You’ve noticed that food prices have gone up, up and up?
So do something about it!
*Stop eating so much meat. Just stop it! Think of chicken, fish, pork and lamb as protein accessories, with fresh, seasonal veggies and whole grains as the main attraction.
*Only shop for what’s in season – and that means stop craving asparagus in November, or red peppers in May. We only buy organic and natural foods – so that means we’re already paying higher prices (and worth every blessed penny) than those of you who comb the mega-aisles of Costco. But we don’t pig out on luxury meats when free-range chicken, or fresh local seafoods will do.
*Buy perishables in small amounts – enough salad greens or fresh fruit for the next few days – and in small containers. Buying smaller containers means less waste, which can more than recover the slightly higher per unit costs of smaller containers.
* No imports, buy local – Sure there are obvious fair trade import exceptions, but in general local and seasonal gets you more flavor and value bang for the buck. Plus it keeps local small growers adding to the local tax base. Can’t live without artisanal cheese? Try local and Bay Area cheeses, instead of French imports.
* Give up that daily latté habit – Make it a once-a-week treat to stop at your favorite coffeehouse for a double royale with whipped cream. You’ll save a bundle.
* Make dinner salads — a giant green salad crowned by a modest piece of fish, or a handful of shrimp, or shredded chicken breast, or just about any left-over bit of protein you’ve got in the refrigerator. Make your most zippy vinaigrette dressing and drizzle it over everything. Add whole grain crackers, or a sourdough roll and you’ve got dinner. Here’s an example. Let’s say I’m making local albacore for dinner. Okay. The fish gets very briefly sauteed, arranged into pink slices across the plate, acompanied by organic brown rice and a few whatever green veggie is in season. I always sauté more than we can eat for one meal, and then slice up the remaining fish the next night to crown a huge green salad. So one purchase creates two dinners.We do the same thing with restaurant dinners – take home half of each entree, and turn it into a creative dinner salad a second night.
* Start dieting – If you’ve been looking for an excuse to drop a few pounds, consider the hike in food prices the perfect invitation to start. Reduce your portion sizes and you’ll simultaneously save money and lose weight. You’ll look better, feel better and you can use the savings to go to the movies.