Katie Kimball who runs Kitchen Stewardship, may be an expert in cooking from scratch, and food storage, but through this challenge she learned a lot and says it's possible for other busy families to do the same.
“I was like dug in my heels like, this is my challenge to myself,” she said. “And by the end of that four weeks, and I was still eating fresh produce and fresh carrots. But what I will eat, store everything I can eat what I store, these are things we normally eat. And when I go to the store, instead of buying one, I bet you or instead of buying two, I buy three, and I just slowly build up that food storage without a huge, like budget hit in one month, and without buying anything that I'll ever have a throwaway.”So, what does that look like and how do you do it? Katie has some tips to help you!“So, first, you got to give props to beans and rice, right? Because you can buy beans and rice hugely in bulk or really dry grain two or three or even four times a week,” says Katie. “I was using my dry goods storage so that my produce could stretch. So that was really important to me. I know that saves the budget as well.”
What about produce?
“Everybody knows that potatoes and onions last forever because they disappeared right away,” she continued. “Red onions don't last quite as long, but they'll still give you a month usually. And then we move into no other things. So, cauliflower is pretty hearty, that's going to last at least two weeks. Sometimes three radishes are pretty hearty. If you cut them, you can put them in a jar of water to make them stay longer and just pick up the water every couple of days. And a really long time, especially here in Michigan in the winter months. And in the early spring. I put things out in the garage, so that I expand my fake refrigerator space. apples, citrus, classic, kid friendly fruits. Both of those last time I got in Michigan, the blessing of having my whole garage all winter. We buy about 100 pounds of apples with the orchard in September and October and you're still eating off of them in January and February.”
And plan your meals around what veggies will go bad first.
“Vegetables that you would harvest in the summer, you would eat right away,” Katie says. “So that's how you want to eat when you shop, you eat all the, you know, your cucumbers, maybe tomatoes, when it goes in first week. And then in the second week, you think about those fall vegetables squashes like spaghetti squash, and butternut squash. Cabbage, for sure. Now I've got my ugly even on TV, I got to show you that. I had this cabbage like two months ago. Not kidding. And if I just peel off the outer ugly leaves hardly any waste. It's good to go. I can put I can have fresh salad on week 4 or week 8 without having to worry about the lettuce getting all wilty I always think that when I did that four week challenge I bought five cabbages because I know that that would be my fresh salad. Cabbage, carrot, Apple salad, and weeks three and four.”
The more confident you get in expanding how you shop and store food, the more money you'll start to save.
“I was able to do a 4 week no grocery shopping challenge, only because I've slowly built up recipes and skills over the last 15 years,” she said. “I'd love to shop every two weeks instead of you know, three times a week. start slow, right this week buy cabbage, figure out a great cabbage salad you love next week, use a cabbage in a in a cooked dish, right. And so now you've vastly expanded what you can do. So, I would say like, try one, maybe new vegetables a week, one little baby step.”
She also joined FOX 17 News recently to talk about how to better budget for your groceries. Find out more here.
Katie has a special message and more tips for FOX 17 viewers. Find out more by clicking here.