Healthy, Budget Eating

Healthy, Budget Eating


ALICE MA: So thanks for coming. I’m Alice, this is
my very first webinar and so I’m very excited to
share this content with you. And today’s topic is going to be
healthy budget eat, so healthy eating on a budget. Just a little bit
more about me, my name is Alice as Kaitlin said. I’m a registered
dietician so that means I’ve gone through
the necessary schooling, I’ve gone through an accredited
program, necessary classes and internships and
taking a test to become registered as a dietician, as
opposed to a nutritionist which is really regulated, doesn’t
have that same requirement as a dietician does. I was raised in West
Jordan, Utah, just south of Salt Lake City if
you’ve ever been there. I went to school at
the University of Utah and my bachelor’s
in exercise science, and my masters in
nutrition and dietetics. So a proud Utah grad. And then my current
position is at WSU here in Pullman specifically
with dining services. So most of my work
on a daily basis involves a menu planning with
the chefs, doing a lot of work with recipes,
labeling allergens, meeting a student who have
allergies or special dietary needs, and generally
making sure that there are healthy options
on campus when it comes to dining in
the dining centers. So just a quick overview of
some things we’ll discuss today. So I’ve broken it
down to a few parts. So first we are going to focus
on ingredients on a a budget. So what are some
ingredients you can look for when you’re shopping? [INAUDIBLE] our budget friendly
[INAUDIBLE] and recipes. And simple strategies
for each food group to save money, while not– while
still being able to get all the nutrients we need
for a healthy diet. Focus on three main food groups. So Whole Grains, Protein,
and Fruits & Vegetables. And then some miscellaneous
things, as well, at the end. And then the next
part will be more about integrating those
ingredients we found at the store into recipes. Where to find recipes. And then putting it all
together into meal prepping, and meal prepping in a
way that’s efficient. So we’re spending a lot of
time making recipes or cooking. And we have meals prepared for
those times when, you know, it’s 5 o’clock and we don’t
have something [INAUDIBLE] but we have
something to pull out of the fridge really quickly. So we don’t end up
going to, you know, Wendy’s, like someone said
in the chat box, earlier. Or going out to eat
and spending money that we’d rather save
for other things. And at the end, we’ll have
some time for questions. So feel free to post those and
Kaitlin will organize and sort those as we go through
the discussion, here. And we’ll answer
them at the end. Right. So here we go! So, first little
part- Key Ingredients for Healthy,
Budget-Friendly Meals. So, focusing on whole
grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables. And out of those
food groups, we’re going to get most of
nutrition we need. And those are the most–
and in each food group, there are strategies to save
money when at the store. And I’ll show you some of those. So starting with whole grains. So, a lot of you have probably
heard the term whole grains. You’ve probably
seen it on a label, you’ve seen it at the
store, maybe in commercials. When cereals are
made of whole grains, they often advertise
that because it makes it seem more healthy. And what whole grains
are, is simply put– if you look at
this picture here, it’s from it’s Whole
Grains Council website, which Kate will post
a link to in the chat box for more information. A whole grains are
essentially what the name suggests- the grain
in its whole intact form. So you look over
here in this photo, this is a grain in
its whole intact form. So, it has three layers. So it’s got a bran here,
the endosperm in the middle, and then the germ
as the inner part. And when grains are refined– so let’s say you have brown
rice and you refine it to white rice, some
of this is removed. So, one or more parts of
these layers are removed. So, in the case of white rice, I
believe, they take off the bran and I think they take
out the germ as well. And so, when we
remove these parts, we’re removing the
nutrition as well. And most of that
nutrition loss is fiber. But you also lose some protein,
some B vitamins, some minerals as well. So, generally speaking, when you
are consuming refined grains as opposed to whole grains, you’re
not getting as much fiber as you would if you were
eating the whole grain in its intact form. And you are also losing
out on a little bit of protein and vitamins
and minerals as well. So that’s why whole grains
are a better choice for us. And we encourage eating whole
grains most of the time. So some examples of whole grains
that you’ve probably heard of are things like oats,
brown rice, quinoa, millet, whole wheat flour,
and really anything made of whole wheat flour. So you’ll see in stores
whole wheat pasta, you’ll see whole wheat cereals,
whole wheat snack bars, tortillas. Anything made of whole wheat
flour would be a whole grain. And then there are also whole
grain breads and pastas– sometimes made of flour, but
also made with– you know, there’s brown rice pasta
and quinoa pasta, nowadays. They are considered whole
grain because they are made with brown rice and quinoa. Even though they’re
not made with wheat, they’re still whole grains. And for a complete list
of all whole grains and– this is a great website,
the Whole Grains Council. It’ll list all whole
grains there are. It’ll tell you which
ones are gluten-free. If you follow a
gluten-free diet or have an intolerance or
celiac disease, it’ll tell you exactly
which ones are safer to eat. That’s a great reference
for more information on whole grains. So how do we save money
on buying whole grains? So you’ll hear
this a lot when it comes to shopping on a budget,
that buying in bulk, when it comes to grains, is going
to be the most effective way to save money. And that’s mostly because, first
