Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quality vs. Quantity

I am going to say something that is going to rock your world (okay, maybe not).  You don't have to have so much food.  And I mean that in every sense. Whether it's variety or amount, you need to remember quality vs. quantity.  Always go with quality.  Quality foods tend to cost a bit more.  But the great news is you probably don't need as much as you think you do!  And other times, when it's versus store brand brie or the fancy schmancy French brie, go with the French.  It's probably only a dollar or so more, less than half of your Starbucks latte (and later this month I'll be telling you how to achieve better coffee at home anyway), so splurge and get the slightly more expensive thing.  I know it's biologically ingrained in us to try and have as much food as possible.  And later next week I'll be talking about how to build a pantry up so you always have staples.  But for the love of all that is good, please realize you simply don't need enough for seconds.  A single portion is healthier, and no one needs 2 steaks/chicken breasts/etc.  If you're going to buy extra of anything, make it the dang veggies.  They're cheap (even the organic kind) and can fill you up and get you the nutrients you need to run your body.  

Let me share a secret:  I'm cheap.  Not as in I never buy expensive items, I do.  But in a sense that I hem and haw and try and find a cheaper alternative.  And that's great sometimes.  You don't need name brand dried beans.  But before moving back to the U.S. G and I agreed that we wanted to buy strictly organic animal products, and free range if possible.  That hasn't exactly happened.  First I made the excuse that what I was worried about was the hormones and hormone free is becoming quite easy to come by.  But then I decided that no, I don't want any of it, the hormones, the antibiotics, the guilt.  So we've been spending a bit more and buying organic free range chicken from Trader Joes.  A small roasting chicken tonight (for our chicken noodle soup) cost us about $12.40.  It's a little pricey, but I've discussed before how you can make a whole chicken go far.  It will go in soup, it will go on salad, it will get used in omelets, etc.  And I'm using the carcass to make organic chicken stock.  Saved money there by not having to buy expensive chicken broth/stock.  And the soup will last us a few days, so that's 5+ meals from the meat in the soup alone!  Pretty cheap when that means at least 10 servings.  Even if that was the whole chicken we'd be talking less than $2 a serving for yummy homemade goodness.  

You don't need to buy all organic, in fact, if it's not in your budget, it's not in your budget.  You can't make money breed, and I understand that (don't we wish we could?).  But you should be looking to downsize the amount and increase the quality.  Your food will actually taste better (I just got convinced that this chicken was the way to go, all the insides cooked up are tender, even the normally tough heart).  And in the process you'll eat less, and that increases your health.  Quality is best because you're worth the best. 


  1. Love this post. I am always buying too much meat and most of it goes to waste. Can't wait to see your post on coffee.

  2. Good advice. I recently did a "taste test" between baguettes and the more expensive/better quality one was much more filling. The cheaper one tasted like plain white bread, no texture, no taste. Looking forward to the coffee making tip!

  3. Great post and wonderful advice! You can save so much money in addition to slimming your waist by downsizing portions.

    Melissa Tosetti

  4. I'm totally with you on this. I think that whenw e eat quality foods, we feel more satisfied, we feel more like we treated ourselves. When we eat crap we tend to want more because it's not easy to be satisfied with crap.

    mmmm.... good French brie.