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One French word : économies, no recipe today

Economies, feminine plural noun (but you can use it in the singular – une économie, des économies) = savings (pronounced ay-co-no-meee, a slight stress on the first and last syllables, no s heard in the plural (I’m going to stop saying that from now onwards; after a month, you know by heart that you never hear the final s in the plural)).

Economie in the singular is economy, or the economy. In the plural, savings. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today.

After one whole month of posting daily, a whole month of thinking about, cooking, photographing and eating the recipes that I have posted, I have noticed something very interesting. Several things in fact.

1. When I finalized my monthly accounts, I found that I had only used three-quarters of my food budget. I have only bought good quality fresh food. Some but not a lot of organic. My vegetables come from a local farmer, my fruit from a specialized fruit shop. My fish from the coast or a local fish shop. My meat from a butcher. I don’t shop a lot at supermarkets. I have bought no frozen food (although I used a little I had already), no packaged food, no ready prepared food. I have eaten well, it has been delicious, pleasing to the eye, healthy and fresh.  And the result is that I have saved 25% of my food budget.

2. I have lost a little weight. Not much, a pound or two. But it was without doing anything special, and it’s far far better than gaining a pound or two.

3. I have been generating far less trash. Hardly any packaging. A few plastic milk and juice bottles. Empty animal feed sacks. A wine bottle or two. But no food packaging. All my vegetable waste, and it has mainly been that, is composted. The result is that my trash count (which as it was, was not enormous) has diminished by at least 25%, but probably nearer 30%.

Interesting, don’t you think? That by giving yourself pleasure first in the kitchen and then on your plate, you can economize (faire des économies) on so many counts?

Poivron rôti

Cold duck breast

Magret de canard froid à l’ananas confit

Seared beef bento

Onglet poêlé


About OneFrenchWord

I was a professional linguist and have been a life-long foodie. I am now lucky enough to be retired and free to roam the beaches around my home at the tip of the Finistère (Brittany, France). Writing is occupying a larger place in my life, with this blog and a children's book in preparation. I shall feel much happier calling myself a writer when I have published a book. And so posts on OneFrenchWord will be published first as an e-book, my ambition being to see a glossy volume on French language and cuisine in print some day. So keep reading, and snap up the book when it appears!

9 responses »

  1. That is a truly beautiful and generous start to a blog… thank you xx

  2. Oh, Caroline, I thought you always ate this way!!! Now, I am even more amazed at what you are doing with the blog, and with your life.

    • Well I do always eat this way, but not as “concentratedly” if you see what I mean. I sometimes cheat, as it is easy to do in France and get something ready made from a charcuterie or a wonderful frozen food delicatessen we have. We’re so lucky that we can buy food which is as deicious as one can produce oneself, very tempting. But you still don’t know exactly what has gone into something you have not prepared from scratch. I have felt very good this month, very healthy and “virtuous”!

      • When I spent three months in Europe in 1967, I just could not believe the food in France!!! We were on a budget, but even the cheapest cafeteria had the most amazing, delicious things to eat. It is so interesting how one culture can develop such a delight in food. The contrast with the food in England and Ireland, in 1967, well, you can imagine! We ended up just eating cheese, crackers, and apples in those countries. I am going to the produce market right now to buy the ingredients for your leek soup. I already have the leeks from my CSA box.

        • Well you see the progress. CSA boxes didn’t exist a short while ago. And the food in England and Ireland is now wonderful (if not uniformly, but then neither is it in France). I think it is maybe less expensive in France.

          • Yes, I have heard the food has greatly improved there, as well as it has in the United States. I think people bringing back French ideas about food, the increase in travel, has been a benefit to everyone.

  3. I am totally absorbed by food though. And by that I don’t mean any kind of gluttony. Just produce, flavours, the question “how did he/she achieve that result”. I can spend a whole afternoon in the kitchen preparing something intricate just for me (you will have gathered from the small portions I photograph that I live alone), which will take hours to prepare and only minutes to eat…

  4. Excellent economies!


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