1. Shop at your local Farmers Market. This is truly a no-brainer. Buy what is in season and contribute to your local economy. In the Fall I buy bushels of roma tomatoes which I stew and freeze to use during the Winter. You don't have to be an expert canner to enjoy delicious tomatoes . Trust me its simply a matter of boiling peeling and deseeding. Have a glass of wine and play some smooth jazz and make it a date night.I use my toms for pasta, stews, chillis or a mean chicken parm. Its really easy and its a fact you will never buy out of season again. This also goes for peppers, carrots, spinach. I wash and chop and freeze for later. It takes a bit of time and organizing but totally worth it.
2. Read your labels. Try and find food that is 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 is your friend. Make ahead stews, soups, casseroles for week night fast dinners. Stews are great for using up less than perfect veggies and tougher cuts of meat. Speaking of friends, have people over for a potluck. Its fun and great for those of us looking to socialize while still keeping to our budget. .
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. 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 taking up vaping ( ugh) or 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 vender. Its just good for the world and your community. See you at the Farmers Market!