Quotes to keep eating simple

Eating doesn’t have to be complicated. Food product marketing drowns us in information about what we should be eating – omega this and enriched that. However, you can ignore this noise and use these quotes to keep eating simple.


“If you can’t say it, don’t eat it” – Michael Pollan

This quote helps me remember to eat real food with names that I can pronounce. Whole foods with names like potato, lettuce, and grapes. Whole foods: natural, unprocessed, and unrefined. If you haven’t read Michael Pollan’s book “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” I recommend picking it up. Or if you’re short on time just remember this: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

“If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it”

This quote might be obvious but, you can’t eat what you don’t buy. Want to stop eating Oreos? Stop buying them. I love breakfast cereal. A bit too much. So when I want to stop my cereal madness, I simply stop buying cereal. If I don’t have cereal, then I don’t have an opportunity to eat it.

“You don’t have to eat it all”

My parents taught me to finish everything on my plate and not waste food. As an adult I still finish everything on my plate. I may waste food in my fridge, but not on my plate! This is pretty silly if you think about it. Since I know that I’m a ‘plate cleaner,’ my strategy is to use a smaller plate. I fill up my small plate with food. If I’m still hungry after cleaning my plate, I add a little more.

When I dine out I have less control over the portions, so I either order something small (maybe an appetizer or a salad), or I split my entrée’ with somebody. If no one is interested in splitting, I split with myself by cutting my entrée’ in half and saving half for later.

“What would your grandma eat?”

This is another quote to keep you on the whole food path. When you consider eating something think, “would my grandma have eaten this as a child?” If you’re holding something in a box, then the answer is probably NO. But if you’re holding carrots, then the answer is probably YES. You can use this question when eating or buying food, to help steer you away from processed foods and towards whole foods.

Eating doesn’t have to be super complicated – you don’t need to be an expert in nutrition science. It’s a good idea to avoid food products that make health claims. Truly healthy products don’t come in packages and don’t need to make health claims. Keep these quotes in mind when eating and you’ll keep eating simple.

Do you have another quote? Please leave a Comment.


Oprah’s free chicken coupon is puzzling to me


The excitement over Oprah’s free KFC chicken coupon is puzzling to me. Why so much excitement? What’s behind the excitement? Is KFC’s food that enticing? Is it the lure of getting something for free? Or is it just Oprah’s marketing power? What is it?

I’ve been reading about coupon servers being overloaded, long lines at KFCs, and riots at franchises that didn’t accept the coupon. Huh? I remember eating KFC as a child, but I don’t remember the food being worth all this fuss. Am I missing something? Do I really need to ‘Unthink KFC’? No I don’t, despite this clever marketing ploy.

The Oprah free chicken coupon brings up an important distinction for me.

I have values that I won’t compromise – regardless of price.

I choose to not eat KFC food for a variety of reasons, so I don’t feel compelled to eat there even if someone offers me a free meal. To me it’s like getting a free package of cigarettes when you’re a non-smoker. Kind of silly. So while I may never understand the excitement over free KFC chicken, it has helped me realize that I’m not unabashfully frugal. I have my limits. I won’t eat at KFC to save a couple bucks.  

What about you? Do you have limits on your frugality? Is there something you won’t do to save a couple bucks? Please leave a Comment.

Eating out on the cheap

Being frugal doesn’t mean you need to sit home and eat beans every night. You can enjoy eating out in a frugalish kind of way. Here’s how…

Frugal dining tips

  • Skip the beverages.  Water is all you need and it’s free.
  • Use coupons.  Don’t be embarrassed to use coupons, just let the wait staff know up front. No surprises. If you eat out often it may make sense to buy the Entertainment Book.
  • Dine on special-deal nights.  Some restaurants have a ‘special day’ (usually mid-week) where kids or seniors eat free. Plan ahead and dine out on the day with the killer deal.
  • Squirrel away extra food.  Last night our waiter brought a huge basket of bread to our table. Not wanting to fill up on bread, I only ate one piece. What happened to the bread? It was whisked away and discarded. Food waste makes me crazy – so next time I’ll bring a container and squirrel away extra food. Now you may be wondering, is everything on the table fair game? Probably. It’s really up to you. Do you want to be known as the person who emptied the sugar container?
  • Only eat half.  When your entrée arrives cut it in half. Now hold the line and just eat one half. Think of how great it will be to eat the other half later. Your $16 restaurant bill is now two $8 meals. If you can eat an entire restaurant portion try this: When you leave your house, grab a handful of baby carrots or another crunchy veggie. Eat the veggies on the way to the restaurant. When you arrive, drink 1 or 2 glasses of water and place your order. When your entrée arrives, slice it in half and you’re good to go.
  • Consider appetizers.  There are many wonderful menu items listed under a heading called Appetizers. Now, you may have learned that these items are to be eaten before your meal. And to this I say phooey-whooey. You really can just order an appetizer and nothing else.     
  • Share with someone.  Split your entree with someone. Most restaurants are cool with this, but some are indignant and charge you a small fee to try and deter you. But, do what you like. If you want to split an entree, split it. I think small appetites shouldn’t be penalized, but no one asked me.
  • Skip dinner.  Dinner is the most expensive meal, so consider dining out for breakfast or lunch instead.

How do you save money when dining out? Please leave a Comment.