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Shop Your Pantry and Save Money

Updated: Jul 13

Wasted food costs the average family of four $1,800 a year. That’s 450 gallons of gas or the cost of a decent family vacation. How can you save this money? Shop, store, and share your food intentionally.

Shop: Most of us are familiar with making a grocery list. You come up with recipes you want to make for the week, make a list of ingredients and then- pick them up from the store. But there is an important missing step. Shop your own pantry first. In your cabinets, pantry, and refrigerator, you likely have many of the ingredients you need to make delicious, wholesome food. Or you might have something that you can use to supplement an ingredient in one of your favorite recipes. Cooking is an art and a science- don’t be afraid to get creative in the name of saving money and conserving valuable resources.

Store: You’re in a rush, you get home from the grocery store, throw your produce in the fridge and the cabinet, and come back a few days later to find moldy produce or mushy fruit? Slow down! The first step to properly storing food is to learn or research the best way to store your food. The second step is to take time to do it! Finally, get creative in reviving or upcycling your food. Learn more from our food storage page at:

Share: Shopping your cabinets is a fun, family friendly way to learn about food. Our partners at the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council and Green Umbrella shared one of their favorite recipes from their Farm to School partner, Feed Our Future!

Cowboy Salsa is a simple recipe that we modified based on what we had in our cabinets for our cooking demos at the Hamilton County Fair. Check us out!

Cowboy Salsa (With Possible Modifications):


· 1-2 Cups frozen corn

o use part of a leftover bag or a whole bag

· 1-2 Cups canned black beans

o or use any bean you have on hand

· ½ Cup diced tomato

o any variety, using more than half a cup might make your salsa a little runny

· ¼ Cup Italian dressing

o or make your own “dressing” with

lime juice

· olive oil (or avocado)

· garlic

· basil

· onion


1. Chop Tomatoes

2. Drain Beans

3. Combine All Ingredients in a Bowl

4. Refrigerate and Serve

5. Good for 3-5 Days

*Original Recipe from Feed Our Future

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