Dear Barbara: We are constantly hearing how to cut back in this economy. Give up your Starbucks; use your bike; eat at home more. I find that by the time I buy all the herbs and spices and other ingredients to make a certain dish, I’ve spent more than if we had gone to a restaurant and ordered it! What do you think is more economical when it comes to food? — Michaela from Lodi
Dear Michaela: I think it is always more economical to eat at home. You just have to plan it out a little. I like using a lot of herbs in my dishes. I can go to the store and pay $1.29 for each little bunch of herbs and only use a few tablespoons of each and let the rest sit in the refrigerator and quickly turn black. Alternatively, I have small hanging pots on my patio, so if I buy a little plant for $1.79 each and plant them, I can snip from them all summer and they are as fresh as you can get. Using up the rest of the ingredients for a dish is easy; make two and freeze one. Buy in bulk on meats and divide the meat into packages and freeze. BUY IN SEASON! Go to the Farmers Market; we have one every Thursday all summer long.