How To Save Money On Food

In the past, each month I would check my monthly spending and realize I’d spent a lot of money on food. A lot. Way too much. Between groceries and eating out I overspent my food budget every month.

It was something that continually frustrated me because I overspent on food constantly. It wasn’t until I was forced to cut back that I finally took control of the situation and stopped spending a ridiculous amount of my income on food.

Eating on the cheap is totally possible but it does take some effort, just like eating healthy does. I was spending so much money on food each month because I wasn’t thinking about it. I was making healthy choices for food but I wasn’t making great financial choices. I spent a lot of extra money on convenience foods that were healthier but more expensive. Spending money on convenient foods and eating out really does add up quickly. It might not seem like much when you are spending a few dollars at a time but it’s something that snowballs quickly.

Now my budget is about half of what it used to be for food and I actually stick to it! It’s pretty amazing that I once spent so much on food when it was entirely unnecessary.

how to save money on food

Below I’ve collected some of my personal favorite ways to save money on food. Hopefully they can help you reduce your food budget too!

Tips to Save Money On Food

  • Commit to cooking more. Learning how to cook and preparing food at home is a great way to save money on food. If you know how to cook and do it often the savings will add up. Choosing to cook at home rather than get a meal at a restaurant saves me $5 – 15 dollars per meal in most cases.
  • Check out what you have in your pantry. Using what you have already will keep your grocery shopping list smaller. It’s also fun to create meals from scratch using what is available. I like to have “Chopped” nights where we pick pantry ingredients and make something using them. It’s not as weird as the show and usually turns out well!
  • Plan your meals around your cheap staples. Planning your meals helps you keep food costs down. Planning around cheap staples that you can buy in bulk like rice or pasta will make your costs substantially lower. There are many ways to prepare these staples so it’s not something you will get bored of eating.
  • Go grocery shopping once a week or less. The more you pop in the more you will buy the little add on items that add up. Every time you step foot in a grocery store you will have more opportunities to overspend. Stop that from happening by buying everything you need in one trip and sticking with what you bought. You can still have veggies and fruit that is good for your last day with proper meal planning.
  • Make a grocery shopping list. Stick to what you planned to buy and don’t deviate. Impulse buys at the grocery store used to cost me a ton of money every month. By making a list and forcing myself to stick to it I save $10-$25 per grocery store trip since I’m not grabbing whatever looks good. Having a plan and a list also means nothing goes to waste which will save you money and frustration!
  • Clip coupons and shop the sales. This isn’t as hard as it sounds and once you’ve done it a few times it gets even easier. When you meal plan and know what something regularly costs you will be able to take advantage of the sales and save money by buying items at their lowest price. Using coupons as well will just add to your savings.
  • Adjust how you think about food. For some people food is the ultimate pleasure and they live to eat. This can be an expensive way to live since you will spend more on food that you enjoy. Adjusting how you think about food and recognizing it as just fuel for most of your meals will help you spend less overall. You can still cook or go out for decadent meals but they should be an occasional occurrence instead of every meal.
  • Take advantage of free food. While I don’t do this in the extreme, I definitely take advantage of free food where I can. I attend several networking events and meetups that are sponsored in the form of free food. Several days a month I get a free meal by attending these events. Chances are there are some days where you can attend an event or get a meal at work for free. If you have the opportunity, take it!
  • Eat with others at home. Host and attend potlucks and dinners at friend’s houses. Spreading the cost and time of cooking between multiple people helps save money. Just remember that you don’t have to serve the best food ever – spaghetti or hamburgers works just fine when you are spending time with people you love!

Those are just a few of the the ways I now save money on food and keep my budget under control. It’s great to spend less money on food because it gives you more money to work with in other areas of your life. I’d much rather feel secure in paying my bills and having extra money to save than eating my way through my paycheck!