of all, when you buy in bulk, they almost always
cost less per pound. So, you can compare the
bulk price per pound to something the same
grain in a package form, and it will almost
always be more cost efficient to buy it in bulk. And secondly, when
you buy in bulk, you also buy as much or
as little as you want. So, if you’re trying
out a new grain. Let’s say you’ve never
had millet before, and you want to try it out. You’re not sure if you
like it, so you just want to buy a
little bit, you can buy that in the bulk section as
opposed to buying a huge bag. And if you end up not liking
it or not being able to use it, the bag would go to waste. So buying in bulk
reduces food waste and can save you money as well. And if you don’t have a
bulk section in a store next to where you live, the
other possibility is to find– simply find the same grain
but in a larger size. So oftentimes, you’ll see
things like brown rice and oats in smaller bags or containers. And many stores, nowadays,
have different options for sizes when it
comes to grains. So you can get 16 ounce bags
or you get 32 ounce bags. Depending on the grain,
you can almost always find a larger size if you
look around a bit more in the same aisle. And, generally speaking,
the larger size is going to be the better
bang for your buck, again, because
it’s a larger size. So in a way, you’re
buying in bulk even though it’s not necessarily
from a bulk section, per say. Then with grains, the
least expensive ones are usually going to be the
oats, the brown rice, millet, and your pastas. So sticking to those
grains and using those when it
comes to recipes is going to save a lot of money. And the great thing about
grains is that most of them are pretty interchangeable
when it comes to using one or the other. And they all cook
pretty similarly, so most grains have a 2 to 1
ratio of water to the grain. Either 2 cups of water
to 1 cup of grain or sometimes some grains
will have 3 cups of water to 1 cup of grain. And all it is– it’s a
boil– bring to boil, reduce to a simmer, and
cook it for however long it takes to soften. And if you do shop at the
bulk section, in most cases, the bulk section will
have some sort of sticker at the very front of the label. But the canister tells you
how to cook those items. If you’re buying from
a bag, usually there’s instructions on how to cook
the item on the bag as well. Or you can also look at
the Whole Grains Council website for a complete list
of how to cook each grain, if you’re trying something new
that you’ve never tried before. And then, if you
have a recipe that calls for a more expensive,
grain a good way to save money is to swap it for
a similar grain. So, for example, there are
lots of salad recipes out there that are wild rice salads. And wild rice tends to
be pretty expensive. I know around this area
it’s about $9 to $12 per pound, which is quite a bit. So instead of using all wild
rice in the salad, or even any wild rice, you
could sub in brown rice, which cooks pretty similarly. Doesn’t have quite
the same texture, but you could do half wild
rice, half brown rice, and still have a
very similar nutrient profile in the final
dish than if you just use all brown or wild rice. And it would cost you a lot
less to use the brown rice. And some stores’ bulk sections,
you’ll even see, sometimes, sell wild rice blends, which
are just a blend of wild rice and brown rice together. And so, instead of
buying it separately, you can buy it
from one container. And then another example
would be, for a quinoa– let’s say this
stuffed pepper here– instead of using
quinoa, you could sub in millet, which has
a very similar texture. Again, pretty similar
nutrient profile. And costs anywhere from half
to a quarter as much as quinoa. So that’s a great way
to save money as well. Right. So now we’re moving
onto proteins. So with proteins–
protein is important when it comes to building and
maintaining the muscle mass that we have. Protein foods are
also usually a source of iron, which helps carry
the oxygen from our lungs to our tissues to be used. And then with
proteins, we really want to focus on two things. So focusing on leaner
proteins, and by that, I mean proteins that
are less fatty. So leaner cuts of meat or
your plant-based proteins are a big source of
protein and typically don’t contain a lot of fats. And then we also want
to focus on proteins that are less processed. And by processed, I mean things
added to it or processed, as in, they’re taking
the whole protein and they’ve already
cut it up or altered it in some way to make it easier. Or deboned it. So some sort of
labor was involved. And, generally speaking,
the lean proteins are going to be lower
in saturated fat. And saturated fat is typically
referred to, sometimes, as the bad fat, which
raises our cholesterol. So we want to limit that. And then, with the
processed protein– some of things like deli meats
or bacon are higher in sodium. So we want to limit that as well
because sodium is associated with high blood pressure. And so focusing on
lean and less processed meats, most of the time, and
limiting and using our meats high in saturated fat and
proteins high in fat and sodium in moderation, is
generally the key points to eating healthy
while eating proteins. So when it comes to
saving money conveniently, the less processed
and less fatty meats are also the
least expensive, which makes it a lot
easier to eat healthy. If you look at the data here. This is from the US Bureau
of Labor Statistics pulled in August. So, on average, red
meat in the US– so ground beef costs
about $3.79 per pound. If you compare that to a
boneless chicken breast, which on average in the US,
it costs about $3.19 per pound, which
is a 16% savings. So, just by eating
less red meat, you’re not only getting
a healthier meat, you’re also saving
some money there with the difference between
beef and the chicken breast. And then, similarly,
with the processed meat, it’s sort of the
