Grocery Items That Are Worth the Splurge
These are purchases you won’t regret
Trying to save money at the grocery store is always smart, and there are some savvy ways to do it. You might opt to buy generic over brand name, for instance, or become an expert at couponing. Or you might simply stop wasting cash on items that just aren’t worth buying at all. But while it’s sometimes smart to cut corners at the supermarket, other times, it’s a wise move to spend a little extra on higher-quality items. With all the ways you’re probably wasting money at the supermarket, you’ll be glad to know that these pricier grocery items are actually worth laying out a little extra cash.
If you’re a home cook and you’re not using fresh herbs, you could be making an unfortunate cooking mistake. Dried herbs should be used if you’re adding them mid-recipe, but if you’re seasoning a near-finished dish, fresh herbs are the way to go. Fresh basil is going to make any pasta dish taste more authentic, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary will add far more flavor to a cozy fall casserole than the dried stuff. Fresh herbs can be expensive, and you only use a small amount at a time, but if you store them correctly, they can last long enough to use up the whole bunch.
High-end extra-virgin olive oil
Olive oil can vary wildly in price, largely due to the drastic difference in quality and taste each type delivers. If you’re simply using olive oil for sauteing or cooking, you should opt for the cheaper variety, such as a generic brand or mass-market olive oil. But if you’re using it to drizzle over fresh tomatoes, make your own salad dressing or dip bread in, it’s worth splurging for. High-quality olive oil, such as the kind you might find at a specialty store or that’s sold in small batches, can noticeably elevate the taste of your food.
There’s a big difference between buying bread fresh from the bakery and buying pre-sliced, processed bread sold in a plastic bag. While basic bread does the job for making an acceptable PB&J or a cold cut sandwich, it’s worth treating yourself to the good stuff now and then. Not only is fresh bread often made with fewer preservatives and artificial ingredients, but it also tastes so much better. Spread some butter on a fresh, chewy baguette or upgrade your French toast by making it with a loaf of challah. From focaccia to naan, the world has so much good bread to offer, and when you see a good-looking loaf, you shouldn’t feel bad about spending extra.
Life is too short not to find more reasons to enjoy good quality, authentic cheese. While using generic-brand shredded cheddar is just fine for making enchiladas or adding to an omelette, prepackaged, overly processed cheese has nothing on a delicate orb of fresh mozzarella, a slab of real farmhouse cheddar or a wedge of creamy Camembert. Thankfully, most supermarkets these days offer a wide range of high-end cheeses that used to be difficult to track down just a couple decades ago. Even opting for real Parmigiano-Reggiano instead of shelf-stable grated Parmesan can turn an average-tasting bowl of spaghetti into a dish that tastes just like pasta recipes grandma used to make.