Reusing your vegetable scraps is just one way to make an effort to be more environmentally conscious. By making use of those vegetable scraps in other cooking, you can reduce food waste and maybe even save a little money while you’re at it. One main way to use vegetable scraps is to make a broth or stock out of it. Read on further to learn more about how to help reduce food waste by using those leftover vegetable scraps.
For some households, the New Year means a new opportunity to learn how to cook more at home! It’s easy to get into the habit of stopping for fast food or takeout on the way home after a long day. But overall, cooking at home is generally more affordable and nutritious. Plus, you can experiment with new recipes and get into a new habit of enjoying home cooking on the regular. When you’re familiar with cooking often, this lends more freedom to eating what you want including more recipes from different cuisines.
Many people like meal prepping as it saves time and money and encourages home cooking and nutritious eating. Sometimes, it can be difficult to eat nourishing meals when there’s little time to cook throughout the week. Whole foods and ingredients like lean protein, grains, and vegetables have to be prepared in some way to make them tasty and satisfying. And even if you enjoy cooking, meal prepping can be helpful for feeding busy families, especially as the new school year begins.
It’s just about that time of year to get started with cooking summer recipes! With graduation parties, holidays like the 4th of July, and time off to vacation, there’s a lot of cooking and eating to be done. It’s a fun time to experiment in the kitchen and cook with an abundance of the local produce that’s available. This season supports a bountiful supply of fruits and vegetables that bring nutrients and freshness to your plate!
Meal prepping is a great way to save time during busy workdays and get a head start on healthy eating. By planning a bit ahead of time and even cooking ahead of time, you can enjoy healthy, satisfying meals without the exhausting effort each and every night. Because of meal prepping, you can simplify your cooking and eating habits and spend less time cooking and cleaning up every night. Plus this helps with saving money by avoiding eating out.
What is Meal Prepping?
Meal prepping simply means to plan, prepare, and sometimes cook what you’re going to eat ahead of time. This can be a week ahead of time or even the night before. Although it’s considered a trendy idea, it’s quite a basic process that people have been doing for decades and centuries. There are many different ways you can meal prep – some more simple than others!
Purchasing prepared foods to eat later for low effort meals
A popular favorite is Rill Foods’ prepared soup mixes like Tacoma Tortilla, Columbia River Corn Chowder, or Miners Minestrone. These products are already set to go with pre-measured ingredients and instructions.
Preparing an entire week’s worth of meals for quick and easy dinners
Simply cook and prepare your meals on a Sunday and store in tupperware! This allows you to reheat accordingly during the week, saving you time and cleanup. Make sure to label the tupperware with the date it was made and enjoy the meal before it goes bad. Check out this guide for a reference on how to safely store and reheat “leftovers” by the USDA.
Many people who practice meal prepping choose to do most of the planning, grocery shopping, and prepping or cooking on the weekends so they have a week’s worth of food ready to go when they’re busy on workdays. At Tacoma Boys, a wide selection of kitchen staples and speciality foods will keep you stocked with whatever you need every day of the week.
How to Meal Prep
Learn how to meal prep with a few simple steps.
- You’ll need basic healthy ingredients like fruits, vegetables, seasonings, proteins, and whole grains to get started
- Once you’re home with your ingredients, get to prepping!
- Pre cut your vegetables and store them in an airtight container, mix seasonings, and trim and marinade meat, until you’re ready to use it all
- Prepare the entire meal and cook all of the meal’s components. Protein, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains like Ancient Harvest Quinoa or a starch like Baby Red and Gold Potatoes, can all be cooked at once. Just store it in a tupperware and reheat it when you’re ready for a satisfying meal.
Variety is Key
Some people learn how to meal prep by cooking a large batch of something that is good for multiple meals (like a big pot of hearty soup) and dividing that into several containers. This leaves you with several servings ready to go for meals throughout the week. But if you’re one to get tired of the same old thing every day, mix it up a bit. Try preparing two or three meals and alternating throughout the week. To get you started, try one of Tacoma Boys’ various organic dried pastas like Scialateilli’s Gentile or Montebello’s Farfalle paired simply with jarred tomato sauce and fresh Portobello, Crimini, or Shitake Mushrooms. Then, consider something with different flavors like this simple Vegetable Stir Fry recipe by Once Upon a Chef.
