Two long years ago a small group of keen food bloggers kicked off our Eat Well, Spend Less series, led by Jessica of Life as Mom. The series focuses on ways to feed our growing families nourishing and totally delicious foods while still staying within a reasonable budget.
Eat Well, Spend Less was created with you, the reader, in mind, but it has helped me immensely as the posts have been published over the months. The series has whipped my spending into shape and helped me to build better habits in the kitchen.
Since we’ve made it this far, we thought it was appropriate to take a look back at where we’ve come and the topics we’ve covered. Today I’m highlighting the best tips that I’ve shared since the series’ conception.
The points are brief, yet contain links to the full article should you wish to read more on the subject. And don’t miss my favorite new salad dressing recipe at the bottom of the post.
12 ways to help you eat well and spend less
1. Decide to make more homemade substitutes for pantry staples. Start small. Preserve in season. Be realistic.
2. Choose five favorite frugal meals and put one per week into your menu plan. Aim for soups or vegetarian meals, as it is difficult to ‘spend less’ on quality meats.
3. Speaking of a menu plan, put one into action.
4. Implement conscientious, intentional grocery shopping. Avoid impulse buys. Make a list. Buy bulk. Don’t rush.
5. Learn how to store pantry food for maximum shelf life. Contamination = Cash Lost.
6. Pack your own snacks when traveling. Better for you, better for your wallet.
8. Learn how to plan a successful potluck, the ultimate way to entertain without breaking the bank.
9. Snack smart. Eat whole foods, made yourself (and learn to cook rice properly).
10. Remember, you can save money by making freezer cooking really work for you. Eat out less. Make the baby food. Use your freezer.
12. Send Batch Cooking to the rescue. It can bail you out every time. No need for take-out or processed food choices.
Recipe: Buttermilk Salad Dressing
This Buttermilk Salad Dressing had to get tucked into this post since homemade vinaigrettes and dressings are a big way I save money on groceries. We eat salads daily, yet in our nearly eleven years of marriage, Danny will admit he’s never seen me buy salad dressing.
Gosh, homemade just tastes way better too. And they are completely customizable. In summer, my dressings are full of chopped herbs and in winter I let the garlic do the talking – and we stay healthier because of it.
Most of the time, I just throw a vinaigrette together willy-nilly and, I’ll admit, the ratios don’t always taste awesome. For this simple buttermilk dressing, however, I nailed it.
Spring greens are finally starting to take over the winter produce in my crisper, and this creamy dressing is just the ticket for buttercrunch lettuce, delicate red leaf or baby spinach.
|Creamy Buttermilk Salad Dressing|| |
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt ( I like to use lemon salt)
- 4 Tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Peel and chop garlic, then mush it on the cutting board with the blade of your knife until it is a paste.
- Combine all ingredients, including the garlic paste in a half-pint jar
- Cover the jar with a lid and shake well.
- Taste salad dressing and adjust seasoning if required. Store in the refrigeration for up to 5 days.
Eat Well, Spend Less
Check out what the other ladies are writing about this week:
- Amy from Kingdom First Mom
- Carrie from Denver Bargains
- Jessica from LifeasMOM
- Katie from Kitchen Stewardship
- Mandi from Easy Homemade
- Shaina from Food for My Family
How many of these tips to eating well and spending less do you already implement in your kitchen?