Best Buys for the Neighborhood Block Party

Stick to a dish or recipe that's easily doubled and doesn't need to be served hot. When narrowing down your options, take into consideration how the dish will be served or consumed.

Photo By: Saddako

Photo By: Bergamont / ThinkStock

Photo By: hichako

Frozen Vegetables

Cut back on prep time and cost by using frozen vegetables instead of their fresh counterparts.


This versatile starch works in soups, salads, casseroles and stir-fries — unlike pasta, it reheats well and doesn't need to be used immediately after being cooked, making it a good candidate for big-batch cooking.


This leafy herb adds a fresh note to most savory dishes and holds up well, unlike other leafy herbs, which may wilt or blacken.

Canned Beans

This is an inexpensive, vegetarian protein that will work baked, in a chili, mashed, dressed in a salad — the options are endless. Plus, its shelf life beats that of any meat or seafood, making it an easy buy to stock up on when it's on sale.