Time management and budgeting go hand in hand when planning your family’s
meals. I watch the cost of food rise along with fuel costs like any other home cook does. The only difference is that I keep a running spreadsheet throughout the years to order in bulk for my restaurant Cuvée at The Greenporter Hotel. While reviewing these figures, it concerns me to see that the price of olive oil has almost doubled in less than five years and the price of rice, nuts and other dry goods are up as much as fifty percent from last year.
Today, one in three Americans are living in or near poverty and there is record
participation in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(formerly food stamps). A recent study from Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters with support from the ConAgra Foods Foundation found that many American’s from all backgrounds struggle to put healthy meals on the table.
The study found that cost was the most commonly cited barrier to making healthy
meals. Families that regularly plan meals and budget for food are able to make
healthy meals more often. Most families surveyed said that eating healthy meals is important to them, and most were interested in learning about cooking healthy meals.
When planning meals it is important to take into consideration what is in
supply. In other words, if it is in season or on sale, buy it! If you feel that buying fresh vegetables is too expensive or time consuming, buy them frozen.
This is also a time to venture beyond your comfort zone and start using your knife rather than relying on ready-butchered chicken or fish. Buy whole fish or chicken and filet and quarter yourself. A whole chicken runs under $1.50 a pound and chicken parts run as high as $4.50 a pound. According to Charles Manwaring at , whole fish can run as little as $2 a pound and filleted can run past $20 a pound.
Have a vegetarian night twice a week. Eating more vegetables, grains and beans will cut down on your grocery expenses and healthcare expenses by reducing your meat consumption.
Make soups. Soups are inexpensive, low-calorie and store well. Always keep a chicken stock or vegetable stock on hand for making soup and save bones, herb and vegetable cuttings try make it fresh and
On May 10, I am holding a budget cooking class as afundraiser in the spacious kitchen of Tifereth Israel’s social hall in Greenport from 6 to 8:30 p.m. We have invited managers of local food pantries such as CAST and North Fork Parrish as our guests. The cost is $40 per person for the public and it includes an appetizer, an entrée, a meal to go and a glass of homemade Sangria. Learn or brush up on your knife skills and filet a fish, learn a new soup recipe and cook with "super foods" like quinoa, which has protein and contains all of the essential amino acids. Quinoa is actually a seed but it cooks up like rice and has a delicious nutty flavor.
The class is limited to 25 people and each attendee should bring their own chopping or chef’s knife. We will filet the catch of the day, make a
soup using the fish, use the fish for the entree and have it with a side dish
of quinoa with edamame. We will also prepare doggie bags so that everyone has something for lunch the next day and you will take home the recipes.
We will cook dinner together and dine together with some homemade sangria and catch up with old friends and hopefully make some new ones too.
This is a fund raiser held by Daughters of Israel and all tickets are non-refundable must be purchased in advance by calling Marsha Millman at 631-742-5345.
Please note that this class is almost sold out.
visit www.greenporterhotel.com for the full menu and class schedule.
Have your own tips on saving money in the kitchen? Let us know in the comments below.