“But I’m hungry now!” Dealing with Convenience Foods

“But I’m hungry now!” Dealing with Convenience Foods

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I can’t count the number of times that I have been hungry to the point I’m ravishing for anything to eat. This is one of the frustrating things about only buying ingredient-items. Sometimes I am just too hungry to wait even 20 minutes while I prepare a meal.

So, I make sure to buy and prepare a few convenience items ahead of time. This saves me from costly eating out and overpriced packaged foods.

Frugal Convenience Foods

My convenience items are: large container of yogurt (cheaper than the individual cups), pretzels, celery, carrots, green peppers, cucumbers, grapes, nuts, bananas, popcorn, cinnamon toast and apples.

Okay, I know that nuts are a bit pricey but they do last me a while. Also, I feel that I am getting more of a value out of them since they have more nutritional benefits than the processed sugar in cookies.

Who has time to cut veggies?

I used to dread cutting up veggies. Now? No problem. What changed? I received a nice chef’s knife as a gift. Having a good knife, made all the chopping so effortless! If you’re having issues with cutting up vegetables, I recommend checking out your blade.

Spend a little time now, Save a lot later

After grocery shopping, I take out all the produce, a cutting board, a peeler and my chef’s knife. Then I peel and cut up everything all at once! I store the veggie pieces in containers and put them in the fridge. This makes them a perfect snack to bring to work, snack on while preparing a meal, offer to guests or slice up later to cook with.

Frugal? Really?

Let me break down the prices for the produce. My bag of green peppers was $2.18 The celery was $1.32 and the carrots were $0.99. A whole bunch of bananas cost me $0.72. All that was only $5.21.

Okay, what about other snacks?

Luckily, I bake enough to usually have something sugary on-hand when I want such a snack. Otherwise I whip myself up some cinnamon toast. Even with wheat bread this snack can’t cost any more than $0.40 total.

I like it. You don’t have to

This is one of my favorite things about only buying groceries for me. No one else can complain! I know what works for me. I am perfectly happing snacking on yogurt and popcorn because it is affordable. I have never felt uncomfortable offering these snacks to unplanned guests. Everyone is happy with popcorn, nuts or vegetables.

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4 Replies to ““But I’m hungry now!” Dealing with Convenience Foods”

    1. @RainyDaySaver – Thank you! I try to find a balance between eating healthy and eating cheap, and am always surprised when someone thinks it is too expensive to eat healthier. Not to mention, the long-term cost of being unhealthy. So definitely no boxed mac n’ cheese for me!

      @MoneyFunk – Thanks! I have never heard of Fresh & Easy but I will keep that in mind about Trader Joe’s (the closest one is 40 minutes away but I’ll see what I can do). Planning is definitely the key to frugality, but I wanted to make sure to list some foods that involve nothing other than just being purchased. I know some people simply don’t have 10 minutes to sacrifice for preparing veggies.

  1. I love the frugality – that’s just the jist of frugality – planning. I think that is great you prepare all your veggies after grocery shopping. It’s amazing how much money you save and how much healthier you are for it.

    Great post!

    Trader Joe’s and Fresh & Easy have great prices on nuts.

  2. Another great backup is granola. If you make it yourself it can be done inexpensively. Having a bag handy at work or home always saves the day (and the dollar better spent elsewhere).

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