same thing, right? Because it’s less processed and
there’s no processing or labor involved. It’s going to be less expensive
and also a little bit healthier because there’s no
added sodium there. So with bacon– the average
cost of bacon in the US is about $6.24 per pound. And if we compare that to a
pork chop, which still comes from a pig– same animal,
a pork chop, on average, costs only $3.92 per pound. So that’s going to
give you a 37% savings. So save you quite a
bit of money there from eating less red meat and
less processed meat, which, in both cases, it also ends
up being a healthier choice. So, that’s meats. But really, the best
bang for your buck is going to be the
vegetarian proteins. And I saw someone
in the chat box mention they were vegetarian. And vegetarian diets can
be really inexpensive compared to diets that
are heavy in meat. So, if you look at our
vegetarian protein sources. Eggs, for example, from
the same data source, are $1.37 per dozen on average. Beans, if you buy them
dried, so again, something you can buy in the bulk
section or in larger quantities if you don’t have bulk section,
are about $1.35 per pound, on average. And that’s the equivalent–
it varies by type of bean. But, that would yield you about
5 to 6 cups of cooked beans. Some types of beans
will yield you 7 to 8 or 9 cups of cooked beans. So, quite a lot of beans
just for one pound. And then your peanut butter,
on average, will be about $2.51 per pound. And that’s an average
of all peanut butter. Sometimes, you can– if you
have a good bulk section store, you can buy in bulk and it may
be a little bit less expensive. Otherwise, jarred is just fine. It’s typically a little bit
more expensive than if you were to buy it in bulk or if
you were to buy nuts and make your own peanut butter. And then lastly, we did already
talk about whole grains, but whole grains are
also a source of protein. So, you can kind of include
that in your thought process when shopping is
that whole grains can be a small source of protein. Although, it’s not as extreme–
as high as beans or peanut butter or some of
these other things. All right. So, when it comes to
stretching our protein budget– so these are very
similar tips to what we talk about we
discussed whole grains. So, we’re using less
expensive proteins to replace some or all of
the expensive proteins. Similar to what we talked
about when we talked about the whole grain piece. So, for example, when
you make a meatloaf, instead of using all
ground beef, which tends to be more expensive and
a little bit higher in fat, you could sub in– you could do a meatloaf
with ground beef and then sub the other half
for ground turkey, which is a little bit less expensive. Or go one step further and do
half the ground beef and then the other half– sub the other half with
cooked beans or lentils usually work as well. And that’s going to
save you even more money than the first option. And then lastly, if
you wanted to go all, out there are a completely
plant-based meatloaf recipes out there. One of my favorites
is a meatloaf is made with chickpeas
or garbanzo beans and then mixed with
brown rice and carrots, a little bit of ground mustard,
and that’s basically it. And it’s very simple and has
a similar texture to meatloaf and it’s very
inexpensive to make. And it tastes great. And this is one way
that people save money. And you don’t have to go all
out vegetarian to save money. Some people are, what
we call, flexitarians. That’s a very popular
term, nowadays. Flexitarian or some people
call it reducetarian. And what that means is it’s
just a fancy way of saying you’re vegetarian, but you’re
not really married to the idea or you can be flexible with it. So, for example, maybe
you’re vegetarian just on certain days of the week. Or you are vegetarian
when you cook at home, but you eat meat,
sometimes, when you go out or when it’s a special occasion. So really it’s a
fancy term for saying you’re eating less meat either
to save money, in this case, or for other reasons. And lots of folks
also participate in what we call
Meatless Mondays, which you may have heard of. It’s a pretty popular campaign. And it’s just what
it sounds like. On Mondays, you don’t eat meat. And that’s a way to save
money on your grocery budget– just have one
designated day where all your meals are meatless. And you can have a
little bit of structure in terms of what
you’re planning– your meal planning is. And that’s the one that
you save a lot of money because you’re not
eating any meat and you rely on some of
these plant-based proteins. All right. And then the last group
I wanted to bring up is the Fruits and Vegetables. So fruits and vegetables are
a pretty important group. Generally speaking,
we tend to struggle with getting enough vegetables. Fruits not so much of a
problem, but vegetables– have a hard time
getting on our plate. And ideally, when you sit
down for a meal, about half of our plates– idealy it would be
fruits and vegetables. So, whatever it is
in this example, it’s corn and some fajita
vegetables, peppers, things like that. And we want to also aim
for a variety of colors because each color with
a fruit and vegetable is associated with some sort of
vitamin, a mineral, or function to our bodies. For example, we look at
things like carrots and sweet potatoes, are both orange-red. And that’s because those
contain beta-carotene, which is a similar
term for vitamin A. And that is in keeping our eyes
healthy and helping our eyes see, especially in the dark. But if you look at your
green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, those
are high in vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting. They also getting
calcium for bone health. Iron for blood health. So every color has
a different purpose. And so it’s important to get
as much variety as possible, of colors, just to get that
whole spectrum of vitamins and minerals that
our bodies need. So how do we save money
