07 Aug Best Practices for Ordering Low Costs Food with High Quality
Recently, there have been interruptions in planting, harvesting, production, transportation, delivery shortages, inefficiencies, and increased production costs which has resulted in food costs skyrocketing. Food costs have not risen this high since the 1970s, with that being said it is important to know and use the best practices to reduce food costs. Here are several ways you can save on food expenses while providing nutritious and flavorful meals.
By knowing and evaluating your center of plate items for all meals you can effectively reduce costs while providing complete meals that satisfy patients and residents.
- Here is an example of a flavorful, cost effective protein equivalent:
- You can save 54% by using Boneless Chicken Thighs (42 cents) instead of Chicken Breasts (96 cents) while preparing the same delicious meals.
- Analyze & exchange expensive proteins for less costly, high quality and nutritionally similar choices:
- Compare using sliced ham (96 cents/2 oz. serving) which offers 14 g. protein to ham & beans (36 cents/10 oz. serving) for the same 14 g. protein
- Using tougher cuts of meat for the center of the plate items to save on costs.
- By using acid based tenderizer the meat can be similar in texture to the more expensive cuts while saving on costs.
Using Combination Dishes
By using simple combinations, cost effective and satisfying protein dishes you can save on time and labor while using items you have on hand. These combination dishes provide nutrition to residents while satisfying their hunger. Some great examples of these combinations would include:
- Spaghetti & Meatballs
- Shepherds Pie
- Turkey Pot Pie
- Ham & Cheesy Potato Casserole
- Rice & Beans
- Chili & Cornbread
- Turkey Tetrazzini
These combinations can be made using convenient items such as chopped turkey or frozen vegetables so the low maintenance to prepare is a win-win and will save on costs.
Evaluate Plate Waste
By evaluating your plate waste you can plan ahead and prevent a large volume of waste. Here are options to consider while analyzing your plate waste:
- Offer smaller portions to residents while honoring their preferences.
- Use a bread, dessert and soup cart with cream soups/bean soups and a variety of low cost desserts.
- Use flavor enhancers such as gravy, margarine, spices, sugar and more to wake up aging taste buds with flavor.
- Collaborate with RDN/NDTR regarding menu changes weekly.
During this pandemic everyone has been affected by these rising food costs and will continue to be affected. It is important now to start aligning your menus and food expenses to provide to residents while maintaining your food budget.