Convenience foods

Don't pay a premium for convenience! People underestimate how much extra they are spending for small conveniences and overestimate how much time they are really saving. You can save a lot of money on groceries simply by:

  • washing your own lettuce
  • peeling your own carrots
  • slicing your own cheese
  • chopping your own onions

Skip the junk food aisle. 
Chips, sodas, and sweets are very costly and don't contribute any nutritional value to your diet. You'll get more nutrition from your food dollar if you spend that money on nutritious treats like nuts, sunflower seeds, and dried or fresh fruit.

Make it yourself and save. 
You can spend $3 on a liter of ice tea or you can make your own for about 10 cents worth of tea bags. And, skip the meal kits. A pasta salad kit that contains about 80 cents worth of macaroni and a packet of seasonings may cost $3.50. Save over $2 by looking up a recipe on the internet.

Don't pay extra for individual serving sizes. 
100-calorie snacks are convenient, but at what cost?  Instead, buy yogurt, applesauce, cereal, and snacks in large containers and you'll save big (plus, you'll put less packaging into the waste stream). It only takes a few moments to transfer individual servings into zip lock bags or reusable containers, either to pack in your lunch or to exercise portion control.

Convenient snack ideas
Instead of a high-calorie snack from a vending machine, bring some cut-up vegetables or fruit from home. The fruits and vegetables below all have about 100 or fewer calories:

  • a medium-size apple (72 calories)
  • a medium-size banana (105 calories)
  • 1 cup steamed green beans (44 calories)
  • 1 cup blueberries (83 calories)
  • 1 cup grapes (100 calories)



One snack-sized bag of corn chips (1 ounce) has the same number of calories as a small apple, 1 cup of whole strawberries, AND 1 cup of carrots with 1/4 cup of low-calorie dip. Substitute one or two of these options for the chips, and you will have a satisfying snack with fewer calories.

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