Updated: Oct 28, 2017
Creating nutritious meals that don't break the budget is important when I'm putting together new recipes. I believe in using seasonal produce when available and keeping the pantry and freezer stocked with common staples that can be used in a wide variety of meals with little effort required - How easy is that!
Seasonal - Local - Organic - Whole
The marketing so often facing consumers when they are food shopping is often one that promises convenience. This makes these foods a very tempting option for consumers but so often they are lacking adequate nutrients and contain a wide variety of salt, sugars, fillers, emulsifiers, flavours, colours and additives making them a poor choice for those wanting to better their health.
Buying fresh produce when in season often costs less and if you can buy local produce this keeps transport costs down passing on even more savings to you.
Organic foods yes, sometimes cost a little more but there are many companies now seeing the demand people want for organic products which means prices have come down quite considerably in recent years which is great to see.
I am a great believer in growing what you can and like to eat. Even if you don't have a lot of space or a green thumb, there are so many super easy ways to grow basic foods. Even sprouts which can be grown in jar are a nutritious way to incorporate homegrown produce into your diet and provide a stepping stone to growing the next lot of simple options. These may include lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, spinach as a starting point and from there try your hand at more interesting foods. One point to remember is to grow what you like to eat as it will be more likely to end up in a meal and not going to waste. You don't want your effort to be for nothing!
Lastly and this is a great way to save, buy whole or bulk foods. A whole pumpkin for example is cheaper than a quarter and can be used to make many dishes which can be frozen for a later date or you may even like to share some of that pumpkin/whole food with family or a friend. Another way to save is to buy a large rather than a small bag say of brown rice (which will store well in containers) as this will cost far less and can always be used to prepare a wholesome meal in a variety of ways. Places like #costco are another useful way to save money, especially if you have people you can buy together with and share bulk quantities as price per item is often a lot cheaper than in regular supermarkets.
SPECIALS: Each week I hop online to #lasoo where I can look up the specials that are listed for the week. I always keep a regular mental inventory of what I have at home so very little goes to waste, when I see things I would use on a regular basis I make sure if the price is a lot less than I would normally pay, that I stock up as I know it will get used and save money in future shops.
MARK DOWNS: I love finding out from my grocer just when they might be marking down items so I can stock up on foods that I may not usually buy so I can give them a try or if there are items that I may be able to freeze or use later. Often these items have a couple of days to use them before expiry or on many occasions they may be deleting a line and this provides an opportunity to stock up.
COMMUNITY PANTRIES: These are a great little resource that provide opportunity for communities to make the most of otherwise wasted foods and grocery items. Often the foods are destined for landfill yet still have a usable shelf life and still provide a nourishing meal for savvy shoppers. It is a great way to meet people, make the most of some great savings, support the community, reduce landfill and waste and be able to cook some delicious meals and stock up on other items you may discover while there.
Look out for a community pantry near you!