Saving While Shopping: After Grocery Shopping
- [Robin] Hi, I'm Extension Educator Robin Coolick, and I'd like to talk to you about saving money on your grocery bill after you return from the store.
We often think about saving money while shopping, but might be surprised to learn that how food is prepared and served can save money as well.
When arriving home from the store, you want to store all your produce, fruits, and vegetables right away to guarantee they stay fresh.
Make sure items like your herbs and cooking oils are organized and within reach when putting away.
This makes it easier to know where things are during the cooking process.
Before cooking a meal, clean off all counter space to create room for the preparation of each ingredient.
Use items that have the earliest expiration date first to avoid waste.
Remember, wasting food is losing money.
When preparing meals, allow the whole family to participate in the process.
Assign each member a task in the preparation of cooking of that day's meal.
Kids love helping in the kitchen, especially when given the freedom to complete a job on their own, even if it as simple as tossing the salad.
The whole family preparing a meal together can also create enjoyable memories.
Prepare fruits and vegetables different ways throughout the week.
Some ways could be steaming, sauteing, baking, or adding them to stir fry.
This will create a variety of ways fruits and vegetables can be used in different recipes, especially when you're struggling to incorporate them into the meals before they begin to decay.
Chop extra vegetables when using in a recipe.
Place the extra in a reusable container or freezer bag and freeze.
Remember to label with the contents and the date.
Also, cook meals in large quantities and freeze.
Incorporating leftovers into future meals can save time and preparation.
Freezing foods will preserve them so they last longer.
This will allow you to use the entire amount of food purchased while grocery shopping and avoid any waste.
Keep a tickler list on the freezer door of the contents and freezing dates is helpful in planning future menus or for those nights when you're too busy to cook or haven't had time to grocery shop.
When serving meals, it is suggested to scoop out small portions in order to prevent waste, especially with children and the elderly.
If more food is desired, then give them the choice of receiving more once their plate is cleared.
This practice will not only save food from going to waste, but will also promote portion control that children will learn early on in life, which can prevent chronic disease such as obesity.
Also, when plating food, you should follow MyPlate guidelines of making half the plate fruits and vegetables and the other half your grains and protein.
Plating meals this way can be beneficial, especially when you are following MyPlate guidelines when creating your grocery list and meal ideas for the week.