Butter and margarine are of equal nutritive value and are comparable in flavor. Regular margarines are much less costly than butter, but special margarines that are high in polyunsaturated fat are only slightly lower in cost than butter. Consumers today are using more oils – corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower, and less hydrogenated shortenings or lard because of the differences in polyunsaturated fat content.
Sweets and condiments
Cane and beet sugars cost less than raw, brown, and confectioners’ sugars. Molasses is a good buy, because it contains iron as well as carbohydrates. It can be used for many dishes, such as baked beans, gingerbread, cookies, puddings, and sometimes in a glass of milk for children. Honey, maple sugar and syrup, and candies represent expensive ways to buy sweets.
Spices, flavoring extracts, and herbs are important additions, because they enhance the flavors of food so much. Flavors are rapidly lost to the air, and only small containers of infrequently used seasonings should be purchased. Coffee, tea, catsup, meat sauces, pickles, and relishes add interest to meals. Depending upon the choices made, these food adjuncts may increase the food expenditure appreciably.
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