on fruits and vegetables? And there are a lot of
different ways to do this one. This one is probably the
most complicated group because there are a lot of
different strategies to use. But the first one I would
say, and this is probably one you’ve heard the most, is
to buy fruits and vegetables in season. So things like apples,
potatoes, tomatoes, bananas tend to be inexpensive
year round. But other things
like sweet potatoes, spinach, kale,
eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli- those tend
to be pretty seasonal. And the prices fluctuate. If they’re out of
season, they tend to be a lot higher in price. So being creative
with what’s in season and trying new vegetables
based on price– So if there’s vegetable
you see that’s in season, and it’s on sale, and you
have never tried it before, I challenge you
to be adventurous and go ahead and purchase
that and research ways on how to use it. And I’ll show you
some websites later that will help you
find some recipes that look at ways of how you
can cook it, roast it. And try a new vegetable
because it’s in season, it’ll help you save
some money and also help you venture out into some new
culinary adventures as well. And then secondly, if
it’s out of season, especially this comes in handy. So let’s say you have a recipe
that calls for spinach or kale and it’s out of season. And it’s very expensive
in the fresh form. It’s a good strategy to look
for it in frozen or canned form because when it’s– especially when
it’s out of season, the frozen or the canned one
can be a lot less expensive than the fresh form. And the nutrient quality
is just about the same. When it comes to frozen, I
would say the general taste, quality tend to be
about the same as fresh. Canned, it sometimes a hit
or miss with the quality, depending on its– use your
own judgment with that. But price-wise, there’s
sometimes a big difference depending on what’s in
season and what’s on sale. And another bonus
is that the frozen and the canned
vegetables and fruits have a longer shelf life. So if you’re looking to
buy a lot and store it, you can buy that when
it’s on sale and stock up and save it for later. And then, similarly to
that, buying in bulk. So, I talked about stocking
up when things are on sale. You can also stock up when fresh
produce is on sale or in season and inexpensive. And if you have a means to or
ability to can things or freeze things– Most fruits and vegetables
freeze pretty well if they’re processed or chopped up. And if you have a fruit or
vegetable that you really like and want to buy a lot
of it while it’s in season, you can look up how to
process that to make it safe for canning. Or how to freeze it properly
so it lasts up to months and you can eat in off-season
and have that for later. You can also use
farmer’s markets. So you can often buy
bulk in farmer’s markets. So, typically with
most farmer’s markets, they offer either a price
per pound or price per box. And usually when you buy
fruits or vegetables, let’s say over 10 pounds
of it or over 20 pounds, they often will
give you a discount. Generally speaking, at my
farmer’s market it’s about $0.20 less per pound if you buy
greater than 10 or 20 pounds. And if you don’t have the
means to freeze that or store that or use it up in
time before it goes bad, you could also consider
sharing that with a friend. So splitting the cost
with a friend and then you both taking half of it. So you don’t have as much
to use to worry about using [INAUDIBLE] discount. And then you can also, if you
have this available near where you live, a farm that
offers U-Pick because you take the labor costs out of it. And if you pick your own fruit– the price of fruits
and vegetables for picking your own, tends
to be a lot less expensive than if you were to buy it
directly or buy it at a market or buy it at a produce
section at the store. You are picking it by
yourself and you’re also buying directly from the farm. And that way, you’re still
supporting a local farm as well. So that’s a benefit to that. All right. And then– so that’s kind
of the three food groups. But anything that I
didn’t talk about probably falls under what
I just categorize as miscellaneous items. And most likely
the things you’re thinking of that I didn’t cover
are things that are packaged. So things like your milk,
canned goods, snacks, chips, things that come in packages. And with packaged products, I
always ask myself one question if I’m buying packaged
product is if it’s something that I can make myself. So for example, if you
often buy beans that are all ready cooked or in a can– if that’s something
you can make yourself. In this case, it’s something
that you could buy in bulk. And even though it takes a
little bit of extra effort to soak the beans when you buy
it from dry and then cook them– With a can of cooked beans– let’s say a can
of cooked beans– canned beans cost
about $1.15, you’re only getting about 1 and
3/4 of a cup of beans. Whereas for the same
price, at $1.15, you could get a
pound of dried beans and soak it and then
cook it yourself and get about 5 to
6 cups of beans. So more than three
times the amount of beans for the
exact same price. So that’s an example of
something easy to do yourself. And I’ll show you a link that
has some instructions on how to cook beans from dried, if you
don’t know how to do that yet. Similarly, with stocks or broth,
if you make soups pretty often, and use veggie stocks
or chicken broth, and buy it from the store,
that’s also something you can cut the cost
of by making your own. Really just simmering
vegetables in water. And that’s an easy thing to do. And that freezes pretty well. And that’s something [INAUDIBLE]
save $2.00 or $3.00 off of a carton of stock
each time you do that. And it also tastes better, and
oftentimes, stocks or broth that you buy at the store have
a lot of added sodium to it. So, by making your
own, you can also make it a little bit healthier
