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Drought and the weak Canadian dollar are contributing to a rise in food prices. Here’s how you can keep your grocery bill down:
1. Grow your own
“A friend of mine, he really loves the organic foods,” says Vancouver Community College culinary arts instructor Hamid Salimian (above). “He took over a space in Richmond and started growing all his own organic vegetables.”
Books and online resources can help newbie gardeners get started. Those without their own space to garden can apply to get a plot in a community garden.
Some gardeners even grow hops to make their own beer. An added, benefit — you know exactly what went into your beer, berries and veggies.
Salimian said he and his wife have an apartment, with limited growing space. “But we can grow some herbs, and herbs can be expensive to buy.”
2. Buy in season or on sale
“When they’re in season, they’re at their peak flavour-wise,” Salimian said. He added that buying Canadian-grown fruit and vegetables is cheaper that buying imports.
Save.ca suggests that if you find a great deal on items that freeze well, like butter, cheese, berries and meats, then buy extra and store them in your freezer or preserve them until you need them.
“My mom does it all the time,” Salimian said. “She has two big freezers at home and she fills them up. She makes strawberry purée when the strawberries are in season, she makes jams and pickles when they’re in season.”
For the rest of Chef Hamid's money-saving grocery tips, see the original story on The Vancouver Province's Food Blog.
Thinking about a career in food? Come meet our chefs and hospitality management instructors! RSVP now for VCC Info Night on April 20.