Most of us try to make good use of our money. We try not to over spend, limit our debt and have a saving account. But everyone has to eat. You can’t just cut food out of your budget like you can a cable bill. The issue is how to eat well while saving some money. In other words the question is how to be thrifty in the kitchen?
All the advice out there usually boils down to a few essential principles: cook at home, limit your purchases of pre-made convenience foods, and avoid wasting the food you bring home. Yes, there is some comparison shopping involved and yes, there is meal-planning.
No matter the size of your budget or family, you’ll see the difference in your bank account, and possibly your waistline too, if you stick to a home-cooking regimen. Whether you’re just starting to make your lunch or you’re ready to pickle the cucumbers you grew in your backyard garden, you’ll find plenty of culinary inspiration, as well as guidance on how to maximize your thrift in shopping for and preparing your food.
To get started on your thrift journey save everything. Pack your freezer. Have a bag for vegetable scraps. When it’s full make your own stock. Use the stock to add flavor to sauces, stews and to make soup.
Leftover that can’t be frozen can be used in other ways. Fry extra potatoes for breakfast. Stir-fry leftover rice with veggies, egg and soy sauce for delicious stir fried rice.
Savings also start with your purchases. Have a good supply of staples on hand so that you will always have some options for meals. Wash and prep your vegetables when you get home, then store correctly so they last and try to use them quickly. It’s also important to be creative with what you have. See what’s in the pantry and freezer. If you have a recipe you want to try, but don’t have exactly the right ingredients, improvise a bit rather than buying more stuff.
Start small and keep going. In no time you will be cooking meals from a well stocked pantry and saving money at the same time as you begin your journey to be thrifty in the kitchen.