Super advice for grocery shopping

Grocery Shopping for the Cheap and Lazy

This is absolutely super. Some of my favorite tips:

“2. Redefine “meal”

The idea that a meal consists of a medium-sized hunk of meat, a bland starch, and some kind of green veggie is a very Anglo-American concept, and it really isn’t the gospel of nutrition. The truth is that you don’t have to eat meat at every meal. You don’t even HAVE to eat veggies every day.

There are people who scoff that pasta is “college food,” but I disagree. Pasta is how people all over the world survive on a day-to-day basis. Oh, sure, a lot of rice gets eaten in the warmer regions, but bread and pasta make up the bulk of calories throughout much of northern China, Mongolia, and the rest of Central Asia. I see absolutely no shame in eating pasta several nights in a row. Yeah, I like to change it up a bit (marinara one night, spinach and pesto the next), but pasta is a time-honored food item that’s easy to dress up to suit your tastebuds.

On a similar note, there’s nothing wrong with eating a sandwhich for dinner; peanut butter and jelly is nutritious, delicious, and cheap. Pancakes and eggs make an amazing dinner. There is absolutely no need to define your meal around what Tyson has taught us is the “ideal supper.” It’s not that I never have a more traditional American meal — it’s just that I don’t center my dining around the concept of it. THAT would involve planning, and I’m just too tired at the end of the day to create a perfectly plated meal.

My favorite dinner is usually a hunk of sesame baguette, a few slices of fresh cheese, a handful of herbs from my garden, and a glass of red wine. The dinner is simple to prepare, since all I have to do is slice the cheese and wash the herbs. The bread is good the next morning when made into French toast with cinnamon, and also good at lunch, when I make it into a baguette with some lunch meat or almond butter and honey. None of those meals totals more than $5 and all of them are simple.

The best meals often revolve around one really good fresh ingredient (such as fresh carrots doused with lemon juice, crushed fresh mint, and sea salt) that are enjoyed with minimal adornment. The beauty of seasonal eating that is you get to really enjoy fresh flavors and make them the center of attention, rather than, say, steak or chicken breast. Also, when you are young and single and have no one to impress…THAT is the time to bake an apricot tart and eat it every night with ice cream for few days. The time for perfectly-roasted chicken and kid-friendly meals is later. Enjoy singlehood and the freedom that comes with it while you can.

People frequently complain that buying food at the farmer’s market is expensive. This is true — if you go to the market with a traditional meal in mind, you’re going to leave having spent at least $60 on a couple of grass-fed steaks, a head of kolrabi, and some squash flowers. The thing is, you don’t have to buy “the perfect balanced meal” at the farmer’s market — sometimes fresh beets roasted with olive oil on top of a salad of fresh greens is the best dinner you can ever have. Nevermind that it lacks protein. You can make it up later.

7. Allow yourself that one indulgent item

My favorite little fancy food item is a small jar of mushroom relish that has been soaked with black truffle oil. It packs an earthy punch, and only truffle lovers really enjoy it. I adore it. A teeny weeny jar costs $5 and lasts me two weeks. I consider it a worthwhile investment because every time I open the fridge and see the jar sitting there, I find excuses to eat at home rather than to go out.

If you have a favorite food item that you feel deprived without, buy it every now and then. What’s life without caviar?

11. Be ethnic!

Get over your white-ass self and check out a store that specializes in Persian food, or head to that Cambodian store that looks so oddly intriguing from the entrance. It has been noted time and time again here on WB that the cheapest food can be found near immigrant communities, because immigrants work their fingers to the bone and are not about to spend more than $3 on a gallon jar of kimchee, thankyouverymuch.

You don’t have to be endlessly adventurous — good tripe isn’t that cheap, after all, but consider buying green vegetables and fruit from these stands and markets. You’ll be surprised at how much cheaper everything is. Besides, now is the time to figure out whether or not you like tofu skin — trying to feed it to kids ten years from now might not go over so well.”

Read the whole list. It’s absolutely great, especially for someone like myself that is…as mentioned in the and lazy ;) Also I am totally putting this on my blog for future reference…


One thought on “Super advice for grocery shopping

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