Category Archives: $$$avers

$$$avers

Save Big Bucks at the Meat Counter

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You can save big bucks by purchasing the less tender cuts of beef (brisket, flank, sirloin). Many don’t purchase these because they don’t know how to cook them to falling-off-the-bone succulence but when you braise or stew them they’re really wonderful.

Lesser known cuts of beef such as top blade steak are also less expensive, just remember to cut out the thick connective tissue in the center before serving. Look for round tip and chuck eye roast – sear then cook long and slow either by braising, stewing or in a crock pot.

Fillet butt is similar to beef tenderloin and can be broiled or grilled just like you would the tenderloin.

A semi-boneless beef chuck roast can stand in for rib eye or tenderloin roast – roast at 325 degrees for 15 minutes per pound, let rest for 10 minutes then thinly slice against the grain.

Instead of bottom round pick up a beef round rump roast or tri-tip roast. They’re more tender than the bottom round and excellent when seared, add non-Starch vegetables such as onion, celery, even apple or pear and broth to cover half the meat. Cover and braise in 325 degree oven for ninety minutes.

Ground chuck is less expensive than ground beef and more flavorful. Because of it’s higher fat content though you might want to drain and pat it with paper towels after browning.

You can save money on veal when you use shoulder in place of leg cutlets. Marinate up to 24 hours in a marinade containing a tenderizing enzyme such as fresh citrus juice. Veal breast is wonderful when braised. Leave the fat while cooking then trim before serving.

You’ll get a 5 pound roast and a dozen chops from a whole boneless pork loin. Pork shoulder butt is less tender but can be tenderized by marinating in a marinade with a tenderizing enzyme such as fresh citrus or vinegar, then cook with the marinade for 2 hours at 300 degrees.

You can get the flavor of lamb without splurging on lamb rib chops or rack of lamb. Less expensive cuts like lamb shank make wonderful stews and roasts. Cook them long and slow and you’ll love them. Lamb shoulder and blade shoulder are great when grilled or broiled, or slice thin and pan fry. Boneless center roast from the blade part of the shoulder is delicious oven-roasted. Season to taste, add 1 inch of water to pan, insert meat thermometer and roast in a 350 degree oven until thermometer reads 140-145 degrees. And don’t throw away any bones, they make great soup.

When making a stew instead of buying cubed beef, buy top round trim the fat and cube it yourself.

So dust off  the crockpot, rescue your roasting pan from banishment under the cookie sheets and rack up a huge savings on your grocery bill.

$$$avers

10 Ways to Save Money When Buying Healthy Food

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1. Buy in Bulk

Why pay for fancy packaging? I bring everything home and pour them into my own containers. I painted a stripe of chalkboard paint onto each container so I can easily label each container.

2. Make Double & Triple Batches

Freeze leftovers, label with the date and use within a month. Or trade with a friend or two.

3. Plant a Garden

Work with a friend or group to plant different items and meet to trade or deliver to each other.

4. Raise Livestock

Okay I know this isn’t an option for everyone but for those of you who live in an area where this is a viable idea you may want to get started small. A few chickens, a couple of goats and you’re on your way. If that still sounds intimidating enlist the help of a friend or join a local group and meet to trade goods and tips. One person may raise chickens, another may have goats, etc.

5. Join a Co-op

Co-ops are an excellent way to get food that is already lower cost at an even steeper discount. For a few hours a week of work you get all your groceries at a great discount.

6. Take Advantage of Sales

It’s more difficult to find coupons for healthier foods but sales are very common. Many grocery stores even have a healthy food section where you can find items on sale. When you find something that you know you like buy lots. When you see something that you’ve been wanting to try, buy one. If you like it, then next time it’s on sale you can buy tons.

7. Make Your Own Basics

There are so many items you can make for pennies and that don’t take a lot of time, especially if you make large batches or work with several friends to trade items. Think bread, granola, desserts, pizza, pancakes and waffles, pasta sauce, salad dressing, roasted chicken or turkey …

8. Don’t Waste Food

Many recipes cavalierly tell you to toss out the portion you’re  not using for the recipe, but I like to:

  • zest citrus fruits before juicing them
  • save vegetable trimmings to make vegetable broth
  • save herb trimmings to make pesto or add to broth
  • use egg yolks to make mayonaise or custard
  • use egg whites to make mousse or an egg white omelette
  • use bread crusts to make bread pudding or croutons

I’ll also use fruit that is nearing it’s prime to make broth smoothies or cut it into chunks and freeze it for making smoothies at a later time.

