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8 Ways to Save Money — and Calories — in the New Year

January 1 generally comes with a flurry of new year’s resolutions, most aimed toward eating healthier and saving money after an extravagant holiday season. Here are a few simple ways to stick to both resolutions, with small changes that can add up to big benefits — on the scale and the pocketbook.


  • Make your own pizza. 1 of 8
    Make your own pizza.
    DIY pizza saves a ton of cash compared to ordering in — and you control what goes into your pizza. No glugs of oil in the pan before the dough goes in, or loads of cheap, high-fat cheese on top. Add some whole wheat flour to your dough, and load on the veggies — along with intensely flavored, lean meats like crumbled sausage or diced ham. It's also a great way to use up bits of leftovers that on their own won't make a full meal.
    Babble has a recipe for easy pizza dough!
  • Switch your latte for an Americano. 2 of 8
    Switch your latte for an Americano.
    They're similar espresso-based drinks, but Americanos tend to cost less than a latte. Made with espresso and hot water, you can ask for extra room, then add your own milk at the coffee bar, saving money and calories. Or make it a misto — they'll add steamed milk, and it still typically costs less than a latte.
  • Put your veggies in the fruit bowl. 3 of 8
    Put your veggies in the fruit bowl.
    Most of us are accustomed to arranging fruit in a bowl on the kitchen table, making it easily accessible and more attractive. Try the same with your veggies — rather than banish them to the crisper or pantry, keep them out where you'll be reminded that they're there. You'll be more likely to use them — meaning more veggies in your diet, and less for the compost bin. Photo credit: Stock.xchng
  • Make your own vinaigrette. 4 of 8
    Make your own vinaigrette.
    Shaking together your own vinaigrette takes minutes — and saves you a few bucks per bottle. Use a jar or re-purpose another vinaigrette or olive oil bottle, and shake together two parts olive or canola oil to one part balsamic vinegar — or use equal parts for a more intense vinaigrette with fewer calories — and add a dab of mustard to emulsify the two. If you like, add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey, and/or a crushed clove of garlic. Your homemade vinaigrette will keep in the fridge for weeks.
  • Get a doggie bag. 5 of 8
    Get a doggie bag.
    Portions are notoriously huge when you eat out at restaurants — get into the habit of asking your server to pack up the rest of your meal once you reach the halfway point — you'll eat less, and have lunch for the next day. Photo credit: © NYC & Company
  • Eat more beans. 6 of 8
    Eat more beans.
    Legumes — think lentils, chickpeas, black beans, black eyed peas and kidney beans — make an economical source of protein. Swap your usual meat for beans once or twice a week and you'll save money and calories — beans are a great source of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, and they fill you up — so you don't need as much.
    Try these hearty baked beans with bacon and beer!
  • Make more soup. 7 of 8
    Make more soup.
    Soup is inexpensive, a great way to boost veggies in your diet, and a great use of leftovers — using up those vegetables wilting in your crisper, or bits of leftover meat and cheese that might otherwise get tossed, is a great way to save on your grocery bill. And because eating soup tends to be a slow process, studies have shown that people who eat soup before or with their meal tend to eat less overall, as their appetite is satiated with the soup. Bonus: leftovers freeze well, so you'll be less likely to go for takeout on a night when there's no time to cook.
    Babble has some great recipes for winter squash soups!
  • Bring your own lunch. 8 of 8
    Bring your own lunch.
    Buying lunch out at work on a regular basis can add up to big bucks — and calories. Getting in the habit of packing your own, whether in the morning or the night before, will save money, use up leftovers (less waste at home adds up to even more savings), and chances are you'll pack something healthier, in smaller portions, than you'd get at a restaurant or with take-out.

Collage photos courtesy of stock.xchng

You can find Julie’s recipes and ideas at her blog, Dinner with Julie. You can also join her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, or find more of her posts at the Family Kitchen.

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