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Matthew Thompson's Blog (Page 8)

January 18, 2012 - 12:10am

A few months ago, my wife and I noticed an interesting phenomenon: Our grocery bill, which used to be so consistent, had started to slowly, steadily creep up week by week. At first we assumed that rising prices were to blame—after all, the economy is in the gutter right now—but a quick double-checking of some of our staple purchases proved this wasn’t the case. No, it turned out that our grocery costs were higher simply because we had stopped focusing on our core money-saving strategies.

As any supermarket-savvy shopper will tell you, how you eat can make a huge difference in how big your bill is. Because each purchase is in itself so small—will it really add up if I choose a $5 box of cereal rather than a $4 one?—it’s easy for tiny decisions to accumulate into a substantial rise in your bill. For us, that meant...

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January 6, 2012 - 11:36am

When it comes to choosing what to eat, I like to get a lot of nutritional bang for my buck, so to speak. The best deals? “Superfoods” that are far more plentiful in nutrients than they are in calories and that research has shown deliver health benefits. You’re probably already eating a lot of everyday superfoods—like bananas, eggs and broccoli—and maybe even some exotic ones (acai, anyone?).
Don’t Miss: 10 Everyday Superfoods That Should Be in Your Kitchen

But what about the power-packed foods filled with good-for-you vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting phytochemicals you aren’t eating? Rather than rattling off a laundry list of every fiber-rich, antioxidant-packed, vitamin-saturated...

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December 20, 2011 - 12:10pm

When New Year’s Eve rolls around, you won’t find me on the couch waiting for a ball to drop. I love a good New Year’s Eve party. What’s not to love? Close friends, a few celebratory toasts, all the optimism of a new year and the promise of the new, better self you resolve to be.

But you don’t need a white–tie gala ball to celebrate! All it takes is a few friends, a living room and, of course, some tasty snacks to serve as you ring in the new year. And you don’t have to get too fancy—you can make delicious, elegant appetizers from ingredients you probably have sitting in your pantry. Even better: you can make them without turning on your stove.

Don’t Miss: Need proof? Here are 5 delicious appetizers to try this New Year’s:

Marinated Olives & Feta
...

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December 19, 2011 - 4:23pm

My wife and I are just stunned by what happens to our bank account in December. Like an odometer in reverse, you can almost count the miles (and dollars!) rolling off our debit card. There are gifts, of course, but then add in the travel, the special meals and decorations and, well, all that holiday cheer can put the hurt on your pocketbook.

But even as we try to figure out just how much yuletide treasure we can afford, there’s one thing I’m confident about: Christmas dinner. No matter how frugal we have to make our festivity, it’s always possible to cook a delicious, filling feast for a reasonable price.

Need proof? Check out this Christmas dinner menu. It comes out to less than $5 per serving and even includes a sumptuous dessert. Don’t worry about being a Scrooge: this is a true celebratory dinner!

A few...

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December 13, 2011 - 12:21pm

It's been a big year in food news. Here's a look, in no particular order, at 5 of the food trends of 2011, the stories that propelled them to the top and what you can learn from them:

1. The USDA’s Food Pyramid Turned Into MyPlate
After years of helping us make healthy eating decisions with its famous Food Pyramid, the USDA changed its favored icon of healthy eating in June to… (drumroll please) a dinner plate. Intended to help Americans visualize the right balance of fruits, grains, vegetables, meat and dairy, the new design did away with the counting of servings that was central to their old model—will future generations even know what it means to “get your 5 a day” of vegetables? Though the emphasis on balance is a fantastic step in the right direction, the USDA’s icon certainly had some...

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