Sometimes I’m not sure how I end up spending so much on food. But it’s not just the odd steak or sushi indulgence after pay day; across the UK, food prices are rising, while food wastage means 6.7 million tonnes of food gets thrown out every year. That means it’s getting more expensive just to cook a meal, so we’ve put together some handy tips on how to cook on a budget, spend more economically and reduce the food you’re wasting too.
Local International Supermarkets
Easily found on the high street in most towns, international supermarkets are a saviour when you’re on a budget. Fresh fruit and vegetables tend to be a fraction of the price of the larger chain supermarkets and they can often be fresher too. Take a wander inside and you’ll also find huge bags of rice and noodles at the fraction of the price that will keep you going for months.
Cook in Advance
Whenever you get the chance to cook, make a big batch of something and then freeze any extra portions. This works great for curries, stews and soups. Buying the ingredients in bulk keeps the price low, and just slightly longer cooking time the first day saves you plenty of time when you can just quickly reheat a portion for dinner, or it could save you that overpriced sandwich if you take some to work.
If you’re stuck for freezer space or don’t fancy the same meal, roast a chicken once a week and then keep the leftover meat to use in different ways for the next few days. Whole chickens tend to be much cheaper and you can use the leftovers in salads, curries, pasta dishes and stir-fries.
Food wastage is a huge waste of money in Britain – and one that most people don’t even consider. The most estimates suggest the average British household throws out over £250 of food every year. One of the causes is recipes that call for ingredients that get used once, with the rest neglected and then thrown away.
Recipe kits, like SimplyCook, provide those ingredients in the right quantities so you can try new dishes, but don’t have to buy extras you won’t use again. Even better, you can easily adapt the recipes to suit your taste or budget.
Use cheaper cuts of meat
We all love a chicken breast but that popularity is why they tend to be a bit more expensive too. Go for the chicken thighs or legs to help save money – they often have a better flavour and can be juicer too. Try using other cheaper meats such as mince, sausages and pork loins in recipes in place of steak to help keep the price down too.
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