Convenience CAN BE Healthy.
* If you are someone who likes to buy their cup of coffee on the way to work, consider this alternative: go and buy yourself a simple coffeebean grinder. This might set you back around $10 but the money you will save by grinding your own will pay for the grinder in no time, and after that thinking of the money you're saving will make your home-brewed cup of coffee taste that much better!
* Save time by bringing your lunch to work with you. Buy whatever breads, buns, meats, veggies and condiments you usually like in your sandwiches and make them yourself at home to bring to work the next morning - if you really want to have that 'freshly made' feeling for your sandwich, simply keep the contents seperated until it's time to eat and combine them all then. You can even throw in something like asmall bag of chips, etc. if you find yourself really craving that snack with the sandwich. Again this is also a way to save a decent bit of coin over the long haul.
* Buy yourself a rice cooker: it's healthier than using instant rice and just as easy to prepare (if not more so). It also tastes better, I would say.
* If you are hesitant to use your oven, try actually regularly using that toaster oven that you may have abandoned over in that forgotten corner of your kitchen a while ago. It might surprise you how versatile your trusty little toaster oven can be. As well, it doesn't take as long to get your toaster oven upto the necessary temperature for your cooking needs as an oven.
* Consider investing some money in a slow cooker. My wife recently encouraged me to try experimenting with one. Everybody has heard of the Rival slow cooker but that is just one of the (more well-known) brands of slow cooker out there. For those that don't know, the basic time-saving convenience here is the idea that you can simply throw in whatever meat and vegetables you want during the day, turn on the cooker, and have them all cooked and ready for your supper that evening. Pretty much a set it and forget it approach to cooking (real convenient eh, guys?).
Convenience CAN be Healthy.
Very often people want to find ways to save time: ways to get things done more efficiently, and ways to get things done without really having to spend the time necessary to do something properly. This is a wordy way of saying that the word 'convenience' often rules overour lives. I see it around me everyday: we drink breakfast shakes to save time before work; we eat many of our meals at Burgerking to save time at lunch or dinner because we have found ourselves burdened by schedules that often leave us feeling too drained and unmotivated to organize our meals ahead of time for work or to contemplate committing the time and effort we believe it would take to throw together a healthy meal for dinner once we have arrived home from work. I confess that I've been there, I have done many of the things that most know are not-so-healthy stop-gap tactics to help us save some time:
* I have eaten a questionable breakfast meal at a Burger king in the morning, or stopped off at a convenience store for a coffee and breakfast danish because I had convinced myself that I just "didn't have the time" in the morning to prepare my own breakfast.
* I have found myself eating potato chips, chocolate filled croissants, microwavable pizza-pockets or pepperoni-cheese sticks for my midday meal because there they were at the store and I just didn't want to invest the time to consider a more commonsense alternative.
* I have found myself eating at fast food 'restaurants' when I have gone out for the evening to watch a show and tell myself that it would be oh-so-much-more-convenient to do so.
* I have brought home my evening meal in a frozen tray, a cardboard box or in a can or in a bag because I wasn't motivated enough to put more time into it.
See? I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to living our lives at the whims of whatever is the biggest time-saver. Heck I'm sure that there has even been a hint of economics in many of my past culinary decisions.
Until my Wife started working on me to start letting go of some of my less healthy habits, I was firmly entrenched in the above behavior. I would buy a coffee before work instead of investing the five minutes it takes to grind my own and have it ready to brew before work. I would say to myself "Meh, I'll just go to Tim Horton's for breakfast", instead of having it in my home. I would cross the street to the supermarket at lunchtime instead of making the effort to buy the right groceries ahead of time with which to make my lunches the night before ( again, another five minutes of my time to actually make that lunch the night before work, but ... nah).
Of course it is very easy for someone to condemn bad habits but what are the alternatives?
Okay, here are just some of the alternatives I have been playing with so far which you could also consider to be tips for saving money :