Sandra Lee Shares Money-Saving Tips!
A message from Carrie Jean:
Juggling Learning Coach responsibilities with trying to get your kids to eat healthy meals without spending a fortune can be challenging. So I’m sure all you parents will appreciate some tips and tricks from the “cooking elite” regarding how to get meals on the table for less moolah!
I am so excited to announce that Sandra Lee from the Food Network, who developed the Semi-Homemade concept to make our lives easier in the kitchen, is sharing her top money-saving tips with us! Sandra also will be contributing some delicious easy recipes and other great info soon so be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss any of it! Please feel free to also share your own money-saving tips in a comment!
Sandra, take it away…
You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen—or a fortune in the supermarket—to put a nutritious meal on the table. You just have to make good choices and read food labels.
- One tip is to swap when you shop and replace full-fat milks, cheeses, mayonnaise, dressings, bread and crackers with lighter versions. Eat light and lighten your wallet! For example, Dairy:
Milk 1 cup 24 cents vs. 1 cup light cream 96 cents vs. 1 cup heavy cream $1.52
- Keep track of sale times. Top name brand items go on sale the first of the month, when many people have more money in their pockets. At the end of the month, when people have less money, the store brand or tier two name brands go on sale.
- Family meals don’t have to break the bank. Pasta is often on sale. Keep things interesting by buying different shapes and sizes and pair them with veggies or homemade sauces. Homemade tomato sauce costs $1.46 vs. store brought for $2.19 or more—that’s a savings of 33%.
- Buy things in season when you can. When out of season the prices more than double because of all the shipping and handling that is involved. For example, asparagus in season is roughly $1.69 a bunch, and out of season you can expect to pay up to $5.99 a bunch.
- If it’s out of season, shop for it in the frozen section. The frozen section of the grocery store is a place where you can get an item that is out of season at a reasonable price. In season four ears of corn will run you $1.00, and out of season one ear will cost you $1.00. In the frozen section you can get a bag of corn that is frozen at the peak of freshness for $1.99 which is roughly equal to four ears.
- Save money by doing the prep work yourself. One medium onion that you chop yourself will cost you 28 cents and the same amount of frozen pre-chopped onion will cost you double that, 56 cents. If you went to my former favorite place the salad bar, it would cost you $4.99 lb. I now chop my own garlic. I do a bulb at a time—chop it, then put a teaspoon of oil in the container to prevent it from drying out. By doing it myself, I pay 75 cents for the bulb. About the same amount pre-chopped would be $1.99.
- The base for desserts can be cheaper pre-made vs homemade. I use pre-made graham cracker pie crust for $1.49 vs. making it, which costs $2.19—a savings of 70 cents, or 32%.
- Use old-fashioned favorites to make a meal extra–special. Jello brand gelatin costs about 33 cents a container. It makes an inexpensive dessert and is an important ingredient in a homemade sorbet.
- Does size matter? Do you really need a jumbo egg? A dozen medium eggs costs $1.59 vs. $2.19 for a carton of jumbo eggs.
- Bottle it up. A teaspoon of lemon juice from the bottle costs 15 cents vs. fresh lemons at 25 cents—that’s a 40% savings.
Check back again soon for more money-saving food tips!