Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Saving on Groceries for a Family of Four

Today I have a something I want to draw your attention to, it's an article in O Magazine which touches on the idea of recipe-independence, a concept I refer to a lot.

As I've stated in previous posts, recipe-independence can be achieved by trusting your creativity and taste-intuition, and by understanding complimentary foods and flavors, or flavor pals.

O's article uses The Flavor Bible as a resource for guiding home-cooks away from recipes and toward their inner "culinary authority."

I highly recommend this brilliant book for anyone who loves to cook. You can buy it on this blog; see the link to the right and below.

Back to Market to Mouth ... As I stated last Friday, my intention this week is to share a friend's weekly staples shopping-list, which she keeps it on her computer as a word document, and discuss ways in which she can reduce her grocery bill using that list at Whole Foods.

And then on the remaining days of this week, I'll offer some meal ideas using her list and flavor pals.

For a family of four: 2 adults, a girl aged 12, and a boy aged 10, my friend's weekly shopping list looks like this:
  • Veggies: carrots, broccoli, cucumber, green leafy, lettuce, cilantro, parsley, potatoes, garlic, onions
  • Fruit: apples, bananas, tomato, soft fruit, grapes, kiwi, grapefruit, lemons
  • Dairy/Chilled: milk, soy milk, eggs, cheese: cheddar & mozzarella & goat & Parmesan, butter, humus, whipping cream, yogurt, fortified orange juice.
  • Fish/Meat: cod, salmon, tuna, shrimp, Mahi Mahi, chicken breast, whole chicken, ground turkey, beef, pork.
  • Dry/Packets: bread, cereal, oatmeal, English muffins, raisin bread, tortillas, pasta, rice, crackers, cookies, dried fruit, coffee beans, tea bags, snack bars, chocolate, jam, peanut butter.
My quick tips for saving $$ on this list:
  1. Buy fruit and veg in season, i.e. we're just moving into spring so summer produce like cucumbers, soft fruit, grapes, kiwi and grapefruit will be pricey, whereas you'll find great deals on abundant spring produce like parsley, leafy greens, avocados, radishes, asparagus.
  2. Buy Good Stuff For Less fruit and produce--apples & pears are often on sale at WFs.
  3. Avoid buying ready-made products like humus, I know it's convenient, but gee it's easy to make.
  4. Buy 365-brand dairy, i.e. their milks, butter and yogurt.
  5. Buy WF's Whole Catch fish and shrimp and or buy it in bulk and get the case-discount.
  6. Buy family packs of chicken pieces, versus the breast which is very pricey.
  7. Ground beef is always on sale at WFs when you buy over 3 pounds.
  8. Don't buy dry goods in packets; you'll pay for the packaging, always buy bulk so you can control the weight and the price. And avoid buying tinned beans like black beans and chic peas, buy them in bulk and pay so much less.
  9. Use The Whole Deal coupons for items like snack bars, juices, jams, nut butters.
  10. For a family of four or more, it'd be well worth the savings to buy dry goods, plus protein items in bulk and cases and either dry store or freeze.

1 comment:

The Austerity Kitchen said...

I totally agree with the point about making your own hummus. I used to purchase it from Trader Joe's -- at almost $3.00 a tub, it was a bit pricy. So then I learned how to make it myself. So much cheaper! And yummier too!