Last Minute Christmas Gifts: FREE SHIPPING on Fitbit Gifts

Last minute gift shoppers, here’s a cool deal for you. Right now you can get free shipping with orders over $50 at Fitbit.com!

free shipping for fitbit

My best friend Jessica and I were talking about wearable fitness devices because I wear my Polar Loop all the time right now. She bought her mom a Fitbit One this year. Turns out her mom’s insurance will go down because she has one and is working on her weight and health. That’s a pretty awesome perk! It really is a great Christmas gift idea for weight loss.

Deal Details

fitbit gift perks

If you’ve been thinking about ordering a Fitbit product for yourself or a loved one now might be the right time to do it. It will help you start your new year off with a fitness bang! Check out Fitbit.com for more details.

If you want to read more about fitbit and their cute little fitness trackers, here’s some additional reading:

Fitbit wireless activity + sleep trackers

My 3 Favorite Christmas Desserts

Yesterday I was asked about my favorite Christmas desserts and baked goods in order to prepare for Christmas day. Next week we will have an epic baking session to make things for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that everyone can enjoy their favorite item and share with others. It’s going to be so wonderfully fun that I just can’t wait to start baking.

In preparation for the baking I picked my favorite Christmas desserts and today I’m sharing them with you!

Puppy Chow

puppy chow

Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies is a simple Christmas treat that is easy to make and always pleasing to everyone. It’s just Chex cereal with a coating and some extra treats thrown in depending on what flavor variation you plan to make.

thin mint muddy buddies puppy chow

Thin Mint Muddy Buddies from Something Swanky sounds delightful.

peppermint bark puppy chow

Peppermint Puppy Chow from Your Cup of Cake makes me want to make this version.

reindeer chow puppy chow christmas dessert

This Reindeer Chow from This Silly Girls Life is a great Christmas version of puppy chow with the right colors for the holiday.

Puppy Chow Recipe

Recipe from Chex

Ingredients

  • 9 cups Rice Chex™, Corn Chex™ or Chocolate Chex™ cereal (or combination)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
  2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
  3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Kiss Cookies

peanut butter kiss cookies for christmas

This was my pick when asked what I wanted for Christmas because puppy chow had already been added to the list. I always loved making and eating kiss cookies as a child so these bring back fond memories of Christmas for me. The classic peanut butter kiss cookies like the ones above from One Sweet Appetite are my favorite.

candy cane peppermint kiss cookies

I also love that the variations people have come up with. These Candy Cane Peppermint Kiss Cookies on Tatertots & Jello look like the perfect minty Christmas cookie.

hersheys christmas kiss cookies

Kiss Cookies Recipe

From Hershey’s

Ingredients

  • 48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Additional granulated sugar(optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.

Christmas Cake Balls

bakarella snowman christmas cake pops

I’m planning to make cake balls for my contribution to the Christmas festivities in addition to making the other desserts with everyone else. Cake balls are the perfect indulgent bite and you can create super cute Christmas themed cake balls like Bakarella did with the Snowman cake pops above.

penguin cake pop

These penguin cake ball pops from niner bakes are super adorable.

christmas themed cake balls

Any Christmas themed cake ball will do since the dessert itself is amazing and the rest is just icing on the cake.

Cake Ball Recipe

From All Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 (16 ounce) container prepared chocolate frosting
  • 1 (3 ounce) bar chocolate flavored confectioners coating

Directions

  1. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions using any of the recommended pan sizes. When cake is done, crumble while warm into a large bowl, and stir in the frosting until well blended.
  2. Melt chocolate coating in a glass bowl in the microwave, or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  3. Use a melon baller or small scoop to form balls of the chocolate cake mixture. Dip the balls in chocolate using a toothpick or fork to hold them. Place on waxed paper to set.
  4. If you want to go the extra mile, cake balls can be rolled in nuts, sprinkles, coconut, etc. or double-dipped in white and dark chocolates. White chocolate confectioners’ coating is also called Almond Bark in some stores.

