Summertime is easily the best season for fresh produce, no matter where you live. All it takes is one visit to the farmer's market or grocery store to completely stock your fridge with fresh goodies. Plus, several health benefits are associated with eating more vegetables, from improved blood pressure and lower levels of chronic inflammation to even improved skin health. One of the easiest ways I up my vegetable intake is by making my own homemade salad dressings. Having flavor-packed homemade dressing on hand makes it easy to add a side salad to any meal and gives me a delicious sauce to top any leftover veg with, whether or not they're on top of greens (anything can be a salad if you get creative enough). Not only does this help me up my intake of nutritious produce, but also it helps me cut down on food that could otherwise be wasted due to its short shelf life. Homemade dressings typically rely on pantry staples like oil, spices and vinegar that you might already have in your kitchen, which helps you save money. Also, many premade versions of your favorite dressings contain ample added salt, sugar, fats and thickening agents, so creating your own allows you to control the ingredients and amounts used. After you try making your own Caesar Salad Dressing or Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette with Shallots, you'll never want to go back to store-bought. For more budget-focused, beginner-friendly recipes, tips and tricks, check out Thrifty.