by controlling the salt content bit more or
reducing the sodium. Some other quick
examples- granola bars. Again, something that
comes in a package. That is probably something
we can make ourselves. And then salad dressings. Hundreds of other
examples out there. Those are just a couple. And there are always
going to be things that we can’t make ourselves, or
we just don’t have the time to, and [INAUDIBLE] go
for convenience. And with those
situations, I recommend looking for coupons
for those items or buying them when
they’re on sale. And with things that
are brand, especially a really famous brand,
you can almost always find coupons online. So if you look up the
website of the brand– just look at the web
site, do a quick internet search of the brand
name, find the web site. More often than not,
and surprisingly often, they’ll have coupons just
right on the web site for you to print. No need to sign up for email
lists or anything like that. You just print it and save
$1.00 or $2.00 here and there, when buying the product. Or sometimes, if you do sign
up for the email address of a certain brand that you
like or follow pretty loyally, they will send you
coupons every month or so. Or when they have deals,
they’ll send you an email and let you know. Or another way is by following
them on social media. So, almost all– I
would say a quite a few brands are
on social media, whether it’s
Twitter or Facebook. And oftentimes, they’ll
post when they have coupons available or deals. They’ll post that on their
Facebook page or have special– sometimes special contests where
if you like their page or share the page, they’ll
give you a coupon– some sort of offer
similar to that. And that’s a good
way to get coupons. And if you combine
that by waiting– with waiting for when
things are on sale. So let’s say you read
ads for a certain market and see that something’s
on sale that you like and it’s packaged, you
can buy a lot of that. And typically with
packaged product– let’s say canned products that
come in boxes or granola bars, those last a long time. They have a very
long shelf life. So when you wait for them to
be on sale, by a lot of it if you have the means
to use all of it. And store it because it
does last a long time, and then you don’t have to
worry about buying so much of it later on. And you can also
save a lot of money because you’re
getting on it on sale. If you combine
that with coupons, you’ll get an even
bigger discount. And then another tip,
looking for store brands. So this isn’t always the case,
but almost always, store brands are the equivalent,
in terms of quality, to the name brand item. Not always but most of the time. And it’s almost always
going to be lower in cost. And it’s not always at
eye level at the store. Sometimes the store brands are
lower or higher than the name brand item on the shelf. So just being aware of
that, and looking around, and comparing prices
before you buy the item is a good tip as well And then something I
didn’t put on the slide, but I thought of
earlier today, is if it’s an ingredient
for a recipe, think about whether or
not you can substitute it with something else. Or if you can just
leave it out in general. So, for example, if you
have a soup recipe that calls for paprika
or smoked paprika, and you don’t have that,
you can either leave it out or use something like
chili powder or cayenne or sriracha, which are
all spicy ingredients. And that can mimic the same
taste as paprika or something else. Another example would be if
you have a baking recipe that calls for apple sauce, you could
use mashed banana, instead, or any sort of pureed
fruit in the same volume. And get the similar
taste and quality in the final baked product. So any sort of
substitutes that you can think of similar to those. Right. So that’s sort of the ingredient
piece of the presentation. So next up, we’re
going to move on to more of utilizing
what you buy in the store and finding recipes that
fit those ingredients. And then meal planning and
preparation of those recipes to save time and money. So I think one of the hardest
parts of meal planning, especially if you haven’t cooked
a lot, is finding good recipes. And there are a lot
of links out there. There are a lot of good
websites I really like, but I would say that two
resources I suggest the most are these two web sites here. Which Kaitlin will
link in the chat box. The first one is Supercook.com. And Supercook.com
is a website that was designed for people who
wanted to use up things already in their pantry. So I’ll show you
this in a minute, And then the second one is this
cookbook called Good and Cheap. And let me just pull out of
here and show you these sites. So here is the website
for Supercook.com. And so what it
is, it’s a website that lets you search for recipes
based on what you have on hand. So you can either
do this as a guest or create an account so
you can save your pantry items in your account. Just a quick overview
is– what you do is click on what ingredients
you have in your pantry. So let’s say I have garlic
in my pantry, I have onions, I have tomatoes, I have
potatoes, bell peppers. Let’s go down to baking. Let’s say I have flour, and
I have whole wheat flour, and I have pasta. So what this website
does is it will show us what
recipes we can make, based on what we have on hand
or what was selected here. And so we can make
this salsa de tomate. We can make this
tomato sauce because we have all the ingredients. And then if you scroll down,
they’ll also show you– if you load all the way
down, recipes where you have most of the ingredients. And then it will mention to you
what ingredients you’re missing and that you need to buy. Sometimes if you do too many–
have to many ingredients, it won’t show them. But if you’re missing one or two
ingredients, it’ll list them. And say you need to
buy bacon for this. You need to buy carrots
for this recipe, but you’ve got this,
this, and this. As you can see, just from
