Are you tired of wasting all your money on eating out and takeaways? Well, then it might be time to head to the kitchen!
Don’t kid yourself that cooking has to be expensive! Sure, there are meals out there that can be costly to make, but there are also budget recipes that will save you a ton of money. If you’re trying to cut back right now, starting with your cookery habits is a fantastic idea. There are, of course, many ways in which you can save yourself money while still eating yummy, tasty food. Take a look at some of these money saving tips.
Invest in a decent slow cooker
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Slow Cooker Rosemary Chicken and Butternut Squash. Another one pot meal on the blog! 🍗clickable link in my profile🍗 http://www.themagicalslowcooker.com/slow-cooker-rosemary-chicken-and-butternut-squash/ . . . . . #slowcooker #crockpot #crockpotrecipes #easyrecipe #recipeshare #crocking #crockpotcooking #crockpotmeals #slowcooked #slowcookermeals #easypeasy #themagicalslowcooker #butternutsquash #chicken #chickendinner #whatdiet #easydinner
Making meals from scratch is doubtless the best way to save money and eat well in the long term. But, what if you just don’t have the time to make meals every single day? Well, that’s where your slow cooker comes into play. Once you invest in one of these bad boys, you can make meals with next to no prep and hard work. All you basically have to do is take all your ingredients, pop them in the cooker and leave them bubbling and reducing away all day long. It might sound too good to be true, but it’s really not!
So, what should you cook in your slow cooker? Well, it shouldn’t come as any major surprise that these things are great for the likes of stews, soups, broths, and curries. If you’re a fan of all things spicy, you can also make a mean chilli or even Chipotle chicken in one of these items. It’s worth taking the time to look at some slow cooker recipes online before you do anything else. When you see all the fabulous (cheap!) meals that you can make in these things, you’ll want to get one pronto.
Buy: Crockpot Slow Cooker
Freeze things before they go out of date
Do you look in your fridge at the end of the week and realise that you need to throw a whole load of stuff out? Well, you’re not alone. Many of us have this problem, but it’s very wasteful and needs to stop. If you’re not using everything that you buy each week, you should get into this next useful habit and stick to it. That way, you will save yourself money and stress when it comes to cooking.
Toward the end of every week, you should make sure that you check the dates on everything in the fridge. If there’s anything in there – particularly fruit, veg, or meat – that’s about to go out of date, you need to freeze it. It’s well worth investing in some plastic storage boxes so that you can freeze things in them every now and then. You should be able to get some cheap ones online or even check out B&M or other discount stores.
Hint: You can also freeze things like herbs to keep them extra fresh and make them last longer!
Double up on recipes
When it comes to making recipes, most of us go for that tried and tested method of cooking just what we need. After all, what was it that your granny used to say? “Waste not, want not!” But wait, what if you didn’t need to waste the leftovers? When you’re buying your ingredients, always make sure that you go for the best-value buy. Often, that means opting for ‘bulk buys’, i.e. buying a whole load of meat, sauce, or even vegetables.
Here’s where things start to get interesting. Rather than cooking for just four or two of you, cook for as many as possible. Bulk out the meal with things like rice, potatoes, and beans so that it goes way further than it usually would. When you have a load of the meal left over, you can simply save it for another day. Pop it in your storage boxes and freeze it. Most meals will keep for a month or even longer when you freeze them. That way, you will always have a home cooked meal ready to defrost.
Use kitchen scraps to make a stock
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Ways Being Zero Waste Saves You Money #15: Make your own stock out of kitchen scraps! . Simply save and freeze vegetable scraps that can be used for stock and when you have enough: . 🥕put the veggie scraps in a slow cooker 🥕add some bay leaves and peppercorns 🥕cover with water 🥕cook with 3/4hrs on high or 8hrs on low . You can also simmer it on the stove in a pot instead. . Free stock! With no packaging! 🙂 . p.s. the plastic ziplock bag made its way into our kitchen via a friend and we've been using it for this purpose for about two years. . #vegetablestock #homemadestock #moneysaver #zerowaste #kitchenscraps #nofoodwaste #foodscraps #useeverything #zerowasterecipe
When you’re cooking, you’re almost certainly sure to have a load of meat and vegetable scraps lying around. Don’t let all that deliciously good flavour go to waste! Most people are far too lazy to make their own stock, but it’s not as hard as you might think it is. In fact, you can whip something tasty up in next to no time at all. If you do this, it means that you don’t have to bother paying over the odds for store-bought stock. You will save money and your next meal will be utterly brimming with flavour. Yum!
Read: How to Make Stock
Use the spices you already have
Planning meals can be hard at the best of times. Most of us just tend to look something up online and give it a whirl when we’re feeling creative in the kitchen department. The problem with that is that it can end up being seriously costly, especially when you need to buy everything for a certain recipe. So, what on earth should you do and how can you save yourself some money along the way?
Well, the first step is to take a look in your cupboards. Most of us have things in our cupboards like spices, jars, and tins that we just never use. It’s time to put those things to good use now. Rather than choosing a recipe at random, pick a meal that consists of some of the things that you already have. For example, you might have just the right stuff for a chilli con carne lurking in your cupboard, but you haven’t bothered to look. This handy hack will save you a load of cash and means that you use up some of the stuff you’re storing away.
