Frugal Living

4 Tips for Cooking Delicious Meals on a Budget

WIth the cost of living crisis in full swing, many households are tightening their purse strings and looking for ways to save money. One particularly effective method is to avoid eating out at expensive restaurants and instead cut costs by cooking meals at home each night.

But the cost of home cooking can really add up over time, especially when you have an entire family to feed. Fortunately, there are ways to make the process less expensive without sacrificing the quality of your food. To get you started, here are four great tips for cooking delicious meals on a budget.

Plan your meals

Without a doubt the best way to cut your cooking costs is to plan every meal in advance. Before you embark on your weekly grocery shop, make a list of the meals you are going to cook over the next seven days as well as each ingredient required. This means you will only end up buying exactly what you need, and will minimize the amount of unnecessary waste. It will also make you less likely to splash out on expensive treats on the spur of the moment.

Use inexpensive ingredients

Some meals are a lot cheaper to prepare than others. When planning dinners, try to use mainly recipes that require inexpensive ingredients. For example, this instant pot sumo soup (chanko nabe) uses only basic ingredients you can find in any good-sized grocery store and will not set you back a great deal. If a recipe does call for an expensive ingredient, consider substituting it for a cheaper alternative. For example, cashew nuts make an excellent replacement for pricey pine nuts, while chicken thighs are much cheaper than breasts as well as being much juicier and tastier too!

Minimize waste

The average household wastes 31.9% of its food each year, which is a shocking statistic. By taking steps to reduce the amount of waste you produce when cooking, your food budget can go a lot further. If you’re not going to eat leftovers the next day, freeze them in a Tupperware so you can reheat them later. Check the labels of your food to ensure you are storing it properly, and consider making a list of everything in your fridge with their expiration date so you know how long you have left to consume items before they go off.

Make use of discounts

There are loads of great ways to save money on your grocery shop. Using cheaper supermarkets and stores is perhaps the best way, but if you have limited choice then trying to find discounts will help enormously. If you go shopping in the evening you will be able to find the best deals, as most stores put their perishable items on offer so they don’t get thrown away. Check the store’s website and social media pages for bargains and coupons, and keep an eye out in store for a good deal.

By following these four tips, you will slash your cooking costs while still being able to enjoy healthy and delicious meals.

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