cooking those four or five items, we have all
the ingredients necessary for all
of these recipes. So that’s a good
go-to to find recipes. And you could also narrow
it down by meal type. Or if you’re
vegetarian, or vegan, or have some sort of
special dietary need, you can also select for that
and screen for those recipes. Right. And the second link I provided
is this Good and Cheap cookbook. So this was a cookbook designed
by a woman named Leanne Brown, based out of New York. And this was her project
for her Master’s. And what she did was she
compiled a bunch of recipes based on the budget of
eating well on $4.00 a day, which is the average
amount a person gets when they’re on SNAP benefits or EBT,
formerly known as food stamps. So this book is all based
on being on a budget and utilizes a lot of the
ingredients we talked about. Things like oats. Things like in-season
vegetables, eggs, peanut butter. All those budget-friendly
ingredients. And it’s also a
good go-to cookbook because it does talk about a
lot of things we’ve already discussed- buying
in bulk, building a pantry, seasonal shopping. If you look over here,
a couple pages in, it’ll talk about
making your own broth. If we go to the end,
it’ll talk about how to cook beans from dried. And then it’s got
quite a few recipes. And it is a PDF form
available for free online. But you can also buy a
hard copy of the book, but the PDF is free. And they will, sometimes, even
update the PDF with new recipes every now and then. But it’s broken down into
categories- breakfast, lunch, things on toast. A good one is different
ways to make oatmeal so that you’re not having the
same oatmeal every single day. It’s got sweet and
savory options. All sorts of fun
recipes in this book. So a very good basic
cookbook if you’re sort of new into
cooking, you want to venture out a little bit, and
just want to know the basics. So back to our screen here. So referring back
to that cookbook, let’s say you’re making
recipes for the week and you’re wanting to
choose a few recipes that’ll make it easy on you. So it’s a good idea to
pick multiple recipes that have ingredients in common. That, for one, it
limits the amount of shopping you need to do. So it limits your shopping list. And then secondly,
it also limits the amount of cooking
you actually need to do. Because you’re
cooking one or two ingredients, but using them
for four, maybe five recipes. So I’ve referenced
the recipes from the Good and Cheap
cookbook in this example. So, for example, we have
a chickpea chana masala with brown rice– that uses chickpeas. We can also use
those same chickpeas for these half-veggie
burgers that are also in the Good and Cheap cookbook. And so we’re getting– we can cook one
batch of chickpeas but use it for two recipes. And then we could
also buy some oats and make the four or five
different types of oatmeals described in the book. But also use those same
oats to make peanut butter and jelly granola bars. So we’re getting
breakfast and some snacks there from one ingredient. And then, you could also
use that same peanut butter or you could use sunflower seed
butter, if you’re allergic, to make some sort
of peanut sauce. And then combine that with
anything we have left over. So some sort of brown
rice from this recipe. So we have leftover
brown rice, we have leftover beans, any
sort of leftover vegetables. And makes a grain bowl with some
added protein and vegetables and some sort of sauce. So that’s already five meals
off the top of my head– from this book, that we make
with just primary ingredients of chickpeas, oats,
peanut butter, and grains, and maybe some vegetables. So very short shopping
list for just five recipes. And then when it comes to
the actual cooking piece, meal preparation is very
different for everyone. And different methods work
best with different people. So the main goal is to see
what you can do ahead of time. So, even if it’s
the smallest things like– let’s say you’re
preparing snacks for the week, you can chop all
your celery at once and prepackage your hummus
into little containers and have all that ready to go. Or if you have a little bit
more time on the weekend, you could go as far as cooking
all your beans at once. Cooking all your rice
for the week, at once. Roasting your
vegetables, all at once. You can make whole meals-
things like soups and stews and meatloaves. Casseroles freeze
pretty well, so you can make big batches
of those on the weekend and freeze it for later
in the week or even later in the month. And cooking in large batches,
in this case, helps as well. So if you have time on the
weekend to cook a recipe, or some other day, you could
cook large batches of lasagna or you cook a lot of beans. A You could cook a big batch
of rice and freeze all that. And not necessarily
have a recipe for some of those things. So maybe cook a bunch
of beans and not know what to do with it. But have those beans
on hand for later, just in case you want
to make a quick grain bowl or quick meatloaf or
something else real quick. Chili. And just have those
available for those times when you don’t
know what to make. As far as efficiency goes,
it’s really important if you’re doing any sort of
meal preparation, to multitask. So if you’re setting aside some
time on a weekday or a weekend to cook, plan out
what you’re going to do with the recipes
you have on hand. So, for example, if
we had some recipes that required cooking beans,
and roasting vegetables, and making some rice. Beans take about
45 minutes to cook. If you’re soaking
them and then you’re boiling and simmering them
for 45 minutes, as opposed to using canned. And then roasting vegetables. It varies by vegetable,
but roughly speaking, for this example, we’ll say 40
minutes to roast the vegetable. And then rice takes
about 20 to 25 minutes to cook using a rice cooker. Sometimes it’s longer if you’re
going to use a stove top. But for example, we’re
