One of the common setbacks of loving food (buying it, eating it, and more) is the tendency to go a bit crazy in the supermarket. According to Good Housekeeping Magazine, mothers who consider themselves good with money, but are complete food enthusiasts, say that they always end up straying from their budget when shopping for groceries.
Indeed, grocery selections can be quite enticing, and if you stumble upon free taste booths in the best supermarket in the city, then it becomes doubly hard to stay within an established budget. It really is quite a challenge to turn down special offers, which are strategically promoted by those handing out samples.
If you are such a consumer, but you want to turn a new leaf by sticking to a strict grocery budget and getting more value out of it, know that you don’t have to compromise the quality you enjoy. Financial experts recommend identifying the grocery items that are truly worth splurging on, and saving on everything else.
So, what are some of the items that may be a bit pricey, but are certainly worth the expense? Here are nine examples to watch out for next time you load up your (physical or online) shopping cart.
Nuts are versatile ingredients, and the fresher they are, the more expensive they tend to be. Likewise, if you come across an exotic nut, such as macadamia, it’s usually quite pricey. However, nuts are undoubtedly worth splurging on, especially if you want to eat healthier.
You can make milk out of almonds and cashews. Walnuts and pecans make fantastic meat alternatives. Plus, you can add these to everything from your salads to baked treats, and turn them into different kinds of snacks. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, spiced nuts and fruits are favorite snacks. Therefore, if you want to maintain a highly useful pantry, it’s good to have a variety of high-quality nuts.
Rice is quite affordable, so opt for the higher-priced ones that are usually the best quality, such as Japonica rice, which has excellent texture and is loaded with more nutrients. There are countless recipes (from Asian to Middle Eastern and Italian) that you can use rice for. Therefore, it’s smart to always have an abundant supply in your pantry.
Infused olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, and grape seed oil are what many call specialty oils, and their prices can run steep, especially those infused with herbs, garlic, chilis, fig, and truffle. However, these oils can make a whole world of difference in the quality of the dishes you prepare.
Grapeseed oil is incredibly healthy, and it is the choice of most vegans when it comes to frying. Coconut oil, meanwhile, is also lovely, particularly for curries, and its uses extend beyond the kitchen. Many use coconut oil for hair care, oral care, and skincare.
As for sesame oil, this is known to be the secret behind the nutty flavors of Asian cuisine. Lastly, olive oil is what you use for pasta dishes, salads, and dips. Plus, like coconut oil, you can also use it for your beauty and weight loss regimen.
4. Seasonings, Herbs, and Spices
These are ingredients that can elevate the quality of your dishes. They can make food more savory and also boost nutritional content. Herbs, especially, have a variety of other uses. You can use them to fill your home with wonderful scents, to make tea, and to prepare salves and other personal hygiene products.
As for seasonings and spices, these are absolute staples for Middle Eastern and Asian cooking. They create authentic flavors for countless dishes.
For the non-lactose-intolerant folks, different types of cheese are certainly always worth splurging on. Brie, Camembert, cottage, Edam, Feta, goat, Gruyere, Havarti, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Pepper Jack are just some of the favorites. You can use these for pastas, pizzas, sandwiches, and hors d’oeuvres.
Anytime you suddenly need to entertain guests at home, you will be thankful to have a variety of cheeses in your stockpile to serve for an instant cheeseboard.
Butter is another ingredient worth splurging on because high-quality butter tastes divine. It’s the secret behind better-tasting butter pasta, which is a simple yet favorite Western dish. Likewise, it would be best if you had good butter for scrumptious baked goods.
If you have taken a short-term baking course to make your own pastries, cakes, and bread, for sure, you are aware of the real value of high-quality butter (which a lot of people say is usually European).
7. Organic Produce
Organic produce is deemed the healthiest kind of produce and has the highest quality. Therefore, it’s more expensive, but clearly, it’s worth the expense because of its superior nutritional value. That’s not all; conscientious consumers opt for organic produce because it aligns with their values or preferences, such as practicing toxic-free eating and supporting local farmers.
Besides farmers’ markets, most organic produce is also available in the leading supermarkets, so watch out for them. You can also take advantage of seasonal fruits and veggies, which are sure to be of the best quality.
Sauces are staples in all households. Pesto, hoisin, fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and others are usually average-priced products that are always worth buying, particularly if you love to cook. You can enjoy a bit more variety with the dishes that you create thanks to these sauces.
Having different types of sauces will allow you to experiment with flavors for many of your regular recipes, and it will be so much easier for you to try out international recipes.
9. Deli Meats
Lastly, deli meats are some of the ingredients that can elevate basic recipes or meals. Also, they make excellent treats for special occasions. You can add these to pastas, pizzas, salads and sandwiches, and no cheese board is complete without deli meats.
Roast beef, turkey lunch meat, lamb chops, and others are always great for indulgent meals.
When it comes to splurging in the supermarket, remember that it should be focused on maintaining your joy. You don’t always have to buy all of these, but when you wish for a treat, do not deprive yourself of the purchases that genuinely make you happy.
You can make up for the steep price of such items by choosing budget-friendlier options for the items you need that aren’t required to have superior quality. Plus, premier supermarkets frequently offer amazing deals. Check them out to see if it’s possible for you to get your usual indulgent purchases for a better price.