All Entries For saving money

2 Great Deals for May from the SparkPeople Store

This May, the SparkPeople Store is offering free shipping on all orders of $50 or more! Be sure to take advantage of this limited time offer by stocking up on spring essentials like water bottles, fitness towels, SparkPeople T-shirts and tank tops and more. Of course, one of my DVDs would be a great addition to your home gym, too!

In addition to this free shipping offer for May, we've also grouped some of our most popular fitness items into a great money-saving "Fitness Bundle" package for only $50. So what's in the bundle?
Posted 5/5/2010  6:18:44 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 21 comments   11,971 views
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Poll: Do You Grow Any of Your Own Food?

Like most of you, I love spring—and not just because it allows me to enjoy the outdoors. I am also excited because it marks the start of gardening season! With all the environmental and economic troubles we're facing, gardening is on the rise. Growing your own food on your own land is local food at its best. And it's inexpensive to boot! While healthy food does cost more at the store, growing your own fruits and vegetables can save you tons of money over the course of one season. All you need are some seeds, some dirt and a little water and you can grow your own food!

I am just beginning to plan my new garden and I can't wait to get my hands in the dirt. I've been daydreaming about my garden plans and all the fresh, delicious bounty my little plot will yield in the coming months.

This has led me to wonder: Do you grow any of your own food?
Posted 4/16/2010  7:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 366 comments   22,930 views
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Make Your Own Yogurt--It's Easy

When I was younger, my favorite author was Laura Ingalls Wilder, and of her books, Farmer Boy, was the one I reread most often.

Recounting the childhood of her husband, Almanzo Wilder, on an upstate New York farm, Farmer Boy is full of details about cooking from scratch and feeding a family. Together with the Little House cookbook, this book fueled my daydreams of cooking from scratch and being a pioneer girl. Fast forward 20 years, and some of those daydreams are a reality. I cook almost everything we eat from scratch, from spaghetti sauce and soup to granola and yogurt.

Yes, yogurt. While Almanzo and Laura milked cows, I buy mine from the supermarket--a local brand that makes milk the old-fashioned way.

A few months back, I started thinking about ways to cut out even more processed foods and saving money on our food bills. We're keen on granola, berries and Greek yogurt as a snack or breakfast. I already make my own granola, and I picked berries last summer and froze them. The only place to scrimp was the yogurt. We eat Greek yogurt, but it's really pricey--sometimes up to $5 or $6 a quart for the organic brand I like. I knew I had to find a cheaper alternative. When my boyfriend's mom gave us her slow cooker, I found my answer.
Posted 2/19/2010  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 235 comments   46,324 views
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Make Your Meals Do the Work: Cook Once, Eat for Days

Just how many meals can you get from one recipe? No, this is not a Food Network challenge but a real life, “how am I going to make it through the week and provide my family with some healthy, fast, and flavorful meals?” scenario. I am a working mother to three and wife who fits daily exercise into her life. I strive to, at some point over the weekend, make a one dish meal and turn it into two or three meals for the early part of the week or for “fall back freezer meals.”

Today let's take a look at one recipe, my Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, then see how this versatile, healthy and filling dish can be stretched for a few meals. The soup itself makes 12 servings, plus an extra quart of broth, so there are plenty of possibilities!
Posted 1/26/2010  10:24:12 AM By: Meg Galvin : 90 comments   58,336 views
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Could Your Weight-Loss Expenses Be Tax Deductible?

Obesity and its medical complications are an expensive problem in the United States. Because the costs continue to rise, the government is offering tax incentives to entice people to lose weight. At this time of year when you're thinking about improving your health and also filing tax returns, why not do something that can benefit both?
Posted 1/22/2010  10:10:04 AM By: Jen Mueller : 69 comments   24,459 views
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We Tried It: Soda Stream Review

Club soda, seltzer, Perrier, San Pellegrino… I love it all. While most of my eight cups a day are plain old flat tap water, I do indulge in bubbly water whenever I can. It's just such a treat for my tongue.

I was thinking about buying an old-fashioned seltzer canister, but then I saw the Soda Stream on another blog. Bubbly water and better-for-you seltzers and sodas at home? I would be able to make bubbly water without feeling guilty for importing it from halfway around the world in a plastic bottle. I couldn't wait to check it out!
Posted 12/8/2009  5:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 137 comments   23,098 views
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Poll: In Tough Economic Times, Do You Keep Your Gym Membership?

When economic times are tough, consumers have to find ways to tighten their wallets and trim spending. Although gym memberships and fancy home equipment are nice to have, often they become something we can no longer afford. According to new research, Americans have been trimming their workout budgets and opting for cheaper ways to get active.
Posted 12/1/2009  6:07:59 AM By: Jen Mueller : 271 comments   15,624 views
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45 Ways to Save Money on Your Holiday Feasts

When it comes to Thanksgiving, it's not just the calories and fat content that many of us have to worry about--it's the price. The average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $42.91, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. (That's good news! It marks a 4 percent decrease since last year.)

