Really, have you ever had to go grocery shopping and, 3-4 days later, you do not know what to cook because you have used up all your supplies for meals which - in the end - did not turn out so cheap? Do not worry. We have all been through it at some point and -of course- that includes me as well. The first time it happened to me, the truth is that I did not pay any attention. The second time, though, I realized I was doing something wrong. So, I sat down and thought of some ways I could cook more meals for less money. I decided to share these ways with you today, hoping to give you some "food for thought" which will lead you to delicious, affordable meals, but also to less supermarket runs! Which are they? Here goes…
#1 Stock your shelves with convenience foods
These are foods we often use, as well as some ingredients that help us upgrade the taste of our food, even if we use only a few ingredients in our recipe. Spices and herbs are undoubtedly an ace up our sleeve. Beyond that, canned food can be very useful, and -of course- legumes and vegetables. Here, you will find even more information about "convenience foods".
#2 Use less meat in your cooking
Well…We have said it a million times, I know. But reducing meat can be good not only for our health and the environment, but also for our…wallet. Fortunately, there are countless recipes that we can prepare in order not to even feel it’s missing. Here, you will find a few of them. Simply take a look at them and keep the ones you like best. As you will notice, legumes can help us achieve our goal, while another good idea is - when we use meat - not to serve it as a main, but as a…side dish. In short, simply reduce the meat and fill your plate with more vegetables. Finally, we can get some cheaper meat cuts and find recipes and cooking methods that will help us create equally delicious dishes.
#3 Slightly «alter» the cooking recipes
Yes, there are cases in which we should not alter a recipe too much. On the other hand, some recipes favor…experimentation - and especially those experiments that can save us money. So, what do we do? Firstly, choose recipes that do not require countless ingredients and include dishes that do not require long hours of baking and cooking. Now, in case you really like a recipe that includes a lot of ingredients, make sure to find some more recipes that will allow you to use any leftover ingredients from the first recipe. In fact, it is worth spending more time in the kitchen for a couple of days, in order to cook your ingredients before they spoil, and then use the freezer to preserve the extra dishes or portions you have prepared. In addition, if a recipe calls for an expensive piece of meat for example, but can also be made with chicken, try this alternative. Yes, the result will not be the same, but if it is a good recipe, it will definitely work well with another kind - or cut - of meat - or even with…vegetables!
#4 Make a few basic preparations at home and stock your refrigerator and your shelves with them
In fact, for these preparations we can use leftover ingredients of a recipe - e.g. make a double or triple batch of a sauce and keep it to use the next time you want to prepare the same or another recipe. Here, you can find even more ideas regarding the preparations you can make yourselves at home.
#5 Make use of everything that is already in your kitchen
Before we go grocery shopping again, we should look for ways to use what we already have. In many cases, we can replace the ingredient of a recipe with one that we already have. In addition, we can look for recipes according to the ingredients we already have. Finally, we should buy long-lasting ingredients and foods, and not forget that the freezer is one of our main helpers in the kitchen. Here, you can find out which cooked foods go in the freezer, while here you will find some more general information about freezing food.
If you have a piece of advice to share with me, do not hesitate! I look forward to your suggestions for a tastier, but at the same time more affordable cooking :-)