A rainy day is a great to spend a little time meal planning, and with a little savvy shopping you can create family friendly meals that are filling, scrummy and don’t break the bank!
Follow our 8 steps to budget friendly meals
- Check your cupboards: You may have enough ingredients to make a meal, so make sure you know what you have in before you start planning.
- Make a weekly meal plan
- Cook from scratch: It’s generally cheaper than buying pre-prepared meals and means you can control what you’re putting in the food you eat.
- Use more pulses: Beans, lentils, and peas are inexpensive and packed with yummy goodness making them a great addition to any main meal or as a meat alternative.
- Love your leftovers: Any leftovers can be frozen for another day or you can use them to make something new – try a risotto using leftover meat and veggies. Unwanted foods can go further too - stale bread is great for homemade breadcrumbs!
- Store well: Know your dates and make fresh food last longer by storing it in the right place – some foods like potatoes and onions keep better out of the fridge.
So, you’re ready to hit the shops, try some of these money saving wonderhacks on your next weekly shop …
8 ways to shop savvy
- Make a list and stick to it!
- Buy cheaper cuts: These can be just as tasty, if you’re prepared to take a little more time with your cooking they’re a great way to save the pennies
- Eat in season: Buy seasonal fruit and veggies, try and get them loose as these tend to be fresher and better value than pre-packed.
- Shop around: Farmers’ markets are great for seasonal buys, try shopping at the end of the day - there may be a little less choice but you’re likely to get some great bargains (this is true of shops too!). Make sure to only buy the foods you need and will use though.
- Buy frozen: Frozen fruit and veg can sometimes be cheaper than fresh and can be just as good for you!
- Tot up: Most phones have a calculator now, so use on your shop and add up what you’re spending as you go.
- Eat before you shop: Try not to shop when you’re hungry – you’ll end up spending more on things you don’t need!
4 ways to eat well for less
- Less is more: Organic meat and fish do cost a little more so try and mix it up by adding in more veggies.
- Smaller portions: Hands up who always overestimates how much rice and pasta to cook?! Try weighing out ingredients like these to avoid waste and using smaller plates to serve up.
- Feed the family: Get your little ones eating the same meals – simply puree or chop up their portion to suit, making sure not to use any salt when cooking for younger little ones.
- Waste less: Freeze any unused food – food storage bags and boxes are really handy!