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Quick and sustainable kitchen hacks

(NC) Trying to eat quality food on a budget with a busy schedule can seem like an impossible feat. From grocery shopping to food prep, clean-up and waste, here are some tips to make the process easier and more economical.

Meal plan and prep Plan three to four core meals for the week and shop according to their recipes. Try to have the key ingredients overlap so that you are using what you buy. In addition to these meals, make a plan for using up the leftovers. They can simply be reheated or try turning last night’s dinner into something new such as a casserole, taco toppings or quesadillas.

Embrace the single pot One-pot meals aren’t just simple and delicious, they also reduce energy use on the stove, in the oven and during clean-up. Get creative with stews, soups and curries.

Shop local and in-season In-season local produce is not only exceptionally fresh and tasty, it’s also available more and more in local stores. Buy in bulk when possible and consider canning or preserving so that you can enjoy them all year round.

Freeze the leftovers When buying and cooking in bulk, freeze the leftovers and extras to save time, energy and money while retaining the foods’ natural colour, flavour and nutritional value.

Pick ugly and lonely produce Oftentimes fruits and vegetables are thrown away because they are oddly shaped or their colour is not quite “right,” yet they still taste delicious. Because of this, some stores will offer discounts on these fruits and vegetables, so take advantage of the savings.

Best before dates Many foods remain good to eat past their best before dates. Check the smell and feel of the food before tossing because these dates typically refer to taste and overall quality, not safety.

Compost what you can Composting kitchen waste recycles nutrients back into the soil. Instead of throwing your kitchen scraps in the garbage, switch them over to a compost bin.

When it comes to our food, Canadian farmers and agricultural businesses are working hard to ensure quality is maintained while protecting our land, air and water for future generations. Learn more about food and environmental stewardship at


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