Spend less, save more at the grocery store

#Middlebury #KitchenDiva

Benjamin Franklin famously wrote that “a penny saved is a penny earned,” meaning that money not spent is money in your pocket. If saving money is on your mind these days, one of the best places to start is with your food budget. Small changes in your shopping and food consumption habits can add up, helping you save lots of money.

Here are some tips for budget-friendly shopping:

  • Compare brands and look at the cost of food per serving. If you will use all of it, the bulk or economy size is often (but not always) a better price per serving. Use a calculator to figure the actual cost per serving.
  • Buy nonfood items from discount stores. This includes pet food, cleaning supplies and personal-care items. You’ll pay more for these at the grocery store.
  • Stock up on nonperishable foods when they’re on sale – so long as you’ll eat them and they won’t go to waste.
  • Purchase the store’s brand of products as much as possible. Many large chains have private-label agreements with major food producers. It’s the same product as name-brand labels, but with the store’s packaging and a lower price.
  • You’ll pay more for junk foods and convenience foods: Ready-to-cook or already cooked foods are more expensive. If you prepare it yourself, you’ll save money and have control over what goes in the food, such as less fat and salt. Nutritious foods are a better value. Remember, the fiber in fruits and vegetables fills you up and keeps hunger away.
  • Look high and low. Bargains are usually on the top or bottom shelves, not at eye level.
  • Use coupons and track your store’s loss-leaders – low-priced items to get you into the store so you’ll buy other higher-priced products. Different sections of the store are featured each week, and some stores have coupons near sale items. Stock up and save!
  • Repackage large containers of food into smaller containers and bags. This will make foods more convenient to grab and go.
  • Cook once, eat twice. Buy enough ingredients to cook more than one meal and freeze meal-sized portions. This also ensures that you’ll use leftovers and won’t waste food.

This week’s recipe uses a roasted chicken and a few simple ingredients for two meals. Serve the Herb and Lemon Roasted Chicken with your favorite sides for one meal. Reserve two cups of chicken meat and use it for the Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta. One chicken, served twice, saves money!

Herb and Lemon Roasted Chicken

Homemade Lemon and Herb Whole Chicken (Depositphotos.com photo)

1 (5 1/2 pounds) chicken
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, cut in half and peeled
1/2 lemon (reserve the rest for second recipe)
2 cloves garlic, peeled (reserve one for the second recipe)
Olive oil for drizzling
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning

  1. Heat oven to 425 F. Line a rimmed sheet tray with parchment paper.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place chicken on sheet tray. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside and outside of the chicken. Place the onion, half a lemon and the garlic into the cavity of the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the poultry seasoning on the outside of the chicken and rub the mixture all over the chicken.
  3. Roast chicken for 1-1/2 hours, until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F. Remove from oven and rest for 20 minutes before carving. Makes 4 servings.

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

1 pound penne or ziti
3 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
2 cups cooked, skinless, shredded chicken

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Stir in pasta and cook according to package directions.
  2. Using a small bowl, mash cream cheese, cream, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper and the pepper flakes together with a fork.
  3. Set aside 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and drain pasta. Return pasta to pot and add cream cheese mixture, peas and chicken. Stir in cooking liquid. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd. Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis


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