Tag Archives: ways to save money

Cut Calories & Plump Your Wallet by Bringing a Healthy Lunch to Work

25 Mar
My healthy lunch stockpile

My healthy lunch stockpile

I love a good healthy lunch. I do my best to follow a healthy diet most of the time, but I always feel better about dinner splurges when I know it’s my first diversion into fatland for the day. One of the main ways I always manage to find a healthy lunch in downtown Pittsburgh, is by making it in my own kitchen and toting it to work myself each day.

As someone who has been a devoted lunch packer my entire professional life, it seems crazy to me that many people eat out every single day. I mean, kudos to them for supporting the economy and all, but that seems a bit excessive.

Sure, I enjoy eating out at lunchtime every once in awhile with my dad (who also has the pleasure of working in beautiful downtown Pittsburgh), friends, or during the rare times that there just isn’t any suitable food in my house. This is an occasional gift to myself though, not part of my daily grind.

Not only does packing a healthy lunch allow me to avoid accidentally eating an unidentified fat bomb, it’s also one of the easiest ways to save money I can think of. If you think about it, the average lunch out probably costs about $10. Multiple that by five and you’ve spent $50 on lunch for ONE WEEK! That’s only ever-so-slightly less than I spend about that much on my entire weekly grocery bill!

I know a lot of people have grand intentions of making a healthy lunch in the morning, but then end up eating out because they run out of time to actually do it. Personally, I avoid this little snafu by making lunch at night. Actually, I do as much advance prep work as I can. For example, if I’m bringing strawberries to work that week, I put three days of them in containers at a time, so all I have to do is grab one and put it in my lunch bag. Voila!

So there you’ll have it — whether you’re looking for ways to save money, cut calories, or both, bringing a healthy lunch to work is the answer you’ve been looking for!

Ways to Save Money on Healthy Food

11 Jun

Healthy eating isn’t cheap. Grocery stores always have fat-tastic snack foods, high-calorie frozen dinners, sugary drinks and fatty meats like sausage on sale, but aren’t as generous on the deals with healthy food. Everyone who knows me is aware that I am a giant cheapo. I love saving money on absolutely everything that requires me to whip out my American Express card, so obviously it annoys me to no end that I, (El Cheapo, as my boyfriend affectionately refers to me) have to spend a lot on my healthy eating habits. So, if you’re looking for ways to save money on healthy food, you’re going to have to get crafty. And that’s just what I did!

My mom gave me this coupon pendaflex. And yes, I carry it in public on a weekly basis, because it is awesome.

Ways to Save Money on Healthy Eating

  • Hunt for Coupons: Grocery manufacturers seem to want the world to be filled with giant fatties, as most coupons are for foods that will make your waistline expand, but if you look hard enough you can find a few diamonds in the rough. I use coupon clipping services The Coupon Clippers and Coupon Dede to fulfill my couponing needs. For a very small fee, these sites will clip and send you massive amounts of coupons in bulk. All you have to do is choose your coupons and they will appear in your mailbox clipped and ready to go in a matter of days! This is great for saving money on items such as greek yogurt, frozen fish, cottage cheese, organic eggs,protein and granola bars and sometimes even produce.
  • Discount Stores: No one likes going to Wal-Mart, but if you’re looking for ways to save money, you’ll suck it up and buy items there that are cheaper than at your grocery store. I make bi-weekly trips to Wal-Mart, because they sell a few of my favorite products such as Skinny Cow Ice Cream, Emerald Almonds, Gorton’s Salmon and Butterball Reduced Sodium Turkey Bacon for a whole lot cheaper than I can find it at Giant Eagle, my local grocery store. I learned the hard way that you won’t be saving money by doing a full shopping trip for healthy food at Wal-Mart, as it isn’t any cheaper than my grocery store for some items (and they don’t double coupons). So you just have to scout it out and comparison shop.
  • Farmer’s Markets: As you probably already know, it’s crazy hard finding ways to save money on produce. And of course, half my weekly grocery bill is composed of produce. My boyfriend and I recently discovered the art of saving money on produce by shopping at local farmer’s markets. You can seriously cut your grocery bill in half, without having to sacrifice your love of healthy food, by checking out these fun little local events. Not only are you saving money, you’re also supporting a local business. Total win-win situation!

Looking for Ways to Save Money? Bring a Healthy Lunch to Work

3 Nov

 One of the easiest ways to save money and cut back on calories is to bring a healthy lunch to work. Instead of going out in search something for lunch when you’re starving, and more susceptible to giving into fatty temptations, all you’ll have to do is get your healthy lunch out of the refrigerator. Sure, eating out doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you’re going to ruin your diet, but you’ll definitely pay more for a healthy lunch than a fat feast.

Here’s a couple of healthy lunch ideas for work that cost a whole lot less to make at home, than to buy pre-made at a restaurant:

BLT Lettuce Wraps, by Gina’s Skinny Recipes

What you’ll need for one week’s worth:

1 Head iceberg lettuce:   $2

3 Medium tomatoes:  $2

1 Package turkey bacon:  $4

1 Container reduced-fat feta cheese:  $2.50

1 Container plain greek yogurt (use instead of mayo):  $1

Total price for one week’s worth of lettuce wraps = $11.50

 If you’re looking for ways to save money, pay attention to this — you’d pay approximately $5 per lettuce wrap if you bought it at a restaurant, which would cost you $25 by the end of the week. By choosing to bring your own healthy lunch, you’ll save yourself $13.50!

 Garden Fresh Greek Salad, by Eat Better America

What you’ll need for one week’s worth:

2 Bags romaine lettuce:  $5

1 Cucumber:  $1.50

1 Ren Onion:  $1

1 Jar Kalamata olives:  $6  (swap with green olives to cut cost down to $2.50)  

2 Large tomatoes:  $3

1 Container reduced-fat feta cheese:  $2.50

1 Bottle fat-free Greek salad dressing:  $3  (follow the directions to make it only if you’re feeling overly ambitious)

Total price for one week’s worth of Greek salads = $22.00

 Again, if you’re looking for ways to save money, this is it! You’d pay approximately $8 per Greek salad if you bought it at a restaurant, which would cost you $40 by the end of the week. By choosing to bring your own healthy lunch, you’ll save yourself $18.00!