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The Truth About Grocery Store Generics

Posted in: Raleigh Catering Services

Buying groceries is not cheap. However, many people shell out lots of extra dollars weekly for brand name items. The reality is buying generic and store brand items are often just as good, and can save you a lot of money over the course of a year. There are a lot of myths surrounding non-brand name food and today we’re going to bust them! For the most affordable catering Raleigh NC services for your next event, give us a call at Catering by Design. Our prices, food, and great customer service are unbeatable.

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Why Are Brand Name Items More Expensive?

Paying more money for an item does not mean it’s going to be better quality 100% of the time. When it comes to brand name foods the extra costs involved are mostly to pay for advertising, like TV commercials and magazine ads.

Myth Busters

Generics Are Not as Tasty

In many blind taste tests conducted throughout the years, researchers have found that consumers can hardly tell any difference in taste between brand name and store brand food items. Sometimes, the store brand brand product rated better in taste than the name brand equivalent. Yet many consumers still opt for the more expensive brand name snacks, diary products, cereals, etc. because they think they taste better since they cost more money.

Generics Are Not as Nutritious

They next time you’re grocery shopping be sure to compare the labels of the brand name products with the store brand. You’ll probably be surprised to find that the store brand labels are almost identical to the brand name products. This is another common myth that shoppers often fall for. They believe that if the product costs more then they’re going to be more nutritious. In some cases you’ll find that the store brand versions will have less sugar, sodium, and better nutritional value.

Top-Rated Catering Raleigh NC Services

If you need the best catering Raleigh NC has to offer for your next summertime or fall event, call Catering by Design. Our calendar is filling up quickly so don’t hesitate to make the decision to call. Get your date reserved now before it’s too late!

We’re an award winning Raleigh caterer and can guarantee that you’ll love our food, service, and especially our prices. We can handle events of any size and have packages for types of budgets. We even offer delivery services. Call now to learn more.

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This Food Prep Trick Could Save You Loads of Time

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

I’m always looking for ways to save time and money when it comes to food. I recently stumbled upon this one trick while researching another topic and decided to give it. I have to say, it’s simple and it works. Keep reading for the big reveal. Looking for affordable Raleigh wedding catering, business catering, or event catering? Call the pros at Catering by Design. We have the best options for Triangle weddings, corporate meetings, banquets, social events, birthday parties, and more.

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So here’s the big secret! It’s really basic so don’t be disappointed. When you return home from the grocery store start prepping right then. Do not just take the groceries out of their bag and put them away in the pantry or in the refrigerator. Get to work. This will save you loads of time during week ahead when you’re tired and your kids are screaming about when dinner is going to ready. Over time this method will also help you save money by reducing food waste as well.

Here’s how you can make it work for you. When you get back home from the store you should get your grocery list back out and compare that with the meals you plan on cooking during the week. With your list in hand, put away the items that you know you’re not going to be needing right away and place other grocery items out on your counters so you can take inventory of what you have to work with.

Next, get out your glass or plastic storage containers and get to slicing, chopping, peeling, washing, blanching, etc. Put all of your prepped ingredients into these containers and strategically place them in the front of the fridge so you can easily see and access them.

When you get home from work or have had a long day being a stay-at-home parent, making dinner doesn’t take all night to complete. Doing as much leg work as you can before crunch time hits will save you many valuable minutes during the week. Don’t stop at your veggies either. You can start soaking dried beans, make your salad dressings or pasta sauces, and many other things beforehand as well.

If you’re looking for great food at even better prices, keep reading to see why calling Catering by Design for all of your event food needs makes sense!

Affordable Raleigh Wedding Catering and More

All Raleigh catering companies are not the same. This is especially true if you’re looking for a vendor that specializes in affordable pricing, great customer service, and fantastic flavors in 2019. Don’t get all stressed out over doing all the work, let Catering by Design help. We’ve got affordable menus to fit any budget. You can also customize your catering menu with any family recipes or dietary restrictions. Brides will love our free menu tastings, something our competitors charge for. Please give us a call soon if you have any questions or would like to discuss our catering packages or delivery services.

