1. Where and when your local farmers markets occur.
Not only is supporting locally grown food awesome for the community, but there’s nothing better than spending an afternoon strolling outside and sampling fresh fruits, artisanal cheeses and seasonal vegetables. Try chatting up vendors, build some relationships, because who knows? You might even get the inside scoop on the best foods there. You can search here to find a market closest to you.
2. The origin of your food.
When you get to know your farmers, you can get to know about what they do to take care of the environment. Loving food is more meaningful when you are part of a larger community of people who truly appreciate food and understand how to care for the land so that we can enjoy the best quality ingredients for years to come. For example, on Freund’s Farm in Connecticut, millennial dairy farmers have figured out ways to recycle cow manure compost to make biodegradable seed start pots. These CowPots break down within weeks of planting to enrich the soil. And Hilmar Cheese Company in California uses both solar power and advanced water conservation practices–especially important in light of the state’s current drought.
3. How to properly organize your refrigerator.
Okay, so there isn’t ONE way to do this – but aim to create some sort of organizational set up. If you’re on top of where everything is, you’re much less likely to forget about your food or let it expire. Food waste has become a huge issue nationwide, with the U.S. throwing out more than 30 percent of the food that’s produced. But we can all help reduce this number by making sure we use what we have. And if you can get your hands on a label maker, print out a few of those suckers to further help keep things concise and clean. Here’s a great chart with more helpful tips for preserving your food.
4. What’s really worth splurging on.
It can be dangerously easy to rack up a hefty bill while enjoying your foodie ways. So make sure you designate the nights you’re going to treat yourself. If money is extra tight, check out Groupon, LivingSocial, or Foursquare for deals. A restaurant you’re dying to try but it’s a little out of your price range? Check and see if they offer Happy Hour, prix fixe dinners, or participate in ‘Restaurant Week.’
5. How to substitute when cooking.
Substitution has become an art form. With hyper-focus on food allergies, sensitivities and dietary restrictions, it’s easier to find different ingredients that result in the same great-tasting product. The truest foodie knows that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Have a friend who avoids gluten coming over for dinner? Mashed potato pizza crust it is. Invited to a vegetarian BBQ? Southwestern Pizza will make you everyone’s favorite guest.
6. How to grocery shop with a list.
This goes back to being smart with spending. Grocery stores are magical places with so many things you want to try. Olive oil drizzled Marcona almonds! Dragonfruit! Yogurt and Kefir options galore! Something out of the ordinary that for some reason you still want to try! If you don’t walk in with a list, or a general idea of what you’re looking for, you might do some unnecessary extra shopping. Luckily, there are some great apps to help out with that. For instance, AnyList lets you make lists, manage recipes, and plan meals, and Grocery Pal points you toward sales at your local supermarkets.
7. Food tastes just as good without Instagramming it.
We all love a good food pic, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with unplugging every now and then. Enjoy the moment. Let your taste buds savor and celebrate. You can fill your friends in on the deliciousness later. Let Instagram and other forms of social media take a breather. Be one with your food. C’mon, you know you want to!