Enjoying Christmas Desserts

While I’m all about making Thanksgiving recipes healthier, Christmas is one holiday where I prefer to keep things indulgent and deliciously calorific.  These are my favorite treats and the ones I will indulge in happily. Christmas is a time to enjoy and spend time with your loved ones…. and delicious desserts! Hopefully you get to do that in upcoming weeks!

What’s your favorite Christmas dessert?

Avocado Lime Ranch Dip Recipe

Eating your fruits and veggies can be super fun…. like when you use them to create a dip! I’ve been craving avocados lately so I decided to try making a dip to snack on. This one hit the spot for wanting something tangy, light, and somewhat healthy. It’s perfect with a few chips or veggies for a snack.

 Avocado Lime Ranch Dip Recipe

betty crocker avocado lime ranch dip

Photo and adapted from Better Crocker

Avocado Lime Ranch Dip Ingredients

  • 1 medium hass avocado
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1/2 packet Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning
  • 1/2 lime juiced

Avocado Lime Ranch Dip Directions

  1. Half the avocado, remove pit, and place avocado in food processor.
  2. Add the remaining dip ingredients.
  3. Process until all ingredients are blended.
  4. Garnish with any additional toppings like cilantro.

I did not have fresh cilantro handy so I left it off mine but plan to use it next time. It would add the perfect finish on top! I also might make it a few more times and then double it for a party dip. It was a delicious snack this afternoon!

avocado lime ranch dip

50 Fitness Motivation Quotes For Your Motivation Board

Cold weather or lack of motivation keeping you from working out? It’s a lot harder to stay motivated and workout consistently during the holidays and winter months. We all get stuck sometimes whether it’s from a fitness rut or just feeling unmotivated.

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite fitness motivation quotes from my fitness motivation Pinterest board to inspire myself and you! Hopefully these have you headed to the gym after reading them all. That’s where I’m headed! :)

fitness motivation quote - one workout

Fitness Motivation Quote – You are only one workout away from a good mood.

fitness motivation quote - one hour workout

Fitness Motivation Quote – A one hour workout is 4% of your day. No excuses!

fitness motivation quote - sweat is magic

Fitness Motivation Quote – Sweat is magic. Cover yourself in it daily to grant your health wishes.

fitness motivation quote - dont have time

Fitness Motivation Quote – “I don’t have time” is the grown-up version of “the dog ate my homework.”

fitness motivation quote - sweat accessory

Fitness Motivation Quote – I will make sweat my best accessory. I will run harder than my mascara.

fitness motivation quote - your only limit is you

Fitness Motivation Quote –  Your only limit is you.

fitness motivation quote - habit keeps you going

Fitness Motivation Quote –  Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

fitness motivation quote - one at a time

Fitness Motivation Quote – One workout at a time. One day at a time. One meal at a time.

fitness motivation quote - stop giving up

Fitness Motivation Quote – If you’re tired of starting over, then stop giving up.

fitness motivation quotes - dear fat prepare to die

Fitness Motivation Quote –  Dear Fat, Prepare to die. XO, Me

fitness motivation quote - believe in yourself

Fitness Motivation Quote – You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there.

fitness motivation quote -  i can

Fitness Motivation Quote –  Go ahead, tell me that I’m not good enough. Tell me I can’t do it. Because I will show you over and over again that I can!

fitness motivation quote - this is awesome

Fitness Motivation Quote – This is not sweat. This is liquid awesome.

fitness motivation quote - this body is your only one

Fitness Motivation Quote –  Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in.

fitness motivation quote - sweat is fat crying

Fitness Motivation Quote –  Sweat is fat crying.

fitness motivation quote - i regret that workout

Fitness Motivation Quote – “I regret that workout” – said no one, ever.

fitness motivation quote - fitness is being better than you used to be

Fitness Motivation Quote – Fitness is not about being better than someone else… It’s about being better than you used to be.

