Saving Time And Money With Food

In the last of this three part series this week, (part one here and part two can be read here), I’m going to finish this up on the topic of food. I’m still going to categorize this under Home Improvement, as it really does improve our home life 🙂 With that said, I realize that what works for us, wont necessarily work for everyone. But perhaps you might find one or two of these helpful.

As I thought about writing this, I realized that I could write an entire book on this subject. I don’t want to do that. So instead, I decided to give a brief overview of what we do to save time, money, and help the environment, in eating healthy. Then follow with titles and links to videos that delve further into the subject of food in order to help keep this short and sweet.

No. 1 Buying In Bulk. First and foremost, we strive to buy our dry goods in bulk. To do this we shop at Costco, in the bulk sections of grocery stores, and the bulk products offered online at Amazon. Sure it can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to storing bulk items, but it’s a challenge well worth it when we are saving not just money, but also time, in not having to make trips to the store so often. And so much of the food in bulk is crazy inexpensive and yet so good for you, such as dry beans, brown rice, faro and other grains. You can buy pounds of the stuff for only a couple of dollars. Then there is the added benefit of less packaging waste, for I’ve noticed that many bulk items are minimally packaged, whereas single serve items come with lots of packaging. For example, I’d rather purchase one bulk sized glass jar of apple sauce (and the glass jar can be reused or recycled!), instead of several smaller plastic tubs of apple sauce with foil tops which can’t be reused, set inside of a paper holder, then inside a cardboard box, all destined for the landfill.  

No.2 Cooking For Leftovers. If I’m going to be slow cooking beans for a couple of hours, I might as well cook enough so that #1. I don’t have to do it all over again the next day, using up even more electricity and time; and #2. I have a quicker meal the following night. Taking it one step further, using a stock pot, I can cook enough for several meals, divide it up into portions and then freeze them. That way when I want an easy quick meal, I just thaw one out.

No. 3 Homemade Lunch. While it’s easy to just eat-out for lunch during the week, it’s definitely not easy on the pocketbook, nor ones health. By packing a homemade meal, it saves money, it saves time (don’t have to drive to a fast food place/saves gas!), and I can control the healthfulness of it. Many times, our dinner leftovers will be our lunches the following day, so it can be super quick and easy to pack it in the morning. I make mostly hot lunches for Aaron, and to do this, I use this 17 oz food jar thermos which I highly recommend. In the morning, I pour boiling water into the thermos and close it up, this is to warm it up, which helps it keep food hot longer. While I let it sit, I go about reheating Aaron’s lunch. When it’s ready, I pour out the boiling water, and replace it with the hot food. He takes the thermos in this insulated lunch sack, which further helps keep it hot. I heat his lunch up at around 6:00 in the morning, and by noon, it’s still piping hot.

No. 4 Homegrown Food. This is not something we are doing just yet, but rather hope to start doing this year. After the initial cost of setup, we will actually be saving money by growing our own food. Until we can get our own garden going, we try to buy from local organic farms. It supports our neighbors, the food is fresher, of better quality, and often times less expensive. And it really makes us think about where our food comes from.

No. 5 Eating Plants. This has greatly benefited us physically, mentally and emotionally. It has helped us financially, and even though we are just a little family, I know our small contribution has helped the environment, and has helped our fellow humans and animals. We strive to have more compassion, to be kinder to ourselves, to others whether they walk on two legs or four, and to our earth. After all the research and studies that have been done for over several decades, there is absolutely no question that eating a plant based diet not only benefits the environment, and the fellow creatures we share this planet with, but it also benefits us personally. We truly are what we eat. If you are at all curious as to where your food comes from, and how it affects your health and the lives of others, be it human or animal, and the environment, here are five documentaries that may be of interest to you:

What The Health

Forks Over Knives

Food Inc.

PlantPure Nation

Dominion *Warning! This film shows unedited footage inside food manufacturing plants that may be disturbing. Viewer discretion advised!*