Colcannon</h2> <p><img width="605" height="454" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/colcannon-101739450.jpg" /></p> <p>How many staple foods have their own <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCQbksGz67U">song</a>? Colcannon, the traditional Irish dish made from mashed potatoes and kale, used to be a year-round staple, but is now a dish associated with Halloween (in part because that's the height of kale and cabbage season in Ireland).</p> <p>Like <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mardi-gras-king-cake/">King Cake</a> on Epiphany, <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/colcannon-recipe.html">colcannon</a> on Halloween doubles as a fortune-telling device. On Halloween, a ring, a button, a thimble, and a coin are hidden in the Colcannon. The person who finds the ring will be the next to marry, while the button and the thimble mean bachelorhood or spinsterhood for the next year. The coin means that the finder will come into wealth. Please note: all four charms are all potential tooth-breaking and choking hazards, so add them at your own risk.</p> <p>A related potato and cabbage budget dish is <a href="http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=202341">Boerenkool Stamppot</a>, a traditional Dutch recipe made from kale and potatoes, that is served with brown gravy and applesauce.</p> <h2>8. Ful Medames</h2> <p><a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Ful-Medames-Egyptian-Brown-Fava-Beans-352993">Ful Medames</a> is the national dish of Egypt. Although this fava bean salad with lemon garlic dressing is traditionally a breakfast food in the Middle East, Egyptians eat it at all hours of the day. I like to mash the cooked beans with a fork and then spread the chunky paste on pita bread to stretch my food budget even further.</p> <h2>9. Huitlacoche</h2> <p>The Aztecs named the gray and black fungus that grows on corn <a href="http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_detail/national/1778/Huitlacoches_Superfood_Powers.htm">huitlacoche</a>, which literally translates to &quot;raven's poop.&quot; American farmers have an equally sexy name for it: <em>corn smut</em>. In the United States, corn smut is a horrific plant blight. But to Mexicans, Hopi Indians, and James Beard (who tried unsuccessfully tried to rename it <em>corn truffle</em>), huitlacoche is a delicacy.</p> <p>Huitlacoche has a complex, smoky flavor and, like truffles and garlic, it's one of those ingredients that make <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/08/16/120906/why-do-mexicans-love-a-fungus.html">everything taste so much better</a>. Since non-Mexican chefs have finally discovered what the Aztecs called &quot;The Food of the Gods&quot; 700 years ago, corn smut is now grown commercially as swanky, gourmet produce.</p> <p>Obviously, the cheapest way to procure huitlacoche is to harvest it for free from a local corn grower who thinks it's disgusting, or salvage it from your own garden. For everyone else, it's not quite as frugal, but Goya sells a decent canned version for about $8.00.</p> <p>Huitlacoche is my favorite quesadilla topping. But, when I am lucky enough to find it fresh, I make <em>Nanha</em> (which is what the Hopis call corn smut) by parboiling it for ten minutes and then sauteing it in butter until crisp.</p> <h2>10. Kimchi Fried Rice</h2> <p><img width="605" height="403" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/kimchi-452223551.jpg" /></p> <p>I love sour pickles, so it wasn't until a Korean friend pointed out that my Kimchi had gone sour that I realized that it was even possible to over-ferment something. But come on, some pickled vegetables don't get really good until they start getting fizzy, am I right?</p> <p>Fortunately, over-fermented kimchi is the magic ingredient in <a href="http://crazykoreancooking.com/recipe/kimchi-fried-rice">Kimchi Fried Rice</a>, one of those great dishes made from leftovers. The preparation is simple: chop the kimchi into coleslaw-sized bits, then saute in butter. Once the kimchi is cooked to your liking, add the cooked rice. You can also add spices and a fried egg at your discretion.</p> <h2>11. Koshary</h2> <p><a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/koshary/">Koshary</a>, also spelled Koshari, Kushari, and Kosheri, is the quintessential Egyptian dish made from a carb-tastic blend of rice and not one, but two types of pasta; and topped with beans, fried onions, and tomato sauce. It's wildly popular; there are hundreds of roadside stands and restaurants that specialize in the dish found throughout the country. Koshary is Egypt's version of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cincinnati_chili">Cincinnati Chili</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-night-soup-delicious-soup-from-leftovers">Thursday Night Soup</a>. It's a flexible recipe that working class Egyptian families use to stretch pantry odds and ends into one last, tasty meal before payday.</p> <p>Cook's Note: Traditionally, the vinegar marinade for the chickpeas is also used as a condiment for the finished dish. (Think of it as the Egyptian-style Tabasco Sauce).</p> <h2>12. Locrio de Pica-Pica</h2> <p>I've never actually seen anyone buy this product at my grocery store, but there's an entire shelf of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Crown-Prince-Sardines-Tomato-15-Ounce/dp/B002T5TMWG/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1398662188&amp;sr=8-9&amp;keywords=crown+prince+sardines">canned sardines in tomato sauce</a>, so there must be a market for it. Okay, to be honest, I've bought sardines in tomato sauce in the past, but only use it to bait traps to capture feral cats in need of fixing. (It's cheaper than cat food!)</p> <p>Recently, a large can of Sardines in Salsa Roja mysteriously showed up in my kitchen. No one is fessing up to leaving it behind. Since I had no cats to capture, I decided that I would, once and for all, find a recipe that would make this canned fish suitable for consumption by me.</p> <p>Oh my gosh! This Dominican <a href="http://www.dominicancooking.com/593-locrio-pica-pica-rice-spicy-sardines.html">recipe for Rice and Spicy Sardines</a> is delicious. I just had to add a little Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce before serving because my abandoned sardines were packed in a mild tomato paste.</p> <h2>13. Loco Moco</h2> <p><img width="605" height="403" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/loco-moco-184817934.jpg" /></p> <p><a href="http://bigislandgrinds.com/2006/09/loco-moco-recipe/">Loco Moco</a> is Hawaii's answer to soul food. The basic recipe is simple: top hot white rice with a hamburger patty and a sunny-side up egg, liberally coating everything with brown gravy. It's pure, fatty, gut-busting deliciousness. And, naturally, since this recipe was developed by people whose ancestors rowed wooden boats all over the South Pacific, the proper portion of Loco Moco is never less than gigantic.</p> <h2>14. Palt</h2> <p>If you've ever felt bad about throwing out an old potato, now you've got a traditional Swedish recipe for all your old potato needs. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/gemstone/2653822393/in/set-72157606210928761/">Palt is a pork-filled dumpling</a> made from mealy (not fresh) potatoes, barley, and wheat flour. The linked recipe comes complete with an instructional video of an actual Swedish grandma molding the palm-sized dumplings by hand.</p> <h2>15. Panzanella</h2> <p>My Italian friends get mad at me when I refer to <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/panzanella-recipe.html">panzanella</a> as &quot;Lazy Bruscetta.&quot; But that's what it is too me, all the flavor of tomatoes, basil, and cheese on bread, without having to actually make hors d'oeuvres. Although most American recipes for bread salad call for fresh French bread, the thrifty Italians make panzanella when they need to use up day-old bread.</p> <p><em>Does cooking outside of your food culture raise or lower your grocery bill? What is your favorite staple dish? Please share links to your favorite recipes in the comments section to help out your fellow Wise Bread foodies!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-staple-dishes-from-around-the-world">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen">21 Surprising and Delicious Ways to Cook Instant Ramen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy">Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-clever-ways-to-dress-up-cheap-food">25 Clever Ways to Dress Up Cheap Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Cheap Food international cuisine staple dishes Fri, 16 May 2014 09:00:26 +0000 Max Wong 1139412 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Secrets to Eating Great Food for Cheap While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating-84473049.jpg" alt="street food" title="street food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A hungry man is an angry man. And an angry man is a miserable traveler.</p> <p>After airfare and accommodation, food is likely to be one of the biggest expenses when you travel. Of course it's important that you enjoy local delicacies at your destination, but there are ways to do it without breaking the bank. