Categories

Savvy Skills for the Kitchen

Peanut butter is the Jersey Shore of food.

It is cheap, easy, forbidden to some and dangerous to many.

Also? Both leave a real bad taste.

The one difference is that as an economical choice, peanut butter had real value.

Well, not anymore.

It’s price is about to  skyrocket anywhere from 24-40% due to bad crops this summer, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Last week, I posted ways to avoid grocery store scams. Considering that we spend too much time and money trying to feed ourselves, I decided to dig a bit deeper and offer additional ways to encourage healthy economical kitchen alternatives. Mac and cheese only goes so far.

Enter Ceri Marsh, co-creator of the lovely Sweet Potato Chronicles.  I knew Ceri would be a great resource for offering up incredible strategies when she excitedly sent me an article from The New York Times about a women who — out of economic necessity – learns to feed her family through the land. According to Ceri, this women is her new “official hero“.  Sweet Potato Chronicles is an incredible resource, offering up tasty delicious meals, while remaining very conscious of health benefits, economical restrictions and um, quite a bit of style too! Enjoy the tips she offers here:

nggallery id=’125715′

  • Cook! 1 of 10
    Cook!
    Despite the oft-repeated saw that fast food is cheaper than cooking and that's why we're all eating it, home-cooked food is less expensive that eating out in any restaurant. And obviously much healthier.
  • But Don’t Crisis Cook! 2 of 10
    But Don't Crisis Cook!
    Stopping by the market on your way home to pick up dinner supplies is a guaranteed fail in terms of stress, cost and nutrition. Meal planning is about as sexy as fuzzy slippers but it will save your soul. Go to the grocery store once a week, with a list that matches your weekly meal plan.
  • Buy ingredients, Not Meals. 3 of 10
    Buy ingredients, Not Meals.
    Yes, they're convenient, but prepared meals are also much pricier than making those dishes your self. Also, spend less by purchasing whole fruits and vegetables rather than pre-chopped and washed ones. It's really not that much more work to chop a few mushrooms
  • Shop Alone. 4 of 10
    Shop Alone.
    It's not always possible, but if you can, shop without small people who campaign for those brightly coloured packages of expensive crap. Yes, we mean your lovely children (and ours, too).
  • Go Flexitarian. 5 of 10
    Go Flexitarian.
    Nothing does as much for your family's budget or health as cutting meat out… sometimes. Even one day per week without meat will make a substantial difference. Plus, many vegetarian meals, such as chili, lend themselves to batch cooking.
  • Batch Cooking 6 of 10
    Batch Cooking
    When you see something on special, grab lots of it, cook it up and get it in the freezer. You've saved some money and dinner is waiting for you.
  • Cut The Snacks. 7 of 10
    Cut The Snacks.
    At least, from your grocery list. North Americans now eat an equivalent of a fourth meal in snacks every day. If your families snacks are soda, chips and packaged baked goods, you're spending more than you should as well as consuming empty calories. This may make you temporarily unpopular at home, but introduce your family to some new friends called water, carrot sticks and oatmeal raisin cookies.
  • Don’t Be Brand Loyal. 8 of 10
    Don't Be Brand Loyal.
    If you're flexible about brands you can get the most out of sales and coupons.
  • Grow Your Own. 9 of 10
    Grow Your Own.
    Whether you've got a big back yard or a tiny apartment deck, plant some herbs and tomatoes. Nothing is cheaper than food you grow yourself and it's a great family project.
  • Do It With Friends. 10 of 10
    Do It With Friends.
    Invite some friends over and cook in bulk. Consider making sauces, soups or casseroles. Doing it with a friend (or two) can reduce the price and it certainly increases the pleasure.

Recession nutrition: Tips for family meals on a budget

Tagged as: ,

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.