- Invest in a box of canning jars. Not only are they good for storing excess local fruits and veggies, they are great for packing cold lunches.
I've always wanted to try cold oatmeal for breakfast and salad in a jar for lunch. My favorite salads is the Starbucks Zesty Chicken and Black Bean Salad Bowl. I learned to love quinoa because of it. But I keep kicking myself because the salad is almost $7.00, which I could be saving if I made me own. Just look at all the ideas I found just by searching! Canning jars are also great for portion control.
- Cut back on convenience food. I stopped buying frozen foods this year, even the frozen veggies I would use for lunch. But sometimes it's difficult to pack my lunch, and I end up having to buy something. Even though packaged foods may be cheaper, they pack on too much salt and other chemicals as preservatives. I'd rather not mess with that.
- Drink more water. I have heard that when you feel that hunger pang, you could be more thirsty. Drinking a cup of water before you eat will also help you feel full without eating too much.
- Eat breakfast. Another great idea. Eating a good breakfast should keep you full way past lunch. I eat a little bit of oatmeal before I work out in the mornings to keep my energy going, then I eat the rest after the workout. This is also why I want to try these rolled oat recipes to make my breakfast the night before. Mmmm.
- Make your own meals. Brown bag your lunch. Eat leftovers. These all go under the same category. I love eating leftovers. I think it makes some foods taste better, like stews and soups.
- Make your own items instead of buying them. This goes along with everything. I always think "I could have made this at home" when I'm buying fast food or those Starbucks salads.
- Use coupons. I have never been able to use coupons effectively, but these guys seem to have a good strategy.
- Pack food for a road trip. Much better than stopping at a fast food joint every few miles.
- Eat less meat. I didn't think this was something of importance. But I guess since meat products are more expensive than fruits and veggies, this is a smart choice.
- Turn off the television. I didn't understand this point until I read the rest. Commercials are constantly trying to make you spend money. I always get hungry when I see a fast food commercial. It worse when they replay it 2-3 times in under a minute.
The biggest points that got my attention are driving a different route to work/home, spending to de-stress, and spending for entertainment. When I am stressed, I feel like going to the nearest drive-thru and buying a cheeseburger. And I used to go to the store when I needed something, and I'd walk out with ten things I think I needed. Making a list is another good reminder.
Changing even the little things make a big difference. I am paying down some debt, and I need to keep that in mind before I spend anything. That's the main goal with these lists, to be debt free and save for the future.
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