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Chat Up the Locals</h2> <p>Wherever you go in the world, food in touristy areas will always be more expensive than the regular fare locals eat. That's why only out-of-towners eat there. Locals know where to find better, tastier food for less, and they're often happy to share the information. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-like-a-local-how-to-tap-into-the-local-scene-while-traveling?ref=seealso">Tap Into the Local Scene While Traveling</a>)</p> <p>Taxi drivers roam the city and dine out all the time, so they should know all the best places for finding cheap eats. If you get along well with your taxi driver, get his contact details and call him when you're hungry so he can take you there. If you want something quick and convenient, the hotel staff should be able to tell you where to go.</p> <p>Start conversations with locals whenever you can &mdash; it'll make for great stories and a better itinerary. For example, one time during a manicure in Bali, I learned all about the traditional Balinese naming system and where to find the best <em>ayam betutu</em> on the island.</p> <p>To get the best advice, be as specific as you can. For example, don't ask a local in Montreal where to find the best food; rather, ask her which restaurants serve the best bagel or smoked meat sandwich. And be careful with how you phrase the question. Instead of asking her where you can eat, ask her where she eats so she doesn't direct you to the popular tourist restaurants.</p> <h2>2. Look for Crowds</h2> <p>You can't always plan your itinerary around your meals, so keep your eyes open when you're traveling. When you see a long line of locals at an eatery, go join the line or remember the place so you can return when you're hungry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=seealso">25 Secrets From Frugal Frequent Travelers</a>)</p> <p>When I went to a night market in Bangkok, there was a crowded food stall where every single seat was taken. By the time I sat down, all I knew was that they were serving some sort of noodle soup. When someone came over to take our order, I held up two fingers and pointed at whatever my neighbor was eating. I still have no idea what that noodle soup is called, but it was delicious.</p> <h2>3. BYO Food</h2> <p>Eating local fare is not for everyone. And even if you're Anthony Bourdain, there's bound to be a time when you miss food from home.</p> <p>If you want to make sure you have access to a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon, opt for a hotel that offers complimentary breakfast. As a bonus, eating a large breakfast could save you some money on lunch.</p> <p>Alternatively, you could make your own food. This may seem crazy when you're supposed to be on vacation, but it could satisfy those cravings and save you some money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-recipes-perfect-for-the-traveling-chef?ref=seealso">Easy Recipes for the Traveling Chef</a>)</p> <p>If you plan to cook during your trip, skip the standard hotel room and go for accommodation options with kitchens instead. There are apartment hotels, vacation rentals, and even hostels with kitchens. If you share the kitchen with other people, this could even be a great opportunity for cultural exchange.</p> <p>Grocery shopping in a foreign destination can also be an interesting experience in itself. You may encounter a mind-boggling variety of kimchis in a Korean store or strange cheeses in a French fromagerie.</p> <p>When you're at the grocery store, don't forget to pick up some snacks for the road. You may find yourself lost and hungry at some point in your travels and those granola bars may come in handy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-healthy-and-inexpensive-snack-options?ref=seealso">Healthy, Frugal Snack Options</a>)</p> <h2>4. Plan Your Splurge</h2> <p>Traveling is not about spending as little money as possible. There are often things you must do at your destination, no matter how much they cost. If you've always dreamed of climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the price tag won't stop you. After all, you may not have the opportunity to visit again soon.</p> <p>Likewise, with food, sometimes there are things that are too good to pass up. If there's a Michelin-starred restaurant you've always wanted to try, do it. Just plan for the meal and budget for it. If you balance this splurge with a few cheap fares, it should be easy to stay on budget.</p> <p>Some restaurants have their menus and prices online, so check out the website first to estimate how much your meal will cost. If it's a particularly famous restaurant, you may be able to find reviews on foodie blogs and sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp.</p> <p><em>How do you save money on food while traveling? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-to-pack-delicious-and-cheap-airline-snacks">15 Easy-to-Pack, Delicious, and Cheap Airline Snacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-compact-airplane-snacks-for-frequent-fliers">6 Compact Airplane Snacks for Frequent Fliers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-recipes-perfect-for-the-traveling-chef">5 Easy Recipes Perfect for the Traveling Chef</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen">21 Surprising and Delicious Ways to Cook Instant Ramen</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Travel Cheap Food road food travel food Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:24:11 +0000 Deia B 1130831 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Clever Ways to Dress Up Cheap Food http://www.wisebread.com/25-clever-ways-to-dress-up-cheap-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-clever-ways-to-dress-up-cheap-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-160330915.jpg" alt="chopping" title="chopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We have all been there: Not quite close enough to payday, or an unexpected expense arises... and where can you scale back? With your food budget, that&#39;s where. However, you needn&#39;t suffer just because you&#39;re staring at packages of macaroni and cheese, tomato soup, hot dogs, or chicken legs. Here are 25 ways to dress up cheap chow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-cheap-and-healthy-filler-foods?ref=seealso">Cheap and Healthy Filler Foods</a>)</p> <h2>1. Enhance Macaroni and Cheese</h2> <p>My husband will groan at this one (although he still eats it) because when we were newlyweds and saving for a down payment on a house, we ate a LOT of macaroni and cheese. At the time, I could buy four boxes for a dollar. I did some pretty crazy stuff to it, then, but now I like to think I possess more mac-and-cheese sophistication (cue laughter). Try these tips.</p> <ul> <li>Top with homemade bread crumbs, and bake at 350 for about ten minutes, until golden-brown.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Drizzle with a little pesto.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have bits of fancy cheese around? I like to toss in the last chunks of feta or bleu cheese for a little more flavor.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put the mac-and-cheese into a casserole dish, top with a layer of thinly-sliced tomatoes, and sprinkle with cheese. Pop into the oven until the cheese is bubbly and brown.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Add a Sauce</h2> <p>As I wrote in this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-swanky-sauces-to-glamorize-dinner">sauce post</a>, a great sauce will transform an inexpensive dinner into something glamorous. My favorite one is this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/perfect-peanut-sauce">peanut sauce</a>, because it makes even diced cabbage (34 cents a pound) or a piece of tilapia seem more exotic.</p> <h2>3. Throw in Bacon Crumbles</h2> <p>I usually fry a slice or two more than I need when I cook bacon. I then drain it and refrigerate or freeze. When something cheap or boring needs a little pick-me-up, I get that bacon out, crumble on top, and people are happy because, well, it&#39;s bacon.</p> <h2>4. Switch to Panko Crumbs</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/fancy-152116630-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>I buy the huge packages of panko crumbs at Costco (2.2 pounds) and find the crumbs are very versatile. They are great for fish, vegetables, meats, and poultry. It also just looks a little more exotic than, say, crushed saltines. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>5. Poach That Egg</h2> <p>I had a devil of a time learning to properly poach eggs. My daughter finally bought me a special pan that solved that problem. I&#39;ve noticed that poached eggs became rather fashionable over the past year. Saute some kale with mushrooms, poach an egg, and place it on top. Add a little parmesan. Not only is it good for you, but it&#39;s absolutely delicious. I also like to boil spaghetti, drain, and swirl with olive oil. Add some baby peas, and again, top with a poached egg and cheese. