15 Essential Food Buying Tricks Shared by a Professional Chef

Knowing the ins and outs of maximizing your buying power at the supermarket is invaluable for any home chef. Today’s your lucky day if you’ve ever wanted to shop like a professional chef! Recently, savvy chefs and industry professionals met in an online discussion to reveal their most essential food-buying tips and tricks.

1. Buy Legumes Whenever You Can

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There’s virtually no downside to buying as many legumes as possible! Don’t be shy; keep that cupboard stocked. “Keep a stock of beans, lentils, and dried chickpeas around if you can,” advises one expert. “They’re cheap, almost always available, and virtually imperishable. As such, assuming you don’t throw them out and keep them properly stored, buying these is a 100% return on your investment.”

2. Avoid “Superfoods”

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Products marked as “superfoods” aren’t necessarily “bad” for you — quite the opposite! However, many experts advise avoiding purchasing these products in grocery stores due to the high premium they command. You’re better off shopping sensibly and creating dishes with equal nutritional value for less money.

3. Buy All-Purpose Flour

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As it turns out, not all flour is created equal. The key is to buy flour that is versatile. “I recommend grabbing all-purpose flour due to its gluten content being a middle ground between low-gluten pastry flour and high-gluten bread flour,” explains one chef. “You can still use it to make bread; it has many other uses as a binder or thickener for sauces.”

4. Learn To Cook

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Any chef will tell you that a world of possibilities opens when you reach a certain skill level in the kitchen. Great chefs can transform nearly any combination of ingredients into a delicious dish. If you care enough about your diet to shop for food using your brain, you owe it to yourself to learn to cook to the best of your ability.

5. There’s Value in Rice

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Throughout the history of the world, there’s been a massive correlation between surviving and eating only meals composed of rice. Civilizations have existed entirely on rice before, making it one of the best foods to keep in your pantry. Many people think rice is the ultimate “quench my hunger” food. Chefs advise to buy large bags of rice whenever they go on sale in supermarkets, which happens more frequently than you think.

6. Barley Has Amazing Nutritional Value

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While it’s not among the most popular foods, some chefs argue there’s nothing better to buy. “It’s high in protein and iron and can help dramatically improve your nutrient intake for very little cost,” explains one man. “In soups, roasted in tea, and used in tandem with rice, it can go a very long way in making your diet more sustainable.”

7. Don’t Sleep on Onions

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It’s basically a scientific fact: adding onions to any dish makes them infinitely tastier. Professional chefs agree that it’s best to buy them fresh and store them in dry, enclosed spaces. Don’t be afraid to use onions in everything you can — what do you have to lose? They’re cheap and delicious — a perfect combination.

8. Treat Meat as a Luxury, Not an Essential

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Many people are shocked at the amount of meat the average American consumes. For many people, eating meat is a daily occurrence, and that causes your diet to become unbalanced. “Meat is grossly overrepresented in most diets, and you should always attempt to cut your portion of meat down in exchange for more vegetables and grains,” explains one woman.

9. Know When To Buy Canned Tomatoes

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Here’s a simple rule to follow for buying tomatoes: when using tomatoes for raw dishes like salsa and salads, buy fresh. However, always purchase canned tomatoes if you intend to make a sauce. Buying canned tomatoes ensures your sauces always reach the preferred consistency and ease the pressure on your wallet.

10. How To Store Potatoes

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When it comes to adequately storing potatoes, keep everything simple. Assuming you buy unprocessed potatoes from your local market (the ones that come in bulk), keep them stored in a cool, dry, and enclosed place. I used to weirdly keep my potatoes on my kitchen counter until I learned the error of my ways.

11. Don’t Forget About Fruit

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In the eyes of many, fresh fruit has the best cost-to-nutrition value proposition on the market. “Buy them seasonally for the best value and if you have a day to do so, preserve them if you ever see a huge sale,” advises one chef. “I’m still enjoying lacto-fermented blueberries from last year’s insane blueberry harvest where I could buy a pint for a dollar.” He’s not wrong; last year’s blueberry harvest was legendary!

12. Avoid the Junk Food Aisle

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I get it: the most delicious treats are often the least nutritious. Practicing self-control is one of the most essential traits for a chef to have. When you’re in the supermarket shopping for legumes, rice, and fresh fruit, do yourself a favor and avoid walking down the junk food aisle. Your path to becoming an expert food buyer is just beginning, and you must stay away from temptation!

13. Tips for Meat Lovers

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If you insist on including meat on your grocery list, you should keep a few things in mind. “Buy the least processed cuts you can,” advises one chef. “Whole chickens, meat on the bone, and ground meats are your best friends. Go to butcher shops if you can.” Visiting an authentic butcher shop is an eye-opening experience!

14. Stay Away From Frozen Proteins

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Countless professional chefs agree: avoid buying frozen meats, chicken, and other proteins. Instead, purchase raw products, do the work yourself, and save tons of money in the process. Not only will your bank account thank you, but you’ll also eat vastly healthier food. It’s time to say goodbye to frozen TV dinners.

15. Never Eat Instant Ramen

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One chef wants the world to know that eating instant ramen is one of the most unhealthy decisions a person can make. For many, the following quote hits home. “I know it’s cheap, and I know you like how easy it is to make,” reveals one woman. “I don’t care; it’s awful for you. It isn’t cheaper than a bowl of rice with soy sauce, a fried egg, and some frozen peas, and it’ll kill you slowly. Just don’t eat it, and ignore anyone’s advice about how it got them through college.”

Source: Reddit.

10 Foods That Have to Be Made A Certain Way Or They Don’t Taste Right

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Food is not only nourishment but also a delight to our taste buds. Yet, some dishes have a secret code to unlock their full potential. These commonly known foods must be prepared with precise techniques and methods, as their taste hinges on the fine balance of ingredients and cooking processes.

10 Dishes You Should Never Eat With Silverware

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Eating with silverware is a common practice in many parts of the world. From forks and spoons to knives, these utensils have become essential tools at the dining table. However, certain dishes should be approached with caution when using silverware. While these dishes may be delicious, their unique textures, flavors, or cultural traditions may call for a different approach.

10 Non-Breakfast Foods That Are Totally Acceptable to Eat For Breakfast

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Breakfast doesn’t have to be limited to traditional morning foods like cereal or toast. Plenty of non-breakfast foods can make a surprisingly delicious and satisfying start to your day. Whether you’re craving a slice of pizza, a burrito, or even a bowl of pasta, these commonly known foods can be enjoyed as breakfast options without guilt.

10 Non-Breakfast Foods That Are Totally Acceptable to Eat For Breakfast

10 Foods That Always Tasted Better When You Were Little

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Do you ever find yourself craving certain foods’ tastes from childhood? There’s something special about the flavors we experienced when we were little. Those dishes made our taste buds dance with joy and brought us smiles. Whether it was a gooey macaroni and cheese or a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich, these childhood foods held a magical allure.

You’re In The Minority If You Don’t Think These Fast Food Places Are Overrated

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Many people often choose fast food places when grabbing a quick bite. These familiar chains have become ingrained in our culture with their catchy slogans, iconic logos, and widespread presence. However, popularity doesn’t always equate to quality, and some of the most popular fast-food places out there may not live up to the hype.

This article was initially published and syndicated by The Cents of Money.

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