This time of year, the added cost of a huge meal for the entire family can be intimidating. While we want to entertain our loved ones and give them a tasty, nutritious and bountiful spread, we also need to be able to keep food on the table for the rest of the month.

We know that for many of us, Thanksgiving is the beginning of a long--and often expensive--holiday season. We embrace frugal living and know you do, too. So we've asked readers, SparkPeople experts and few dietitians to share tips on how they save money on their Turkey Day dinner. We've got dozens of ideas to help you save money from Thanksgiving through the New Year.

Posted 11/16/2009  11:23:08 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 79 comments   42,034 views
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A New System to Help You Identify Affordable Nutrition

Health conscious people desire to get the most nutrition for the least amount of money but for many of us, knowing how to do that can be difficult. I have previously written several articles related to recession eating that outline some strategies you can use. Now, there may be a new tool to help.

Posted 10/29/2009  12:27:27 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 65 comments   15,379 views
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Do You Know Where to Shop to Get the Most For Your Money?

In a recent IBM study, about three-fourths of the consumers interviewed revealed they still want quality and nutrition along with value when making food purchases during these more difficult financial times. The Braun research group conducted 4,000 telephone interviews with people across the United States from all income levels. Of those 4,000 people interviewed, almost half are now shopping at multiple stores to find the best deals. A third of the respondents indicated they have changed supermarkets to save money as well. Many expressed willingness to reduce spending on prepared foods, individual serving beverages, and clothing but not on meats or poultry. When the recession ends, about 60% expect to continue shopping for the best deal.

Where are they finding the best deals?

Posted 10/8/2009  6:54:07 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 177 comments   15,879 views
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Small Dietary Changes Could Save Billions in Health Care Costs

We all know that too much sodium is bad for your health. But did you know just how bad it is for our wallets? According to new research, if Americans could cut their sodium intake to the levels recommended by health experts, the country would save about $18 billion in annual health care costs.
Posted 9/25/2009  6:13:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 46 comments   10,413 views
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10 Reasons to Spend Your Food Dollars at a Farmers Market

This dailySpark guest blog post was written by a SparkPeople member whose healthy lifestyle is fueled by fresh food from her local farmers markets. Here, she shares tips on eating at a farmers market.

By Christina Certo (BANANAFISH711)

Embracing the bounty of the summer harvest season is a great way to help turn your weight-loss journey into a permanent healthy lifestyle. One excellent way to do this is by seeking out local farmers markets and roadside farm stands in your area.

Here are 10 reasons to buy produce from your local farmers market this season:
Posted 6/29/2009  12:06:48 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 147 comments   17,402 views
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6 Reasons to Visit a Pick-Your-Own Farm this Summer

Last week, my good friend blogged about going strawberry picking with her husband and two kids. They visited a "pick your own" farm and picked 20 pounds (yes, POUNDS) of strawberries. All it cost them was 2 hours of their time and about $30.

If you're familiar with how much strawberries cost at the supermarket—and I surely am, since they are my favorite fruit in the world and I wait ALL YEAR for strawberry season—then you know how expensive they can be. One quart of strawberries (approximately 2 pounds of fruit) at the store can cost up to $4 to $8, depending on the season and region where you live—especially if you buy organic, since strawberries are one of the most heavily sprayed crops).

But monetary cost is only one part of the food equation. In truth, these berries often travel hundreds or thousands of miles from the farms where they were grown to the shelves in your supermarket. That has a high environmental cost—but even if you don't care much about that, it still affects the flavor, freshness and nutrient levels of your food. The longer any fruit or vegetable goes from farm to table, the more vitamins are lost along the way. And I won't even get into the taste! When was the last time you ate a vine-ripened, sunshine-warmed strawberry—or any fruit or vegetable for that matter—straight off the plant? If you said "Never," or that you "Can't remember," then my friend, it is time for you to make like a farmer and head to the fields pick your own.
Posted 6/12/2009  11:46:49 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 171 comments   19,659 views
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Fit to Travel: Suitcase-Suitable Fitness Equipment for Under $11

Even if you're not planning to take a full-fledged vacation this year, travel is a necessity for most of us, whether for work, weddings, or weekend trips to visit family and friends. And since you're pursuing a healthy lifestyle, you know that fitness should be a permanent part of your life whether you're at home or on the road.

Obviously, you can't take your gym with you. Dumbbells, mats, and balls don't always pack well, either. Luckily, there are a few portable pieces of equipment that you CAN pack to ensure you'll get a good workout away from home. Here are three that cost less than $11 each—you may even have them at home already!
Posted 6/3/2009  6:51:09 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 55 comments   13,948 views
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Will You Take a ‘Staycation’ this Year?

With our economy in a quandary, many of us are choosing to stay at home during our vacation time in order save a little money. This is what has been popularly referred to for the past several years by many as a ‘staycation’.

So what is exactly is a staycation? It is staying at home or close to home during your vacation time. However, this doesn’t mean you have to sit at home all day watching talk shows or re-runs of your favorite television dramas. In fact this situation allows many of us the opportunity to explore our own community just like a tourist would.
Posted 5/30/2009  9:30:01 AM By: Nancy Howard : 163 comments   6,276 views
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