Long-range food forecast: Smart shopping, cheaper cuts, economical fare

Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The dinner table of America has been shifting for a long time, but for most of us, cooking low cost meals and finding ways to stretch food dollars has taken on a new sense of urgency.

Photos By Sue Ade
Photos By Sue Ade
We're making every penny count and turning to low cost, home-cooked meals to help manage our household budgets. People are cutting manufacturer coupons, comparison shopping and planning family meals around economical fare.

In response to that need, you may expect to see recipes that include foods like rice, beans and cheaper cuts of meat more frequently in this column. The news is good, however, because meals made from foods like boneless chuck roast and pork shoulder can often be made with more flavor and texture than their more pricey counterparts can.

The dark meat of chicken is less costly than white, so recipes for chicken thighs and legs prepared in a myriad of spiced-up and innovative ways will be coming. And, love it, or hate it, some of you have requested recipes for tasty ways to prepare chicken livers and calf's liver, which are included here.

In addition, count on continued tips for keeping food costs in line and receiving suggestions for less-expensive ingredients. I'm planning columns on food storage and freezing, bulk purchasing and cooking, and the rewards of buying in-season fruits and vegetables.

Efficiently and cost-effectively managing the home kitchen has always been a challenge, but in the overall scheme of things, it remains one of the few places still within our financial control.

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