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03.22.16

5 Ways to Stretch Food & Save Money

Lifestyle + Home

stilettochef

By: Candice Kumai

Cooking amazing, healthy food on a slim budget has never been tastier! You’ve got even more access to fresh foods now more than ever before!

I quickly learned that pinching pennies is as easy as pinching pounds – it just takes a little planning and a lot of ingenuity. One trick is to shop seasonally, as seasonal produce is most often less expensive than the stuff flown in from abroad or trucked cross-country. Another trick is to keep an eye out for sales on your favorite protein foods- when the price is right, stock up and freeze for a later meal. Shopping generic for foods is a good practice too, as most generic products are exactly the same as the brand name ones! Don’t believe me? Just read the labels. And when you do read the labels, pay attention to not only calories, carbs, and fat grams, but to sodium and sugar as well. Once you see what you’re really paying for you’ll realize that making food from scratch always beats processed and packaged! From homemade BBQ sauce to salad dressings, marinades, and to-die-for hummus, here are five ways to look out for your  health and your wallet:

1. Make your own dressings, marinades, and sauces. Check, for example, my Clean Homemade Marinara Sauce recipe.

2. Re-think your plate. Fill at least half your plate with fresh, seasonal veggies. Think zucchini and peppers in the summer, and root veggies in the winter. Trim the protein down to one-quarter of the plate. Whole grains like quinoa or brown rice can make up the remaining one-quarter, and far cheaper to buy and stock than meat products.

3. Don’t let leftovers go to waste! My Kale Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is a great example of how you can put your left over ingredients to work by reusing chicken bones for stock and raiding your pantry!

4. You “can” afford fish. If fresh fish is out of your price range, go for canned. Salmon, tuna, and sardines are all super healthy and delicious, and much cheaper than their fresh friends.

5. Hit your local farmers market! I cannot stress how much you’ll save on produce that is fresh from the ground, picked seasonally, sourced locally, and minimally processed. These are the freshest fruits and veggies your money can buy.

 

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