We are always looking for ways to save money in the kitchen without necessarily eating crappy meals.
Below are the top ten tips to save you much needed time and money in the kitchen.
First things first, you’re not running a restaurant. We eat to live, we don’t live t eat. You most definitely don’t need to eat your favorite meal every day.
You can still have delicious healthy meals on a budget. Simple meals like rice and beans, spaghetti, sandwiches, and eggs are quite simple but at the same time very nutritious and healthy.
Come up with a shopping list while actually thinking about what you are going to cook.
This way, you will avoid overspending at the store and start saving money.
Having certain specific meals in the regular rotation would also help in keeping your meals simple.
Try cooking enough food that would last for two or three meals. You will be able to save time spent cooking by simply reheating the food when need be.
Eliminating food waste from your kitchen would save you a lot of money. Don’t over-serve food. Serve only what you will actually eat to avoid wasting food.
Using smaller plates will come in handy in avoiding food wastage thus saving the leftovers for later. Strive to incorporate the leftovers into your daily or weekly routine.
You can achieve this by using the leftovers for the next day’s packed lunch.
Go meatless/ vegan
Meatless meals tend to cost way less compared to those with meat. You can, therefore, save a lot by going vegan. At the same time, going vegan can be more expensive if you decide to buy everything organic.
Therefore, don’t buy everything organic. Make everything you can from scratch and avoid pre-packaged salads to save even more. You can also substitute the fancy stuff with more available products.
Buying groceries from your local greengrocers' instead of buying prepackaged vegetables from the stores will save you a lot of cash.
Another advantage of going vegan is that you can make simple one-pot meals that are nutritious. There are several one-pot recipes with simple ingredients that are cheap, easy, and can be prepared pretty fast.
Buy in Bulk
Food is cheaper when bought in bulk.
Buying a large amount of anything tends to lower the price of individual units. Most suppliers also tend to offer discounts on large purchases since the sale is a sure thing.
Try stocking up on staples like frozen veggies, nuts, and grains. A stocked kitchen is also more likely to discourage you from ordering in when food cravings strike.
Package up your leftovers in meal-size portions and freeze them. They last longer in the freezer. You should, however, note that it is quite easy to forget you have leftovers in the freezer.
We are all human and most of the time once something is out of sight, it is also out of mind. Keep track of your leftovers by labeling them to know how long they have been there.
You can also create a leftovers list and post it on the fridge. The list should contain the name of the dish, date, and approximate servings.
This would reduce food spoilage and eventually food wastage. Leftovers are great, but definitely not worth it if they get you food poisoned so if you for some reason can’t remember for how long those leftovers have been in the freezer, trash it.
Eat at home
The cost comparison of home-cooked meals versus restaurant meals shows that one can save up to $16 per meal or more if the meal is delivered to your home.
As much as making meals from scratch sounds like quite a task, buying your own groceries and making your own meal can actually save you so much money.
Most restaurants tend to charge about a 300% mark up on their food items.
In case you are struggling to find the motivation to cook, just try thinking of how much money you can actually save in a year and what other more productive things you can do with that money.
Make a meal plan
Meal planning saves a lot of time. Plan your meals for the week ahead.
You’d spend way less time and money at the grocery store when you have a meal plan and you would most definitely avoid buying food you don’t need.
You would also avoid throwing food out in the long run. Research the recipes you intend to use and come up with a list of the groceries you’ll need.
Meal plans are a great way to save cash.
Most convenience products bought at the store can actually be made at home for way less.
It definitely seems less convenient to make these items at home but you would save a lot in the long run. The more you make from scratch, the more money you can save.
For instance, the pre-diced veggies, potatoes, frozen pizzas and the like would most definitely cost less if you did it yourself.
Make use of online recipes and YouTube videos to get a hang of it.