When the kids ask me to cut the crusts off their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I save them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When the bag is full they make a fantastic bread pudding.

Add some raisins to leftover rice to make a rice pudding for tomorrow night’s desert.

Crumbs left in the bottom of the bag can be used to top a casserole or for some crunch in your salad.

Broken bits of corn or whole wheat tortillas can be baked for chips.

9. Use Less Expensive Ingredients

Canned fish is much less expensive than fresh or frozen fish.

A whole chicken or turkey is less expensive than packaged pieces.

In season produce is less expensive than produce that has to be trucked in from another area.

Store brands are less expensive than gourmet brands.

10. Eat Less Meat

Meat is easily the most expensive item in any meal. You don’t have to go totally vegetarian, you don’t even have to have a vegetarian meal to eat less meat. You can check out my Meat-less Meals (I’ll update this post with a link when I publish those recipes) for recipes and ideas on meals with less meat, but the basic idea is to:

  • Serve a vegetarian meal two to three days a week
  • Serve less meat the other days of the week

 

I hope this list of ways to save money without compromising your desire to eat healthy will serve to keep healthy foods on your table and more cash in your pocket. Eat well and be healthy!

$$$avers Working Out

Fit Parenthood

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It is possible to keep fit despite the demands of parenthood. Having a child does not have to tether you to crib and playpen; as long as you’re willing to be flexible and use your imagination. You might have to change the way you do things but you won’t have to cut a fit lifestyle completely out of your life.

Workout Strategies

Trade babysitting time with a friend and use your time to workout at the gym.

Use a jogging stroller to slip in a morning jog.

Attach a baby trailer to your bicycle.

Workout to an exercise video while your baby plays on the floor or in a playpen. You won’t fail to amuse him/her.

 

Working Out With a Toddler

With a toddler around, the world is your gym. Consider the following venues and then apply the same strategies to other places you frequent and activities you perform with your toddler.

Playground: While your toddler is tackling the slide you can be doing chin ups on the jungle gym. While the little one is playing in the sandbox you can power-walk or jog the perimeter of the area. Take a set of handheld weights and do strength training while watching (you know the refrain – “watch me”, watch me!” “WATCH ME!!!”).

Home: They’ll get on the floor right along with you and make entertaining attempts to imitate your workout routine. Likewise they’ll dance along as you follow your favorite aerobic video. Just like at the playground, jog around the back yard while keeping an eye on him/her, or do the toning or strength training you were too embarrassed to do at the playground. When they want me to “watch” I find that the perfect time to do aerobics while watching them skate, dance, practice baseball, etc.

Beach: Play chase (running in sand is killer for your leg muscles), toss a ball, dodge your child’s attempts to get you wet with a squirt gun, race down to the water and back to the towel (several times) …

$$$avers Healthy Products

Top Reasons To Buy Your Gluten Free Groceries Online

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In terms of specialty foods, web-based suppliers will almost always have a far more extensive selection than traditional grocery stores. This is one of the foremost reasons why many people are now opting to buy their gluten free groceries online. They know that they will have a number of different options for each particular product, rather than just a single, scant aisle in the middle of a physical supermarket.You can also find a number of savings opportunities over the net that are often not available at your local market. Many specialty food items tend to be quite a bit more costly than their conventional counterparts. For each product, you might well pay several dollars more per every unit that you buy. This can quickly add up, making your efforts to accommodate a household allergy a very costly one, unless you make sure to use the right shopping services.You can be assured that a specialty store has taken extra care to ensure the quality and authenticity of the merchandise. This is one very important consideration that shoppers must make when purchasing their food items. If you want pure, unadulterated products you will need to shop through a trustworthy supplier who is dedicated to the provision of goods for your specific purpose. While some foods do not contain nuts or tree nuts, such as packaged oatmeal, these things may be processed in factories in which these items are present. Thus, even a simple bowl of oatmeal can cause a nasty allergic reaction in someone whose physical system is averse to these things. The same is true of products that are manufactured for those with gluten allergies. When using a specialty web-based supplier, you know that you will be getting exactly what you require.Your goods can be delivered right to your doorstep on a regular basis. This is another benefit of the internet shopping process. People do not have to fight through long lines or navigate a lot of aisles in order to find what they need. Their goods can be selected electronically instead and then conveniently brought to their very own homes.Many website offer a lot of valuable cooking and recipe information. If you are just now learning how to cook for yourself or someone else who suffers from Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease or any other food-related condition, learning how to prepare delicious and interesting meals can be quite a challenge. Many of these sites offer recipe ideas and cooking instructions that can help to make these special diets far more enjoyable.You can even link up with like-minded individuals when shopping for your gluten free groceries online. The friendship and moral support that is derived from online shopping communities is another advantage that is hard to overlook. You can start grocery shopping online with the link provided. Purchasing gluten free groceries online is a great way to connect with others in your community with similar dietary restrictions and health goals.

