Making the most of your grocery buys

Seasoned (and some not-so-seasoned) cooks share their grocery savings tricks

Seasoned (and some not-so-seasoned) cooks share their grocery savings tricks

We had so much fun preparing the first blog on produce hacks, we decided to share even more! This time we have ways to stretch your leftovers even further, keep your herbs at their peak and a how-to for reducing saltiness in soup or broth.

Dinners and leftovers

  • Make individual turkey burgers from a pound of ground turkey and freeze them. They’re easy to throw on the grill for a quick, healthy meal. Consider mixing in spinach or cheese before freezing them.
  • Purchase divided containers with lids. When you are cooking, make enough food for an extra meal, place it in the container and freeze it. It’s easy to heat up in the microwave. (I started doing this when my kids were young. It was perfect for quick meals before and after practices and activities and a great way to avoid the easy fast food fix.)

Everything else

  • Store fresh cilantro, parsley or other herbs with stems in the refrigerator upright in a cup or small glass of water. Change the water every day or so to keep the herbs fresh longer.
  • Freeze fresh herbs for later use. Remove the usable parts from the stems and place them flat on a cookie sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for a few minutes, then transfer the herbs to a plastic bag or container. Store in the freezer and take out small amounts as you need them.
  • Freeze fresh herbs with water in ice cube trays. You can toss in the cubes as you’re cooking your favorite dishes.
  • Freeze dollops of tomato paste to use in recipes that call for small amounts. Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap, measure and space out tablespoons of tomato paste and place the sheet in the freezer. When the portions are frozen, store them in a freezer bag. They are already measured for the next time you need some and you won’t have to open a fresh can and leave most of it unused.
  • Working with fresh garlic? Use these two quick tips. Don’t bother to peel it — just whack cloves with a kitchen mallet or the flat side of a wide knife and the peels come right off. And since garlic gets sticky when chopped, sprinkle peeled garlic with whatever amount of salt is called for in your recipe. The salt will reduce the stickiness and you can chop away.
  • If your soup, sauce or other broth-based or liquid dish is too salty, peel a medium potato and cut it into two or three large chunks. Add the pieces to the salty dish and cook for about 15 minutes until the potato is tender. The potato will absorb some of the excess salt. Remove the potato pieces and discard.

Do you have tricks you use in the kitchen or when shopping at the supermarket? Share them with us in the comments.


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