Tag reduce calories

Save Money Cutting Calories

Here's how to buy smarter and eat smarter while cutting calories.

Buying food is one of the larger expenditures we make each week. But did you know that by cutting calories you can also save money? Use our tips on how to save money both when eating out and eating at home.

Save Money Cutting Calories When Eating Out

We know eating out is much more expensive than brown bagging it, but do you know how much you are spending? Assuming your daily lunch costs $7.00, with an average of 20 working days per month, that is $140 per month or $1,680 per year! Oh … let’s not forget to mention the loads of calories and saturated fat that is in many of the fast-food super-sized lunch choices. Your meal could easily top over 900 calories and 40 grams of fat. That is over half of your daily calorie count in just one meal!

Compare that to a salad of vegetables and grilled chicken with a light vinaigrette dressing, and a cup of homemade vegetable soup and you saved around 550 calories, 34 grams of fat and about $5.00. A healthy lunch you bring from home will nutritionally and financially beat lunch out every time hands down. And if you can avoid having to drive somewhere to get lunch, you can save even more by not spending money on gas to get there and back.

What you drink can really run up your monthly expenses and calories too. Instead of ordering your morning $4.00 latte with 180 calories, order a coffee with half-and-half cream with only 20 calories. Not only did you save $2.25, but you drank 160 fewer calories – and that is if you only have one drink per day.

Save Money Cutting Calories When Eating at Home

Buying your own groceries and eating at home is always less expensive and with less calories than eating out. But how can you reduce calories and food costs at the same time? Cook in bulk.

It costs money every time you fire up the oven. So instead of making one meal at a time, cook up a whole week’s worth of meals, package them in portion-sized servings and freeze them. It takes much less energy to heat up a meal in the microwave than cook it in the oven and with a portioned-sized meal, there will be less temptation to overeat, thus saving calories.

Another tip … watch the sales on healthy items. Instead of stocking up on processed food that is on sale, still expensive and full of calories, focus on buying healthy choices instead, such as tuna, olive oil, beans and brown rice, and lean meats. In the end, both your waistline and wallet will thank you.

Food costs are one of our largest monthly expenditures. However, by diligently buying healthy items in quantity when on sale, you not only save money at the checkout, but in gas by not having to go to the grocery store as often. And by buying natural healthy foods, you are avoiding the unwanted calories in processed foods, not to mention the saturated fat, trans fat and sodium found in many pre-made foods. Buy smart, eat smart and save both money and calories.

20 Easy Ways to Reduce Calories

Here we have some easy ways to reduce calories without a hassle.

To lose weight, you have to cut calories, or exercise more, or a combination of the two. If you plan to cut calories, we rounded up 20 ways you can use to reduce your caloric intake through smart substitution and portion control.

Smart Substitution to Reduce Calories

By making small, but smart swaps, you can reduce your calorie intake substantially. For instance:

  1. Swap out a bagel for an English muffin and avoid eating 220 calories.
  2. Trade 10 ounces of whole milk for skim and avoid another 70 calories.
  3. Make an omelet with one whole egg and two egg whites instead of three whole eggs. Calories saved – 125.
  4. Try turkey sausage instead of pork and save another 125 calories.
  5. Instead of mayonnaise, use hummus or mustard on your roll and cut 200 calories.
  6. Trade your french fries for a salad and save 300 calories.
  7. Try tortilla chips with salsa instead of potato chips dipped in a sour cream-based dip; it’ll save you 109 calories.
  8. Try replacing oil in your favorite baked dessert with applesauce; four tablespoons of applesauce is 40 calories while two tablespoons of oil is 200. Plus you’ll add more flavor to your dessert.
  9. Use 4 ounces of fat-free half-and-half in your coffee instead of regular cream and save 88 calories.
  10. Eat 1/2 cup of oatmeal instead of a full 1-cup serving; calories saved: 150.
  11. Substitute 1.5 ounces of raisins for fresh grapes and save 98 calories.
  12. Snack on baked potato chips instead of the fried ones; save 90 calories for a 1-ounce serving.
  13. Put 3 ounces of mozzarella cheese on your sandwich instead of Swiss and save 108 calories.
  14. Swap out Alfredo sauce for marinara sauce- 129 calories saved.
  15. Eat 1 cup of frozen yogurt instead of ice cream.
  16. On your salad, eat either croutons or cheese, but not both and save over 100 calories.
  17. For something different, eat 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries topped with 2 ounces of fat-free whipped cream instead of 1/2 cup of strawberry ice cream and avoid eating 102 calories.
  18. Portion Control: The size of your plate makes a big difference on the number of calories you consume. Trick your mind into thinking you have more food than you do by using a 9-inch instead of a 12-inch plate. On average you can save up to 500 calories.
  19. Do you tend to go back for another helping when finished with the first? You still can, but first wait 20 minutes. Most likely won’t go back and if you do, you’ll take less.
  20. When eating out, it is harder to control portions, however, not impossible. Because restaurant portions are significantly larger, eat smart by leaving a fourth of your meal on your plate. Look up the nutritional information before leaving the house. Studies found people ate 52 fewer calories when they knew the nutritional information before ordering.

Cutting calories is easy when you know how to make intelligent substitutions and control portion size. Take charge of your eating with these suggestions.

Reduce Calories in Deserts

This is how to reduce calories in some of your favorite deserts.

Desserts don’t have to be loaded with calories (and fat) to taste great. There are many alterations or substitutions you can make to your current recipes, and still have them taste great. Here are four changes you can make that your family won’t even notice.

Reduce Calories with Yogurt

Low or non-fat yogurt is a great substitute for high fat ingredients used in baking such as shortening, oil, butter and sour cream. Not only does it cut fat and calories, but it adds a creamy texture. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use 1/2 cup or butter and 1/4 cup of yogurt. Replace 1 cup of shortening or oil with 1/2 cup shortening or oil, 1/4 cup yogurt plus 2 tablespoons.

Reduce Calories with a Sugar Blend

A part of a healthy lifestyle, many people are switching over to natural sweeteners derived from the Stevia plant. While 20 times sweeter than sugar, it has 0 calories. If you use pure stevia, then use at the ration of 6 packets to 1/4 cup of granulated sugar or follow the package directions.

Some companies have created a stevia/granulated sugar blend. Use it at the replacement ratio of 1/2 cup of sugar blend per 1 cup of sugar. You still get the great taste of sugar, but with only half the calories and it is all natural.

Reduce Calories with Applesauce

For sweeter quick breads, muffins and cakes along with a creamier texture, substitute applesauce for butter. In most recipes, you can do a one-for-one swap. Use unsweetened applesauce measured in a measuring cup made for measuring liquids. When using applesauce as a replacement, mix the other liquid ingredients into the applesauce, then add in the sugar and finally fold in the dry ingredients. Mix only until well combined. Do not shorten up the baking time.

Reduce Calories with Whole Wheat Flour

White whole wheat flour is a great substitute in recipes calling for all-purpose or white flour. Replace half of the flour requirement with whole wheat flour. While white flour is highly refined and has many of the nutrients taken out in the process, whole wheat flour still contains the wheat seed, germ and bran, making it much more nutritious.

By using healthy substitutes, such as whole wheat flour in place of regular flour, yogurt in place of butter, applesauce in place of oil, and reducing the sugar in your recipes, you can turn your calorie-laden desserts into something healthy, and more than likely your family will not notice the difference.