Guest Post: Beth from Dot in the City

**While I'm busy traveling and recuperating from lots of packing and moving, I've got some lovely guests writing on Home for Hire. I recently "met" Beth and have so enjoyed her blog! Go visit and I'm sure you will too :) ps. I'm probably drinking one of her smoothie recipes while you read this!**

Hi there, Home for Hire readers! I'm thrilled that Nicole asked me to guest post for you today. My name is Beth and I blog at dot in the city about our life of making a 90 year old house into a home, the food we eat and the technology I love to use. I'm even more excited to share a bit about some changes my husband and I recently made in our eating habits.

During the winter months, we needed to cut back on costs and that meant we started eating less meat, fewer processed foods and less sugar. My husband is diabetic, so the change was welcome, but not without its challenges since one of the cheapest things to eat when you're saving money is pasta. That wasn't an option for us since carbs are not friends of diabetics.

Here's what we eat in a typical week. Notice, we haven't cut out all carbs, but are making healthier choices with brown rice, whole grain options and sweet potatoes. I linked several recipes below, should you wish to try them for yourself.
recipes linked: quinoa and veggie salad, roasted potato and beet soup, eggplant parmesan, warm kale salad (omit sausage), black bean burgers, cauliflower crust pizza

And these are my five tips for eating healthy on a budget:
1- Know where to shop for fresh produce. If you do your homework, you can find great deals (even in the winter) on where to get veggies and fruits for less than the super market. During the summer/fall, you can buy produce for less at farmer's markets. Another way to save, is by being part of community supported agriculture (CSA). We did this for a while when we lived in Boston and had fresh veggies delivered to our doorstep weekly.
2- Plan your meals before you shop. By making a list of what ingredients you'll use for the recipes you've selected, you have a plan when you grocery shop. For us, this means we sit down on Saturday or Sunday and think about the week ahead, where we will be and what we want to eat. Our weeks often change depending on work/class schedules, so by making an effort to figure out when and what we'll eat together, we are more likely to follow through.
3- Stick to the list. This can be tough, but if you really want to save money (i.e. eliminate spending excess money), only buy what you absolutely need. For us, that means avoiding the soda and candy aisles. We also do our shopping at two places. We buy fruits and vegetables at one store and then buy most everything else at another.
4- Know when you will be preparing the food and plan accordingly. When you buy fewer processed foods, it often takes more time to make the food because you're cutting fewer corners. It's important to take that into consideration when menu planning for the week ahead. One example: we buy dried beans because they're cheaper and healthier for you, but it takes more time to soak and cook them than if you're using canned black beans.
5- Eat less more often. I find that when I eat more veggies, I don't stay full as long as I would if I was eating a lot of carbohydrates. We end up eating smaller portions, but more often. I bring snacks of fruit to work with me and usually make a smoothie when I get home from work to tie me over until dinner time.

I also want to share a few smoothie recipes. I tend to make these up by surveying what's on hand. The basics are almond milk, ice and a banana. I find that having those on hand makes a great base with natural sweetness from the banana. I try to avoid eating green smoothies more than once a week, as there is some debate out there on if it's really healthy.

chocolate banana smoothie:
combine 1/3 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup crushed ice, 1 banana (sliced), 1 heaping table spoon baking cocoa in blender and blend until smooth
green berry smoothie:
combine 1/2 cup frozen berries (raspberry, blueberry and blackberry), 1 sliced banana, 3 large kale leaves without stems, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup crushed ice in blender until smooth

I hope this gives you some insight into eating more fresh fruits and veggies. I think moderation is important and I'm certainly not saying everyone needs to cut out carbs, meat and dairy. There are a lot of options out there for a healthy diet and this has been our approach for the last few months. If you have an questions, feel free to connect with me through Twitter, Facebook or my blog. Again, thank you, Nicole for having me!

*Thank you Beth for the wonderful ideas and helpful tips!**


  1. Grate post.I really like this post!!I've read a few similar posts recently but I don't think I've ever read one that so perfectly expresses my own opinions on the matter.


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