Bulk Buy

cake comic 7 copyEverything is getting more expensive every day. With rising inflation and modern economic transitions everything from gas to groceries, our hard-earned is being forced to stretch ever further. Now, we may be able to ride a bicycle around town if we can’t put petrol in our cars, which is nice if you have the time and are needing the exercise, but, we still have to eat, and food is getting steadily more expensive.

So here are six money-saving tips to try the next time you go grocery shopping.

1. Clip coupons. They put those in the newspaper for a reason, mostly to get you to switch your buying choices to the one that is offered in the coupons. If there are new items you want to try, use a coupon to get it at a discount. Get in the habit of saving coupons.

2. Take a grocery list with you. This is another protection against picking up things that are too costly. Check your cabinets and the fridge to see what you need and write them down. Remember, the goal is to stick to the list as much as possible.

3. Buy more staples than prepared foods. It is easier to buy a box of macaroni and cheese, but is it more economical? A large box of macaroni and a block of cheese will make more servings for your family than one box of prepared macaroni and cheese. "Raw" foods - i.e. ones you have to prepare yourself are much cheaper. The next time you go shopping and pick up a box or bag of an already prepared item, ask yourself if you can make that at home for less. If you can, then put that item back in favour of less expensive staples.

4. Buy in bulk. Consider the food items that you use most often. Cereals, meats, vegetables, condiments, juices, and paper products can be bought in bulk usually at a lower price at food warehouses like Costco, BJ’s, and Wal-Mart. If you have a coupon, you’ll save even more money.

5. Don’t shop when you are hungry. This is a definite no-no. Shopping on an empty stomach means that you will pick up more things than you need. You are more likely to pick up that bag of chocolate chip cookies or that box of donuts when the growling gets underway. This is terrible news for dieters too. When you are on a diet and losing weight, always go grocery shopping after you have eaten, not before.

6. Shop at the same stores. This is more of a frustration reliever. In a new store, you spend most of your time looking for things and walking up and down every aisle, which oftentimes leads to forgetting an item or two. Going to the same store each time makes you more familiar with the prices so you can estimate your bill as you write your grocery list.

Rising prices don’t have to mean a lean dinner table. There are ways to make your food dollar go further and if you take the time to implement the ideas listed above as well as others of your own, you’ll see savings each and every time you shop.

In this day and age it can be hard to eat healthily. With your busy schedule, especially if you have children, many people find it easier to grab whatever is available and the quickest and deal with the health consequences later. With the following tips for soups on the go you’ll learn how to make sure that the food you grab is of the healthy variety.

The problem with dealing with the consequences of unhealthy eating habits is that later is actually closer than you might think. Sadly, we are becoming a nation of obese adults and just as many, if not more, obese children. This is a national tragedy that shows no sign of changing any time soon. Don't wait, change your diet now. Our unhealthy eating choices have finally caught up with us, and the consequences are horrendous.

So, first off, think about choosing your favourite soup. A popular choice of many is the infamous chicken noodle soup. It is filling and there is nothing better when you are under the weather than the warm chicken broth soothing your throat. Campbell’s has a wonderful soup in a microwave container perfect for eating on the go, but we are going to make our own soup for an even healthier choice.

The one thing that is best about homemade food is that you know what is and is not in it. Since we are concerned with health, preparing your own soup creations at home is the best way to go. No matter which type of soup you choose to make, be sure to use fresh ingredients. The other items you’ll need are plenty of cups with lids and a blender.

Now it’s time to actually create your time-saving soup. A good soup always starts with the stock. For chicken soup, make the broth by boiling the remains of the chicken you had for dinner. Add the herbs and seasonings of your choice and boil until the chicken bones come out clean. Any remaining meat will be included in the broth. Once the broth cools completely, ladle it into air-tight jars or containers for storing.

If you’re more of a beef and vegetable soup lover, you can use commercial canned broths or bouillon cubes for the base of your soup. Season the stock really well and boil before adding any other ingredients. Once the stock is ready, all that is left to do is toss in your favourite veggies. Again, wait until the soup is completely cooled before pouring into storage or serving containers.

Now, what about that blender? It’s a bit difficult to eat soup the traditional way while driving and if you are serving to your kids, the combination of a car and soup in a bowl is a disaster waiting to happen. Here’s where the blender comes into the picture.

Pour some of the soup into the blender and blend until the pieces are small enough for you to swallow without choking. You can even puree the soup completely if you’d prefer. For a thicker texture, add a bit of cream soup. Now, your soup is ready for distributing in your to-go cups.

Now, you get to join the slightly eccentric bunch of people who get their kids to drink lots of soup in cars and on day trips out. Make them wear matching jumpers too, if you feel the need. So, the ideal cup would be a coffee mug with a lid. These types of cups have a wide opening perfect for drinking soups from. Be sure to prepare enough soup for the entire week. You can take the soup with you while you’re out shopping, working in the garden or to work. A cup of soup is packed with healthy nutrients and it won’t mess up the car or cramp your busy lifestyle. The next time you don’t have time to eat, reach for a cup of healthy homemade soup instead of pulling into that fast food drive through.

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