I’d like to welcome Kids Kitchen’s new addition! Jami Smith is our expert on “Feeding Real Food to a Family of Six on a Budget.” She welcomes your questions on How-To, Where to Find, Where to Shop, and How to Keep Balance. She will offer us inspiration on feeding your large (or small) family real food on tight budget.
Welcome Jami, and your family of Six!!
Written By: Contributing Blogger, Jami Smith
How many times have your wanted to try a new recipe that calls for a specific spice. Last week a made a new soup that called for 3 such spices. You buy the $4 jar, never use it again, and know that meal cost you more that it should. That could have cost me upwards of $12 for spices alone! Have you ever noticed (usually labeled the health food or bulk bin section) the pay by weight spices? You can pick up that 1 tablespoon of almost anything and it is at a cheaper price per ounce that the pre-bottled versions. When I figured this out, I never purchased another jar unless they did not have it in bulk. I now keep my jars and refill them with the spices.
While you are shopping for you spices, look over and you will find (usually next to the bulk spices) the bulk bins for everything from salt and rice to nuts and polenta from quinoa and oats to dried fruits and even cereal. These are also priced per pound and you can save here verse the pre-boxes version.
You also need to know your store. I usually shop at 2 different stores. One I shop early in the week for my main trip. The other I shop at the end of the week to make it through the weekend. I know between the 2 stores what produce, spices, dairy, you name it is a better deal or about the same between the two. One such deal was a vanilla bean. At one store it was $9 each in the spice section and $6 each in the bulk spices. At the other store it was priced per pound and I was able to get 3 of them for…hold the phone…$2.91! That is almost free compared to the spice jar price. I know at this store I need to buy most of my organic veggies (bell peppers, potatoes, cucumbers, and so on). Most of my fruit and greens are about the same at either store. But, I know to buy salad greens or berries from one store over the other.
Overall, you need to make sure you shop around and pay attention to what you are buying. If it is something you buy often, check the price of another store to make sure you are getting the best deal.