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Ina Garten's Essential Pantry Tip To Keep Things From Getting Chaotic
Ina Garten told Bon Appétit she usually doesn't "use unusual ingredients that you'll only use once." Instead, she likes using substitutions to help eliminate kitchen waste.
For example, if you are making a creamy saffron butter pasta, consider combining paprika and turmeric instead of buying saffron which is quite pricey.
If you're worried that the substitution will compromise the flavor of your dish, try to find recipes that will use the unusual or expensive ingredients so you don't toss them out.
This approach allows you to both experience how an ingredient affects the taste of a dish and can potentially introduce you to new culinary delights.