- Plan, plan and plan again. Last-minute shopping almost always leads to money wasted, as you buy more than you need or purchase expensive ingredients because they’re quick to cook, or unhealthy ready-meals when you could save money by cooking from scratch. Work out weekly menus and shop only for the ingredients you need.
- It doesn’t take much longer to make double the quantity of many favorite dishes like shepherd’s pie or curried chicken and it saves on time and fuel. Serve the same meal twice during the week with varied accompaniments, or eat one portion and freeze the rest for another day.
- Get creative with leftovers. Even a small quantity of a supper dish could make a snack or a lunch next day, or maybe a sandwich filling or the basis of a soup.
- Buy perishables with a view to how you’re going to use them, and purchase the right quantity to avoid waste.
- Grated cheese goes further than sliced. Grate the whole block in the food processor, freeze half and store the rest in a plastic bag or box in the fridge.
- Little pieces of veg cook faster than big chunks – cut ‘em small and they’ll be done in half the time. Remember to turn the heat down as soon as the water boils and always use a lid.
Little tips and tricks like these all add up. Get into the habit of cooking frugally all the time, and you’ll soon start to see savings.
* Visit Elizabeth Martyn’s website Healthy Eating Made Easy at http://www.healthy-eating-made-easy.com/frugal-cooking.html for more tips on the art of frugal cooking.