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Popcorn-a Super Cheap Healthy Snack

Popcorn:  A Super Cheap Healthy Snack

   Popcorn can be a healthy snack and it is super cheap!  Even organic popcorn is cheap. This organic Arrowhead Mills white popcorn from Amazon comes in a case of 6 bags.  6 bags equals 156 servings with 3-4 cups of popped popcorn per serving!  (Yellow popcorn is currently a little more at Amazon.)

homemade popcorn cheap healthy snack

Whatever type of popcorn you choose, it is likely to be around 10 cents per serving!  It is a little more than that if you add some yummy fat on it.  We buy our coconut oil cheap though, so a couple Tbsp would cost very little.

Should You Always Buy Organic Popcorn?

Popcorn is not genetically modified like most other corn, but does often have pesticide residues.  So, it is up to you if you would like to buy organic or not. I still think organic is better, since there is a good chance of high pesticide residues on corn, and who knows if it will eventually be genetically modified in the future. 

On the other hand, I would still occasionally buy conventional popcorn since it is not genetically modified yet.  But, I wouldn't want my kids to eat it all the time.

Popcorn Recipes

We don't use a traditional recipe for popcorn, because we own a wonderful thing called a hot air popper.  :)  It has lasted a long time and is super easy to use.  We simply put the popcorn it it (with the measuring cup that sits on top of the popper) and plug it in.  When it stops popping, we unplug it.  

The popcorn falls right into a huge bowl that we set under the popper.  Then we add melted butter or coconut oil.  We don't use the cup on top of the popper for measuring our fat even though that is an option.  I find it melts more evenly on the stove or in the microwave.  (Just don't microwave on too high of a power!).  

We don't have to really clean the popper since dry popcorn is the only thing that touches it.  It only needs a little wiping out now and then.  

Here is a stainless steel bowl similar to the one we put under our hot air popper-

If you want to make homemade popcorn on the stove here is a recipe from Sarah of Early Bird Mom:

homemade popcorn cheap healthy snack

If you like your popcorn sweet, try this yummy recipe from Rebecca:  Homemade Sweet and Salty Popcorn.  The ingredients are simply nourishing things like butter, honey, salt, and vanilla.  Of course, I always recommend grass fed butter for its bone building, cavity fighting, and immune strengthening properties!  (The cheapest I have seen Kerrygold grassfed butter is at Costco-it is a little over $4.50 a pound there).

Want another healthy snack idea?  You might also be interested in my post about how to get really cheap fruit.

Clean Eating Tips to Make Healthy Food Easy!

Clean Eating Tips Make Healthy Food Easy

Clean Eating Tips to Make Healthy Food Easy

I intimidate people.  I definitely don't do it on purpose.  But when people know that I eat healthy most all the time they usually start feeling pressure.  I want to inspire others to eat healthy-not make them feel bad!

I am definitely a regular person-meaning I don't do everything perfectly (just wait to you read some of my "cheats" below!).  I am all about doing things in the kitchen in the easiest way possible.

Here are some of my best clean eating tips to make healthy food easy.

Use Paper Plates and Plastic Forks.

I buy paper plates almost every time I grocery shop.  Because I would rather spend my time making healthy food and not washing plates.  Sometimes we use plastic forks too.  Cleanup is tough-we throw everything away.  :)

Don't Wash Dishes

I know you are probably wondering about this one.  But, I read about this on Kitchen Stewardship one day, and I realized how much sense it made.  For example when I make jasmine rice I don't wash the cup I measure the water with.  I put it in the dish drain to dry.

Then I measure the rice with a dry measuring cup and I either leave the cup in the jar with the rice or I put it in the drawer.  I make sure it looks clean-I hit it on the side of the pot if I need to to get the rice dust out.  It usually looks perfectly clean-no need to wash it!

If you feel like you are washing too many drinking glasses, you could use bevbands on your glasses.  The bands help you to know whose drink is whose.  We try to drink out of the same cup most or all of the day to reduce the number of glasses that we have to wash.

