Most everyone will agree that a sure way to cut the cost of running a household (especially in a recession) is to cook more meals at home.
Another step would be to buy in bulk and cook in bulk.
In the NY Times' article Chefs Offer Depressing Strategies for Cutting Food Costs they quote Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto “Cook one time. Save gas, save energy.”
What else are chefs suggesting to help cut down the cost of even cooking for yourself? Some other recent articles have delved into the subject.
From Food & Wine's article, Cost-Cutting Secrets from Star Chefs:
1. Master basic techniques - using cheaper cuts of meat requires more attention and skill
2. Keep your scraps - "vegetable tops, stems, greens and peelings don’t make it into the garbage"
3. Use the whole animal - don't forget to use up you bones, cheeks, and livers
4. Manage a weekly budget - you can splurge on some items so long as you can average it out
5. Eat seasonally and locally - go to your farmer's markets
If you take a look at these suggestions, 1-3 require skill, 4 requires some business acumen, and 5 requires knowledge; specifically, where your farmer's markets are, and what is in season. All great tips.
Quoted by the Wall Street Journal in their article Chefs Talk Quality and Cost at the James Beard Awards, chef Michael Psilakis states, "The key is to find multiple uses and to use every last thing that there is. It's really a test of a true chef to take something that may not be the best part of an animal and make something beautiful with it."
This is an excellent point. I could make the argument that most novice chefs know how to cook beets, but I would also agree that most do not know how to cook beet greens. These delicious greens, unfortunately, get thrown out - often in my house too.
I think I'm going to cook some beets AND their greens this weekend...