by Tanya from Nevada
I use a combination of strategies that reduce food waste and stretch the monthly food budget. One extra bonus is the amount of time I save in the kitchen. To start, I use both digital and print coupons that can apply to foods even if they’re already on sale. It just takes a few minutes to download the coupons and if I forget, I can download them on my phone while I’m standing in the store. I also plan meals around what’s on sale for the week. If asparagus is on sale, we’ll have it roasted as a side dish one night and then tossed in a vegetable omelet a couple of days later.
However, my biggest and most successful strategy involves bulk buying and cooking. Meat, beans, bread, flour, oats, nuts, and even cereals can be purchased in bulk. When an item is on sale—a really good sale—I buy extra (especially meats). Then, I double or triple my recipes and freeze the extra portions. I even buy and freeze fresh vegetables in portions that are perfect for soups or to throw in a pot and steam for side dishes. The great thing is, it doesn’t matter how busy my day has been, I know when I get home there will always be homemade, nutritious meals right in the freezer and there’s no need to go through a drive-thru.
I am a foster mom who loves to cook as a way to relax. I also use cooking as a way to connect to the children. Social distancing led me to new cooking shows, and now I’m experimenting with international foods. I hope that I’m teaching the children in my care to be open-minded about food and nutrition.
The image fueled Tanya’s inspiration to visit beautiful outdoor spaces during the pandemic. The landscape is the sun setting on the drive back from visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time.