$$$avers Recipes Starches

Healthy Dip – Prepare Your Own Hummus Recipe

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Mediterranean cuisine has introduced us to our a different kind of healthy dip or spread. Hummus is a popular alternative to sour cream dips or cream cheese spreads. Some people buy hummus from a specialty shop already prepared. However, because the cost of preparing a hummus recipe on your own is very inexpensive and so easy to make, you could whip up your own hummus dip in just a few minutes and save yourself a bit of cash also. And the varieties  – you can make lemon or garlic flavored or even a super spicy dip for the adventurous palate. You can add spinach or roasted peppers or even roasted eggplant.

Ingredients

There are two basic ingredients – chickpeas and tahini. In some other recipes, garbanzo beans are listed as the main ingredient. Chickpeas and garbanzos are the same thing, garbanzo being the Spanish term for chickpea. Tahini is the other main ingredient used in every hummus recipe. These are sesame seeds that are ground until the seeds achieve the consistency of a paste. You can make this yourself in a food processor or pick up a jar of tahini.

Hummus recipe preparation

Preparing the hummus dip does not require any culinary expertise and preparation can take as little as 5 minutes. You just  place the ingredients in a food processor, run the small appliance until the chickpeas are crushed and processed to achieve the desired consistency. If you need to add liquid to get the hummus to the desired consistency you can add extra-virgin olive oil, broth, water or even tomato juice. Taste and add salt to taste (if needed). Truly – it takes less than 5 minutes.

Nutrients

As this dip is made from beans (chickpeas or garbanzos beans) and seeds, hummus is rich in protein. The two ingredients both come from the plant kingdom like the main ingredient of any quinoa recipe. Thus both hummus and quinoa recipes are loaded with protein. Other nutrients in a hummus dip are iron, folic acid and monosaturated fats. With sesame seeds in the tahini paste, the hummus dip is a good source of amino acid. Again, like quinoa, hummus is a good source of protein and dietary fiber.

Due to the simple way to prepare the dip and the availability and affordability of the ingredients, you can serve hummus dip very frequently. If you want to have hummus dip with a twist, add other ingredients for a different taste. Hummus is also good for vegetarians and goes well with chips, breads and fruits.

NOTE FROM UNDIET: We like hummus also because it is a good way to have a healthy spread or dip when having a Starch meal. We generally will add vegetables to the hummus to cut down on calories and to add a nice flavor.

$$$avers

Fitness Tools & Resources

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In an Internet culture where link posting is pitifully indiscriminate The UnDiet wants you to know that the links on this page are carefully researched and only posted if deemed to be helpful or otherwise of interest to you, the discerning UnDieter. We routinely decline to trade links with sites seeking to post their links when we find that their site does not meet our specific requirements.

Fitness Aids

When you’re on the road and didn’t pack your computer you can still get a great workout by downloading workout videos to your smartphone. Head on over to Fitness Magazines downloadable videos and get your workout on! And while you’re there check out their Sweepstakes for a chance to win fabulous fitness related prizes.

Use Map My Fitness to track your workouts and share them on Facebook. How’s that for motivation?

Search Healthy Living Blogs for a blogger who lives in your area to glean tips for working out in your city.

Go to Meetup.com to connect with others in your area who are working out. You’ll find cooking clubs, dieters, walkers, runners, tennis players, volleyball teams … You name it and chances are you’ll find a group in your area on Meetup.

