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9 Smart Shopping Tips for Busy Families

Hear from the finalists of Food Network Star about how to save time and money when grocery shopping.


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Pick a Protein and Stick with It

"Take one protein, buy a ton of it, and use it in different meals. Don't try to make chicken, salmon, another fish, whatever every day," Addie Grunwald recommends. "Trying to simplify what you're making will actually save you money." 

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Know the Items You're Buying and Why

"If you are buying with a purpose — you know what you’re buying, why you’re buying it — then there’s probably going to be a lot less waste. I prefer chicken thighs over chicken breasts any day," explains Amy Pottinger. "There are definitely scenarios where fresh is better, but there’s also some scenarios when frozen is better, like if a vegetable is out of season."

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Push the Boundaries of What You Eat

Cao Tran's advice is simple: "I literally just eat it all," she says. "You can eat everything — carrot tops, beet tops — you just have to cook it. Just blend it. Mix it into your meat if nothing else. If you can’t figure out anything else to do, just put it in a food processor, then after you cook your meat, mix it in there and it’s being used."

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Whole Ingredients Will Go Further

Take it from professional chef Cory Bahr: "I maximize my ingredients by buying whole ingredients, whether it be whole pigs, whole fish. Also, I want the vegetables with the peel and the roots and the leaves and everything, because that for me is a very efficient, very honest and very ecologically sound way to cook. So that’s how I maximize flavor —let’s say I buy a whole fish. I break down the fish, save the head and the bones, and make a stock from that. You buy a whole carrot, you take the carrot tops, you make salsa verde or chimichurri or all these beautiful things. So, you’re not only buying one product; you’re getting a multitude of uses out of it." 

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