Monday, July 30, 2012

How much was our groceries?!

     When food shopping with a chef it does not take much time before your chef can rack up the family food bill to as much as $500.  The following precautionary measures can be taken to prevent you from losing your car payment to your fridge. As much as food is important menu planning is essential.
     When planning for the week All You magazine has it right when they suggest that you plans meals that use the same ingredients so you aren't using two tablespoons of tahini paste and then are stuck with a 16oz jar that goes nasty in a week or so. Your chef will notice this. When they mention it act dumb, praise them for noticing and remark about how quick prep work will be throughout the week. Otherwise, they might get bored by their dinner choices, if you are lucky enough to have your chef home for dinner.  Analyze the weekly circulars I never have coupons for what I need because I almost always by store brand or cheaper.  Never underestimate clearance bread, it can be frozen. If it isn't on sale, you don't need it!
   Do not go food shopping with hungry kids or a hungry chef, you might as well sell your car right then and there. A hungry chef will doom your food bill within the first five steps into the bakery section.
   Do not go food shopping right after watching a show on food network. Chefs call it inspiration, I call it strategic marketing.  Of course I want a nice beef wellington but that's not necessarily on my list, my cell phone bill told me so.
    Never underestimate a good seasoning and what it can do for your meal! If you have an arsenal of herbs and spices in your kitchen the options are limitless. You won't find yourself having to buy special sauces, marinades or pre-seasoned kits. They are not as cost effective as they might appear and chefs are suckers for fast, easy and that don't require much brain power.  They need to save that for their kitchens.
     Look through your cupboards before you go shopping! The best thing your chef can teach you is SUBSTITUTION.  No panko or regular bread crumbs or bread for that matter to toast? My kids went nuts when I made chicken tenders using graham crackers from our camp trip and Cheerios dipped in maple syrup and mustard. Just call it "special coating".
     These tips are a great start and you MUST praise your chef during cash out saying that you could never have saved so much if they weren't with you contributing all of their great knowledge and expertise. Trust me it works!!
     However I must warn you.... even if this works most of the time there will be a shopping trip where you might have to give in and sacrifice your next hair cut or week of lattes to make them happy. But hey that's okay because you'll have a week of great meals!

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