Frugal Friday: Sensible Holiday Eating | @emeals #holidayeating

by Pattie Cordova
The holiday season means indulging in foods and drinks (like eggnog…oh yum...) that only come around once a year. Time to splurge, right? Wrong. Splurging too much, whether with money or calories, could cost you cash or sweat equity.

Market Pantry Egg Nog and Horizon's Egg Nog

Save time

Think simple! No time-consuming, crazy, elaborate, fat-laden snacks or desserts.

Think “easy” to save yourself the stress- and we all know stress leads to more cortisol production, which leads to weight gain, right? Instead of cherries jubilee or some architectural wonder of a cake, go with homey warm custards, non-fat pudding parfaits (with homemade skim-milk whipped topping and fruit), fruit tarts, and quick breads.

To help me out during the holidays (and after!) I've signed up for eMeals.com, a reasonably-priced meal planning service that provides healthy menus and recipes, plus grocery lists and prices to make shopping easier.

What a time-saver this should be! I spend hours every week making grocery lists and clipping coupons, and then deciding what to serve based on sales. If this cuts back on that time, it will be worth it.

Save Cash

Buy bulk items like oats, flour, etc., at stores that have bulk bins and cook from scratch at home. It will save over name-brand packaged items. Homemade meals and cookies will just cost pennies!

Limit gourmet ingredients. I draw the low-end line at chocolate “flavored” chips, however.

Think seasonal foods. Fresh items in season are always cheaper.

Use coupons. Combine manufacturer coupons with store coupons to get the maximum discount.

Make sangria or mulled wine from cheaper varieties since you’re adding fresh fruit and spices.

Vintner's Red California

Save pounds

See this?? Don't eat it.

strawberry cake picture

Ok, that looks too delicious not to indulge, but think “portion control”.

Don’t waste your waistline for a pie!

Don't skip meals. And… only eat normal amounts. Don’t unbutton those pants! In fact, wear your tightest ones. They’ll remind you WHY you need to eat reasonably.

Sip wine instead of mixed cocktails, or go for "skinny" cocktails.

Eat smaller portions and make goodies bite-size.

Use lowfat yogurt in dips, and non-fat milk in place of cream (like in eggnog) to save fat and calories.

Skim the fat off pan drippings (chill it to harden fat) before making gravy.

Use broth for flavor instead of fats like lard or butter.

Get exercise- make sure you get at least 15 minutes a day of brisk exercise. Grab your kid, turn on the music, and dance around the living room for a fast and easy workout.

Happy eating!

About Justine
Justine is a biological anthropologist, deal seeker, and stay-at-home parent to a rambunctious 4-year-old boy. She digs bones. And donuts. You can follow Justine for more frugal fun and other anthropology tidbits on Twitter: @JustineBurgess1.

This is not a sponsored post. I received a complimentary subscription to eMeals.com to facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.