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-perfectly-cooked-eggs?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Cook Eggs Perfectly</a>)</p> <h2>6. Re-Shape the Food</h2> <p>Huh? Yes, get a mallet and beat those $1.69/lb chicken thighs into flat pieces. Roll, stuff, and cook. Here is a delicious recipe for <a href="http://www.cooks.com/recipe/kz9et1g2/chicken-stuffed-with-ham-and-cheese.html">Chicken Stuffed With Ham and Cheese.</a> (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-chicken-leg-and-thigh-recipes-from-around-the-world?ref=seealso">Chicken Thigh Recipes From Around the World</a>)</p> <h2>7. Same Idea, Different Meat</h2> <p><a href="http://voices.yahoo.com/spinach-stuffed-rolled-steak-4986088.html">Spinach-Stuffed Rolled Steak</a>. This uses round steak, normally a good buy.</p> <h2>8. Put It on a &quot;Bed&quot;</h2> <p>Make a chopped salad, or thinly slice some cabbage. Top with a grilled pork chop, or a salmon cake, or a piece of fish. Top that with dressing and some homemade croutons. Delicious!</p> <h2>9. Float Something (in Soup, That Is)</h2> <p>To a creamy soup:</p> <ul> <li>Make croutons from your stale bread and add a handful.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Grate Monterey Jack and sprinkle over tomato soup.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Slice tortillas thinly, toast in the oven, and place over a chicken tortilla soup.</li> </ul> <p>To a clear soup:</p> <ul> <li>Sprinkle chopped chives or green onions.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Add some leftover sprouts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><span>Add leftover, cooked noodles or tofu cubes.</span></li> </ul> <h2>10. Fake It</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/fancy-123380947-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Sure, sushi can be expensive, but substitute surimi seafood (&quot;imitation&quot; crab, for instance) and use that in your sushi roll. That way, you get the look and flavor you&#39;re craving, but not the cost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-seafood-appetizers-to-impress-your-guests?ref=seealso">Simple Seafood Appetizers to Impress Your Guests</a>)</p> <h2>11. Garnish</h2> <p>Feeling fancy? Try going &#39;80s style and type in &quot;How to garnish a plate&quot; on Youtube. There are many videos about how to garnish. Aren&#39;t we all charmed by a carrot cut into the shape of a flower? Well, here are some easier garnishes: Paprika over mashed potatoes, parsley on spaghetti, or just a drizzle of sauce on a plate. Simple lemon slices, served along fish, are practical, as well.</p> <h2>12. Flavor Your Butter</h2> <p>One of our neighbors makes <a href="http://www.southernliving.com/food/entertaining/flavored-butter-recipes-00417000080277/page10.html">flavored butters</a> each year to give as Christmas gifts. They keep well in the freezer or refrigerator. Just a little cube of this over a steak, or swirled into rice or pasta, and of course on bread, really jazzes things up. Watch for butter to go on sale, and stock up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/out-of-the-frying-pan-24-unusual-uses-for-butter?ref=seealso">25 Unusual Uses for Butter</a>)</p> <h2>13. Get Nutty</h2> <p>Saute sliced almonds, pumpkin, or even sesame seeds in a little butter; add salt. The nuts will really perk up a plain baked chicken breast, slab of sole, or tofu.</p> <h2>14. Poach It in White Wine</h2> <p>A chicken breast or piece of salmon gets a boost from white wine &mdash; and I&#39;m talking about the $4 or $5 range of white wine, not anything fancy. <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-poach-chicken-28367">Poaching</a> is easy.</p> <h2>15. Copy a Japanese Omelette</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/fancy-457409429-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Fold some ordinary fried rice (I like to add whatever vegetables or chopped meat I have left over into the rice) and top with an <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/omuraisu-japanese-rice-omelet/">Omuraisu.</a> Suddenly, it&#39;s extra-special!</p> <h2>16. Hide It in a Crepe</h2> <p>I recently saw that Safeway now carries pre-made, packaged crepes. Very handy, but they are so easy to make yourself. Although delicious on their own, if you stuff a crepe with leftover chicken or shrimp (buy frozen, and cook and clean yourself to save money) and cover it in a <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/White-Sauce-or-Bechamel-Sauce-40046">bechamel</a>, you are set.</p> <h2>17. Make a Fake Sauce</h2> <p>Yes, I&#39;m talking about cream of mushroom soup. I prefer the &quot;healthier&quot; versions of canned cream of mushroom, but in a pinch, you can use el cheapo. Add just a little sherry, and spoon over any cheap cut of meat.</p> <h2>18. Try a &quot;Starter&quot;</h2> <p>My mother would occasionally &quot;start&quot; us with a cup of consomme, served in a fancy cup. I think she did that to divert attention from the forthcoming budget entree, but it made you think you were about to have a very classy meal. It also fills you up a little, so you won&#39;t eat quite as much.</p> <h2>19. Stick It on a Skewer</h2> <p>Easy, fun, and inexpensive. I really like skewers done on the grill, but you can also make them in your broiler. If you use wooden skewers, soak them first in water so they don&#39;t catch on fire (pro tip). Here is a great selection of <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipes/bbq--grilling/skewers-and-kabobs/">skewer recipes</a>. I like to do some that are just vegetables, because I love the smoky flavor of the barbeque on peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms. I like to do extras because the leftovers are so great. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fancy-ways-to-use-leftover-food?ref=seealso">Fancy Ways to Use Leftover Food</a>)</p> <h2>20. Hauten the Dog</h2> <p>A dab of Dijon mustard, spicy chutney, or Sriracha sauce will liven up an ordinary hot dog, as will shredded cheese. Talk about endless possibilities! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-use-sriracha-aka-awesome-sauce?ref=seealso">20+ Ways to Use Sriracha</a>)</p> <h2>21. Fancify Your Burgers</h2> <p>Boring burgers? Never! Try one of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-easy-new-ways-to-top-your-burgers">burger toppings</a>.</p> <h2>22. Sprinkle Chopped Herbs</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/fancy-178086694-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>So simple! Try adding:</p> <ul> <li>Dill to cooked carrots.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Marjoram to fish.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Sage to pasta.</li> </ul> <p>You&#39;ll find a lot more combos on this comprehensive list of suggested <a href="http://www.finecooking.com/articles/herb-food-pairings.aspx">herb pairings</a>.</p> <p>Even if you live in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">small space</a>, an herb garden takes very little room and can be grown year-round.</p> <h2>23. Puree It</h2> <p>I like sweet potatoes and yams, but if you whip them with just a little butter and milk, they&#39;re a lot more fun. Sprinkle with toasted nuts for even more delicious flavor. Try sweet potatoes with roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds).</p> <h2>24. Spice Some Nuts</h2> <p>A simple salad with feta or bleu cheese and pear, or apple, really gets dressed up when you top with spiced nuts. Easy to make, and even if your nuts are slightly stale, they&#39;ll perk right up. I like these <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/emerils-spiced-nuts-recipe/index.html">nuts from Emeril</a> because they are really zippy. Try this salad with a raspberry vinaigrette.</p> <h2>25. Get Out the China</h2> <p>A very simple, inexpensive meal is made more special by using the good china.</p> <p><em>How do you jazz up your cheap food?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-clever-ways-to-dress-up-cheap-food">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">50 Ways to Use Canned Salmon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-mouth-watering-lentil-recipes">35 Mouth Watering Lentil Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-use-frozen-mixed-vegetables">25 Ways to Use Frozen Mixed Vegetables</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas">40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink budget dining Cheap Food cheap recipes fancy food meal add-ins Thu, 23 Jan 2014 11:36:12 +0000 Marla Walters 1113809 at http://www.wisebread.com Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-in-kitchen-with-vegetables-iStock_000022061741Small_0.jpg" alt="healthy eating" title="healthy eating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="195" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A lot of healthy food &mdash; organic, locally grown food &mdash; is priced like yuppy specialty items. That fact does not mean that poor or frugal people need to eat junk. