Tag Archives: Budget

My Favorite Time of Year- Chicago Farmer’s Market Season!

This heinous winter is finally coming to an end, which means one of many things- Chicago Farmer’s Markets are officially in season!

Farmer’s markets are outdoor markets that are held so that farmers can sell their fresh produce to local communities. With so many food options these days, choosing to support your local farmers is your best choice. You get fresh, normally organic, produce that’s at its peak ripeness while giving your hard earned cash to someone who truly cares about sustainable food.

As farmer’s markets take off, the variety of produce that they carry does too. You can go to the market and try fruits and vegetables that you’ve never heard of and the farmers can offer input on how to prepare those produce!

Along with the variety, the quality of the food is much greater than those found in supermarkets. Farmers usually pride themselves at markets of their organically grown, nutrient-dense produce- and they should!

Since the food that they pick was only harvested a short distance away (usually just goes from the farm, to the market, to your table), you get the most fresh in-season ingredients to use in your dishes!

A huge factor that I support farmer’s markets is because they sustain the environment while also keeping my wallet balanced, which is hard to find in any other grocery outlet.

Most of our food is flown or has to travel great distances to get to our grocery stores. So, when buying locally you’re conserving energy and making your footprint on this world a little less large and harmful.

Although not all farmer’s markets are dirt cheap, you are getting more bang for your buck. Since the food is fresh and not shriveled up on a shelf, you’re getting fuller food for equal or lesser value than you would at other grocery outlets.

In Chicago you can find numerous farmer’s markets. Starting with my favorite, Green City Market (open now), to the Daley Plaza (starting May 15) to Logan Square (starting May 18).

To check out more about Chicago Farmer’s Markets, head to:

Chicago’s Farmers Markets

Top 10 Chicago Farmers Markets

Chicago Now

Advertisements

Less Confused, Incredibly Inspired

Hungry, broke and confused, my college years leave me in need of some serious inspiration. As of now, I find that inspiration in Keara McGraw, a student at Columbia College Chicago. Though Keara commutes, holds two jobs and is a full time student, she has managed to create a website that tells the story of her life through artwork, vegan meals and more.

“My goal is for [Keara McGraw Creative] to serve as a storytelling hub for myself. More than just a personal portfolio, I want it to involve viewers on a deeper level, inviting them to experience what I’m passionate about as I create it! I want it to be a source of connection,” says McGraw of her hopes for her website. Once you visit, you see it is exactly what she has done.

McGraw (21) states that she has recently been learning so much about what’s important to her, and wants her site to reflect that. She decided to make a blog for her personal site so that those wishing to see her work could become involved with what she’s passionate about.

When you first go to KearaMcGrawCreative.com you read “I Believe in Creation with a Purpose”- how can that not inspire you? Although there are numerous aspects to her website, my favorite is the blog portion which is jam-packed with mouthwatering vegan recipes, alongside accompanying illustrations all done by McGraw.

McGraw has been a vegan for over a year now. Why? Initially it was to save money! As time carried on and her research continued, she saw that veganism allows her to tread as lightly as she can on the planet, which benefits all.

Becoming vegan has taught McGraw how to cook for herself, which is something I believe we all struggle with. In our interview McGraw jokes how her diet used to consist of cereal and macaroni- when putting in the microwave was “too laborious!” Now she can’t stop cooking, inspired by the planet around her.

McGraw’s hope for her blog is that readers will be inspired to give plant-based meals a try, seeing that they actually can be easy to prepare. When making a recipe, not only is she choosing nutrient-dense, plant-based food items, but with a few exceptions she tries to choose ingredients that most people may already have in their pantry, or can easily get access to.

She wants readers to connect with the story she’s telling, the visuals she’s offering and the recipe she’s sharing. I’m inspired by Keara McGraw Creative, take a look and you might be too!

 

KearaMcGrawCreative.com

Instagram: keara_mcgraw

Ring Around the Egg

So currently I am in finals and sadly haven’t really had time to go grocery shopping but I did happen to have a bell pepper and a few eggs in my fridge that needed some lovin’, so I gave it to them- well I guess they gave me the lovin’ because I’m quite satisfied!

For breakfast this morning I made eggs in bell pepper rings, which is actually incredibly easy to make and very filling while also being healthy and cheap! Eggs are just under $2 for a dozen and the pepper cost me $.99!

Prep:

  1. Wash your pepper and make sure that bad-boy is nice and clean before eating it
  2. Cut your peppers into ½ inch rings and cut away the inner whites and seeds
  3. Crack an egg into a bowl so that you can easily pour the egg into the pepper; I used two eggs so I used two different bowls

Cooking the peppers:

  1. Coat skillet with cooking spray
  2. Add peppers to cook and brown lightly
  3. Add one egg to the middle of each pepper ring
  4. Cook on low heat until yolks firm and egg whites harden
  5. Plate the peppers and add salt and pepper and Bon Appetit!

 

Recipe idea and help from WikiHow

 

Buy What’s in Season this March

Saving money at organic grocery stores is already a difficult task. To keep the cost as low as possible you should look into what’s in season locally.

Supply and demand are in full swing when it comes to shopping in season in every realm of life, including food. Certain foods tend to be cheaper due to the abundance of crop that is produced during different seasons in the area.

You’ll pay about double for those strawberries right now then if you were to wait and buy some in the summertime. Plus when foods are in season they all around just taste better because they’re fresh as opposed to being picked last week and shipped through this disgusting cold.

Here is a calendar you can check out for what crops are in season for every month of the year in Illinois!

Shop smart, keep your fridge full and your wallet fat!

 

Updated: 5/5/2014

Graze: A Healthy Snack Delivered to Your Door

ImageImage

Have you guys heard of Graze? I recently saw it on a Facebook advertisement and decided to check it out. Graze is a healthy snack that gets delivered to you every two weeks- it’s kind of like a Birch box.

You get sent new snacks to try every other week for six bucks a box! The best part is that they’re all natural and they all come in portion-controlled containers so they’re perfect for your on-the-go midday munchies!

Graze has over 90 different choices- from fruits to nuts to dippers, you’ll always have something to choose from. Then after you try them, you get to go online and rate which ones are your favorite so they can send you custom boxes that fit your taste buds.

I’m obsessed with these snacks in the mail, especially with this brutal winter we’re having. So stay warm and get nature delivered to your door. Oh! And you can use my promo code to get your 1st and 5th box free! “P6YW6QFQP” Enjoy snacking!!

 

Updated: 5/5/2014

Let me introduce myself…

I’m guessing that the majority of you are just like me- strapped for cash but looking to clean up your diet while also perfecting those subpar cooking skills. When “clean eating” is spoken I used to want to run the other way because all I saw was my bank account disappearing with every bite I would take.  So I began my mission to not only educate myself but you as well because clean eating on a budget is possible!  Also, since I’m in Chicago I’m going to show you guys some cool places to shop and eat that wont break the bank.