10 Insights for Culinary Economy

1. You have to learn how to do it and try to stick to shopping lists to eat better and spend less. You have to plan what you’re going to buy. This helps to avoid compulsive behaviour and to function only out of envy. Because you have to think about your diet and ask yourself: “What will I eat over several days? Spending less on food means avoiding last-minute choices. Making a list is about landing and not being in a hurry.

2. Encourage simple and basic foods, such as flour, sugar, oil, tomato paste, dark chocolate, semolina, eggs, rice, which can be combined in your cooking ideas and thus increase your ability to cook. Having these basic foods available in our cupboards allows us to make always renewable preparations, which can also be used as a basis for recipes, such as pancakes, cakes in a simple pound cake or yoghurt cake, quiches. As a result, we spend less, because buying a packet of flour will always cost less than buying ready-made shortcrust pasta. The goal is to avoid the product at one time. A dozen eggs and a kilo of flour is the promise of pancakes, quiches, doughnuts and many other dishes.

3. Of course, we must try to encourage the purchase of raw products. Transforming them at home means adding the value of your work at home. Raw vegetables, pieces of meat that will make it possible to cook imaginative leftovers, are the ingredients necessary for a better economy.

4. Of course, we must encourage seasonal foods to find variety in this seasonality. But this notion of seasonality is sometimes difficult to grasp, because to find the cheapest, it is not necessarily the season that the trade and distribution offer, but that of nature where you live that you must follow. For example, a seasonal tomato in central France is full of taste and cheaper in September than in May.

5. It is certainly also interesting to get closer to small local producers and to several families to try to share their purchases. From a farmer or even a butcher, buying a box and distributing it is a solution that may not be easy to set up but is very effective. Similarly, it often makes it possible to buy better products, in eating less because it tastes better, to reach satiety more quickly and therefore to spend less.

6.Culinary_economy3_MDUFAU6. Relearn simple basic cooking techniques that will by definition cost less. This is the subject of the Popular Cooking Manual of the National Association of Solidarity Grocery Stores. Mastering the technique of a simple kitchen also frees everyone’s imagination.

7. Of course it is necessary to relearn how to make a kitchen of the rest, a kitchen of the gigogne. A dish prepared in sufficient quantity makes it possible to make new and totally different dishes. This cooking of leftovers is essential to eat better and spend less. It is also a fight against waste. Here too, it is a way of exercising one’s freedom of imagination.

8. You have to repeat it every time, but look at and read the labels of the preparations you buy. They teach us two essential things: the price per kilo or per litre, the only value that can be compared, and which ingredient is mainly used in the composition of the product. Buying a sausage where water and fat are the main ingredients is neither economical nor very good. We have said it 100 times, but it is essential.

9. Looking for small producers, market gardeners, small butchers in local markets can also be an economical solution. Fewer intermediaries between production and the consumer often reduce margins and the final price. And don’t forget to talk to suppliers, who can explain how to use this or that product and relearn that it’s not just beefsteak for beef.

10. Finally, to conclude, encourage the storage and proper management of products to play on our ability to imagine. Do not bury products in the bottom of the closet. Have a small freezer, and manage the classification of products in the cupboards to make them easy to find and use. In the same way, having some equipment used as a culinary aid, such as a steamer or pressure cooker, makes it possible to make a basic cuisine that is easy, fast, practical, certainly cheaper and better.

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