2020 might be remembered as the year we all learned to live a little more frugally, and you can start in your kitchen.
Cooking on a budget, especially for a whole family, is no easy feat. But budget doesn’t have to mean boring. We’ve got five simple tips we think make all the difference!
1. Get Organized
You get home after a long day of work and there’s nothing in the house to eat. You’ll just get take out — just for tonight. Sound familiar?
We’ve all been there. Getting organized is so important in being able to make the meals in the first place. With this in mind, inventory your kitchen before you go to the grocery store.
Knowing what you have in the pantry means you’re not wasting money buying extras at the store that will go to waste. You should also be coming up with a weekly plan of meals that you can stick to, which brings us to our next point…
2. Plan and Prep
Going to the grocery store without any idea of what you’re buying is like going to the grocery store hungry. By this we mean, you’re likely to end up with a bunch of food you don’t want or need that will eat into your budget and go to waste.
Plan ahead for manageable meals you love. You can do this with your family or on your own, but make sure you all agree on what the weekly menu looks like and you stick to it.
A great way to make sure you’re eating well on a budget is to meal prep. There’s a huge range of healthy slow cooker recipes around that with cheap ingredients that taste delicious.
3. Know When to Buy Store Brand
We’re not going to tell you store brand is always best for budget cooking. Financially it might be, but there are definitely times when it’s worth the extra buck on name brand.
This said, there are definitely times when buying a store brand is a great idea. For things like your herbs and spices, the actual product is the exact same. It’s just a different label.
Don’t waste your money on labels when you don’t need to. This means when you want to get your favorite name brand treats, you can indulge yourself.
4. Cheaper Cuts of Meat
Everybody loves a fillet cut of steak. We also all know they don’t come cheap!
In meals where your meat is being mixed in with a sauce or other ingredients, you can opt for cheaper cuts. A lot of the time you honestly won’t notice the difference as the meat isn’t the focal point. You can see a great example of this here where you can replace short ribs with beef chuck in your tacos.
5. Healthy Eating
Avoiding pre-packed foods will save you a fortune and it’s also much better for you. Filling up on junk foods like ready meals and snacks won’t fill you up for long. Whereas a hearty, balanced meal will fill you up for longer and cost less!
Make sure to stock up on in-season fruits and vegetables, as well as plenty of healthy grains to pad out your meals.
Cooking on a Budget is Easy
As you can tell from our tips, cooking on a budget really can be easy as long as you’re organized and plan ahead. You can find more delicious (and frugal!) cooking tips on our blog.