Tightening the belt before dinner
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 | 07:32 AM ET
by Jessica Wong, CBCNews.ca
With the daily onslaught of negative news about global economies, it's understandable that the average Canadian has belt-tightening on the brain. And as we take stock of where in our daily lives we can cut back, be more prudent financially and find savings, we inevitably come around to the dinner table.
A re-occurring theme in blogs and columns of late is making more economical food choices. Most aren't proposing anything radical and new. Actually, what many propose is a return to tried and true habits from leaner times of yore. For instance:
- Eating in more and brown bagging your lunch (an obvious move).
- Buying bulk, no name goods and avoiding expensive goods like soda.
- Freezing, preserving and generally making meals from scratch.
- Shopping less frequently but planning out meals ahead of time.
- Cutting back on meat.
Personally, I've been paying more attention to using up everything in my fridge and pantry: from dinner remains and those pesky lone veggies pushed to the back of the crisper to the cans, bottles and jars littering my shelves.
Four slices of steak from one meal added to day-old rice and chopped up Chinese greens turn into a different take on fried rice. Cornmeal, bacon bits and the last dregs of a carton of whole milk become savory muffins. Macaroons emerge from some egg whites I had kicking around, mixed with an "I didn't know I still had this" bag of coconut.
Are you changing your food habits, or returning to more thrifty ones, in the midst of the current economic climate? What are your best tips for saving cash in the kitchen?
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About the blog
From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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