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/anyone-can-spend-less-for-food">Anyone Can Spend Less for Food</a>)</p> <p>Let me begin with the premise that you're willing to make compromises &mdash; that's necessary, because that's where the overlap is. If you insist that food must be organic or must be local or must be fair-trade &mdash; basically, if you insist that it must be <em>anything </em>in particular, you're limiting yourself to a very small set of options. Many of those options may be cheap or healthy, but some of them won't be both.</p> <p>So let's say that you want cheap, and you want healthy, and that you're willing to compromise. The key is to be strategic about your compromises.</p> <h2>What's Cheap?</h2> <p>I'm very nearly going to punt on cheap, by suggesting that &quot;cheap&quot; doesn't matter. What matters is &quot;affordable,&quot; and you figure that out by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/refactor-your-budget-categories">making a budget</a>.</p> <p>Having said that, there's a lot of stuff you can do to keep your <em>overall food budget</em> low, without regard to whether any particular item is cheap. I've written about several strategies before, including:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-your-groceries-european-style">Buy Your Groceries European-Style</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-yourself-to-cook">Teach Yourself to Cook</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugalize-any-recipe">Frugalize Any Recipe</a></li> </ul> <p>Most of these strategies only work if you have a kitchen and if you keep staples on hand, so that's the place to start. If you don't have access to a kitchen, none of this is going to work very well.</p> <p><strong>Stock Your Pantry</strong></p> <p>Once you have a kitchen, and a place to store some food, begin to build a pantry. Accumulate some staples. The right ones for you depend on what you eat, but begin with what's cheap to buy in bulk and easy to store &mdash; rice, flour, corn meal, lentils, etc. Then add some basic items that don't keep as well, but that you'll be eating regularly enough that it doesn't matter &mdash; potatoes might be an example.</p> <p>Your goal is to have everything you need to build a meal except the main dish and a fresh vegetable. Then you can go to the store and buy just those things, knowing that you can make a meal.</p> <p>You can easily include some expensive stuff without breaking the budget, as long as the expensive stuff is used in small quantities. Obviously that applies to things like spices, but it can apply to every part of your diet, including featured ingredients. If you want to eat locally grown organic beef (or lamb or goat cheese or whatever), that doesn't have to supply the majority of the calories of the meal &mdash; the expensive part can be quite a modest quantity.</p> <h2>What's Healthy?</h2> <p>I'm very nearly going to punt on healthy as well, because however much people may argue about healthy <em>foods</em>, it's easy to come up with a healthy <em>diet</em>. The key is variety.</p> <p>People like to imagine that they can figure out an optimal diet. Some try to come up with perfect ratios of fats, carbs, and proteins. Others try to figure out how to maximize the amount of some vitamin (or all vitamins). None of that effort is likely to lead to a better outcome than simply eating a wide variety of foods. (See my post on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, Frugal Eating</a> for more info.)</p> <p><strong>Variety Is Good for You</strong></p> <p>Once you accept the principle of <em>variety</em>, you can tweak your diet however you like. If you want to eat low-fat, eat low-fat. If you want low-carb, eat low-carb (don't stockpile as much grain or starches when you build your pantry). If you can't eat wheat or lentils or dairy, then don't eat those things. If you don't like anything but filet mignon and french fries, then your diet isn't going to be as cheap or as healthy as it could be &mdash; but that's because your violating the rule that you're diet needs to be varied.</p> <p>Going for variety doesn't just make it easy to come up with a healthy diet; it also makes it easy to be frugal &mdash; as long as you let seasonal price (and quality) variations drive your menu selection. Feature whatever vegetable is cheap and fresh in your meals. (Do the same for main dishes, when that works.)</p> <p>The principle of variety applies most strongly to long stretches of time &mdash; seasons, months, weeks. There's no need to worry especially about variety every meal, or even every day.</p> <h2>What About Other Goals?</h2> <p>It may well be that I haven't hit your particular issue &mdash; maybe your hot button is that your food be fair-trade, cruelty-free, or sustainably produced (rather than merely cheap and healthy).</p> <p>If you add a restriction like this, it gets harder to be cheap and healthy, maybe even impossible. I have a couple of suggestions.</p> <p>The first is to emphasize local. Locally grown or raised is no guarantee that the soil is being well-managed or the animals treated humanely, but it makes it a lot more likely &mdash; especially if you know the farmer, and he knows you (and knows about what matters to you).</p> <p>The second is to become politically active. It may be better in many ways to eat only cage-free eggs, but if your goal is for fewer chickens to be in cages, changing the laws on how chickens must be raised is going to be vastly more effective than merely voting with your dollars.</p> <h2>Build Your Diet, Step by Step</h2> <p>First, familiarize yourself with your choices.</p> <p>Start at the best places to get the best food &mdash; your own garden, your farmers market, your local food co-op. See what you can get that's local, organic, or hits any other criteria that you think is important &mdash; and check how much it costs. Then proceed to the grocery store. See what they've got. See what's on sale. See what's cheap at its regular price. (Grocery stores have lots of healthy food, mostly around the edges.) Don't neglect specialty stores &mdash; international food stores, ethnic food stores, etc. You never know what places will have unique choices, or some particular item at an especially low price.</p> <p>Once you know what your choices are, I suggest a three-step plan.</p> <p><strong>1. Start Your Menu With Slam-Dunk Wins</strong></p> <p>Slam-dunk wins are the cases where the healthiest item is also the cheapest:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>When something is ready to harvest from your own garden, that's a win.</li> <li>When the local, organic product from the food co-op or the farmers market is cheaper than the grocery store, that's a win.</li> <li>When the grocery store product is cheap as well as being organic or local, that's a win.</li> </ul> <p><strong>2. Build Out a Tentative Menu With the Cheapest Options</strong></p> <p>Unless you're supernaturally lucky, the slam-dunk wins all by themselves won't produce a complete diet. Figure out what else you need, and make a shopping list with the cheapest (usually grocery store) option for each item (even if it's not necessarily the healthiest).</p> <p>Once you've done that, you'll have the cheapest possible menu.</p> <p><strong>3. Make Strategic Improvements Within Your Budget</strong></p> <p>If you're really poor (or for some other reason have a really small food budget), maybe this is all you can afford. If so, that's probably OK &mdash; as long as you've got plenty of variety, you've probably already got a healthy diet. However, if you have even a little headroom under your budget, you can make some real improvements.</p> <p>There are some places where a little more money makes a big difference in food &mdash; paying a little more gets you food that's better tasting and more nutritious. Other places, you have to pay a lot more to get food that's a lot better. Some places there are a lot of prices levels, each one a little better than the one that costs less.</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Swap in items that are healthier, starting with the ones where the price difference is smallest or where the health advantage is largest.</li> <li>Be bolder about tolerating price differences when the quality difference is large.</li> <li>Be bolder when the quantity that you need to buy is small.</li> </ul> <p>The big win of working with a budget is that you know when to stop improving your diet. There will always be choices that are fairer, freer, local-er, sustainabl-er, or organic-er. Don't worry about that. If you build a diet around those slam-dunk wins, together with grocery store choices, strategically improved to the limits of your budget, you've have a diet that's healthy and cheap.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to eat healthier and cheaper?