Every New Year we make resolutions. They usually focus on things like health, money and happiness. So the question is, how can we make it easier to achieve these goals we set forth for ourselves after a few glasses of champagne? Well, as my 2012 resolutions slipped through my fingers around February 10th last year I realized it all comes down to time. Time to spend with your loved ones and doing things that make you happy. Time to pack healthy lunches, cook balanced dinners and, of course, the time to shop for the food that makes those lunches and dinner, but most of us don’t have time. There are people to see, projects to finish, snow to shovel, dance lessons, and basketball games. Well, I’m here to try to help make sticking to some of those resolutions a little bit easier. Now, I can’t drive your kids to basketball or finish your TPS reports, but I can offer some advice on how to save money here at the Co-op and what to have in your pantry that will make quick and healthy dinners that much easier.

A well-stocked pantry and freezer are all about versatile ingredients. This month at the Co-op we have some great sales on things that can be used for anything from easy pasta dishes to slow cooker comfort food.

Canned tomatoes
Canned tomatoes are a pantry staple. In the cold Wisconsin winter it is almost impossible to find a really good fresh tomato. When making stews, soups, pastas and casseroles, canned tomatoes save you time, money and still taste great.

  • Muir Glen canned tomatoes, 13 varieties on sale January 2nd–15th. 14.5 oz. can for $1.25. Bonus! There is a Co-op Deals coupon for 75¢ off any Muir Glen canned tomatoes and you can use up to five per shopping trip! Coupons will be located in the aisle in front of the product.

Frozen Fruits and Veggies
Frozen fruits and vegetables are also a big help with quick meals and, again, in the winter they can save you a lot of money. Frozen fruit is great for quick morning smoothies and with no prep and a steamer basket you can have a bowl of broccoli with your favorite toppings done in no time.

  • Cascadian Farms frozen vegetables, six varieties on sale January 2nd–15th. 10 oz. package for $1.99.
  • Cascadian Farms frozen fruits, six varieties on sale January 2nd–15th. 8-10 oz. packages for $2.79. Bonus! Co-op Deals coupon for 75¢ off any Cascadian Farm frozen fruit and you can use up to five per shopping trip!

Pasta
Pasta is always quick and easy. Plus you can please just about anybody with it. Even those who are gluten-free with the sale we have this month.

  • Jovial Gluten-Free Whole Grain and Brown Rice Pastas. Five varieties of each on sale January 2nd–15th. 12 oz. packages for $1.79. Down from $3.49 per package, this is one of the best sales in the store this month.

Beans
I always have canned beans in my pantry. As much as I love to cook down my own beans from the bulk aisle, often there just isn’t the time. Canned beans are great in just about everything from salads and tacos to homemade hummus.

  • Westbrae Natural beans, eight varieties on sale from January 16th–29th. 15 oz. can for $1.49.

Olive oil
No household should be without olive oil. Good olive oil isn’t cheap but this sale is hard to beat.

  • Spectrum Mediterranean Extra Virgin Olive Oil on sale from January 16th–29th. 33.8 fl. oz. bottle on sale for $12.99. Down from $18.99, this is a great deal. This product is only carried at Willy West.

One Box Stop
Sometimes making a meal from the pantry may as well be rocket science. On days like these, when you have dance, basketball and an article due that you may have started a little late, it is great to have something even easier in your pantry. A one-box stop, if you will, and two of my favorites are on sale this month.

  • Annie’s Homegrown Macaroni and Cheese, six varieties on sale January 16th–29th. 10 oz. to 11 oz. packages on sale for $2.49 to $3.29. Add some of the frozen broccoli or peas from your freezer and you have a quick, satisfying meal that really took no thought at all.
  • Pacific Natural Foods soups, 12 varieties on sale January 16th–29th. 32 fl. oz. packages on sale for $2.99. You can spruce up any of these soups with rice, beans, pasta or veggies but they don’t really need it. They are great on their own and usually make two meals for one person. Eat it as soup for dinner and then pour it over rice and veggies for lunch the next day.

I encourage everyone to take advantage of these great deals. Having a well stocked pantry is sure to make some of your New Year’s resolutions easier to stick to. Here’s to a happy, healthy New Year with a few extra bucks in your pocket and a few extra minutes each day to dance.

Brush LocalAbsolutely ArtGrass Fed BeefLynn's

Just Coffee CooperativeLiz Lauer