Thoughts on Joining a Food Co-op

joining a food co-op

We recently noticed that big things were happening in the elementary school across the street. Every Wednesday afternoon, trucks arrive and a group sets up boxes of produce. Starting at about 7 PM, people start loading up their cars or shopping carts. One day we asked about joining. It turned out there were no qualifications, […]

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Evaluating the True Cost of Foods

grocery receipt and evaluating prices

We all want to cut our grocery bill. Before we do, though, we need to realize how much the food really costs. The most obvious way is to look at your bill over the month or year, discounting the non-food items. But as we’ll see below, this method has its pitfalls as well. Cost doesn’t […]

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Grocery Specials: Are They Really Worth It?

New reader Renee Wohl posted this on a local email list about saving money. A local chain was advertising 1+1 sales where you get two identical items for the price of one. Although there ARE sometimes good deals that can save you money at these 1 +1 and other sales, I’d like to remind all […]

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Ten Quick Tips for Cutting Your Produce Bill

huge winter squash in market

The extreme heat in my part of the world has led to high prices in the markets, especially for vegetables. Here are some tips to help you cut down on your produce bill no matter where you live: Buy vegetables in season. Instead of buying according to your recipe, choose your menu according to the […]

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Tips for Choosing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

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This is the third part of a series on shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables.
When you buy produce, you want the most for your money. But fruits and vegetables don’t come with an expiration date. I’ve collected these tips for helping you choose the freshest fruits and vegetables. Please share your tips in the comments.

Fruits and vegetables have seasons and you can’t always find the quality you want. Be flexible.

Always examine fruits and vegetables for blemishes, especially holes where insects may have entered. Many surface blemishes don’t affect the produce. But a soft spot will spread quickly to the rest of the fruit.

Produce, unless it is not ripe yet, should give off a fresh smell.

I’ve divided the produce into two categories: 1) Produce that starts going downhill from the moment it’s picked and 2) Fruits (mainly) and vegetables that can ripen or improve after you buy them.

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Ten Questions to Ask When Buying Produce

fruit market guide shopping produce

This is Part II of a series on shopping for produce.

See Part I: Ten Questions to Ask Before Going to the Store.

Okay, you’ve assessed your supply and your future needs. You have a list and a plan. But it’s best to be flexible. Produce shopping is not an exact science.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you walk through the market or the produce aisles in the grocery store.

1. Where did this food come from? For example, does it have a high level of pesticides? Is it grown locally, which saves on energy costs and pollution?
2. How ripe is it? You want a balance between produce that is ready to eat or will keep longer.

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Ten Questions to Ask Before Going to the Store

I’m starting a short series on grocery shopping, with a focus on fruits and vegetables. Today I’m giving you questions to ask yourself when planning a shopping trip. Go here for more on menu-planning.

1. What food do you have in the house? Check what you need to use up. Look in your refrigerator to see what fresh and cooked produce is spoiled or leftover. Why didn’t it get used up? Keep receipts to compare from trip to trip.

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Coupon Coup or Frugal Folly?

In this video a reporter follows a mother of six who uses coupons to cut her weekly food budget to one dollar.

The video shows her picking out three items:

  • Fish. She buys 7 packages of 1/4 pound each, using 7 coupons to take a dollar off of each package, bringing her total to zero.
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Pantry List: Stock Up to Save Time, Money and Hassle

Last week I ran out of baking soda while making sourdough bread. The last time I had checked, we had a full container. We buy it in bulk at the shuk (open-air market). But my husband used it to make dishwasher detergent.  Since I don’t know a good substitute, I had to run to the […]

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Grow a Kitchen Herb Garden to Save Money

Kitchen Herbs

Kitchen Herbs
Guest post by Fern of Life on the Balcony: A kitchen herb garden is healthy and frugal, and what could be more efficient than reaching out of your window to pluck a few leaves for the sauce?

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