Food prices have been eye-catching lately. Therefore, it is not surprising that people try to save more when shopping for groceries.
And this current economic impasse fully corresponds to the launch ofBig Bad Budget BattleA six-episode cooking contest hosted by Food Network star Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman.
The new show, scheduled to premiere on Food Network August 9 at 10 PM ET/PT and air the same day on Discovery+, follows three home cooks as they turn “affordable, everyday ingredients into hearty meals” in a shopping challenge. of a “small stock of cash” at the Flavortown Market (the display is produced by Guy Fieri), according to a statement from Discovery.
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The “best cook and least shopper” will walk out with a cup and a year’s worth of groceries.
“They all have the same amount of money when they go into[the grocery store]and they really have to double that money,” Drummond tells USA TODAY.
Drummond says she learned a lot from the show’s contestants and has some of her own tips on how to save money while grocery shopping.
1. Buy frozen vegetables
If you’re trying to pinch pennies, Drummond advises using fresh produce as necessary for meals that contain raw vegan ingredients like salads but to use frozen vegetables.
“There are many times you can use frozen vegetables,” she says. “You can save a lot of money by substituting what you might buy in the produce department for a freezer, and the quality is barely noticeable when making soup, stew, or casserole.”
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It’s really important to get to know the frozen vegetable section, says Drummond. Most of the time, she says, no one can tell the difference between fresh or frozen vegetables in a cooked dish.
2. Check out meat deals in the butcher section
Drummond says that protein is where the pocket often takes a “hit.” Therefore, she likes to improve her spending in this area.
“I love going to the meat department and finding the bargain,” she says, noting that it’s often a family pack of chicken thighs—which she thinks is the best part of chicken because it’s so much less expensive than chicken breasts.
“The number of things you can make with chicken thighs is endless — from casseroles to quick frying,” she continues.
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Finding those deals can take you a long way.
The Food Network star added that when she gets a package of ribs or chicken, she breaks down the package, repacks it, and freezes whatever extra.
“(So) I got this great deal but it will last me through several meals,” she says.
3. Buy frozen dough
There are frozen foods other than vegetables that can go a long way, too, according to Drummond.
“I like things like frozen bread dough, for example,” she says, noting that they are sold in loaves and can be left by the home chef to rise.
And one loaf can go a long way.
“[It]can turn into a huge pizza crust, and it can turn into little calzones — you can make a lot of things with frozen bread dough,” says Drummond. “And if you buy freshly baked bread, you may spend more money.”
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