Budget

8 Habits of the Financially Healthy Kitchen — The Financial Diet

Welcome to a new column from The Financial Diet, one of our very favorite sites, dedicated to money and everything it touches. One of the best ways to take charge of your financial life is through food and cooking. This column from TFD founders Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage will help you be better with money, thanks to the kitchen.

I love food, I love cooking, I love going out to eat, I love the clink of those extra-big wine glasses coming together over a candlelit table, I love walking down the road with a foiled dish in my hand to go to a friend's dinner party — I love food.

Eating and drinking well are two experiences that I will not compromise on, which can occasionally feel like a source of shame, as I also co-run a (very chic, in my opinion) website about personal finance called The Financial Diet. I often feel like my refusal to give up on these sensory experiences that many a more serious personal finance writer has deemed superfluous can make me feel like a traitor, and I know that a direct reduction in how much I spend on food each month would mean a lot for my long-term finances.

Whether we want to believe it or not, how we eat will in many ways dictate our financial future. Depending on where you live, food and dining represent the second or third biggest chunks of most budgets, and figuring out how to eat well for less is a huge key to getting control over a monthly money spreadsheet.

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10 Things That Are Cheaper at Drugstores — Shopping

It's happened to all of us — while waiting for your prescription at the drugstore, you end up throwing a bunch of other stuff in your basket. But when the cashier rings you up, you're shocked by the high total (and insanely long receipt). And you wonder, Are there ever any good deals to be had from the drugstore?

The answer is yes, if you shop smart. Here's how.

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17 Things to Buy for Your Kitchen at the Dollar Store — Shopping

You could say moving is one of my specialties: Over the past decade, I've lived in more than 25 different apartments. Because I don't move with much, I've had to get creative when it comes to stocking my kitchen on a budget.

The thrift store is almost always my first stop, although they don't always have what I need. Not to mention, there are certain items I generally can't (or don't want to) buy used.

So where do I go next? The dollar store.

As I learned from my late grandfather, these stores have pretty much everything you need — for cheap. If you're setting up a new kitchen, or just looking to replace or stock up on some things, grab one (or 12) of the following items.

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5 Ways to Eat Better, According to Powerlifters — Tips from The Kitchn

If you rank meal planning as a chore right up there with scrubbing the bathroom, imagine what it's like for people who have to plan a balanced diet to fuel intense workouts (and shop and cook in between lengthy gym sessions). Welcome to the world of powerlifters.

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10 Fast and Cheap Ways to Make a Healthy Pasta Dinner — Recipes from The Kitchn

Can a pasta dinner be fast, cheap, and healthy all at the same time? Absolutely. The key is to make wholesome swaps that won't break the bank, like using ground turkey instead of ground beef or pork, loading up the dish with leafy greens, or finally giving whole-wheat pasta a chance. These easy changes can make your weeknight pasta dinner healthier for the whole family, but no less tasty. Here are 10 recipes that prove it.

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5 Tips for Sticking to Your Vacation Food Budget — Travel Intelligence

(Image credit: Liz Clayman)

There are certain times when budgets go out the window. For many, vacations are one of those times. But while I fully support letting things slide a little while you're on the road, or even taking a staycation, I'm not a huge fan of returning from tropical paradise to find I have to eat rice and beans for the next month. (I have done this and, as much as I love rice and beans, it gets very, very boring.)

So over the years I've developed a few strategies for sticking to my food budget while traveling. Bonus: It also means I don't come home feeling so overfed that I need a vacation from my vacation.

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