Thursday, May 1, 2008

What are you doing to cut down on your food costs?

Today I read an article in the Washington Post about rising food prices. Titled "Clipping, Scrimping and Saving", it discussed the effect of high food costs on Americans across the country.

It made me think about how many of us have had to tighten our belts, or, at least, shorten our grocery lists, as we plan our weekly budgets.

Personally I have stopped buying meat almost completely and seafood has, unfortunately, been relegated to the back burner, since I am not about to start buying ecologically destructive farmed shrimp or Tilapia from Thailand or Vietnam, and most other seafood is too expensive. I stocked up on lentils and other hearty, yet cheap, organic produce the last time I was at Whole Foods-and that was a while ago. At the Farmers market I select my groceries judiciously, going for whats cheapest, and avoiding expensive items like mushrooms, meat, pre-made foods or particularly rare (and expensive) veggies and fruits. I do, however, still buy cheese. One can't give up everything, and I need my goat cheese darnit!

Another way I save money is by making my own yogurt and bread at home. Both save a significant amount of money, but even if bread was a dollar a loaf I would still bake it often, so I can't say that economic reasons drove me to my oven.

So, I'm wondering, how have high food prices affected you? Are there certain things that you buy less of, or simply don't buy at all? And what is your must have splurge item?


KJ said...

Hi Lyra, it seems to be the same story all over the world. I'm not changing the types or sources of food I buy, but I am trying to buy less of them by cutting back on waste. Things like - sticking to a weekly meal plan, putting leftovers in the freezer and actually eating them at some stage, finding a use for those eldery but still edible carrots at the bottom of the veggie bin. It's going well so far.

Madam Chow said...

I am buying in bulk a lot more. I bake so much that I finally started buying sugar and flour in 25 pound (!) bags. I've always stocked up when chicken, etc. is on sale, and now I try to do so more than ever.

Have I cut back? On some things, like cheese. I still get it, just not as often. We are eating more cabbage, which is inexpensive and nutritious. I am VERY selective at the farmer's market - eggs are now $5 a dozen, so they are off my list! I get the organic ones at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, and those are expensive enough!