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How You Can Eat Frugally This Month

Posted in: Raleigh Catering Services

If you’re like me, you’re probably always looking for ways to save money and cut costs around the home. This includes reducing the weekly grocery bill and how much we spend on eating food! In today’s post we will look into ways that you can eat frugally not only for this month, but everyday. For the best Raleigh NC catering service, only Catering by Design will do. Call us today to learn why our customers love us and keep coming back.

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If you’re not a coupon cutter then you should start. Coupons can save you hundreds of dollars each year. Some grocery stores even double coupons up to $1.00 face value once a week or at least once a month. You can also get rebates on some of your purchases depending on what the manufacturer offers.

No Alcohol

If you’re going to eat out, opt for only drinking water and skipping the alcoholic beverages. Restaurants can charge quite a bit of money for mixed drinks, craft beer, and wine. This can save you a lot of money on your tab.

Meal Planning

Meal planning is very important to reducing your monthly grocery and food costs. It all starts with making lists, taking inventory, and smart planning. When planning your meals be sure to take note of what you currently have in the pantry that you can use. This will save you time and money on your grocery shopping.

Eat Less Meat

Meat is one of the most expensive grocery items. However, you can get your protein in other tasty ways. This month, challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and make it a point to really drop your meat intake. Your body probably feel a lot better and so will your bank account.

White Box Challenge

Once or twice a week, or more, you should complete the white box challenge. This means that you should eat meals made from what you have leftover in your refrigerator. The goal is to stay away from the grocery store as long as possible in hopes of reducing your food waste.

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Do you need affordable wedding catering Raleigh NC services for your reception? Call Catering by Design today for a free menu tasting!

We are a highly rated and affordable catering company and we have wedding menus that can be fully customized. We have the best prices and customer service in the Triangle. Give us a call today to schedule your free tasting.

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How to Make Baby Food at Home

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

Is your little one finally ready to start eating food? It can be an amazing experience for both parents and little ones to experience those first bites of food. We know you only want to give your baby the best tasting and most nutritious food available. That’s why we’re going to explain how to easily make your own baby food right in your own kitchen. Looking for affordable Raleigh caterers for your next summer or fall event? Call the professional team at Catering by Design today. You’ll love our amazing prices, exceptional customer service, and great tasting food.

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Basic First Foods

  • Barley and rice cereal
  • Mashed bananas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peaches
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peas

Kitchen Supplies

  • Pot and a steamer basket, or an electric steamer
  • Ice cube trays or small storage cups
  • Organic fruit or vegetables
  • Immersion blender
  • Freezer baggies
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Sharpie
  • Water

Vegetable and Fruit Purees

The best way to introduce the basic first foods is by pureeing. It’s a very simple process. Here are the directions:

  • Fill a pot fill 1/3 of the way up and place a steamer inside.
  • Add the fruit or vegetables and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Once boiling, turn heat down to low and simmer until fork tender.
  • Remove from heat and place in a glass bowl.
  • Once cool blend with immersion blender until you get the right consistency for your baby.
  • Add water to make it smooth if needed.

Once your fruits and vegetables are pureed spoon the mixture into ice cube trays and place into the freezer up to 24 hrs. Next, place your trays on the counter and let defrost just enough that you can easily pop them out. Remove all the cubes and place into a labeled freezer baggie and place back into the freezer. These can last up to 6 months. Each cube is a 1 ounce serving.

Be sure to come back to our blog for all sorts of helpful food related tips. If you need an amazing catering experience for your next event, keep reading to see how Catering by Design can help you.

Affordable Raleigh Caterers for 2019 Summer

If you are looking for reliable Raleigh caterers for your next event, please call Catering by Design right now. Our highly trained team of professionals is ready to take your call or schedule your service. We’re an award winning Raleigh catering company that can handle events of any size.

Having a wedding? Brides and grooms love our free menu tastings! This is a free service we offer that most of our competitors charge for. Please click here to check out our menus, or call us today with any questions or to ask about our specials!

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Ingredients I Always Have on Hand

Posted in: Catering Company

Over the years I have really changed how I shop for groceries. I’ve made great efforts to save money, throw away as little food as possible, and be more efficient with my meal planning. That means that there are a few pantry basics and staples that you’ll always find in my kitchen. These items don’t include things like herbs, spices, olive oil, and other cooking essentials. I’ll be focusing on what I’m buying the most of each week. If you need an affordable Raleigh catering company for an upcoming event this year, call us today at Catering by Design. You’ll love our menu selections, tasty flavors, service, and incredible prices.

