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Easy ways to lower your food bills

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  • Tomato Basil Pasta, 9/1/14

    Tomato Basil Pasta, 9/1/14

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:26:50 GMT
    Serge KrikorianDinner's Ready2 Servings2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided5 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided (NOT margarine)1 tsp. Minced Garlic1 Shallot, minced1 Pt. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise8-10 Leaves Fresh Basil, cut into ribbonsSalt Ground Black Pepper, to tasteGrated Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish4 oz. Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice), cooked according to package directionsOption Add-Ins: Diced Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, sauteed sliced fresh...More >>
    Serge KrikorianDinner's Ready2 Servings2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided5 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided (NOT margarine)1 tsp. Minced Garlic1 Shallot, minced1 Pt. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise8-10 Leaves Fresh Basil, cut into ribbonsSalt Ground Black Pepper, to tasteGrated Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish4 oz. Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice), cooked according to package directionsOption Add-Ins: Diced Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, sauteed sliced fresh...More >>
  • Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-08-27 15:49:39 GMT
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
  • Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Monday, August 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-08-25 12:49:13 GMT
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>

By Kristen J. Gough
From Completely You 


No idea where you stashed the sour cream? Wondering what's lurking in your veggie drawer? Hidden your aunt's infamous fruitcake behind the milk?

A normally organized refrigerator can quickly become a maze of food items and stuffed shelves. But here's a good incentive to get your fridge under control: Saving money.

The average family of four throws out $1,350 to $2,275 each year in food. I'd rather have a little extra cash, wouldn't you? So how can you keep the food tossing to a minimum?


Check your fridge before you shop.

I have a baby carrot habit. My youngest loves baby carrots, so I usually buy a bag every time I shop instead of looking to see if I really need a new one. I figure, hey, it'll get eaten eventually. Trouble is, we end up with three open bags of baby carrots tucked inside the fridge. Eventually, some end up in the garbage.

Look through and do a mental inventory of what's in your refrigerator before you head to the grocery store to avoid buying more than you need.


Come up with meal plans
.

I really try to make a meal plan once a week and then shop once for all of our meals. I find that when I stick to the plan -- and then make a list of ingredients -- I don't tend to buy extras. Better yet, my family uses up all of the food I buy. No wasted food, no lost money.


Skip the fancy ingredients. 
 

When I'm coming up with meal plans I usually look through a few cookbooks or browse online cooking sites for ideas. Often there's a recipe that calls for an ingredient (or several) that I don't have on hand. Sometimes, I'll go ahead and buy that extra ingredient but lately I've been trying to find substitutions that I know I'll use later.

For example, I use lemon rind as a stand-in for lemongrass. And as much as I like fresh herbs, I often use dried instead, especially in recipes that call for a small amount.


Buy smaller, serve smaller.

Sure, the deal on a 5-pound bag of potatoes might be great but if you only need three potatoes, you'll end up with a lot of extras. Along with buying less, try serving less too. An easy way to serve smaller portions is to use salad plates in place of larger dinner ones. 
 

Freeze it and use it.

Any guess what food item gets tossed the most? If you guessed produce, give yourself a bowl of cherries! (And if you don't finish those cherries before they start getting mushy, freeze them.)

I often freeze extra fruit and vegetables in small plastic bags. They make great additions in sauces and smoothies. Inside my freezer right now, I've got a bag of blueberries that will probably go into muffins and cherries for a savory sauce to serve over pork chops.
 

Organize by expiration date.

When I'm refilling my pantry after a shopping trip I try to take a few extra minutes to place items on the shelf according to the expiration date. So the new jars of pasta sauce go at the back of the shelf while the older ones get bumped forward.


Give it away! 

Tis the season, right? If you ended up with more holiday goodies than you could possibly eat, why not wrap up a plate and take it to a friend or neighbor.

Before my neighbor headed out of town for Thanksgiving, she stopped by my house with goodies her family didn't have time to finish. My kids gobbled them up (and now think she's the coolest neighbor ever). So consider boxing up your dinner extras along with those cookies and making someone else's kids happy.



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