Eat Leftovers

leftovers are the ultimate time saver-they require no work!  We eat them often.  Leftovers can be delicious-my Grandma says that they are better than when you first cook them because the flavors have had time to meld.

To help your leftovers to taste especially good, reheat them in the toaster oven or frying pan.  The toaster oven works for most foods.  If it is a food like plain chicken, then I add a little (or a lot!) coconut oil on top before heating so it won't be dry.

A frying pan can be used to make fried rice from leftovers.  Check out this fried rice recipe using leftover rice.

Leftover cooked potatoes can be fried in some oil in a pan (yummy!).

If waiting 5-15 minutes for your food seems too long you can always use tip number 4:

Use the Microwave

Although I don't use the microwave often (I don't think it is really healthy), I do use the microwave.  I would rather eat healthy food from a microwave than resort to eating fast food or junk food!

Let the Kids Help

This is the ultimate time saver-once your kids are trained to cook.  Although it can be work to teach kids, once they are taught it is sooooo wonderful.  My teenager does a lot of the kitchen work for me.  My preteen chips in also.  I can now let them do an entire meal without my help!

If you want help teaching your kids,  Katie from Kitchen Stewardship has a online cooking class for kids- Kids Cook Real Food.  Katie teaches both younger children and older children to cook real whole foods!  The course is designed for real families-all ages coordinate to make something to eat!  There is a curriculum map that you can preview on this page that shows the logically organized skill progression.

Buy Clean Eating Convenience Foods

There are some foods that are extremely clean, but still really good for lazy cooks.  :)  We often buy boneless skinless chicken tenders in the grocery store.  They only take a little bit of time to cook.  We put them in a pan with some coconut oil.  Jasmine rice is also super easy to make.

There are some brands of frozen potatoes that the ingredients are just potatoes-handy for those times when you don't have time to cut up your own.  Many grocery stores also carry other types of cut up produce-like peppers and onions or butternut squash.

Of course, my favorite convenience food is frozen vegetables.  We eat them just about every day!

I hope these real food tips help you to eat more healthy food!  You may also be interested in checking out my super quick and healthy meals on a budget.

Cheap and Healthy Chicken Broth

Chicken broth is so nourishing, and can help you make some very frugal quick meals! 

Chicken Broth=Health?

When I first started doing serious research to try to find answers to my health issues, one thing that kept jumping out at me was chicken broth.  It seemed too humble and simple to be something that could really benefit me health wise.  I had already used chicken soup before to help me overcome the common cold.  So, I knew it had helped me to feel better in the past.  But, I didn't realize that it was an all around immune strengthener-broth can strengthen your body against sickness!

I also learned that it was extremely helpful for healing the gut.  The more I learned about digestion and the gut, the more I realized that it was paramount to have healthy digestion if I really wanted to be all around healthy.  Chicken broth contains gelatin which is a powerful healing agent for the gut.

Broth also contains minerals and amino acids that are super important for detox.  Although vegetables are usually used for detox (for good reason), amino acids and minerals are also super important.  I made sure to have enough of both when I was detoxing mercury.

The Problem with Store Bought Chicken Broth

Since I was sick at the time, I really wanted to buy chicken broth at the grocery store.  But store bought chicken broth has a big problem.  Even organic chicken broth almost always contains some type of msg.  With the type of health problems that I had, I knew that I did not need msg.

The msg may be called mono sodium glutamate, yeast extract, natural flavors, or some other name, but it is still msg.  Also, canned broth can have toxic problems (bpa etc).

After I learned all this, I realized that the truly healing broth was going to have to come from my kitchen!   Even though it was going to take a little more work than buying it from the store-there was some serious good news-

Homemade Chicken Broth is Almost Free!

The up side to all this is that chicken broth can be made for almost nothing!  The ingredients are mostly "kitchen scraps".   Not only that but when you use chicken broth in a recipe, you can use less meat and still get the nutrition necessary for a healthy body.  Using less meat can make your meal super cheap.  (And super cheap meals can add up to some serious savings!)

