How to Grocery Shop Economically and Well -Part 1

Soup, Soup, and More Soup

Feb 15, 2011 by

"Vegetable Soup"We all have main themes we gravitate toward in our lives. For some it’s family, for some its religion or the quest for World peace…Mine is food. And by that I don’t mean what delicious thing I can forage for next. Well, that too…but I also mean what I can cook or bake for other people, how I can contribute to food banks and research the issue of hunger in the US, and I’m always stretching my culinary skills by taking cooking classes and creating new recipes and menus. Besides, I’m a Southern Jewish woman. I was basically bred to cook and eat.

Here are my basics of food shopping when on a budget. It’s not the cheapest food plan you can find because I also emphasize fresh produce and variety. But I think I have some good tips for a balanced diet that won’t break the bank.

The most important tip is to shy away from super processed and packaged convenience foods. You know, frozen dinners, Lunchables, and individually packaged snacks. Empty calorie snack foods. Fad foods like the new shapes and sizes like all the dipable crap as in Oreo sticks and mini this or that…Same thing but higher price per ounce. Even most fruit rollups are primarily sugar and food coloring. No one needs that. Forget about sugar free and fat free. The most obese people I know have both in their pantries all the time. They cost more and make you actually gain weight. And well, ingesting phenylketonurics or wood resin can’t be good.

OK. So what CAN you eat, now that we just removed about 80% of the contents of your cart?

For value and nutrition, one of the best additions you can make to your diet is whole grains. And I don’t mean Blueberry Kashi Waffles or Quaker’s instant Strawberries and Crème oatmeal *Artificially Flavored.

I mean brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat…Little hearty things that could put out your eye if pelted toward you before cooking. Not wimpy buns and bread and stuff you have to add to the top of your cart so apples and cans won’t squish it. Start eating one or two servings of whole grains a day and you will feel great.

One of my favorite breakfasts is cooked brown rice with fresh or thawed frozen berries and almond milk, eaten like a cereal. Takes 30 seconds to assemble in a bowl and one minute to nuke in the morning. This sticks with me and gives great energy and no sugar lows. Instead of eating your boring old lettuce salad, add chopped veggies and beans to a whole grain and add a vinaigrette for a complete meal.

Soup, soup, and more soup. Why? Let’s see…economical (can even be a way to use leftovers and veggie bits), often healthy, reheats well after freezing and easy to prepare. What can be easier than cutting stuff up and throwing it in a pot? Try to make 2 pots of soup a week. I probably make Vegetable, Miso, Chili and of course, Chicken Soup most often. For recipes go here and a comprehensive soup cookbook is a great investment.

Part 2

About the Author

Jacki Schklar Has Written 7 Articles For Us!

Jacki Schklar is a video and interactive content producer in Atlanta, Georgia. Her main interests are marketing, comedy production, web publishing and cooking. Everyone asks her if she is a comedian and/or tells her she should open a restaurant, neither of which appeal to her. She publishes a website featuring funny female producers, writers and comedians called . FunnyNotSlutty Original Videos have been featured by Funny or Die,, and Internet Video Magazine.
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1 Comment

  1. These are great ideas!! I’m a food person too, but my focus actually is just on what I can personally cook in my own kitchen next. I’m even trying to make a business out of the trauma of receiving 3 cabbages in a farm share box. I haven’t read part 2 of your article yet, but maybe you mention how easy it is to make yogurt and how if you have the cash in the winter then it’s much cheaper to buy a farm share and get super fresh produce all summer.

    Jacki, I am becoming one of your followers. Your articles are both entertaining and informative. I’m looking forward to reading the rest!

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