Make the Most of Your Ingredients
Make Your Own Breadcrumbs
The next time you have leftover bread from a meal, make homemade breadcrumbs. You'll save a few dollars without skimping on flavor. Tossed with lemon zest, herbs, and Parmesan cheese, these fresh breadcrumbs are perfect for coating chicken, pork, or turkey cutlets, or as a pasta topping.
Freeze Some for Later
If you have leftover wine, don't throw it out. Pour it into a resealable bag or ice cube tray, and freeze it. It's a great ingredient to deglaze with. After sauteing meat, add 1/2 cup of wine and stir in a little bit of butter.
A Well-Kept Pantry
Transfer flour, sugar, and other dry goods to wide-mouth, airtight containers. This will help keep them fresh and make them easier to scoop with measuring tools. If you don't use ingredients quickly, note the purchase date on the containers. Keep these pantry staples in a low-humidity environment. Moisture can make solid sugars lumpy, so be sure to leave brown sugar in its original bag, and then double-wrap it to keep it soft.
Put spices into labeled tins, date them, and store them in a cool, dark location. Light and heat can cause them to lose their flavor more rapidly.
Prioritize Organic Foods
Buying everything organic isn't always financially feasible, so make the switch for items most likely to have higher pesticide residues -- apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, grapes (imported), lettuce, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach, and strawberries. It's also wise to buy organic meat and dairy products that don't contain growth hormones.
The benefits of cooking pasta are many -- it's easy to make, versatile, and inexpensive. Many delicious dishes can be assembled from just a few pantry staples. Try our hearty Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Parmesan, healthy Fusilli with Broccoli and Chicken, or super-easy Spaghetti with Pecorino and Black Pepper.
Buy Chickens Whole
It's more economical to buy whole chickens instead of individual parts. Cutting up the whole bird may seem complicated for first-timers, but it's not. Try these easy step-by-step instructions or consult Martha Stewart's Cooking School for illustrated how-tos and more. Leftover parts can be used to make Basic Chicken Stock.