This post is written in partnership with Canvas Credit Union. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Back in January, I shared the importance of eating with the seasons. With an emphasis on winter produce, we covered what seasonal eating is and why you should eat with the seasons. Now that spring is here, it’s time to add more variety to your plate. Think: fewer root vegetables, more strawberries, and lighter herbs, like dill. With a few simple swaps in your basket, you’ll be more creative in the kitchen. Meaning — new recipes, fun flavors, and an array of vitamins and minerals.
Creating meals with pantry staples
How to begin? By spring cleaning. In the process, you’ll likely find a box of pasta or a bag of rice that is almost expired. Great! Use any grains or legumes as the base for a spring-inspired dinner. Whether you’re in a time crunch or feel overwhelmed by your soon-to-expire pantry items, simple recipes are the solution. Using pantry staples — like chickpeas, beans, and rice, along with frozen vegetables and meat — you can build an impressive dish with minimal ingredients. Plus, using your pantry items will save you a trip to the grocery store (thus keeping your budget in check).
Is buying in bulk worth it?
Speaking of pantry items, let’s talk about buying food in bulk. There are pros and cons to this, of course, so it ultimately comes down to your lifestyle.
Pros: Buying in bulk tends to work well when you’re purchasing items with an extended expiration date (think: canned soups, tea, oats, etc.). From a financial perspective, this is cheaper. After all, when you buy a large quantity of peanut butter at Costco, for example, the price of the individual units are typically lower. If you live in a household with many people, buying in bulk makes sense. Furthermore, buying in bulk can reduce the energy footprint required for packaging, as it reduces the amount of materials needed in the first place. More on that, here.
Cons: That said, bulk items take up more space. Additionally, it’s more common for these ingredients to go to waste because of the sheer amount of the product. Bottom line — take a look at how much you’ve spent on groceries in recent months. Compare this to a general idea of how much food you’ve had to toss or compost. Maybe, some things are better purchased in smaller quantities.
To read the rest of my post — along with spring recipe inspo (using pantry staples!) — hop over to my feature on Canvas Credit Union’s blog.