Not going to the supermarket hungry and always bringing a grocery list are two great tips for grocery shopping. Research has shown that 60 to 70 percent of what ends up in our carts is unplanned. Making a list will encourage you to buy only what you need instead of what your stomach tells you it wants. While shopping, follow the tips below to ensure a little extra green in your pocket and on the dinner table -- it's a Good Thing.
If you love using fresh herbs to season your food but can't use the whole bunch, dry unused sprigs. They will keep for about six months. To dry them, simply tie each fresh bunch together with kitchen twine and hang upside down. Once crisp, pick off the leaves and place them into a tin. Label it, date it, and store it in a cool spot.
When a recipe calls for a small amount of broth or tomato paste, save the rest in single portions by freezing extras in an ice-cube tray. Pour broth into a tray, freeze it, and then pop the cubes into a resealable bag, label it, and date it. Tomato paste stains, so you can line the tray with plastic wrap. You can also use this freezing technique to freeze brewed coffee. This is a great way to cool down a very hot cup, and it doesn't dilute your coffee.
Be sure to buy fruits and vegetables that are in-season. Not only will this produce have the best flavor, but it also will be the least expensive. As we move into the beginning of April, there is some great produce that is fresh this time of year.
Choose rhubarb that has a bright, vivid color and feels dry, firm, and crisp. Avoid stalks that are limp, wilted, or have brown areas.
Look for asparagus spears with tight buds and smooth skin. It should not be withered, brown, or limp. Small spears are especially tender.
Spring onions are typically larger and have a slightly more rounded and defined bulb than green onions. The flavor has more bite and is also somewhat hotter.
Fresh fava beans have a buttery texture, slight bitterness and a nutty flavor. They are high in fiber and iron, and low in sodium and fat.
For more information on healthy eating habits and shopping tips, check out Everyday Food.