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Fresh Fruits

My family loves fresh fruit of all different types. All of us keep fruit packed in our daily lunches for snacks and sides. We eat a lot of bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, and cherries. One thing I try to do when buying fruit is to select items that have multiple options of what to do with them, like eating them raw or making pies, cakes, or muffins, adding them to yogurt or smoothies, etc.


I like to keep a variety of potatoes on hand, including a few sweet potatoes. Potatoes can be used in many different ways, from mashed or smashed, baked russet, roasted, fried, boiled, etc. My kids also love sweet potato fries so I try to make them at least once a week.


We go through a lot of eggs. We eat them for breakfast many days and use them hard boiled for salads and other snack needs. I also like to add eggs when making fried rice, and I use a lot of them for baking recipes.


We love avocados in my household. We can eat them morning, noon, and night. We make a lot of Mexican inspired dishes through the week so they have to be on hand always. Avocados are also a super food. They’re packed with lots of great stuff that does good things for your body.


Rice is another starch I like to keep on hand because it is easy to cook and has lots of uses. You can prepare rice with a variety of recipes as a side. You can use rice in a variety of American, Asian, and Mexican dishes. Rice is also a great leftover food for extra meals.

The Best Raleigh Catering for All of Your Needs

Catering by Design offers the best Raleigh catering services in the area. We have great menus that will fit any sized budget or type of event. We specialize in family, social, community, and corporate events as well as wedding receptions, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. You can also customize your catering menu, truly making your event “catering by your design.”

Give us a call soon to schedule either a delivery or full service Raleigh catering.

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What’s In Season? July Fruits and Veggies

Posted in: Raleigh Catering Services

Fortunately for us, there’s lots of tasty fruits and vegetables grown right here in North Carolina. There’s produce, like peanuts and okra, that even thrive in our hot and humid summers. So if you’re wondering what’s going to be at the Farmers’ Market this weekend, check out our July list below. If you’re looking for wedding, social, or business catering Raleigh NC services, call Catering by Design. We keep our costs low and clients happy. We can also help you find just the right menu for your budget. Call us right now to learn more about our packages and services.

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What’s In Season For July? A List Of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

In some areas of NC, a portion of these items might not be available at your Farmers’ Market. We suggest checking out your neighborhood supermarket if you’re having trouble finding something. Most of these fruits and veggies should be available there. Here’s the big list for NC produce in July:

  • Butter Beans
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cabbages
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Collards
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Figs
  • Garlic
  • Green Onion
  • Greens
  • Herbs
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Nectarines
  • Onions
  • Okra
  • Peaches
  • Peanuts
  • Peppers
  • Peanuts
  • Plums
  • Potatoes
  • Shallots
  • Snap Beans
  • Sprite Melons
  • Yellow Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini

If you want to keep up with all of the fruits and vegetables that will be available in North Carolina, be sure to come back each month. You’ll find lists for each season of the year. You’ll also have access to fun and easy recipes that your friends and family will love. Plus, you can read posts with information that will aid you in the kitchen. We also love helping out brides, grooms, and their families with awesome wedding tips. At Catering By Design, we’re so much more than just a catering company. Keep reading for more information.

The Best Business Catering Raleigh NC Services for 2019

Still looking for a catering service for a business function, wedding reception, social or community event? At Catering By Design, we have fully customizable menus for budgets of any size. Call us today and ask about our lunch and learn program for businesses. If you do not need full service catering, be sure to also ask us about our delivery options. An affordable alternative that really makes a positive impact on your friends, family, clients and staff. If you’re getting married, call us and schedule a free menu tasting. This is a free service we offer that many of our competitors charge you extra for.

We’re an award winning catering company that’s been providing smiles to people all over NC for many decades. We promise you’ll love our food, outstanding customer service, and unbeatable pricing. Call us now to learn more.

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What’s Wrong with My Tomato Plant?

Posted in: Cary Catering Services

If you’re a backyard gardener like myself, you’ve probably tried your hand at growing tomatoes a few times. You’ve probably had a few rounds of trying to figure out what’s wrong with your tomato plants as well. Today we are going to cover some of the problems you may be experiencing with your tomatoes this summer. Do you need affordable Cary event catering this spring or summer? Call Catering by Design today! Learn how we can help you save time and money on great service and food.