If you want truly organic chicken broth, obviously the chicken carcass needs to be from an organic chicken.  (If you are wondering how I buy healthy chicken for cheap-I wrote about the type of chicken I buy here).

Cheap and Healthy Chicken Broth Recipe (and DIY Cubes!)

Want to make your own chicken broth?  Or even better make the broth into concentrated frozen cubes that you can easily pull out of your freezer when you need some broth?   My friend Jamie from The Herbal Spoon has a chicken broth recipe, and she also explains how to make the broth into frozen cubes.

These cubes can help so much when you need a quick meal-Simply add the cubes, some water, leftover meat and veggies to make a quick soup.  The cubes can also be used for any recipe that calls for broth or stock.

The only ingredients needed for this recipe besides kitchen scraps is a little thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, salt, and apple cider vinegar.  The total cost is probably less than 40 cents.  Especially if you use cheap spices.  

Many of of my spices are from the Starwest Botanicals company.  They are super economical (I often order them from Amazon) and this company does not irradiate their spices-yes many companies do treat their spices with radiation!  (Side note-this makes me sad because herbs and spices are so good for you, but not once they are treated with radiation.)

Here is what I would buy for this recipe (some of these are large amounts-you could split them with a friend, but I use my spices for medicinal purposes also.  So, I often use all of mine!)



Apple Cider Vinegar-This is probably cheapest from your local grocery store.  I like the Bragg's brand.

Want some more frugal healthy ideas?  Check out my Super Quick Healthy Cheap Meal Plan.

Disclaimer: This post is not medical advice.  I am not a doctor or medical professional.  I share only from my own experiences and research.  Consult your own practitioner before making changes in your diet or supplements.

How Much Money Can You Really Save on Food?

Is it really possible to save $4,000 a year on food?  How about $7,000?  You might be surprised how much money you can save on food!  How do I know this?  Well, years of working at it has helped me to keep my grocery bill low.  And, I have know of many others who have cut their food costs down significantly.

How Much Money Can You Save on Food

Dina Marie was spending $800 a month on food to feed her family of 10.  She was able to cut her grocery costs in half by simply planning meals and cutting down on her shopping trips.  She was able to do this and still feed her family nutritious meals.

Frugal Meals-Eat Beans and Save 12,000!?

Beans and Frugal Meals

Frugal Meals-Eat Beans and save $12,000?

Beans can save you a lot of money.  When I say a lot, I mean A LOT.  :)  I started thinking about Katie's Everything Beans Book and wondered how much money could actually be saved by using the recipes in this book.  Would you believe the number could be as high as $12,000?! 

If an average family of four usually ate out twice a week with a bill of $24 each time, and decided to replace those meals with one of the recipes from the Everything Beans book, the savings could be over $12,000!  And these meals are super filling and nourishing!  (I know when we used to go to McDonald's my daughter would tell me that she was still hungry after we finished eating.  She never felt like that when we ate at home!)

How to Track Your Food Expenses

The very first step to spend less on food is to track expenses.  Tracking every single dollar helps you to know how much you are really spending so that you can decide if you would rather be spending your money on something else!  I can almost guarantee that you will be surprised at how much you are spending on food.

How to Track Food Expenses-Expense Tracker

Food expenses especially are hard to keep up with because we have to eat all the time!  But it doesn't have to be too painful to track your food expenses-here are three steps to make it easy.

Free Printable Food Expense Tracker

The average American family of four spends between $713 and and $881 monthly on food eaten at home according to the USDA.  These numbers are based on eating food at home.  The cost of eating at restaurants is substantially more-I would venture to say that eating out could easily add $100-$400 more to the monthly food cost.

Free Expense Tracker

I spend way less than the average even though I buy healthy food including organics.  One of the reasons is because I track my food expenses.  Tracking how much I spend helps me to stay accountable to my budget.  If you have never tracked your expenses, I highly recommend trying it for a month or two.  Seeing how much you spend is highly motivating.  It makes you think about what things besides food that you could be spending your money on!