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Spend less, shop smart: Seafood

Here’s how to get the best value when choosing fish and seafood.

When we think fish and seafood, we often think ‘expensive’. But it doesn’t have to be that way – there’s great value to be found in the seafood aisle.

Fish and shellfish, like produce, have seasons. At certain times of the year, different varieties will be cheaper than others. Don’t automatically go for the same variety year-round. Check out the different species available, and compare prices. Even premium products such as scallops can be great value when it’s high season and they are readily available.

Frozen seafood or marinara mixes are good to have on hand and can stretch a long way. Use them in soups, on pizza, and in pasta.

Mussels are a great value seafood choice, all year-round. With mussels, you can feed the family for a few dollars. Try them in pasta dishes like a simple spaghetti with tomato sauce or steam the mussels open in a bit of wine.

Squid is a really cheap seafood that’s great value. Don’t be scared to try this versatile fish. Score the surface and cook it quickly. Try this delicious grilled squid, watercress and orange salad.

Canned fish is a brilliant addition to the pantry. It’s cheap and incredibly versatile; a standby when the rest of the cupboard is bare. Don’t forget other canned fish varieties too: sardines, salmon, smoked fish, mackerel – they’re all tasty and good for us.

Salmon is available year-round and is sustainably farmed. The ‘per kilo’ price may seem high, but you only need a small serving of salmon for a satisfying meal, and it’s very good for us.

Frozen fish fillets are often on special and they can be used in many different ways. They can often be cooked straight from frozen, making them a handy weeknight option. Frozen fish is also useful in curries and soups.

Smoked fish is usually one of the cheaper seafood options. Although it’s high in sodium, it can be used in ways that stretch it out, and it gives loads of flavour to dishes. Try it in a healthy fish pie, or in a tasty potato salad.

First published: Jan 2009



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