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Leaves Are Yellowing

First, if this is a big and bushy plant you might not have a problem at all. Some of the bottom leaves will turn yellow due to lack of sunlight. Also, a lack of watering can create yellowing leaves. On really hot summer days you should give the plants a good soaking, especially if they’re bearing fruits.

Dying Container Tomatoes

If you have your plants in containers and they’re dying then they’re probably not getting enough water. If you notice that the stalks and branches are withering away this is a good indication that their roots have dried out.

Fruits Are Splitting

When your tomatoes are ripening and they start to split then this is another indication of an uneven watering problem. When the fruit is ripening and it is getting too much water the skin will split as it cannot hold anymore water. It essentially pops like an overfilled balloon. This is essentially an aesthetic issue and will correct itself with proper watering.

Blossom-End Rot

Blossom-end rot starts as a small tan-colored blemish that turns into a big sore. This is not a disease. It’s actually a calcium deficiency. Give them some tomato fertilizer and see if it fixes your problem.

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Searching for high quality and affordable Cary event catering this spring or summer? Call Catering by Design. We’re one of the top rated catering companies in the Triangle area. We can help you with any type of event with very affordable packages. From business luncheons, awards banquets, grand openings, and charity events to birthday parties, anniversaries, block parties, and more, we can cater it all! Our team of highly trained pros is ready to answer questions or to schedule service for you.

Getting married this year? Brides and grooms love our free menu tastings. This is a free service we offer that many competitors charge for. Please click here to check out our wedding menus. Call us today to learn more.

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Stay Hydrated This Summer with These Fruits and Veggies

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Staying hydrated is always important. This is especially true during the brutal heat and humidity of North Carolina summers in the Triangle. It’s a well known fact that your body depends on water to survive. Every single cell, organ, and tissue in your body needs water to work efficiently and correctly. Hydration helps us maintain our body temperature, lubricates our joints, and removes waste. Staying well hydrated doesn’t mean you have to strictly drink water. In fact, there are several fruits and vegetables that are made up of 80-96% water. Below you’ll find 19 fruits and veggies with the highest water content. Searching for the best business, wedding, or event catering Cary NC services this summer? Call the experts at Catering by Design. Our clients love our big menu selection, attention to detail, and great pricing. We even offer delivery options as well!

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These Fruits and Vegetables Help with Hydration

Here is a list of fruits and veggies that contain the most water to help you keep hydrated this summer.

  • Grapes (80%)
  • Apples (86%)
  • Oranges (87%)
  • Grapefruit (88%)
  • Carrots (88%)
  • Peaches (89%)
  • Broccoli (89%)
  • Cantaloupe (90%)
  • Spinach (91%)
  • Strawberries (91%)
  • Mushrooms (92%)
  • Watermelon (92%)
  • Asparagus (93%)
  • Summer squash (94%)
  • Tomatoes (94%)
  • Peppers (94%)
  • Lettuce (95%)
  • Celery (95%)
  • Cucumbers (96%)

While eating these delicious fruits and veggies will help you stay hydrated and provide you with lots of healthy vitamins and minerals, you should still be drinking plenty of water. Remember folks, it’s really hot out there. Stay safe and stay hydrated. Do you need great food at affordable pricing for an upcoming event? Keep reading to see why Catering by Design should be your number one choice for great business, wedding reception, and event catering!

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Catering by Design is one of the best business, wedding, and event catering Cary NC companies you can work with in 2018. We’re the number one choice for fun, food, and great flavors in the Triangle area. For weddings, graduation parties, life celebrations, awards ceremonies, business luncheons, and more, call Catering by Design to discuss our many affordable menu packages. We can help you save lots of time and money on your catering needs.

Not sure if you need full service catering? Be sure to ask us about our awesome delivery options. Same great food without the full service staff! Call us today to learn more.

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Potassium Packed Snacks

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Potassium is an essential nutrient. Our bodies rely on it for a wide range of functions. When you’re suffering from a potassium deficiency you can experience constipation, fatigue, kidney problems, weakness in the muscles, breathing problems, and even heart issues. So as you can see, potassium is really important. If you want to up your potassium intake with some tasty snacks then you’ll love today’s post. Keep reading to learn more. Do you need affordable Cary caterers for your next summer or fall event? Call the experts at Catering by Design today. You’ll love our selections, prices, and customer service.

