Trips to the supermarket can be dangerous to your wallet especially when you’re hungry.
1 Be flexible with your options – if you go to the store support the specials and what’s in season.
2 Buying store bought chilled custard – like the Tararua thick and creamy custard is the best basis for a full confident dessert offering – just add fresh fruit on the side and don’t tell anyone you didn’t make it!
3 Crème fraiche is a great cook’s companion found near the sour cream in the dairy section – add passion fruit pulp (see pantry) and lemon curd and you have a dessert cream and add to savoury options for a divine pasta sauce.
4 Bacon – even end bits and a little chopped ham is a great bonus for savoury cooking gives great flavour.
5 Look out for fresh fish pieces in the seafood section – off cuts of fresh fish makes great fish cakes or could be added to a chowder and it’s usually only a few dollars.
6 Buy buttermilk regularly – perfect if you have to whip up some scones or muffins – it keeps for ages unopened in the fridge and you can use it way beyond the best- before date if unopened. Often I make scones with buttermilk that is 4 weeks post the best before date and it’s just fine. It will be lumpy – shake it up before opening.
7 Always remember the best things in a supermarket are on the ends of the aisles and the more processed offerings in the centre – good sellers are usually higher or lower on the shelf than directly at eye level.
8 Always keep some staples (bakes beans – see pantry) on hand and even some UHT milk – so no last minute trips to the dairy where prices are crazy.
9 Fresh fruit and vege in local fruit markets/specialist shops is usually a better buy – always support the local farmer’s market first.
10 Always check the manager’s special bin – especially in the fruit and vege area – you can often get a bargain.