With the current economic situation, more and more people are looking to save money wherever they can - especially when it comes to household expenses. One of the best ways to save money is to devise a food budget and cook at home.
Improving your basic cooking skills to get your family eating more healthily is just the first step to cutting down on how much you spend. Creating simple but flavourful dishes which satisfy your hunger will reduce your desire to splash out on takeaways and junk food. Read on for a range of home cooking tips to help you save money.
1. Portion control
One way to employ healthy eating tips is to watch portion size. Our bodies only really require three ounces of meat per meal, so when making meals try to have meat fill no more than one quarter of your plate. Opt for plenty of vegetables and balance out with pulses or carbs. This will save you money and encourage you to think about how your food allowance is spent.
2. Plan ahead
As a large pot of stew or casserole cooked using a slow cooker can last several nights, it can go much further when it comes to feeding a family on a budget. Alternatively, a crown rib roast, lamb leg or pork shoulder can also be a good staple. What doesn’t get eaten as part of a roast can be cooked the following night in casseroles, curries or pasta dishes.
3. Make lunch from leftovers
Whatever you’re making, cook a little extra and put it in a container for lunch the next day. Even something as simple as a salad can easily be bolstered with a can of mixed beans, ham or cucumber. This is a great way to save money on wastage and stop you spending cash during work hours.
4. Never throw away stale bread
It can be tempting to throw away hard bread or think it is only good to give to the birds. However, stale bread is fantastic for jazzing up soups, salads or creating a golden crumb topping. Simply toss with oil and bake in the oven to make delicious croutons.
5. Try frozen food
Frozen food is not only considerably cheaper, it has a much longer life. Whether you choose frozen meat, fish or vegetables, you’ll have an affordable and healthy option ready to cook at a moment’s notice.
6. Shop seasonally
Not only will food be less expensive when it is in season (shops will want to move stock as quickly as they can knowing it won’t keep), you will reap the benefits of even more delicious ingredients.