How to Shop

Shopping is key to the whole budget plan, and by the way, it helps to shop when you aren’t hungry and will make better choices. We offer hints for getting the most out of your grocery budget:

  1. Know how to substitute one ingredient for another. If an herb you think you need is $4 that day, go with one that is 69 cents that will work just as well in your recipe. Dill, chive, or mint from the backyard, among other possibilities will be delish in the Chickpea, Tomato and Feta Salad, for example.
  2. Shop late in the day at the local farm market, when bargains can be found, as dealers want to unload produce that may not be in peak condition by the next day, or they just have too much of it.
  3. Ask, also at the farm market, for seconds on produce like apples and tomatoes. They’re usually kept out of sight, but if you say you want to make a pie or tomato sauce, the vendor is likely to come up with a basketful at a fraction of the price of the best produce.
  4. Buying in bulk from the bins that some stores have, can save a lot of money. Making your own granola, according to our recipe, can save you a bundle over buying the premade product—and it tastes better of course!
  5. Find the discount grocery stores in your area. Not all stores are priced equally, for identical products.
  6. If an item is on sale, buy larger quantities and freeze extras or store for future use.
  7. Know when not to shop! This is when you have leftovers at home that can probably be turned into an excellent meal. A glance our handy charts, which follow, will give you some good ideas, and they refer to recipes in this book.