How Top Chef’s Gail Simmons Saved (and Splurged!) on Groceries in One Week

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: The Kitchn)

“Grocery budgets are easy to stick to,” said no one ever. There’s always the temptation of some expensive gooey cheese, a super-nice cut of steak, or even the little indulgences that somehow add up. For Top Chef’s Gail Simmons, her budget buster could easily become a fancy yogurt she just found out about.

Keep reading to learn, in Gail’s own words, what’s so great about it — and what she did to offset the cost of the nearly $7 breakfast treat.

Biggest Recent Splurge

(Image credit: White Moustache)

White Moustache Yogurt, $6.75 for eight ounces at BKLYN Larder

The chef at BKLYN Larder (former Top Chef contestant Grayson Schmitz) introduced me to this insanely delicious, decadent yogurt and it may become my next addiction. I have always liked yogurt, but this is such a quality product that it takes breakfast to a whole new level.

It’s so beautifully creamy and rich with just the right tartiness, and no sour aftertaste. I was supposed to share it with my husband but couldn’t stop myself and devoured it on my own yesterday morning, solo. It’s not necessarily a yogurt I can eat every day due to the price, but it’s worth it for a special healthy treat. I now have to try all their other flavors.

Biggest Recent Save

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Savings are harder to quantify, as they usually come from me spreading out and stretching ingredients over multiple dishes throughout the week. This past week I bought a whole chicken, an onion, a bunch of carrots, fennel, cauliflower, two potatoes, an orange bell pepper, a bunch of cilantro, and a head of garlic, which all were used in multiple ways.

I made a chicken posole soup with the chicken thighs, and a sheet pan roast chicken with the breasts, carrots, half the fennel, half the onion, and half the cauliflower (tossed in a mix of paprika and sumac with lemon). I also made a big frittata with bell pepper, the other half of the onion, and the potato. The other half of the fennel went into a salad. I roasted the other half the cauliflower on its own too. Garlic was in everything.

And nothing went to waste! All the scraps and peelings from the veggies and the carcass from the chicken were put in a freezer bag and frozen as I used them, and by the end of the week I had enough scraps to throw in a pot and boil for a few hours to make chicken broth, along with all the cilantro and some leftover parsley stems. I portioned it out into two- and four-serving freezer containers and will now be able to use them when I make soup again, which I’m doing with frequency these days. Yum.

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How did you splurge and save on groceries this week? Tell us in the comments below!