One of my favorite food sites, CNET’s CHOW has a great article about how to save money on food and still eat well.
I have definitely noticed prices rising and am often shocked at just how much simple foods cost these days. Some of CHOW’s editors’ tips include things like buying products from bulk bins versus in packages. This is a big one! I recently bought some quick cook oats from Safeway and paid nearly 1/4 of the price that I had spent on packaged Quaker oats. I’m also a huge, huge fan of my neighborhood produce market. I go there religiously–sometimes more than 1-2 times per week and pick up peaches, grapes and nectarines for $1.99/pound. Apples for 99 cents/pound and a whole slew of fresh herbs for less than 99 cents. I also buy Clover yogurt there, eggs, milk, olive oil, preserves, chocolate and spices. They’ve got some great bulk bins, too.
Here are some of my personal tips for saving money on food these days, and still eating well:
1. Roast veggies and stuff them into pitas with crumbled cheese, fold them into grains and pastas for easy, cheap and healthy lunches.
2. Buy cheese from a cheese shop–you can actually buy by weight and can get a greater variety and waste less.
3. Buy frozen fish–it’s often really cheap and just as fresh-tasting, once it’s cooked.
4. Make your own dips/hummus: by having a few ingredients in your pantry (tahini sauce, beans, spices), you can make dips quickly and cheaply with a blender or a food processor.
5. Make big pots of soup: soup ingredients are generally cheap, it’s healthy and you can be assured that you’ll have plenty of leftovers for lunch for the coming week. You can also freeze soup in batches and reheat whenever your heart desires.
6. Use dried ingredients to add zing to recipes. Examples include: dried mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, dried fruits.
One of my favorite ways to use veggies