Comfort food – how to save on family favourites

October 27, 2010 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

By Debbie Frye, General Manager, Flyerland.ca   

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and this is especially true when the leaves turn colour and the autumn air turns chilly. That’s when so many of us head inside to enjoy the welcoming warmth of hearty comfort foods. But if you think your homemade favourites have to be high in fat and high in price, read on. These tasty tips for traditional dishes will make you feel cosy while saving you calories and cash.

  • Pick local produce. The gorgeous, hot summer has produced a beautiful and abundant crop this year, and there’s still time to save money buying local Canadian grown foods at fall fairs and farmer’s markets.
  • Spice it up! Stock up on sugar, spice and other nice staples when they’re on sale. That way, you’ll have these ingredients on hand when you need them and won’t have to make a last-minute run to the store in harsh weather. Visit Flyerland.ca and compare prices at your local retailers.
  • Try healthier twists on filling favourites. Your favourite comfort food may be filling with “stick to your ribs” goodness, but it doesn’t have to be calorie-rich. Try whole wheat pasta and low fat cheese in your mac and cheese, lean ground chicken instead of beef in your chilli and vegetarian lasagne. You’ll find these ingredients at your local Overwaitea, Save-on-Foods, Michael-Angelo’s or Highland Farms.
  • Plan a cooking day. Make cooking an event by inviting over friends and listening to lively music while everyone makes a big batch of their best comfort food to share with the group. It’s a fun way to get together, and each chef can take home a variety of delicious meals. Walmart has a wide selection of inexpensive, freezer-friendly containers.
  • Delight with dessert. When planning your comfort food menu, remember the sweet treats. There are still lots of locally grown fruits available, and it’s easy to make your own pie crust to fill with the best picks of the season. You can also make jams, jellies and preserves to enjoy summer fruits and vegetables throughout the long winter.
  • Give recipes as hostess gifts. Fall is a wonderful time for home entertaining. When you bring your most delicious dish to a dinner party, put it in a lovely bowl with the recipe printed on a pretty card to give as a hostess gift. Michael’s has everything you need.
  • Experiment with international cuisine. Every nationality has their own special meals they consider comfort food so try a variety of dishes. For added fun, host a theme night with food, décor and music from a different country. The Metro offers a wide range of international food items
  • Fill your home with cozy comfort. Create a cosy and inviting home with new candles and potpourri in warm scents. Snug and soft blankets and throws will keep you toasty through the fall and winter. You’ll warm up to the savings at Sears.
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