Meal Prep Ideas
- Overnight oats in a jar, breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches, scrambles
- Salad in a jar, classic protein & veggies, sandwiches, turkey roll ups, stir fry
- Marinated protein, burrito bowls, meatballs, enchiladas, pasta sauces
- Protein or bliss balls, pre-cut veggies and hummus, pre-cut fruit, chia seed pudding
Local Seasonal Produce for Meal Prep
Grocery shopping is the first step after deciding what you’d like to eat during the week. Tacoma Boys’ variety of local fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season for the winter include fresh Fuji and Honeycrisp Apples, Roma Tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and much more! Local, in-season produce stays fresh for longer and tends to be a notch or two less expensive than foods that have had to travel to get here. But no matter what you crave this week, Tacoma Boys is sure to quickly stock the freshest nonlocal produce from regions where it is fresh and seasonal. Learn more about shopping and eating local, seasonal produce at Tacoma Boys here.
Grocery Shopping for the Week at Tacoma Boys
Meal prepping is an easy way to get ahead of the game and prepare yourself for a successful week with healthy meals and time saved. With just a little bit of planning and a lot of cooking at once, you can eat your favorite healthy recipes without the last-minute stress. Cooking and eating should be enjoyable and rewarding, so have fun with it! Keep the momentum going with regular grocery shopping and get creative with new recipes. To stay up-to-date on the latest insider deals and specials, including seasonal produce, sign up for Tacoma Boys text list. Just text (253) 246-1661 to tell Paul you want to be on the list!
Contrary to popular belief, affordable healthy eating is 100% possible. There’s a common misconception about how costly it can be to eat healthy. Fortunately, affordable healthy eating is obtainable no matter the number in your bank account – that’s a WIN. There are a lot of healthy food products on the market that can cost quite a bit more, however, that does not mean you need those products in your pantry in order to eat an abundance of whole foods. The Tacoma Boys guide to affordable healthy eating is here to show that healthy eating is within reach no matter the circumstance!
Affordable Healthy Eating is Accessible
“So you’re telling me affordable healthy eating is within my reach?!” – The answer is yes! Consuming an abundance of whole foods is a crucial part of anyone’s diet. What you put into your body plays an important role in your immune system, energy levels, sleeping patterns, and more. Making your health a priority in regards to food may require planning, but it can be life changing! It’s important to do your own research and avoid possible rumors that may not be true – in this case, affordable healthy eating.
Where Do I Start?
Without a doubt, planning saves money. When you plan your meals out for the week and write out the ingredients needed at the store, you’re less likely to purchase goods that you don’t need and may go to waste. Try sitting down and planning out your next week’s meals and creating a detailed grocery list. This is an easy method to set yourself up for success. Afterall, during unprecedented times, planning ahead for the unexpected is crucial!
Produce, Produce, Produce!
There’s no denying that produce should be at the heart of every grocery trip! Tacoma Boys carries a wide variety of fresh local produce that works well for any budget.
- Local apples
- Bell peppers
Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
- Mixed leafy greens
- Green beans
- Seasonal squash
- Brussels sprouts
Tacoma Boys Tip: Try freezing your own produce if it’s about to spoil and use it in smoothies and soups later on!
Shop Pantry Staple Foods
Having pantry staple foods on hand is an affordable way to make food last a long while. There are many healthy pantry staple foods you can stock up on to last – some may even cost less than $1 per serving – yes please!
- Bob’s Red Mills Steel Cut Oats
- Timeless French Green Lentils
- Lundberg Black Japonica Rice
- Jovial Foods Brown Rice Pasta
- Remlinger Farms Frozen Fruit
- Pacific Foods Broths & Stocks
This popular ingredient deserves its own category because of its versatility. Depending on the type of eggs you buy, a serving of 2 eggs can cost as low as 0.83 cents. Serve alongside some spinach, onion, bell pepper, and you have yourself a hearty breakfast scramble for under $3. Tacoma Boys has a great selection of high quality eggs such as Vital Farms and Stiebrs Farms Organic Free Range Eggs that work great for any meal of the day!