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-dollar-wise-winter-staples">15 Delicious and Dollar-Wise Winter Staples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you">8 Supposedly Unhealthy Foods That Are Actually Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-recipes-perfect-for-the-traveling-chef">5 Easy Recipes Perfect for the Traveling Chef</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Cheap Food cheap healthy eating Cooking healthy food Thu, 25 Apr 2013 10:36:40 +0000 Philip Brewer 973632 at http://www.wisebread.com Beyond Beef: Tasty, Frugal Protein http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-beef-tasty-frugal-protein <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyond-beef-tasty-frugal-protein" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6099142484_e4be412052_z.jpg" alt="tempeh" title="tempeh" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In an age of rising obesity rates and increasing health consciousness, many of us are wondering whether we have enough protein in our diets. Sources of protein are not only plentiful in several everyday food items, but most of them are also affordable. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peanut-butter-the-poor-man-s-protein">Peanut Butter: The Poor Man's Protein</a>)</p> <h2>Tempeh</h2> <p>One of the best-known sources of protein is tempeh, a fermented food made from soybeans. A longtime staple food in Indonesia, tempeh is slowly gaining traction in the U.S. and popping up in grocery stores across the country. It&rsquo;s also <a href="http://veganfazool.blogspot.com/2012/02/homemade-tempeh-illustrated-guide.html">possible to make your own tempeh</a>, generally a cheaper option using dried soybeans than buying premade tempeh from a store.</p> <h2>Eggs...From&nbsp;Your Own Chickens</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re seeking a good source of protein without paying an exorbitant amount for organic, cage-free eggs, why not raise your own chickens? There is an upfront investment (coop, chicken feed, the chickens themselves, etc.) and ongoing work involved, but having your own chickens means you know exactly how your egg-layers are treated and could offer a daily supply of fresh eggs. For more information, check out our own Linsey Knerl's article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-raise-backyard-chickens">raising backyard chickens</a>.</p> <h2>Beans</h2> <p>Whether they&rsquo;re dried and bagged or canned, beans are an excellent source of protein (and iron!) that won&rsquo;t break the bank. According to the USDA, black and kidney beans have the highest protein content, followed by baked, pinto, and lima beans. Dry beans tend to be cheaper than their canned counterparts, but again, it depends on where you live and shop for groceries.</p> <h2>Options at Farmers Markets</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-not-to-buy-at-a-farmers-market">Farmers markets</a> are one of the best places to buy fresh, affordable produce. Offerings will vary from season to season, but you can often buy protein-rich produce such as soybeans and support your local economy at the same time.</p> <h2>Canned Tuna</h2> <p>Another source of protein for frugal-minded families is canned tuna. Costs vary from store to store, but online, you can buy over 3 lbs of canned tuna for as little as $12. Tuna packed in water is generally less healthy than tuna packed in olive oil, but if cost is your only concern, go with the cheaper options. However, buyer beware &mdash; according to <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/january/food/mercury-in-tuna/overview/index.htm">Consumer Reports</a>, mercury in canned tuna is still a pressing problem. Studies show higher levels of mercury in white tuna than light tuna, so be sure to keep this in mind while you&rsquo;re shopping.</p> <h2>Whey Protein</h2> <p>Whey protein powder purchased in bulk can be a frugal option, and it's especially convenient for those looking to add nutritional value to meal replacement shakes. Just make sure to watch out for allergies and overdependence (balance consumption with other sources of protein).</p> <h2>Not-So-Frugal Sources</h2> <p>When discussing significant sources of protein, I couldn&rsquo;t leave out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organic-groceries-on-a-budget">organic meats</a> such as chickens (raised without hormones) and grass-fed livestock. Unfortunately, organic meats tend to be quite pricey in comparison to their grain-fed, hormone-loaded counterparts. If quality outweighs price however, organic is the way to go with your meats.</p> <p><em>What about you? Do you know of any other frugal sources of protein? Tell us in the comments below.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-beef-tasty-frugal-protein">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-luxury-save-50-or-more-on-5-fabulous-substitutions">Discount Luxury: Save 50% or More on 5 Fabulous Substitutions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anyone-can-spend-less-for-food">Anyone Can Spend Less for Food</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Lifestyle Shopping Cheap Food eggs organic food tuna Fri, 05 Oct 2012 10:24:41 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 954832 at http://www.wisebread.com Eating Vegan on the Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/eating-vegan-on-the-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eating-vegan-on-the-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/people_holding_produce.jpg" alt="People holding produce" title="People holding produce" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Exploring a plant-centered lifestyle is popular these days, but with it comes the common concern of a cost increase for the household grocery budget. Now that I've been in a (mostly) vegan household for a little more than two years, I&rsquo;ve learned a thing or two about going vegan on the cheap. Here are a handful of my top tips. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-healthy-and-cheap-bean-recipes">25 Delicious, Healthy, and Cheap Bean Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>Select Seeds</h2> <p>When it comes to vegan protein, many people gravitate immediately towards nuts. While I love a good cashew-pepper stir fry as much as the next girl, stocking your pantry with even conventionally grown nuts can cost as much per pound as high-quality organic meat. If you&rsquo;re looking to spend less, seeds are a safe bet. For example, <a href="http://webesharin.com/2011/07/19/creative-uses-for-sunflower-seed-kernels/">sunflower seed kernels</a> can be used to make spreads, seed butter, gluten-free baked goods, and more. I&rsquo;ve also found that organic versions of popular seeds such as pumpkin, flax, sesame, and others actually cost less than conventional nuts as well. Bonus? Those with nut allergies can feel free to indulge.</p> <h2>Season With Liquid Smoke</h2> <p>This is one of the best-kept secrets of maintaining a successful <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-plant-based-diet-tricks-for-carnivores">plant-based diet</a>. If you&rsquo;re new to being vegan and are concerned about filling your flavor requirements affordably, liquid smoke is something you are going to want to purchase for your refrigerator. Available in a variety of flavors, it adds smoky goodness to any dish you want, making it more like the meat dishes you may have previously been used to. I use it in Middle Eastern eggplant dip, pea soup, and other dishes to add &ldquo;meaty&rdquo; flavor without the actual meat.</p> <h2>Stock Up on Beans and Legumes</h2> <p>In addition to the seed suggestion above, beans and other legumes and pulses pack a nutritional punch as well. For example, there are several <a href="http://webesharin.com/2011/11/17/sassy-and-simple-split-pea-recipes/">split pea recipes</a> that are very affordable and easy to make. And not all of them are soup based. Another often-overlooked vegan grocery item is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lentil-love-how-to-sex-up-a-simple-staple-and-save">lentils</a>. There a number of varieties that can be used in pilafs, soups, vegan meatloaf, and more.</p> <h2>Go for Green Groceries</h2> <p>While <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organic-groceries-on-a-budget">organic groceries</a> are great, what I&rsquo;m talking about here are fresh grocery items that are actually green in color. They tend to be some of the highest-rated items on the nutrient density index and can be remarkably affordable. Organic romaine hearts go on sale all the time, making them a steal for salad fans. Other affordable ideas include incorporating some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-cheap-and-tasty-frozen-broccoli-recipes">frozen broccoli recipes</a>, roasting Brussels sprouts, and trying out baby spinach as an add-in for some of your favorite sandwiches and pasta dishes.</p> <h2>Try Toppings</h2> <p>Incorporating a few toppings is a great way to jazz up a meal. They don't have to be expensive, either. For instance, chopped scallions are one of my favorite <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/soup-toppers-with-style">soup garnishes</a> for simple broths, tomato bisques, and old-fashioned potato soup. They dress things up, are nutritious, and can be prepared relatively quickly with a chef&rsquo;s knife and cutting board. Another option for enhancing a meal affordably is to use creative <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-salad-add-ins">salad add-ins</a>. Bacos &mdash; believe it or not &mdash; are actually vegan. I love to use them on top of salads, on pizzas and even in tortilla wraps. Homemade croutons are another one of my favorite salad ingredients.