Aida – software program to help diabetics make the proper diet adjustments.

Food Composition software program will tell you what’s in 5,975 foods, based on the USDA Nutrient Database.

Always4Free – hey, why pay when you can get it for free? This is the link to the Health & Beauty page.

23 Fitness Downloads These software downloads can help you manage your diet and fitness schedule, as well as monitor health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes.

Video Fitness is a thriving online community whose members are dedicated to helping each other make the most of a home exercise program. Members accomplish this by writing reviews of the exercise videos that they use regularly, and by sharing advice and opinions in the Reader Forum.

They don’t sell videos, so their community members can be completely honest about whether a fitness video lives up to its claims. There’s also a FREE download for a workout log program.

Cooking Light magazine’s web site is running a year long program called Good Moves 2000 which is well worth following along with. Each month you’ll get motivated with new information and new moves.

Download these shareware demos . They’ll be useful to your weight loss progress, and give you a toy to inject some fun into your UnDiet. I’ve found that weight-tracking software kept in conjunction with a food and exercise diary has helped immensely in determining just what I can and cannot get away with. For instance, it was this tool that helped me to figure out that too much sugar (even unrefined sugar and aspartame) will stall my weight loss.

Vita-Master ™  Easy access to alternative, wellness, and nutritional information from hundreds of sources. This software database has won several awards for its full powered design that enables you to collect and track your own information as well! There’s a free demo download so you can “try before you buy”.

Weight Whiz prompts you for a daily weight entry. This data can then be graphed over a specified period of time to show long-term or short-term trends.

Don’t have the time or money to get together with a personal trainer? These software programs will help to construct, motivate, instruct, and track your exercise program.

Crosstrainer is an exercise assistant that you can use to create and schedule workouts for cross-training, bodybuilding, and toning. You can also use it to track your nutritional intake and schedule aerobic exercises. Among other features, the program’s cross-training option will allow you to design and schedule a weight-training program that complements your main sporting regiment. The program also comes with a nutritional intake log and a food database of more than 5,000 foods and related information. Other features include printable workout sheets, daily logs and reports, schedules, and more.

Version 4.5.2 adds the ability to upload and download recipes and workouts to the Crosstrainer Online Community.

Feedback Weight-training Designer acts like a personal trainer to help you design your own training program for building muscle and reducing body fat.

Sante is an interactive program that tracks diet, exercise, and health. Enter your personal details, and Sante will come up with a specific, detailed recommendation for how you can attain your specific goals, whether they be to lose pounds or bulk up.

Health-RunR offers diet, exercise, and related behavioral support tools for weight loss, maintenance, and gain. It also maximizes competitive fitness and health. It will generate and record diet, fitness, and sports-training programs ideal for the individual user. It provides complete diet, nutrition, and exercise support for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, AIDS, aging, pregnancy, occupational injuries, food allergies, and more. Health-RunR tracks calorie burn off rates and records and analyzes intake of food, alcohol, water, coffee, and tea. It also tracks prescriptions, medications, herbs, and vitamins.

Fitness Information

Great American Products check out their library of articles on health and fitness. You’ll find out how to work your lower body, upper body, abs …

The Fitness Guide Message Board a great place to get advice, get your questions answered, and get in touch with an exercise buddy.

Global Health and Fitness is your on-line guide to healthy living and optimal fitness. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, they’ll help you avoid common mistakes, teach you techniques for making your routine more effective, and guide you step-by-step to achieving optimum results. Check out their gallery of free fitness tools:

  • Archive of fitness articles
  • Fitness Analysis
  • Monthly Newsletter
  • Protein Calculator
  • Calorie Calculator
  • Fat Calculator
  • Carbohydrate Calculator
  • Heart Rate Calculator and more

Video Fitness is a thriving online community whose members are dedicated to helping each other make the most of a home exercise program. Members accomplish this by writing reviews of the exercise videos that they use regularly, and by sharing advice and opinions in the Reader Forum.

They don’t sell videos, so their community members can be completely honest about whether a fitness video lives up to its claims. There’s also a FREE download for a workout log program.

Cooking Light magazine’s web site is running a year long program called Good Moves 2000 which is well worth following along with. Each month you’ll get motivated with new information and new moves.

