Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Save Money in the Kitchen

Eating healthily is something which is very important to me and I think that it is definitely achievable when on a budget or if you are looking to save money.

I really love these US Food Administration posters from World War I

These posters summarise my thinking when it comes to food very well. In order to cut on waste and minimise the cost of shopping I never buy food that isn't on my shopping list (unless G is with me when biscuits and such find their way into the trolley!). 

Save Money! Plan Meals!

This is the thing that has saved us a huge amount of money. I do it weekly but you can do it for as far in advance as you like, after you have done your meal plan, build your list around it checking what you already have. 
Here is an example of one of our weekly meal plans;

Monday - Chicken stir-fry with rice (bought - chicken, peppers, spring onions as we already had soy sauce, fish sauce and rice wine vinegar for the sauce and rice)

Tuesday - Chorizo mozzarella and salad baguettes (bought - chorizo, mozzarella and salad and I always keep a stash of part-baked baguettes in the kitchen)

Wednesday - Mac and Cheese (bought - milk as we already have butter, flour, cheddar cheese and pasta and serve it with left over salad from Tuesday)

Thursday - Marzetti (bought - carrots, onion, celery  as I already have a 500g pack of mince in the freezer from last week - meat tends to be on 3 for £10 in Tesco so I sometimes pick up extra to freeze - and  already have pasta and cream of mushroom soup)

Friday - Lasagna (bought - the same as Marzetti  as 500g of mince makes a great deal of meat sauce for 2 people, I split it into two and use it for lasagna the following day, I always have lasagne sheets in the cupboard and I will use the rest of the milk for the bechamel sauce)

Saturday - Left-overs

Sunday - Chicken Fajitas (bought - chicken, tortillas and I had already purchased peppers for Monday and I make my own fajita seasoning with spices in my store cupboard so I don't by the ready made ones).

The items in bold complete with things like bread, cold meat and a few extra bits of veg for a pot of soup and some fruit to eat at lunchtime and as snacks is our normal weekly shop (obviously depending on what meals we plan on having, the list will vary). With the powers of the internet I have filled my basket online with the wonderful My Supermarket who compare prices across the big players in grocery shopping and tell you where you can get things the cheapest. 

As you can see it compares prices and tells you which retailer is the cheapest for each item individually as well as for the collective shop - it is a great resource and you can complete the online shop from here by choosing which retailer you would like to buy from and they transfer your basket to whichever retailers website. 

So, as you can see for our weekly shop, 7 dinners and lunch items we would pay £25.63 by shopping with Tesco which it the cheapest retailer for the shop as a whole - but if we were to decide to go and by each product at it's cheapest price from different retailers then we could reduce the shop by a further £10.15 taking it to £15.48. That is for 2 people, for a week. Yes. That is without using coupons or money off vouchers. 
Homemade, I know exactly what is going into out meals and there is no waste from them either. Not to mention that making it yourself is very tasty too. 

Do you meal plan? What are your tips for saving money in the kitchen?

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