1. Consider shopping at your local Farmers Market, it's an easy decision that benefits your community and promotes seasonal produce. During the Fall, I personally purchase bushels of roma tomatoes which I stew and freeze to have on hand throughout the Winter. You don't need to be an expert in canning to enjoy flavorful tomatoes; just boil, peel, and deseed them. With a glass of wine and some smooth jazz, you can make it a fun date night. I frequently use my tomatoes for a variety of dishes, such as pasta, stews, chili, or even chicken parm. You'll find it incredibly easy and eventually, you'll no longer have a desire to purchase out-of-season produce. This same principle applies to other vegetables such as peppers, carrots, and spinach; I wash, chop, and freeze them for later use. Although it takes some time and organization, the payoff is certainly worth it.
2. Read the labels. Try to find food that was made or grown closer to home. Think about what it costs, both in dollars and to the environment, when you buy products from far away. Sure strawberries are a treat in January, but won't you appreciate them so much more if you buy them in June from your local farmer? If the food you are purchasing is from near where you live, it is going to be more flavourfull than something that has been sitting on a truck for a week.
3. Shop at an independent grocer. Get to know your local grocer. Ask her when prices may be coming down. Keep an eye on the flyers and buy in bulk when you can.
4. Your freezer can be a helpful ally in preparing weeknight meals. Consider making stews, soups, and casseroles ahead of time that can be quickly reheated. Stews, in particular, are an excellent way to use up vegetables that may not be at their best and cuts of meat that require longer cooking times. Additionally, hosting a potluck is an enjoyable and cost-effective way to socialize with friends.
5. Cost of bringing your own lunch verses buying a sandwich. Firstly it really blows my mind when I hear people complain about the cost of food while eating an $8.00 sandwich from Starbucks. So that money you spent on lunch could have bought you 4-5 days worth of salad fixings but go on complain about how expensive everything is. Just doesn't make any sense to me.
6. Make a list. This is key. Consumers who take a list to the store spend 40% less than those who don't. Do you need another dozen eggs or 2 more pounds of butter when you already have enough. Keeping to your list also makes you more efficient with less time spent aimlessly wondering the aisle thinking about what you need. No more impulse buys unless of course beans are on sale!
7. Prioritize the good stuff. So you really crave that cauliflower. Check around and see if there are any sales and if not give yourself permission to get it. Hey we are talking about healthy food here. Food is necessary for fuel for your body and brain. Its not like your doing something bad for your body like r going to McDonalds.
8. Be organized. I always have enough food in my fridge, freezer and cupboard to make a meal at any time. I delight in making up a meal using what I have. Sometimes my boyfriend thinks its a little strange, but he is a good sport and well he is getting dinner!
9. Breakfast for dinner. We love poached eggs. Steve has perfected the poaching and well I cant think of a yummier dinner at home with eggs surrounded by a bucket load of spinach.
10. Remember to try and support local where you can, either a local farmer or a local shop. Its just good for the world and your community.
I'll see you at the Farmers Market!