going to use these numbers. But we’re not going to take
45 minutes to cook the beans and then use 40 minutes
to roast vegetables and then take 20
minutes cook rice and spend an hour
and 45 minutes total. Because we can get this
really done in 45 minutes if we cook the beans first– put
those on the stove top first. And then while the
beans are cooking, we take five minutes to chop
the vegetables up and then throw them in the oven. And that can cook and be
done at around the same time as the beans. And then while that’s cooking,
you could also rinse the rice, put it on the stove, or
put it in the rice cooker, and cook that. And even further, while
the rice is cooking, you could do dishes, you
could portion out oatmeal, you could portion
out your snacks, you could chop more vegetables. You do a lot of different
things there within 45 minutes and have multiple things
done by the end of that hour. And spend less
than half the time it would take to do
everything separately. So being efficient
with your time and multitasking as
much as possible. And that was
basically all I had. So we’ve got about 15,
20 minutes for questions. While Kaitlin is
grabbing those, I do have my email address
here, [email protected] And you can feel
free to email me if you have any questions on
some of the links I provided or you want some more
recipes or recipes for some of the
things I mentioned. I am also on Twitter. I don’t tweet too much
about general stuff, but I do tweet a lot about
things I eat on campus. But feel free to follow
me on Twitter as well. KAITLIN HENNESSY: Thanks Alice. So we do have a few
questions, already. The first is, is there any
difference in canned vegetables with sodium content? Is it better to buy a certain
type of canned vegetable?” ALICE MA: Oh! That’s a great question. OK. So that will vary
a lot by brand. Typically, there are some
brands that will add sodium to the vegetable before canning
and some brands that won’t. And that’s just a matter
of looking at the label. So if you read the
label, it will tell you how much sodium there is
and it will also tell you in the ingredient list. So looking for added salt
in the ingredient list will tell you if there’s
added sodium in the vegetable. So just be careful because it
varies a lot by brand and also by the type of vegetable. KAITLIN HENNESSY: Thank you. And our next question asks, my
husband and I both have dairy sensitivities . So I feel like we
are missing out on certain vitamins, minerals,
or beneficial bacteria. What can you recommend we do to
supplement this inexpensively? ALICE MA: All right. So coming from someone who
is also dairy sensitive, something I do is– there are a lot of nondairy
alternatives on the market. So soy milk is probably
the most popular. And, in terms of comparing
it to dairy milk, soy milk is probably the
closest, as far as protein content, to regular dairy milk. Most nondairy milks
are also fortified with calcium and vitamin B12. Let’s see, calcium,
vitamin D, vitamin B12. And so it’s a matter
of looking at the label because it does vary by brand. But I would say most
brands, nowadays, have those three vitamins
and minerals fortified as part of all their products. So if you have a
dairy sensitivity, soy milk and almond
milk and coconut milk tends to be the least expensive. You can also make your
own version of those. It does take a little bit more
effort to make your own milks. And those typically
aren’t fortified. But really the key nutrient,
when it comes to dairy, is the calcium. And so you can get that from
the fortified nondairy milks But you can also get it from
things like tofu, as well as– if you want to take a
supplement, that’s fine. But you can also
get it from things– vegetables like
spinach and kale. And sort of leafy green. KAITLIN HENNESSY:
Our next question is a clarification
on an earlier slide. On the average
prices you referenced for like eggs and beans
and stuff like that? ALICE MA: [INAUDIBLE] KAITLIN HENNESSY:
And the person wanted to know if those
included organic prices. Or if it was only conventional
food or a blend of both? ALICE MA: I believe it
was a blend of both. It was just– the data just
said average price in the US. KAITLIN HENNESSY: Thank you. And our next question asks for
any more tips on meal planning, or are there any good
free meal planners online, like apps or worksheets
that you know of? ALICE MA: Yeah. If you do a quick search on
the internet just for meal planning, and you
search under the images, there are usually some
sort of template images– just like blank templates
you can fill in. I have one that I have. If you email me, I can send
it to you, if you would like. I have some of those
websites saved somewhere. I don’t have them
on hand right now, but I could send them to you. KAITLIN HENNESSY:
Thank you, Alice. And that meal
planning one might be a good one for a future event. And then another
question asks, if you have any websites for coupons. When you were mentioning
coupons earlier, do you have a favorites? ALICE MA: Yeah. Quite a few favorites. So, for the most
part, I do go directly to the brand of the
product for the coupon. But I also like coupons.com. And that web site– if you sign up for
their email list, they’ll email you every
single week with new coupons. And the coupon list
is pretty long. And you can search by
grocery type, or things you need, or just scroll
down and see what’s there. I also really like rebate apps. So these aren’t
technically coupons because you have
to buy the product and then get rebate back, but
there is an app called Ibotta. So I-B-O-T-T-A. And what they
do is they have certain items on their list. And it varies by store. But if you buy the product,
and then you take a photo of the, receipt they’ll give
you about usually $0.25 to $1.00 back on the product. And then once you
accumulate $20 in the app, they’ll pay you out via Paypal
and give you your $20 back. So that’s not a savings up
front, but on the back end, you end up getting