</p> <h2>Choose Long-Lasting Produce Items</h2> <p>For those with crazy schedules, watching produce go bad due to lack of time can be disheartening. That&rsquo;s why shopping for long-lasting veggies such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-with-cabbage-ten-cheap-meal-ideas">cabbage</a> and onions can keep you on track financially while still keeping you stocked with vegetables. This might mean you eat fewer salads and enjoy winter squash more often, but in general you&rsquo;ll have more flexibility with your groceries when work keeps you on the go.</p> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve done your research and test driven a few types of recipes to determine what&rsquo;s right for you and your family, you&rsquo;ll see that pulling off vegan on the cheap isn&rsquo;t necessarily as difficult as you might have previously have thought. For those more experienced vegans reading, what are some areas of savings that might surprise the rest of us?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/staff">Staff</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-vegan-on-the-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-mouth-watering-lentil-recipes">35 Mouth Watering Lentil Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">25 Frugal Items for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/perfect-peanut-sauce">Perfect Peanut Sauce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-you-think-youre-a-carnivore">So, You Think You&#039;re a Carnivore?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-amazing-veggie-burgers-to-make-tonight">10 Amazing Veggie Burgers to Make Tonight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Cheap Food grocery list vegan vegetarian Wed, 15 Feb 2012 11:24:13 +0000 Staff 895853 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Delicious and Dollar-Wise Winter Staples http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-dollar-wise-winter-staples <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-delicious-and-dollar-wise-winter-staples" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/winter_potatoes.jpg" alt="Potatoes in a market" title="Potatoes in a market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nearly half of us make <a href="http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/">New Year&rsquo;s resolutions</a>, and among the top goals every year are weight loss and exercise. Even those of us who aren&rsquo;t in this majority are likely open to eating healthier and saving money this year. You can do both by choosing fruits and vegetables that are cost-effective, healthy, and in season during the winter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh&nbsp;Fruits and Vegetables by the Month</a>)</p> <h2>Fruits</h2> <p>People often think that finding fresh fruit is more difficult to do in the wintertime, and while that&rsquo;s true to some extent, there are still several types of fruit that are at their peak during the cold winter months.</p> <p><strong>Apples</strong></p> <p>The old adage that an <a href="http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/an-apple-a-day.htm">apple a day keeps the doctor away</a> should be given particular credence in the wintertime, when <a href="http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/common-cold/risk-factors.html">cold and flu bugs abound</a>. Different varieties of apples have their peak season at different points in the year; however, most are available virtually year-round. This is one reason why apples yield such bang for your buck &mdash; fresh apples average $1.07 per pound, while applesauce is about $0.85. Try a super easy, delicious way to eat apples today with this recipe for <a href="http://skinnychef.com/recipes/baked-apples">Crockpot Baked Apples</a>.</p> <p><strong>Grapefruit</strong></p> <p>According to a 2008 study in the <em>European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics</em> (via the <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health_blog/5_foods_for_healthy_sexy_skin">EatingWell Blog</a>), grapefruits contain an essential ingredient for smoother skin. You&rsquo;re in luck, too, because not only are they at their peak of perfection in the winter months (October through June, depending on where you live), they also cost even less per pound than apples &mdash; $0.66 for fresh grapefruit and $0.72 per pound for ready-to-drink juice. And, at only 60 calories per serving, they&rsquo;re a perfect way to start the day. For a <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/broiled-grapefruit/">new take on grapefruit</a>, sprinkle yours with cinnamon and sugar and pop it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.</p> <p><strong>Oranges</strong></p> <p>Oranges, like apples, are available virtually year-round. Although the Vitamin C that makes oranges famous has been shown to have <a href="http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/vitamin-c-for-common-cold">negligible effects on the common cold</a>, <a href="http://www.gardeningchannel.com/health-benefits-of-oranges/">oranges can lower blood pressure</a>, are a great anti-inflammatory, and have about 10% of your daily fiber needs. Oranges contain about 80 calories per serving and cost around $0.57 per pound fresh and $0.69 per pound in ready-to-drink juice form.</p> <p><strong>Pears</strong></p> <p>Pears are also a <a href="http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/the-benefits-of-pears/">great source of fiber</a> and Vitamin C, and their skin is a source of disease-fighting antioxidants. Although pears cost slightly more than other fruits, at $1.04 per pound fresh and $1.05 canned, they are a good way to bring variety to your fruit diet. They&rsquo;re also more widely available in winter, with peak season starting in late fall and lasting through early spring. Pears have about 100 calories per serving. One of my favorite ways to enjoy pears is in a <a href="http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1743,157174-236194,00.html">salad with walnuts and bleu cheese</a> (my mouth is starting to water just typing that!).</p> <h2>Vegetables</h2> <p>When people think of vegetables that are available in the wintertime, most think of root vegetables, such as potatoes. I&rsquo;m not going to lie &mdash; there <em>are</em> root vegetables on this list &mdash; but there are also several other waist- and budget-conscious veggies that are at their prime during this time of year.</p> <p><strong>Broccoli</strong></p> <p>Whenever I stop and think about the word &ldquo;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-cheap-and-tasty-frozen-broccoli-recipes">broccoli</a>,&rdquo; the first thing that comes to mind is undoubtedly the classic SNL episode with Dana Carvey performing &ldquo;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR6y71x3tSY">Chopping Broccoli</a>.&rdquo; The second thing is how much I love broccoli. It&rsquo;s such a versatile veggie &mdash; I throw it on pizza, in soup, or, my personal favorite, <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/roasted-garlic-lemon-broccoli/">roast it in the oven</a>. At only about $1.84 per pound fresh and 45 calories per serving, I can enjoy it knowing I&rsquo;m being both frugal <em>and</em> healthy. Broccoli is available all year in grocery stores, but its peak season lasts from October through March.</p> <p><strong>Butternut Squash</strong></p> <p>Butternut squash is a variety of winter squash (distinguished from summer squashes because winter squashes are harvested after fully mature, when the rind is hard) that is a creamy white on the outside and orange-yellow on this inside. It costs about $2.67 fresh, but only around $1.70 frozen, and has about 63 calories per serving. Butternut squash&rsquo;s growing season lasts from August through March, making winter the perfect time to try out this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/garlicky-baked-butternut-squash/">garlicky baked butternut squash recipe</a>.</p> <p><strong>Brussels Sprouts</strong></p> <p>To some people, Brussels sprouts is a dirty word (OK, it&rsquo;s two words, I know). To me, though, Brussels sprouts is synonymous with a scrumptious side dish. If you&rsquo;re one of those people who&rsquo;s not in love with these tiny cabbages, perhaps I can change your mind with a few fun facts: Brussels sprouts cost only about $1.82 per pound frozen (surprisingly, Brussels sprouts are quite a bit more fresh &mdash; about $3.05 per pound) and have only 38 calories per serving. They are at their peak in the winter, which makes now the perfect time to give them a second try. If you do buy them fresh, remove the outer layer of leaves, trim stems, and toss with olive oil and sea salt. If you buy them frozen, they most likely have the outer leaves removed and stems trimmed. <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-brussels-sprouts-recipe2/index.html">Roast Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet</a> at 425 degrees until nicely browned (about 15 minutes), and be prepared to change your mind about them.