fitness motivation quote - sweat like a pig

Fitness Motivation Quote –  Sweat like a pig, to look like a fox.

fitness motivation quote - lapping the couch

Fitness Motivation Quote – No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.

fitness motivation quote - good things come to those who sweat

Fitness Motivation Quote – Good things come to those who sweat.

fitness motivation quote - strong tomorrow

Fitness Motivation Quote – Sore today, strong tomorrow.

fitness motivation quote - im here to be awesome

Fitness Motivation Quote – I’m not here to be average, I’m here to be awesome.

fitness motivation quote - strength

Fitness Motivation Quote – Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.

fitness motivation quote - worth it

Fitness Motivation Quote – It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.

fitness motivation quote - wake up workout

Fitness Motivation Quote – Wake up and workout!

fitness motivation quote - dont quit

Fitness Motivation Quote – It’s a slow process. Don’t make it slower by quitting.

fitness motivation quote - every workout counts

Fitness Motivation Quote – Every workout counts.

fitness motivation quote - fitness is mental

Fitness Motivation Quote – Your fitness is 100% mental. Your body won’t go where your mind doesn’t push it.

fitness motivation quote - be a badass

Fitness Motivation Quote – You only live once. You might as well be a badass.

fitness motivation quote - train to be a badass

Fitness Motivation Quote –  Forget skinny. I’m training to be a fit badass.

fitness motivation quote - sweat more bitch less

Fitness Motivation Quote – Sweat more, bitch less.

fitness motivation quote - christian motivation

Fitness Motivation Quote – God created it. Jesus died for it. The Spirit lives in it. I’d better take care of it.

fitness motivation quote - decide to move

Fitness Motivation Quote – The first step to getting anywhere is deciding you’re not willing to stay where you are.

fitness motivation quote - life it short

Fitness Motivation Quote – Life is to short to spend another day at war with yourself.

fitness motivation quote - capable bodies

Fitness Motivation Quote – Our bodies are capable of anything. It’s our minds we have to convince.

 

fitness motivation quote - workouts get easier

Fitness Motivation Quote – The workout you did yesterday is easier today.

fitness motivation quote - keep digging

Fitness Motivation Quote -Keep digging. Nobody said it’s going to be easy. You have to dig into yourself. Think about your family, think about the journey itself. Think in the moment.

fitness motivation quote - commitment

Fitness Motivation Quote – Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.

fitness motivation quote - sweat

Fitness Motivation Quote – I feel prettiest when I sweat.

fitness motivation quote - best decision

Fitness Motivation Quote – Becoming healthy is the best decision I’ve ever made.

fitness motivation quote - its never too late

Fitness Motivation Quote – It’s never too late to change your life.

fitness motivation quote - perfect conditions

Fitness Motivation Quote – If you wait for the perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.

fitness motivation quote - workout regret

Fitness Motivation Quote – I never regret it when I do, but I always regret it when I don’t.

fitness motivation quote - never throw in the towel

Fitness Motivation Quote – Never throw in the towel. Use it to wipe off the sweat. Then keep on going.

fitness motivation quote - stronger feel better

Fitness Motivation Quote – The stronger you are, the better you feel.

fitness motivation quote - make yourself unstoppable

Fitness Motivation Quote – Make yourself unstoppable.

instagram fitness inspiration 5

Fitness Motivation Quote – Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.

instagram fitness inspiration 4

Fitness Motivation Quote – When life gets tough, put your boxing gloves on.

instagram fitness inspiration 3

Fitness Motivation Quote – Fitness Rule #1 – Don’t get comfortable!

instagram fitness inspiration 2

Fitness Motivation Quote – Make yourself proud.

instagram fitness inspiration

Fitness Motivation Quote – Strive for progress not perfection.

Hope you enjoyed and were inspired by all these fitness motivation quotes! I’ll be adding more to my Pinterest board over time so stay tuned for lots more motivation!