£10 Per Week Cooking For Two…Here’s How You Can Make It Stretch
Living on a budget is extremely difficult especially when it comes to food. When we are hungry rationality goes out the window. Living on a budget is very difficult but you needn’t have to starve to make it happen.
Here are some tips to help you:
Make A Meal Chart
If you are on a tight budget it is always better to plan ahead. Whilst it may seem ridiculous, having your meals planned out for the week means that you only have to buy what you need for that week. You can also look at the list and try to plan meals that require similar ingredients. For example, if you plan to have chicken on Monday then you can possibly plan chicken soup for Tuesday with the left overs.
Make A Shopping List And Stick To It
With your meal planner in hand make a shopping list of only the things you really need. Then when you get to the shop only buy what is on the list so that you won’t be tempted to buy anything that you don’t really need.
Buy Staples In Bulk e.g. Pasta, Rice, Risotto And Potatoes
Staples like these are cheap and can be made into a meal really easily. Adding vegetables is a cheap way of making them tasty but inexpensive.
Cook More Vegetarian Meals
Meat is very expensive and often it is not required in a meal to taste good. We live in a culture where it only counts as a meal if it has meat. However, if you substitute a good stock in a stew instead of chicken pieces or if you add extra vegetables in a pasta sauce instead of mince you will save a lot of money.
Nothing Goes To Waste
Never throw anything away that could be used for something else. If there are left overs think of ways in which they can be used. Either they can be put in the fridge and eaten as is the next night for dinner or they can be made into something completely different. For example, left over pasta can be made into a pasta bake, potatoes can be cut up and made into a frittata, left over rice can be made into egg fried rice. Even things that you would usually throw away like a chicken carcass, use it first to make a great chicken soup.
Soups Are Your Friend
There is a reason that soup kitchens get their name. Soup is an extremely cheap meal and you can use just about anything to make them. It is a great way to stretch your ingredients and to still have a tasty nutritious meal. Pretty much anything tastes good in a stew or soup and it also is very healthy for you.
Cook In Bulk And Freeze Your Meals
Cooking for a smaller number of people can actually be more expensive per plate. When cooking in bulk the price per plate is much cheaper. So even when cooking for two apply the same principle and make extra to freeze meals for next week.
Start your shop at the cheaper budget stores and then when you have exhausted most purchases on your list move to the more expensive high street stores for the last few items. This way you can buy as much as possible at the lowest prices.
Search for good deals. When on a budget the more effort you put in to finding the cheapest option, the better. When looking for products consider buying the budget brands rather than the named brands. In the UK standards of food are regulated. Budget brands have to meet the same standards as the expensive named brands.
Avoid Meal deals And Fast Food
Avoid easy. Easy is expensive. Usually there is always a cheaper option if you break the offer down. Example, when a shop offers you two meals and a bottle for a tenner, have a look at what the meal is and see if you can’t make it cheaper. Fast Food is also a money guzzler and is very important to avoid if on a budget.
Sign Up For Your Local Shop Loyalty Cards
If you shop at the same place all the time it is a great way to earn some cash back. Loyalty cards don’t cost you anything but can accumulate to quite a bit over time. Shops offering loyalty cards often use the cards to record your buying patterns. They use this information to see what stock is most popular and what is being bought and when so that they can better cater to the needs of their customers. So essentially you are being paid for market research, doing what you would need to do anyway.