So much of our weekly budget goes towards food. You might have cut down your eating out expenditure, and saved a bit of money on plonk, but what kinds of savings can be made in the kitchen to make balancing your weekly budget a happier task? Here are some great tips from the wonderful wide world of web.
I hate it when the recipe only calls for half an item- two stems of celery or half an onion. If you’re stuck in the situation, bust out a ziplock bag and freeze the items for the next time you’re cooking minestrone. A good, thrifty cook will always know lots of ways to use every part of their ingredients. The stock from chicken or beef is frozen and then reused in casseroles and soups.
Keep It Simple
Instead of just avoiding recipes that had complex ingredients- as I did for years- just substitute the exotic ingredients for the standards you can buy cheaply. It also saves you the time and pain of having to trawl from supermarket to store to boutique outlet, looking for a certain kind of pepper. The other idea is to head to the food co-op where you can bag up your own spices, allowing you to have exactly the amount you need and no extras which just sit in your cupboard for years.
A wonderful, simple tip from the net. Have a covered bowl in your freezer as all times. When you have leftover veggies, add it into the bowl. When the bowl is full, pull it out and make it into a soup. There’s no need to blend it even, just add some stock and some spices and you have a delicious meal without any food going to waste. A truly frugal idea.
Do Not Need
The novel idea of the Do Not Need list. It’s a simple way of dealing with the fact that I have now got 7 cans of diced tomatoes and have once again forgotten bread. It’s so easy to work off a list in your own head, that often we double up on ingredients. Go through your pantry and write out a Do Not Need list to avoid spending money on unnecessary items.
Prepare In Bulk
It is almost as easy to cook double the quantities as it is to cook the single amount. So why not double up on a couple of meals you make throughout the week and freeze them as easy meals? You can write out a list of leftovers and when you made them, so people can cross them out as they are eaten and nothing goes to waste. It’ll save all the time we spend looking in our fridge and wishing there was something we could eat contained in its walls.
I couldn’t live without a food processor. Soups are my basic food group, and a food processor is essential to make good soups. More pertinently, for frugal foodies, a food processor has allowed to me to make my own hommous and baba ganoush and writers online use it to make salsa. Needless to say, it’s a huge saving on store-bought varieties. The same is true of a rice cooker; I no longer buy sushi. I just smack on my rice cooker and, when I have a spare moment, wrap it up in some see weed with tuna. Delicious at a smidge of the price.