In the past few weeks, I hope you have gotten some tips on shopping, meal planning and setting up your kitchen on a budget. I’d like to finish up this 3 part series with some tips on prioritizing your grocery list. At the Keyes Ingredients, we operate on a scale of Good, Better, and Best. There is always room for improvement in everything that we do. This is the case with kitchen tools, meal planning and prep and especially with the quality of ingredients we use.

When choosing ingredients to feed your family, we always strive for best, but know that it will take steps to get there. Locally grown organic is always best. There is nothing better than shaking the hand that feeds you on a regular basis. We know this isn’t always possible though and the next best thing to locally grown is organically grown. The organic companies are doing the right thing by not polluting our foods with chemicals, antibiotics and pesticides. Often times, whether it be for time, cost or availability, we can not purchase every thing organically- we then must use our best judgement based on research and education.

I have been on this journey for over a decade and have grown substantially as time has passed. A great place to start your journey is with the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists. These lists change annually so I recommend that this is something you look at each year. The Dirty Dozen is a great place to start as it provides you with a list of 12 items in the your cart NEED to be organic. The Clean 15 is a list of 15 ingredients that are safe to eat conventionally.

Eating seasonally is also a great way to prioritize spending in your kitchen. We live in a time where we can easily find tropical fruits in the winter time and fall vegetables in the heat of the summer. There are both pros and cons to the times that we live in. When you choose to eat in season, you will notice that your grocery bill is exponentially less. Organic Strawberries during the off season are normally priced around $7 for a quart. In season, you can easily find that same container with better quality fruit for around $3. This requires a few tweeks to your menu to allow for seasonable foods, but the savings definitely makes it a worthwhile investment of time for me!

I hope that the information you’ve found in this blog series has helped you take your kitchen from good to better! We are all always striving for improvements and would love to hear any tips that you’ve found to feed your family whole food in a sustainable way while on a budget.

I am looking forward to sharing some new studies and research with you in the next blog series that has changed this Italian’s kitchen for the better!

Until we eat again.

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I'm a stay at home mom raising two wonderful kids, and it's my goal to educate people that there is more to food than meets the eye.
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