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Love Shrimp? How To Enjoy It More Often, For Less Money

by Peppi Hautala

 Shrimp is a favorite protein for many American cooks because it is low in calories, versatile and delicious. However, since it is more expensive than other proteins, such as chicken or pork, and requires different preparation techniques, many families opt to purchase shrimp only for special meals. If you are a shrimp lover who would love to get maximum enjoyment from cooking with shrimp, the following tips will help you find ways to purchase shrimp more economically, so you can enjoy it more often.  

When Purchasing Shrimp, Size Does Matter

In most grocery stores, shrimp are available as both fresh and frozen products. In order to get the most shrimp per dollar spent you will need to compare these products carefully, focusing on both the price per pound and the expected number of shrimp per pound.

Unless it is on sale, fresh and frozen varieties of both large and jumbo-sized shrimp will generally be much more expensive than comparable medium or small sizes. If the recipe you are planning to cook uses shrimp as one of many ingredients, such as in stir-fry or pasta recipes, opting to purchase the same total weight of the smaller, less expensive shrimp will not only be more economical, but also provide more bites of shrimp in each portion of the recipe you serve.

In recipes where the shrimp will be used as a garnish, minced to make a spread, combined with salad ingredients or added to soups or chowders, consider opting for inexpensive salad shrimp. When the appearance of the recipe does not require whole shrimp, these can offer maximum shrimp flavor at a very economical price.

Convenience Vs. Price

Another way to purchase shrimp more economically is to consider the price of convenience. Raw and pre-cooked shrimp that are already peeled and deveined are usually much more expensive than raw shrimp in the shell. If purchasing pre-packaged frozen shrimp, make sure to check the weight of the bag carefully. In many cases, shrimp labeled as peeled and deveined or easy-to-peel may be packaged in smaller bags than comparably priced raw shrimp that will need to be peeled after purchase.

While pre-cooked, peeled or deveined shrimp do offer a certain amount of convenience, seafood lovers will be able to get more shrimp for their money by opting to purchase raw shrimp and learning simple ways to peel and devein them at home.   

Now that you know how to get more shrimp for your grocery dollar, you may find yourself wanting to explore new ways of cooking shrimp. The most enjoyable way to expose yourself (and your taste buds) to delicious new shrimp recipes is to plan frequent field trips to a local seafood restaurant, such as Tin Top Restaurant & Oyster Bar, where you can relax and savor every bite.