Affordable Healthy Recipes Made Easy
When planning your meals ahead of time, look for recipes that use minimal ingredients that fit within your budget. Budget Bytes provides high quality recipes with budget and ingredients laid out clearly. This is a great tool to use when budgeting your weekly groceries. You may also want to think about using discount codes from Raise (see here – https://www.raise.com/coupons/target) to help you make savings when shopping for groceries at places like Target or you can use them to get reductions on lots of other items from your favorite brands and stores. This way, you can really stretch your budget a lot further!
- Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal – $3.24 RECIPE / $0.54 SERVING
- Cajun Sausage & Rice Skillet – $7.21 RECIPE / $1.80 SERVING
- Mediterranean White Bean Salad – $4.87 RECIPE / $1.22 SERVING
- Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken & Broccoli – $5.48 RECIPE / $1.37 SERVING
- Quick Tofu Stir Fry – $3.82 RECIPE / $0.96 SERVING
Grocery Shopping on a Budget with Tacoma Boys
This guide is a friendly reminder that your local Tacoma Boys is here to help assist you with any of your grocery needs. Although Tacoma Boys does carry a variety specialty food items, the budget-friendly options are bountiful throughout each store. When swinging by a Tacoma Boys near you, keep in mind produce, pantry staples, and products like eggs for cost efficient grocery shopping. (And don’t forget to plan ahead!) For more tips and tricks on saving money at your local Tacoma Boys, check out the following resources:
Does eating healthy sound like it’s too expensive for you? Believe it or not, there’s a way you can eat healthy food for less, even for under $1. Here are 3 staple foods that will have you eating healthy on a budget in no time.
Most of us have the best intentions when it comes to our food. We always want the most affordable food that are as good for our bodies as they are our wallets. However, there’s a common misconception that eating healthy on a budget is nearly impossible. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons why many of us eye that fast food cheeseburger over a healthy plate of greens.
But eating well doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. In fact, even if you only have a few dollars you can get the ingredients to make a hearty, healthy, home-cooked meal.
Here are three examples of healthy food you can get for $1 or less.
When it comes to eating a healthy breakfast, you have plenty of options. But to get the most bang for your buck, you’ll want to pick up a container of oats.
While cooked oats may not be everyone’s image of an ideal breakfast, there’s no more cost-effective way to start your day. The average serving of oats, which is around 1/3 of a cup, will cost you less than a dollar. Tacoma Boys sells containers of oats at a very affordable price, so you should be able to get a few pounds of oats for less than a couple of dollars in total. That means you’ll have healthy breakfasts for days!
But the cost isn’t the only reason to incorporate oats into your diet. Each serving contains several grams of soluble fiber to aid digestion and rid your body of bad cholesterol. Plus, you can do a lot of different things with oats. Remember your favorite oatmeal from when you were a kid? Recreate a healthy adult version by adding fresh berries or cinnamon to your cooked oats. Some people even enjoy making their own granola or no-bake energy bites with peanut butter. The options are endless, it just takes a little creativity.
Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you… save!
Beans are a fantastic option for eating healthy on a budget. They’re an affordable meal that won’t leave you hungry a few hours later. Cooking up a cup or two of beans will help you incorporate more fiber into your diet, as well as some extra protein. For those on a meatless or plant-based diet, beans are key for getting vital nutrients.
There are tons of options to choose from:
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
- Red beans
- Black-eyed peas
- And more!
You can pick up a pound of your favorite legume for about $1 no matter where you shop, making it one of the affordable foods out there. If you have the extra cash, we recommend buying a larger bag, as you’ll ultimately save more that way.
Plus, they’re one of the most versatile foods out there.
Speaking of versatility, eggs are a common component in thousands of the world’s most beloved dishes. From omelets to frittatas to straight-up scrambled, there are dozens of ways to use a dozen eggs.
In terms of health benefits, eggs contain protein as well as vitamins D and B. Many people look to egg whites as the more nutritious portion of the egg, but there are benefits to both the white and the yolk. Egg whites are fat free, carb free, high in protein and low in calories. However, egg yolks contain vitamins A, E and K along with healthy fats the body needs. Also, compared to the whites, egg yolks are more rich in folate and vitamin B12.
Most stores offer organic eggs for a very low cost per egg, so stock up! You can also look to your community for fresh eggs. Here in the Pacific Northwest, backyard chickens have been gaining popularity in urban neighborhoods. It’s very likely you have a neighbor with chickens who gets fresh eggs every day. If the chickens are productive, they will often have a surplus and sell the eggs locally for great price. Check out your community message boards online to see if you can score some fresh eggs.