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According to the American Heart Association foods that are rich in potassium are important for managing high blood pressure as it reduces the effects of sodium. The more of it you eat, the more sodium you lose when urinating. This helps reduce tension in your blood vessel walls and further lowers your blood pressure.

When you’re packing up your lunch and snacks for the day or out grocery shopping this week, keep these items in mind to help you load up on this essential nutrient.

  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew melon
  • Raisins and dates
  • Prunes and prune juice
  • Fat-free or low-fat milk
  • Avocado, ½ cup: 364 mg potassium (120 calories)
  • Banana, 1 medium: 422 mg potassium (105 calories)
  • Peaches, dried, ¼ cup: 399 mg potassium (96 calories)
  • Stewed prunes, ½ cup: 398 mg potassium (133 calories)
  • Apricots dried, ¼ cup: 378 mg potassium (78 calories)
  • Acorn squash, cooked ½ cup: 448 mg potassium (58 calories)
  • Baked potato, medium with skin: 941 mg potassium (163 calories)
  • Edamame (cooked soybeans) ½ cup: 485 mg potassium (127 calories)
  • Baked sweet potato, medium with skin: 542 mg potassium (103 calories)
  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice (If you’re using cholesterol-lowering drugs please check with your doctor first.)

Don’t forget to visit back with our blog often to read more helpful tips on nutrition, easy recipes, kitchen gadgets and tips, wedding trends, and more.

Best Cary Caterers for Summer and Fall 2019

If you are looking for reliable Cary caterers for your next event this summer, please call Catering by Design right now. Our highly trained team of professionals is ready to take your call or schedule your service. We’re an award winning Cary catering company that can handle events of any size.

Having a wedding? Brides and grooms love our free menu tastings! This is a free service we offer that most of our competitors charge for. Please click here to check out our menus, or call us today with any questions or to ask about our specials!

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What Are the Germiest Things in Your Kitchen?

Posted in: Catering Company

After reading today’s post you are probably not going to ever look at your kitchen the same way again. You probably think the germiest place in your home is your bathroom. According to a study by the NSF it’s actually your kitchen, or things in your kitchen. Below you’ll find the list of problem areas you should be aware of. Do you need affordable Raleigh event catering this summer or fall? Call Catering by Design today. We will save you time and money on your event and catering needs.

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The Top 6 Germiest Kitchen Things

When examining kitchen items the study found that 36% of the items had positive indicators for E.coli and salmonella. Listeria was found on 14% of the items, and all of them had yeast and mold traces. Without further ado, here are the six things residing in your kitchen that are covered in the most germs.

  • Refrigerator vegetable compartment: Salmonella, listeria, yeast, and mold
  • Refrigerator meat compartment: Salmonella, E.coli, yeast, and mold
  • Blender gasket: Salmonella, E.coli, yeast, and mold
  • Can opener: Salmonella, E.coli, yeast, and mold
  • Rubber spatula: E. coli, yeast, and mold
  • Food storage container with rubber seal: Salmonella, yeast, and mold

Other Concern Areas

Microwave Plate – Be sure to also keep your microwave’s turntable plate clean. It can be covered in 120 times more germs than a pet toy.

Salt and Pepper ShakersAccording to WebMD salt and pepper shakers are a common place to find cold virus germs.

Coffee Reservoir – The reservoir is the place you store the water before brewing a pot of coffee. According the NSF study, the reservoir contains more bacteria than a toilet seat.

Be sure to visit back with our blog often for more helpful tips on easy recipes, wedding trends, nutrition, and more. If you have an event coming up soon and need great tasting food options with affordable prices, read on to learn how Catering by Design can help you.

The Best Raleigh Event Catering for 2019

Searching for high quality and affordable Raleigh event catering this spring or summer? Call Catering by Design. We’re one of the top rated catering companies in the Triangle area. We can help you with any type of event with very affordable catering packages. Our team of highly trained pros is ready to answer questions or to schedule service for you.

Getting married this year? Brides and grooms love our free menu tastings. This is a free service we offer that many competitors charge for. Please click here to check out our wedding menus. Call us today to learn more.

Read More