</p> <p><strong>Carrots</strong></p> <p>True, carrots may seem dull and unexciting on the surface, but there&rsquo;s actually a lot to appreciate about them. Carrots only cost $0.77 per pound (whole, fresh), and can also be found in darling baby form for about $1.40 per pound (those ones are actually adult carrots peeled and cut into baby form, hate to say) or a convenient frozen form for about $1.19 per pound. Carrots are available year-round. Don&rsquo;t enjoy snacking on raw carrots? Boil them instead, and cook briefly with honey, butter, and lemon juice, and you&rsquo;ve got yourself a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/honey-glazed-carrots-recipe/index.html">delightful glazed-carrot side dish</a>.</p> <p><strong>Cauliflower</strong></p> <p>Cauliflower gets a bad rap in the vegetable world as the less-attractive sibling to broccoli (if that&rsquo;s possible). However, it&rsquo;s got credentials that broccoli can&rsquo;t even begin to touch, including lower cost ($0.55 per head fresh or $1.42 per pound for frozen florets) and fewer calories per serving (25). Cauliflower is more plentiful in the fall, but it can be found in stores all year. Try warming up with a little cauliflower comfort food this winter in the form of a yummy <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/331773/cauliflower-gratin?czone=food/thanksgiving-center/thanksgiving-center-dishes&amp;center=276949&amp;gallery=274421&amp;slide=286128">cauliflower gratin</a>.</p> <p><strong>Kale</strong></p> <p>I have a friend whose brother is named Kale because her mother heard someone say &ldquo;kale&rdquo; at the store and liked the sound of the word. No lie. More on point, however, kale is a healthful and economical winter vegetable staple. Although kale can be found in supermarkets all year, it is actually more flavorful and prolific during the winter. It&rsquo;ll run you about $2.19 per pound fresh, and only $1.91 frozen, and has 33 calories per serving. If you haven&rsquo;t tried kale before, start with something easy, like as a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/sauteed-kale-recipe/index.html">sautéed side dish</a>.</p> <p><strong>Leeks</strong></p> <p>A lot of people don&rsquo;t know what leeks <em>are</em>, let alone how one might go about making a meal out of them. Leeks are actually a member of the lily family, but have a very vaguely onion-like taste. They cost about $2.60 per pound and are a very respectable 34 calories per serving. The peak season for leeks is fall to early spring. Probably the most well-known way to enjoy leeks is the French-born potato leek soup, which involves leeks, potatoes, and delicious-but-<em>un</em>-waist-friendly cream. Make over potato leek soup with this <a href="http://simplyhealthyfam.blogspot.com/2011/02/potato-leek-soup-makeover.html">delicious, healthy soup recipe</a> that omits cream altogether.</p> <p><strong>Sweet Potatoes</strong></p> <p>Ah, another one of those root vegetables. You just can&rsquo;t escape them, can you? No matter; I happen to love sweet potatoes. Not only are they, well, <em>sweeter</em> than a potato, they also add variety when I get in a meat-and-potatoes rut. Sweet potatoes are actually not technically a winter vegetable (sorry to mislead you &mdash; they&rsquo;re harvested August through October), but they can be found in supermarkets all year. They cost about $0.90 per pound fresh and have 100 calories per serving. Next time you&rsquo;re at the grocery store, pick up a few for yourself and give one of these <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_sweet_potato_recipes">sweet potato recipes</a> a try. There are a ton of good ones to choose from: oven-roasted sweet potato fries, maple sweet potatoes, and chile-garlic roasted sweet potatoes. Oh my!</p> <h2>Protiens</h2> <p>In addition to fruits and vegetables, I&rsquo;ve included a few healthy, economical proteins that lend themselves well to being wintertime staples.</p> <p><strong>Turkey</strong></p> <p>True, turkey has no &ldquo;season,&rdquo; per se, but given that over 30% of the nation&rsquo;s turkeys were consumed on Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2010, I&rsquo;d say that places the turkey squarely within winter&rsquo;s domain. Turkey is also one of the healthier proteins, with calories per &frac14; pound ranging from 118 (deli turkey) to 266 (ground turkey). Try varying your turkey consumption from the old stand-bys of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tasty-ideas-for-leftover-turkey">turkey sandwiches</a> and roast turkey with one of these <a href="http://family.go.com/food/pkg-quick-easy-recipes/ground-turkey-recipes-pg/#Italian%20Turkey%20Sliders;1">10 quick fixes for ground turkey</a>.</p> <p><strong>Lentils</strong></p> <p>Lentils are a <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/legumes/NU00260">type of legume</a>, which makes it part of a class of one of the most healthful and versatile foods to be found. Lentils are typically only found dried, cost about $1.02 per pound, and are packed with iron, fiber, and protein. I personally love a good, hearty <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/lentil-soup/">lentil soup</a> in the winter. Try it for yourself and see!</p> <p><strong>Edamame</strong></p> <p>I first became hooked on edamame after trying it as an appetizer at a sushi restaurant, and took my love of the healthy snack and side dish home with me (figuratively, I should note &mdash; I did not steal any physical dishes). Edamame is actually young soybeans, harvested before they become too tough to eat (and become things like soy milk and tofu). The beans are difficult to find fresh, but are available frozen all year for about $4.49 per pound. Each antioxidant-rich serving has around 130 calories. My favorite way to eat these little pods is boiled (about 3-4 minutes) and seasoned with sea salt. Pop the pods into your mouth &mdash; you don&rsquo;t eat the skin &mdash; and enjoy!</p> <p>See anything that I left off the list, or do you have thoughts about the foods that were included? Share your comments below!</p> <p><em>All the calorie data below for vegetables comes from <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/">SELF&rsquo;s Nutrition Data site</a>, which allows you to plug in a food and see the relevant nutrition data. Calorie data for fruits is from the <a href="http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/month/">CDC&rsquo;s Fruit &amp; Vegetable of the month website</a>, although what&rsquo;s in season depends, of course, on your particular area. To find specifically when a fruit or vegetable is in season in your area, try this <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/seasonalcooking/farmtotable/seasonalingredientmap">interactive map from Epicurious</a>. Information about average cost per pound for fruits and vegetables is available at the <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/FruitVegetableCosts/">USDA website</a>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-dollar-wise-winter-staples">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy">Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you">8 Supposedly Unhealthy Foods That Are Actually Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen">21 Surprising and Delicious Ways to Cook Instant Ramen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck">10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Cheap Food healthy food winter food Wed, 18 Jan 2012 11:36:25 +0000 Janey Osterlind 866047 at http://www.wisebread.com Foraging: Not Insane, Useless, or Impossible http://www.wisebread.com/foraging-not-insane-useless-or-impossible <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/foraging-not-insane-useless-or-impossible" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/natures-bounty.jpg" alt="A table of natural foods" title="Natures Bounty" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="184" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From time to time, I've suggested foraging &mdash; gathering food from the wild &mdash; as a technique for getting by in hard times. Whenever I do, people mock the idea. &quot;It's the twenty-first century! There's no way to get enough food like that.&quot; They're missing the point. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by Without a Job part 4 &mdash; Get Free Stuff</a>)</p> <h2>Calories Are Cheap</h2> <p>First of all, the point of foraging is not to provide all the calories you need to survive &mdash; that <em>would</em> be tough. But, calories are cheap at the grocery store. The problem is turning those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">cheap calories into a healthy diet</a>.</p> <p>If you make a diet out of the cheapest calories you can find in the supermarket, you're going to be missing out on nutrition, taste, and variety. And as a way to provide <em>those</em> things, foraging is perfect.