Are you looking for tips on saving money on your weekly food shop? Look no further! Here are my top tips for saving time, energy and money on your food shops.
Go shopping in your own cupboards, fridge and freezer
Before you go to the shops, have a good look through your cupboards, fridge and freezer. See what may be the base of a meal and what needs to be used up.
Throw out anything that’s no longer edible. Make a list of what you need to replace.
Planning what meals you’re going to eat for the week helps you focus on buying just the ingredients you need to make those meals.
It helps you to save time as well as money because you’re not having to make last-minute trips to buy something for dinner and takes away the stress of having to think what to make for dinner.
Ear-marking leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch also helps you save money as you’re then not relying on shop-bought or supermarket sandwiches. If the oven is already on, it makes sense to cook something else at the same time/ temperature.
You can make extra chicken breasts to make into sandwiches, or cook spare jacket potatoes to have for lunch the next day.
Some people plan for every meal of the week and others plan only for dinners – it really is up to you how you do your meal planning. Some people plan meals for the whole month.
Related Article: How to Meal Plan
Buy frozen peppers, onions and mushrooms
Things like onions, mushrooms and peppers often get bought and then binned when they don’t get used. You can save both time and money by buying them frozen, ready sliced and ready for the pan.
It’s worth noting that you CAN’T use them without cooking them first but they can be a lifesaver when time is short and your energy levels are low
Buy Glass Dishes with lids
Having a range of glass dishes of varying sizes, complete with lids can help you to store leftovers safely.
Having them in glass dishes makes it easier to see the contents and thus makes it more likely that you’ll use up the leftovers. You can buy dishes that are suitable from oven to table and that will go in the microwave and freezer too.
Buying glass storage jars for dried goods like pasta, rice, spaghetti, porridge oats etc. can help you see at a glance how much you’ve got in stock and help you not keep re-buying the same stuff by mistake!
Make your own vegetable soups and pasta sauces
You can make tasty soups and pasta sauces by using up any vegetables you may have lying around. Start with finely chopped onion, carrot and celery (if you’re not allergic to it) and sweat gently in a pan with a little butter or margarine over a gentle heat until the vegetables are softened and glossy.
Add whatever peeled and chopped vegetables you have available, add a stock cube or stock pot (I prefer chicken or vegetable stock) and top up with water to cover the vegetables (less for a sauce). Stir well. Cook over a medium heat until everything is soft.
Blend using a stick blender if you wish. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
When cooled you can bag up and freeze in freezer proof bags, or store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Use leftovers for lunch or turn them into something else!
If you’re working from home or have access to a fridge and microwave at work you can use leftovers for lunch.
Alternatively you can turn them into something else. Gammon can be used in sandwiches, or in a pasta bake or omelette. Minced beef can be turned into a lasagne or chilli for instance.
Related Article: 7 Tasty Ways to Cook Mince