How not to waste food or money as prices rise

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — NewsChannel 9 spoke with a Consumer Reports nutritionist about how to make sure you’re buying healthy foods and getting the biggest bang for your buck on those trips to the grocery store.

Lots of us are shopping less and buying more food each trip. You can keep your meals nutritious and not waste food and therefore money by stocking up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and less packaged foods.

“Have a few recipes in mind that freeze well, things like stews, casseroles, soups, so that if you buy a lot of fresh whole foods you can prepare big batches and freeze that food, it should last a long time in the refrigerator,” said Amy Keating, a nutritionist with Consumer Reports.

Your freezer can be your friend Keating said. Just don’t put raw vegetables in there, blanch them first.

“This is simply putting vegetables in boiling water for one to two minutes and then quickly pouring it into a colander and pouring ice water on it to stop any enzymatic reactions from going on any further and then you can freeze that vegetable and gently reheat it,” said Keating.

With supply chain problems, meat prices are up, but Keating said you don’t have to have meat every meal.

“People really need to start thinking about alternative sources of protein, and they last a lot longer in your cupboard too,” said Keating. “Things like beans, that a lot of people already stocked up on, but other things like tofu, chickpeas, lentils, even quinoa.”

And if you’re buying lots of bread each trip?

“You put it in the refrigerator. You can prevent mold, but it will stale much more quickly. So, I would suggest, if you stock up on bread, wrap it very tightly in saran wrap and put it in a freezer bag,” said Keating.

And those use-by, sell-by dates? Keating said 20 percent of food waste is attributed to confusion over them.

They are not required by law and are indicators of quality, not safety. So, even if that date comes, it doesn’t automatically mean you have to throw away the food the next day.

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For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9.

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