by Cleo Opera
(Woodland, CA USA)
I have been a vegetarian for many, many years.
I do not buy much packaged or canned foods. The canned foods I buy consist of tomatoes, a certain brand of re-fried beans, jalapenos and occasional special products such as pineapple that was called for in one recipe.
Almost everything else I purchase and eat I buy in bulk--rice, beans, flour, raisins, oatmeal.
It may difficult for many to buy staples in bulk. Most supermarkets either do not carry bulk items or carry only a limited variety.
But one can buy large bags of beans, rice and flour at most supermarkets. These are not necessarily more expensive than buying from bulk bins. It is important to store these items in secure containers. Don't leave them sitting around in their bags.
I am also a dedicated sale shopper, stocking up on items that are on sale and if there is a coupon also, so much the better!
I have a small slow cooker which is ideal for preparing beans. A family will need one of the larger ones. I will cook a large amount and freeze what I don't intend to use immediately.
At the same time I will cook a large pot of rice. With the beans and rice as basics, I have the ingredients for several meals.
One of my most recent favorites has been a variety of what was once called 'Spanish Rice.' This is a good dish for the early autumn because bell peppers are still available at a reasonable price.