some money back there. KAITLIN HENNESSY: [INAUDIBLE]
And another person asks, are legumes inflammatory? I’ve looked into the
Whole30 Eating Plan and they are anti-legume. ALICE MA: Not that I know of. The Whole30 plan
is pretty popular. I’m not a big fan of it. I know, you know, legumes can
cause some problems as far as digestion in some people,
especially if you’re not used to eating them. As far as inflammatory,
I haven’t heard anything about that. And I don’t know
too much about that, but generally speaking,
they are fairly healthy. I eat them quite a bit. I don’t see anything
wrong with eating legumes on a regular basis. KAITLIN HENNESSY: Excellent. Thank you. Another question asks,
do you think eggs are a concern as far as
dietary cholesterol or fat? ALICE MA: So that’s
probably one of the most debatable and controversial
topics in dietetics now. And there’s a lot of
different schools of thought. In terms of
cholesterol, that really comes from the yolk
having saturated fat. And the effect saturated fat
has on dietary cholesterol. There are some thoughts
about the egg white– something in the egg
white counteracting whatever is in the yolk so that
you can safely eat whole eggs. Because the yolk or
the white sort of cancels out the dietary
effect of the yolk. I don’t have a super
strong side of that– a side answer for that question. But, generally speaking, I
don’t usually recommend– I usually say it’s fine to
eat maybe two or so eggs a day and not be too concerned
with cholesterol. Personally speaking,
I don’t eat eggs because I do follow
a plant-based diet for ethical reasons. But I don’t have a
problem, for health reasons with people eating eggs. KAITLIN HENNESSY: Thank you. And another question
on a type of food is, is soy healthy to eat? ALICE MA: Yeah. So that’s one of
those controversies out there, but
there are no studies that I know of that say– unless you’re consuming
really, really large amounts of soy, that there are unhealthy
effects due to the hormones. Tofu a couple of times a week. Soy milk, things like that. Soy beans. A couple of servings a day. That amount isn’t really
enough to affect us negatively. For the general population. KAITLIN HENNESSY: Thank you. And a question asks, if you have
any tips or your favorite tips for healthy snack
foods on a budget. ALICE MA: I think
my favorite tip is if you look at the Good
and Cheap cookbook, there’s a granola
bar recipe there. And I think probably
the easiest snack is some sort of
granola bar because it does contain the oats. The grains, right? And the protein
from peanut butter or some sort of nut butter. And then you can customize
it to make it your own. So if you have allergies
to peanut butter, you could use
sunflower seed butter. Or if you don’t like
you don’t like fruit, you can omit any dried fruit. Or [INAUDIBLE] chocolate. You could add a little bit of
chocolate and have a treat. So making your own granola bars
is probably my go-to snack. I do also have a recipe for
a no-bake granola bar that’s basically just
peanut butter, oats, and a little bit of maple syrup. If you want the recipe, you
can feel free to email me. But that’s a go-to
recipe I use quite a bit. I also have a recipe for snack
bites that are made with– they taste like cookie dough. They have a texture
of cookie dough, but they’re made with
ground chickpeas, and then peanut butter, a
little applesauce to sweeten it, and
then chocolate chips. And so there. It has the texture
of cookie dough. You could eat with
a spoon or roll it into little balls as a snack. And then some
other things I like are just celery and hummus. Very simple, no recipe required. Easy to prepare
and easy to store. And then simple things like
fruit and peanut butter. KAITLIN HENNESSY: Thanks, Alice. And someone asked
that, sometimes veggies can get really boring. Any tips to diversify them? ALICE MA: Yeah, vegetables? There are a lot of
vegetables out there. And I think one way to diversify
is to simply branch out and try new vegetables here and there. Like I mentioned, when
things are in season, take advantage and
try something new. Because you can cook vegetables
almost all different ways. So roasting, saute,
and stir fries. I think the key with
vegetables is to use spices. So things like
curry spice, cumin. There are a lot of
spices out there. So adding different
spices to vegetables can really pump up
the flavor and give it a little bit of a different
taste than you’re used to. KAITLIN HENNESSY: Thank you. And our next question
asks, is there any nutritional
difference between organic and conventional food? ALICE MA: Not really
enough to worry about. And there are studies
that show both ways. So some studies show that
organic has a few more nutrients than conventional. But there are also
some fruits where the conventional product
had more nutrients than the organic. But, generally
speaking, there isn’t enough of a difference
to really warrant worrying too much about it. I think the only thing I
would worry somewhat about, are the pesticides. So if you go to the website
called the Environmental Working Group. So it’s ewg.org. They have a list
called the Dirty Dozen. So if you worry about
pesticide content, they print out a list every year
called the Dirty Dozen, where they list the top 12
fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of pesticides
in the conventional form. So those are the
fruits and vegetables I usually buy organic. And then the rest of
the vegetables– fruits and vegetables I don’t
really worry about. If I need to buy conventional,
I’ll buy conventional. But, usually, topping
the list are things like apples and strawberries. And so while they’re
not really different in terms of vitamin content,
it’s the pesticides that are– some people believe are linked
to cancer and other things like that. And that’s the really the
only thing to worry about. So, nutrient-wise, the
vitamins, minerals not too much of concern.