Buy: Spice rack from IKEA
Start food-prepping each week
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Mealprep Sunday DONE! 😍 This week I did chicken 3 different ways – Always try to switch it up so I don't get bored with my meals! 👊 Also find this more cost effective since I usually stock up on whatever protein is on sale for the week and make a LOT of it!🔸Meal 1 – Chicken Fajita Bowls, have tortillas + salsa & sour cream for serving🔸Meal 2 – Thai peanut chicken from @bodybuildingcom with jasmine rice & green beans🔸Meal 3 – Orange chicken from @paleo_newbie_recipes with snow peas and jasmine rice🔸Snacks – No bake chocolate chip protein cookies from @thebigmansworld, Assorted Squarebar protein bars from @squareorganics & Granny Smith apples! 🍏
In case you haven’t heard, food-prepping is a massive trend right about now and with good reason. Planning (and even cooking) your meals in advance means that you can save money and time further on down the line. If that sounds like a dream come true, it’s time that you tried this foodie fad for yourself. This is an excellent way to make sure that you make the most of the ingredients you have in your home and also waste less food along the way!
What’s more, if you happen to be the health conscious sort, you can ensure that you a) don’t overeat on a weekly basis and b) avoid eating things that are unhealthy. A lot of the time, when we turn to junk food, it’s because we have allowed ourselves to get excessively hungry. Having freshly prepared meals already boxed up and ready to go means that you won’t need to reach for that extra chocolate bar or bag of crisps. Instead, you can have something tastier, healthier, and altogether more wholesome. Read our guide to Sunday meal prep and you’ll never go back.
Buy frozen vegetables
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Bol yeşil sebzeli fırında tavuk. – Baked chicken with plenty of green vegetables 🐓🥬🥦🥕🌶🍠 #bakedchicken #bakedfood #brusselsprouts #greenbeans #broccoli #nooilcooking #healtyfood #healthyrecipes #healtydinner #healtylunch #healtykitchen #homemadefood #frozenveg #tesco #tescofood @tescofood #healtyfood #healthyrecipes #healtydessert #healthydessertrecipe #foodporn #food #foodphotography #foods #instafood
While fresh food is usually the way to go, if you happen to be buying things in bulk, there is honestly nothing wrong with heading to the freezer section. Getting your vegetables and even fruit in frozen form means that it will last longer than ever. In short, that means that you will have less wastage than you usually do, which can only be a good thing. Things like peas, beans, and spinach are just as good (and fresh tasting!) when they come out of the freezer as they are when they are loose. That means that you can still enjoy the great flavours and vitamins of these things without having to get them fresh.
Freeze your bread crumbs
Most of the time, we buy a loaf of bread and end up throwing half of it away when we don’t use it. That’s wasteful and you could most certainly put the stuff to better use if you’re a little smarter about what you do about it. Here’s a handy tip that’s sure to help you along the way. When bread is just about to get old, it’s well worth making it into bread crumbs and popping them in a bag in the freezer.
Then, when you’re cooking something like chicken or even pork, grab the bag out of the freezer and let it defrost for just a few minutes. (Yep! That’s really all it takes!) You can flatten the meat out and use egg or even olive oil to stick the bread crumbs to it. Next, simply cook the meat and, voilà, your meal is about a hundred times better than before.
Finally, plan ahead and make your own recipes!
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Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta by @biancazapatka 🧡 . Ingredients Vegan Pumpkin Sauce 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree 400g, 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash* 1 tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter 2 cloves garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 tsp salt or to taste 5 tbsp nutritional yeast 1 cup non-dairy milk or more as needed, *see recipe notes 1-2 tbsp tapioca starch optional, *see recipe notes 3-4 tbsp cashew butter optional To serve (optional) vegan parmesan cheese 14 oz pasta 400g, of your choice . Instructions Prepare Pumpkin Purée To make homemade pumpkin purée, cook a small pumpkin or squash in the oven, or on the stove or microwave until soft as directed in this recipe. Cook Pasta If serving the sauce with pasta, cook the pasta according to the packaging instructions until 'al dente'. Then drain, toss with a little oil and set aside. Make Pumpkin Sauce To make the sauce, sauté the garlic in 1 tablespoon oil for a minute over medium heat, until fragrant. Add the soft cooked pumpkin along with sautéed garlic, smoked paprika, salt, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, tapioca flour*, and cashew butter if using to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy (or use an immersion stick blender). Pour the sauce into a large pan and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot and slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings. (If it gets too thick, add a bit more non-dairy milk to thin). Add cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Serve with vegan parmesan cheese and fresh basil or other toppings you like. Enjoy! Notes You can either make your own pumpkin purée or use 2 cups of canned pumpkin purée. If you want to serve the pumpkin sauce as a vegan cheese sauce, I suggest adding the tapioca starch because it helps to make the sauce thicker and "cheesier" similar to a real cheese-sauce. But if serving with pasta you could also omit it. Alternatively, you could substitute cornflour or arrowroot starch to thicken but this won’t be as stretchy. You can use your favorite non-dairy milk such as almond, cashew, soy, coconut or oat milk. [as posted on biancazapatka.com] #bestofvegan
Finally, if there’s one thing that you really need to keep in mind to save money, it’s that you must plan ahead. Yes, this does take a little extra time on your part, but it really is very much worth it in the long run. You should make as much as you can from scratch. Remember, when you buy things like sauces and salad dressings in a shop, you’re paying for that convenience. Much of the time, you can make those things at home for a fraction of the price.
Spend a little time thinking about what you want to cook and when you want to cook it. In doing so, you will make sure that you have the time to make things from scratch and really enjoy them. It may sound a little much right now, but once you get into this habit, it will change the way you think about your food forever. Enjoy, food lovers!
Read: 10ways Tasty Soup Recipe