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A girl and boy help prepare a meal in the kitchen. [CREDIT: Pixabay.com]

Saving money at the grocery store; one last thought

In my last blog post, we talked about saving money by learning how to purchase fresh produce, to look through the aisles, and being wary of the check-out lane. In this post, we’ll focus on your time versus your money.

I’ve provided some great tips to help you cut down on food waste while saving some money at the store. Now ask yourself a couple of important questions:

  • “Is it cheaper to make it from scratch?”
  • “Do I have the time and energy to cook?

A girl and boy help prepare a meal in the kitchen. [CREDIT: Pixabay.com]

A girl and boy help prepare a meal in the kitchen. [CREDIT: Pixabay.com]

Let’s look at convenience foods. They are, truly, convenient. But, they usually cost more, and typically are high in calories, sodium and fat. Plus, there is generally more packaging, and you might not recognize many ingredients on the label.

There is always a price for convenience.

Sometimes, though, we do have to weigh the amount of time and effort.  If your day has left you exhausted, starting dinner would be an additional energy drain, one you might not want to tackle. You can ease your pain by planning your meals at the beginning of the week. Know which days of the week you will be busy, and keep some tricks up your sleeve to ease the work, like working leftovers into “planned-over” meals. Use yesterday’s leftover vegetable, rice or pasta in a soup or casserole. Think about eating breakfast for dinner, but spruce up the scrambled eggs with fresh zucchini. Better yet, scrabble together an omelet.

You also can enlist the help of your family to speed things along. Getting children involved in the kitchen helps you spend time with them, and they learn some cooking techniques along the way. Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s really about spending some time at the dinner table with those you love.

For more money-saving tips, visit MyPlate.gov. or register for one of our classes on ufsarasotaext.eventbrite.com.

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