You don’t have to give up on taste when eating healthy low-cost foods.
These three foods for eating healthy on a budget will keep your stomach and wallet full, so don’t let a tight budget stop you from eating right. Oats, beans and eggs are staple foods that are best when complimented by fresh fruits and veggies. Use the money you save to stock up on quality organic produce and meats for a well-rounded, budget friendly diet.
At Tacoma Boys, we pride ourselves on offering customers the healthiest foods at the fairest prices. So, stop into one of our three locations today to see just how affordable eating well can be.
Looking for where to buy high quality, local seafood? Tacoma Boys and H&L produce are great options. Freshness and quality have been our priorities from the start, and we have learned a lot about seafood over the years. Read on and we’ll go over how to identify some of the best local seafood Tacoma has to offer.
Everyone loves a quality meal, but sometimes finding great protein options at a reasonable price can be difficult. This is definitely true in the case of seafood, where prices seem to be continually rising over time. We can’t let that stop us though – here in the Pacific Northwest seafood is always on the menu.
Finding quality seafood in Tacoma, at a good price doesn’t have to be an impossible challenge, especially if you look locally. Tacoma has some amazing places where you can find various fish, shrimp, and lobster for prices that won’t break the bank. Being on the west coast allows us to access to some of the freshest and most affordable seafood in the country. You just need to know how to identify high-quality seafood.
When purchasing seafood in Tacoma, remember to ask questions and be curious about where the seafood is from and how fresh it is. The key to finding quality product oftentimes is dependent on your willingness to ask a few simple questions.
Asking these questions can help you avoid seafood that’s far from fresh.
- Was it caught wild or farm raised?
- When and where was it processed?
- Was it previously frozen?
- When did the product arrive?
- How many days of shelf life does it have?
Use Your Senses
Before you look at the seafood, glance around the store overall. Make sure where you’re shopping is neat and organized. Countertops should be clean and fresh fish should always be stored on a bed of ice or in a refrigerated case. If the store doesn’t pass this initial cleanliness test, don’t buy seafood there.
Normally, you can ask seafood providers to smell and handle many products before purchasing. This close inspection can tell you a lot about the quality of the seafood.
Fresh seafood should have very little smell, if any at all. If there is a scent to the product, it should be of the ocean. You should not purchase any seafood that that smell sour or has traces of ammonia. Ammonia is caused by natural oils in fish and other seafood breaking down, and it cannot be cooked out by high heat.
Outside of the smell, you should also check the firmness of the fish. Whether the product in question is filleted or whole, it should have a springy, firm feeling. When touched, the flesh of a fresh fish should “bounce” back and no impressions from your finger should remain to be seen.
It’s normal for fish eyes to bulge a little, but the flesh should be shiny and gills should be bright red. Delicate fish, such as salmon, should be visually free of any bruises, breaks or tears. These marks are usually indicative of poor handling.
When it comes to shellfish, the above tips still apply. Shellfish shouldn’t smell like anything other than the ocean, and asking questions is pertinent. What makes shellfish more of a challenge to shop for is that you should always try to buy them from a fresh seafood market where they are kept alive until you purchase them. Frozen options pale in comparison in regards to quality and flavor. The small prepping window for shellfish is key for optimum freshness.
At Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, the clams and oysters you take home will be alive. We bring them in alive, responsibly sourced, to ensure they’re always fresh. For your visual scan of shellfish, their shells should be free of cracks or holes, and they should have a ‘lively’ appearance and activity to indicate good health. Fun tip: You can test the health of the live clams and oysters by tapping their shell to see if they close up.
The Best Seafood Tacoma Has to Offer
If you’re traveling through the Pacific Northwest, you can’t be blamed for having a hankering for seafood. We love it locally, too! We stock nearly 100 different seafood and shellfish varieties. For those seeking quality seafood Tacoma Boys has the best and freshest selection you could ask for. The above tips are guaranteed to help you find local, fresh seafood for a price that you can feel happy with.
Looking to make a quality meal? Come and visit one of our store locations for fresh produce and organics you can use for your side dishes. Whether you stop by Tacoma Boys or H&L produce in Lakewood, our team is always happy to answer any questions you may have about selecting and cooking your delicious, fresh seafood.