I've been looking for ways to spend less money, simplify my life, and increase the quality of my life... all at the same time.
I had a small victory this morning to that end: Homemade Roasted Pepper Hummus. Super-easy to make (throw it all in the blender), and tastier, cheaper, and healthier than the store-bought stuff.
2 cans Trade Joe's Organic Garbanzo Beans ($1.19 each), rinsed and drained
1 can Great Northern White Beans (Given to me by a friend who moved), rinsed and drained
1 package Trader Joe's Tahini Sauce $2.29 each
1 jar Trader Joe's Roasted Red & Yellow Peppers ($1.99, if memory serves), including the olive oil and garlic
1/3 cup Olive Oil (on hand)
Total cost: $6.65, for about a quart (!) of hummus. An equivalent amount of Trader Joe's Mediterranean Hummus--three containers, I'm guessing--would have been about $9.87. Not a massive savings, though I suppose if you eat a lot of hummus throughout the year, that 33% savings could end up saving you hundreds, if not thousands!... The bottom line is that I saved three bucks and am getting a whole lot of satisfaction out the homemade stuff.
Footnote: I suppose I did cheat a little bit with the Tahini Sauce and the Peppers... I could have made my own for both of those, of course, but for me it's more about finding the right time/work/cost balance rather than making sure everything is as homemade a possible.
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