IVillage: good article on the whys of weight training, plus you can post your question(s).

Fitness Equipment

Just Her Sports is an online sporting goods store for women of all ages. Girl’s and women’s sports equipment, accessories, apparel, books, videos and gifts at affordable prices. Select your sport and you’ll also find a wealth of information including the latest news and features on women’s sports, women’s health and a selection of products to help you achieve your goals. Stick-to-It Fitness Links on-line mags, find fitness equipment, exercise & fitness info.

$$$avers Fruit High Protein Kid Friendly Menus Tips

Amy’s Organics Saves the Day!

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semi-homemade meals

 

I always have a few of Amy’s Organics prepared meals in my pantry and freezer. I’ve tried many of the frozen and boxed brands and haven’t found them to be that tasty, but Amy’s Organics have been a hit every time I’ve served them. And it’s fabulous to know that all of the ingredients are organic, and most meals use whole grains. Many of the frozen items come in individual and family size. On a busy day all I have to do is pull one out, heat and eat. They’re great as is, but a few semi-homemade meal hacks such as adding frozen veggies or leftovers from the fridge I can up the veggie intake and stretch one meal into two.

And when they’re on sale I stock up on as many as my freezer and cupboard can hold.

Beans, refried

Amy’s refried beans are perfect for making a healthy burrito, nachos or a layered dip. I like to stir refried beans into broth with some of Amy’s salsa for a quick bean soup.

burritos and tamales

These burritos are all around 250 calories and delicious. I love to serve them with loads of salsa and call it a meal. For the little ones, I put them in a bowl and cut them up. They look like a mess but that doesn’t matter since they disappear real fast.

cereal

Amy’s has lots of great cereal choices. Perfect in the morning with nondairy milk and sliced fruit.

enchiladas

Another great quick and easy dinner. If you need a little somethin’ somethin’ to feed a hungry teen you can heat up a can of Amy’s refried beans to serve with the enchilidas.

kids meals

Your little darlings will love these healthy lunches and dinners. Serve them with sliced fruit or veggies on the side for a little extra nutrition.

Pasta & Ravioli

Much better for you than a can of orange spaghettios.

lasagna
There are several varieties to choose from.

macaroni & cheese
These meals have so much sauce that you can stir in up to a cup of cooked veggies.

pizza

So MANY varieties. May favorite is the Roasted Vegetable. Eat as is, or pile a salad on top and eat it like a sandwich.

Pizza Snacks

Kids, adults, everybody loves these. I heat up a cup of pasta sauce and serve it as a dip.

Sodium light

These are not my favorites but it’s nice to see that they offer this option

Soup

Love, love, love their soups. My fave? Any of the chilis. I eat the chili straight out of the can as soup, on hot dogs and hamburgers, and over eggs. If I want a light meal I’ll add some broth to the chili.

 

What are your fave Amy’s Organics hacks? Share in the comments.

$$$avers Beverages High Protein Vegetarian

Protein Powder – Find the Right One

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I like to have a vanilla and a chocolate protein powder in my cupboard at all times. Besides all the benefits cited by health professionals they are simply a quick and easy way to make a meal when I’m hungry, when I’m losing weight, when I’m on the run, when I feel like a sweet snack …

UnDiet Tip:

Save $$$’s by using any of the following in your protein drink:

  • fruit that won’t make it to the next day in your protein drink
  • the last bit from a sugar-free jam jar
  • any fruit or sweet potato puree that your baby refuses to eat

There’s a protein powder out there for everyone

Organic Protein Powders

Isagenix has one of the best tasting organic and refined sugar free protein powders out there.

Muscle Building Protein Powders

Joey Vallancourt gives readers 5 ways to choose the right protein powder to match your weight lifting goals.

Vegan Protein Powders

One Green Planet has 7 Must-Try Vegan Protein Powders which they have tried and tested. They also have some great suggestions for how to use protein powders in things other than smoothies.

 

Gluten Free Protein Powders

Thank you to FitSugar for sharing these five gluten free protein powders with us.

Sugar Free Protein Powders

Whether I’m looking for a muscle building protein powder or a vegan or organic powder, as far as I’m concerned it should definitely be free of refined sugars. The Celiac Diva has the lowdown on sugar free protein powders.