Money Saving Tips for Quick, Clean Summer Eats
It isn’t always easy to eat well, especially on a budget and when you're busy! Between keeping the kids active, planning those weekend getaways, and ensuring your summer beach body remains intact, here are some great tips for eating great while saving time and money.
Coffee Ice Cubes
Don’t pour out the leftover coffee from the end of the pot. Instead, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Not only will you save money by not tossing out that extra coffee, but you’ll have a more delicious iced drink that won’t be watered down!
Keeping your kitchen stocked with all your favorite fresh herbs can be costly, so chop them all at once! While you’ve got those ice cube trays out, sprinkle in some of your freshly chopped herbs. Add a little olive oil or butter and freeze. The next time you’re cooking a meal on the stove, in a casserole, or in the oven, pop a cube in there. You’ll have a fresh and perfectly seasoned meal without the prep time.
Sure, a big bowl of greens is the perfect cool and healthy dish for a warm summer evening, but why stop there? Cold dishes like tuna pasta, pasta salad, and potato salad are perfectly filling and cheap to make. Use a little olive oil instead of mayonnaise or dressing. These recipes are also easy to make, and cheap to duplicate for the whole family. They also make the perfect leftovers.
Meal Swap Parties
Grab a set of your favorite food storage containers and call your friends for a “Meal Swap Potluck”. Each person creates their own simple dish with enough to serve the group, and brings along their own storage containers. Exchange each dish and leave the party with several new meals. You’ll also have several new recipe ideas for future money-saving meal prep!
Everyone’s favorite summer pastime doesn’t have to be expensive. Visit a local farmers market or supermarket for great grilling meats and produce, and grill your meals for the week. Prep and store your lunches and dinners. Add brown rice, sweet potatoes, or pasta to your meats and veggies for a healthy, filling meal.
It can be tempting to get your favorite produce year-round, but it can also be expensive and bad for the environment. Buying local produce in-season is far more sustainable, and is cheaper and healthier for you. If you find out-of-season produce at your local supermarket, it likely means it’s either traveled quite a while to get to you, or it’s been made in facilities. Save your money and stick to the good stuff. It will also give you an exciting appreciation for each season. There’s nothing like the first spring strawberry, or the first fall sweet potato!
Smoothies are a great frozen treat that are quick and healthy. Frozen fruit is easy to buy and store, and the rest is up to you! Bananas and yogurt make for a great, creamy texture, and protein powder will keep you full. Avoid adding extra sugar by using mangos or pineapple to sweeten, plus their great syrupy juices mix well with spinach and kale. Dates are also a great natural sweetener. Smoothies save you time and money, while keeping you full and healthy. Plus the flavor combinations are endless!