</p> <h2>Nature's Food Is Bountiful &mdash; and Delicious</h2> <p>Second, they're just flat out wrong. There's a lot of food to be found in the wild, even in relatively urbanized areas. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds">Edible weeds</a> like lambsquarter, dandelion, and purslane grow right in your (or your park's) lawn along with a lot of edible flowers &mdash; dandelions again, violets, bee balm, chicory, chives... Larger edible plants like cattails and Jerusalem artichoke grow only a few steps further into the wild.</p> <p>Of course, if you actually get out into the woods and fields, there's even more.</p> <p>And it's not just &quot;weird&quot; foods that can be gathered from the wild. It's easy to find perfectly ordinary fruits and nuts &mdash; grapes, strawberries, raspberries, mulberries, persimmons, hickory nuts, walnuts &mdash; growing wild.</p> <p>My mom was always interested in foraging. I remember any number of meals that she prepared that featured food gathered from the wild, usually inspired by the books of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euell_Gibbons">Euell Gibbons</a>.</p> <p>No article about foraging would be complete without a few warnings. Don't eat mushrooms that you find in the wild unless you've learned about the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/foraging-for-food-the-hunt-for-the-wild-mushroom">local mushrooms</a> from someone who's gathered and eaten them for a long time. Avoid gathering food that might have been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides. Don't eat plants gathered from right along roadsides. There are a lot of good books on gathering wild foods, and a good book will guide you well enough on any topic except mushrooms.</p> <p>Unless you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hunt-fish-money-food">hunting or fishing</a>, you'll only occasionally find your main dish in the wild &mdash; but, as I said above, that's not the point. If you've bought the cheapest lettuce you can get from the grocery store, you can make your salad a lot more interesting and nutritious by adding a handful of purslane. Extend your spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, or kale by cooking it up with some garlic mustard. If you can't afford desert, a handful of wild strawberries will serve the purpose.</p> <p>You can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anyone-can-spend-less-for-food">eat really cheaply</a>, if you need to &mdash; or if you simply want to, because there are other things you want to spend your money on besides food. And then &mdash; when you're eating the cheapest healthy diet you can put together at the grocery store &mdash; is when a bit of foraging can make a huge difference in the quality of your diet.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/foraging-not-insane-useless-or-impossible">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-and-delicious-ways-to-cook-instant-ramen">21 Surprising and Delicious Ways to Cook Instant Ramen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-salt-is-best">Which Salt Is Best?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Cheap Food flavorings foraging Tue, 10 Jan 2012 10:36:22 +0000 Philip Brewer 857664 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Frugal Compromises http://www.wisebread.com/12-frugal-compromises <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-frugal-compromises" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/subway_ride.jpg" alt="Woman waiting for subway" title="Woman waiting for subway" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When we talk about frugality, it can be easy to get into an &quot;all or nothing&quot; mentality. Our two options are to eat a big meal out or cook at home. To have a lot of stuff or pare down all of our possessions to the very basics. But the reality is that there are a lot of savings compromises that can be made &mdash; frugal things you can do that, while they may not save you as much money as other efforts, might also save you time, make you happier, or make your life easier. Here are 12 frugal compromises to consider. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-agree-without-compromise">How to Agree Without Compromise</a>)</p> <h3>1. Buy Part of Your Meal Already Prepared</h3> <p>If you're running short on time, buy part of your meal already prepared and cook the rest. Rotisserie chickens are especially popular for this, but also consider things like side salads, bread, dessert, or even a pizza that you could pair with a salad.</p> <h3>2. Hire Moving Helpers</h3> <p>One way that I've come to define adulthood is owning furniture that I cannot conceivably move on my own. But instead of booking movers for my most recent move, I simply rented a U-Haul and hired moving helpers for two hours to load and unload the items I could not carry myself. I saved at least $150 over hiring movers (maybe more &mdash; the estimates I received were in the very broad range of $350 to $900!), and I didn't have to worry about being unable to rally strong friends ot help with the heaviest items.</p> <h3>3. Meet Somewhere Cheap for Dinner</h3> <p>Going out to eat doesn't need to be a fancy affair. Meet at a diner, sandwich shop, or somewhere else that's not too expensive.</p> <h3>4. Buy New Accessories</h3> <p>Add pizazz to your wardrobe with tights, a brightly colored belt, chunky necklace, or other inexpensive statement accessories.</p> <h3>5. Drink Cheap Beer...or Just One Nice Beverage</h3> <p>Personally, I go back and forth on cheap beer &mdash; I'm not above (and, especially on hot days, legitimately enjoy) beers like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-we-are-sayingis-give-pabst-a-chance">PBR</a> and Corona. But I also appreciate a well-crafted cocktail. The trick when ordering a fancy drink is to keep it to just one.</p> <h3>6. Hire a Cleaner Once a Month</h3> <p>Save time on house cleaning by hiring a house cleaner to do a deep clean once a month. You'll only need to do the more surface-level, day-to-day cleaning.</p> <h3>7. Don't Take the Car...Sometimes</h3> <p>All of the &quot;take public transit&quot; yammering can get old if you need to have your car for work, family, or other reasons. But you don't have to take your car all the time. Save on gas, parking, and wear and tear by carpooling, taking public transit, walking, or biking.</p> <h3>8. Get Takeout Instead of Delivery</h3> <p>When you get food delivered, you should give the driver a full tip (seriously...please tip the driver). But if you pick up takeout yourself, all you need to pay for is the food, plus maybe a buck or two.</p> <h3>9. Rearrange the Furniture and Buy One New Thing</h3> <p>Give a room in your house new life by rearranging the furniture and buying one new thing &mdash; art, a rug, a lamp, a slipcover, or even a small piece of furniture &mdash; to tie the new scheme together.</p> <h3>10. Have a Coffee Treat Day</h3> <p>By now, most of us have heard about the &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-keeping-your-latte-factor-will-help-you-save-money">latte factor</a>&quot; &mdash; the idea that small savings, like making coffee at home, can really add up. But you don't need to do it every day. Choose a coffee treat day for yourself when you'll get a coffee from the coffee shop &mdash; whether it's to ease yourself into the workweek on Monday or treat yourself for making it through on Friday.</p> <h3>11. Trim Your Own Bangs</h3> <p>If you have the skills to fully cut your own hair, by all means do it. (I cut my own hair for several years, although it left me for a bit with a style that could only be worn one way and could occasionally be described as &quot;proto-mullet.&quot;) But even if you're a klutz with scissors, it's probably within your power to give your bangs a trim, extending the time between haircuts.</p> <h3>12. Use Disposables Alongside Reusables</h3> <p>Doing all of your cleaning with paper towels or all of your food storage in one-time-use bags is just wasteful. But sometimes those tools are helpful, which is why I fully believe that disposable zipper-lock bags can live in harmony with your use-again Tupperware, just as paper towels have their time and place in conjunction with rags.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite frugal compromises?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-frugal-compromises">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-frugal-or-cheap">Are You Frugal or Cheap?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-life-hacks-for-college-students-or-anyone-else-trying-to-save-money">15 Life Hacks for College Students (or Anyone Else Trying to Save Money)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-financial-trick-lets-you-buy-happiness">This One Financial Trick Lets You Buy Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-prairie-farmer-s-meal-plan-eat-for-a-buck-or-two-a-day">A Prairie Farmer’s Meal Plan: Eat for a Buck or Two a Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-attention">Pay attention</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Cheap Food cheap treats compromise happiness save time Tue, 06 Sep 2011 10:24:19 +0000 Meg Favreau 691078 at http://www.wisebread.com