'shopping' on Serious Eats

5 Tricks for Better Wine Shopping

It's easy to shop for wine: enter store, grab bottle, pay for it (don't skip that part), exit store. But how can we be better at shopping for wine? If the goal is to get the best possible bottle for the money you spend—and the most delicious wine to enjoy—then here are some tips for improving your game. More

7 Tips For Making The Most of the Farmers' Market

If you're really lucky, you live in a city with a year-round farmers' market, but even if you do, this is the time of year when farmers' markets start really picking up. Ramps, asparagus, artichokes, fava beans, peas, and new potatoes are all approaching their peak here in New York, not to mention the tomatoes, plums, apples, and wild mushrooms we still have to look forward to. Here are 7 tips to help you make the most of your visit to the farmers' market. More

The Crisper Whisperer: 10 Tips to Take to the Farmers' Market

Anyone can bring home a bunch of beets from their local farmers' market—and there, as elsewhere, showing up is half the battle. But a farmers' market is an embarrassment of riches in terms of fresh foods, artisanal expertise and the opportunity to make a meaningful connection with the source of our sustenance. Make the most of your experience with these 10 simple tips, and share your own advice in the comments. More

DIY Grocery Planner and Templates

[Photograph: Design*Sponge] Artist Kate Pruitt of Design*Sponge shares instructions for how to make your own grocery planner featuring a clipboard, magnetic pen/receipt box, and customizable shopping list and menu templates for you to print out. It sure beats my method of writing on a Post-It. [via Lifehacker]... More

Happy Birthday to the Bar Code

Break out the cake and party favors; it's the bar code's 35th birthday. Those alternating black and white bars weren't always around to make our shopping experiences easier. The New York Times celebrates the bar code's birthday with some information behind the development and gradual use of this "technological staple of everyday life." You can add this little tidbit to your trivia database: On June 26, 1974, the first bar code was read off a 67¢ 10-pack of Juicy Fruit gum.... More

Tips for Choosing Supermarket Coffee

Hardcore coffee geeks wouldn't even consider buying anything but freshly roasted whole coffee beans from a skilled local roaster. But what if you don't live near an Intelligentsia, Stumptown, or Blue Bottle roasting location? In that case, the Atlantic Food Channel gives some tips for selecting the freshest coffee beans from your local grocery store. Among them: Few markets date their bulk bins. If coffee is properly packaged in a valve bag (the bags with the internal buttons and little slits), it probably will taste fresher than bulk coffee, which has been exposed to atmosphere. Put your nose up to the valve and squeeze the bag. Evaluate the aroma. And this:... More

Serious Grape: A Wine Survival Guide for Fall

Every other week, Deb Harkness of Good Wine Under $20 joins us to talk some Serious Grape. Here's the latest. Photograph from Zed.Cat on Flickr Is it just me or is everyone suffering from the early fall crazies? The Labor Day holiday is looming ahead of us. Kids need back-to-school supplies and rides to and from soccer, ballet, and piano lessons (circle as appropriate). Then there's your boss, who returned from vacation full of new plans for office efficiency and greater productivity. It's enough to make the lazy days of summer seem all but a distant memory. Here's my wine survival tip for late summer and early fall: buy a mixed case of wine now, because things will only get... More

Consumers Say No to High Fructose Corn Syrup

Photograph from dyanna on Flickr It's commonly found in everything from soda to canned soup. But after some studies suggested a link between the sweetener and obesity, many consumers have become wary of high fructose corn syrup and are putting pressure on soft drink companies to start sweetening their beverages with sugar cane. In fact, some smaller companies like Hansen, Jones, and Thomas Kemper have already gone natural to satisfy consumer demand. Nutrition expert Dr. Peter Havel of UC Davis expressed doubts that fructose was any more unhealthy than cane sugar, telling the Los Angeles Times, "This is really an area that needs further study." But science aside, there's no question that sugar just plain tastes better, which ought to... More

Cheap Local, Sustainable, and Organic Food: Is It Out There?

This past week the New York Times had an interesting interview with a local Ohio grocer who offered his tips on buying high-quality food on the cheap. His tips tended toward the obvious, the silly, and the self-serving: Buying prewashed and premade food because we'll waste less doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. But in these days of shrinking buying power, rapidly rising food prices, and economic insecurity, which we've all felt in one way or another, it does make sense for all of us to think about saving money while eating right and doing right. I write this knowing full well that absolute costs of food are pretty difficult to figure out, but we've... More

10 Things to Look For in a Cheese Shop

Supermarkets aren't the best place to buy cheese. For many reasons, cheese requires more individualized attention than most supermarkets can afford. You will also fare better in a real cheese shop, where a knowledgeable cheese monger can help guide you through the sometimes overwhelming selection. More

Buying Liquor Online (The Headache's Thrown In For Free)

The good news is you can find that bottle of single-barrel bourbon, Dutch gin, or small-batch bitters online more often than not. Bad news, though: it's a royal pain to find it and buy it, and oftentimes it's illegal. Some states prohibit all shipments of liquor, while the others cherry-pick which states it's acceptable to order from or ship to More

Killer Cereal

New York magazine's Adam Platt loves his readers (and his job) as much as he dislikes granola. So, at his employers' behest, he reluctantly taste-tests 100 überhealthy cereals culled at random from the shelves of Whole Foods, rating them from 1 (worst) to 4 (best). He tends to go for simpler, less sugary cereals, which is probably what appeals to the typical Arrowhead Mills product buyer, anyway. His highest ratings go to Honey Puffed Wheat by 365, Food For Life's Ezekiel 4:9, lots of Kashi products, fibery cereals from Barbara's, and Bear Naked granola. Nature's Path Organic Heritage O's, however, were proclaimed "the purist's favorite." As someone who spent her childhood happily devouring boxes of these superior Cheerio substitutes,... More

Grill Shopping: Advice from Consumer Reports

The Consumer Reports blog posts advice about buying gas grills, including a useful tip about bringing a magnet for testing the quality of the metal. Watch the accompanying video for more information about grill size, price, safety, and what BTUs really mean.... More

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