Recession Grocery Shopping: What Are You Doing Differently?


With budgets tightening across all economic strata in this country, many families are selectively bypassing organics to save money, according to the New York Times' Andrew Martin. The question that I find even more pressing is whether people are going to stop shopping at farmers' markets across the country, which are generally more expensive than both conventional and organic supermarkets.

What are serious eaters everywhere doing to save money? Are organically and/or locally grown produce still important to you? As Martin put it, are consumers going to decide they can no longer afford to let their conscience dictate their shopping list?

I for one will not stop supporting my local farmers. I have always felt that local and sustainable trumps organic, but now that we've had our first frost here in the northeast, locally grown food is going to get harder and harder to come by. Local apples will continue to be available all winter, though the longer they are off the tree, the worse they are. I am willing to buy conventionally grown lettuce, celery, carrots, and onions at my local supermarkets because I don't believe that organic produce grown in California and trucked or shipped 3,000 miles to New York is any tastier or better for me.

After the jump, how I'm saving money in these tough times. How are you saving money and still eating seriously these days?

  • I eat a lot of bialys and melted cheddar cheese for dinner
  • I buy conventionally grown lettuce that isn't pre-washed
  • With my newfound love of vegetables I eat them with brown rice for a not all that tasty supper
  • I take a cue from serious eater Joy Manning and use meat sparingly, as an accent
  • No more expensive imported or American farmstead cheeses. Long live Grafton Village Cheddar
  • We do more baking than baked good buying
  • No more fancy-pants olive oil. There are lots of good reasonably inexpensive olive oils out there
  • Dry-aged beef is out the window for the time being
  • I'm willing to spend the extra money for free-range or free-roaming chicken
  • We buy inexpensive cuts of good pork that we cook longer