Make food go further
We all need to make food go a little further if we can at the moment – not only because times are financially tight, but also to cut down on trips to the supermarket.
Personal finance website TheMoneyPig.com has some practical tips for families, from freezing leftovers to serving smaller portion sizes and bulking out dishes with vegetables.
A spokesperson from TheMoneyPig.com comments: ‘In these difficult times it’s important to make sure that the food you buy lasts as long as possible, whilst also keeping everyone full. That means throwing little to nothing away and adding cheap ingredients to meals like Spaghetti Bolognese and Chilli con Carne to bulk them out. A lot of our suggestions are to do with the way you store food, such as using up products with the shortest sell-by dates first. Opting for cheaper options of some ingredients and making more portions out of one dish will help too.’
The number of foods that can be frozen is quite surprising. As long as you freeze and defrost foods safely, they should be fine in the freezer for as long as you need them to be. Everything from meat and milk to fruit and eggs can be stored in the freezer. If you have leftover portions, these can also be frozen for a later date instead of being thrown out.
Many people will have cupboards and pantries full of old tins which they haven’t used. Try to create meals around the tins with the nearest sell-by dates. That way you may not need to buy as much food as you thought.
Write an inventory of all the food you have in the house. You can then create and make meals with these foods instead of buying extra ingredients for your usual recipes. As your inventory dwindles, it will be clear to see what food you need to buy when you go shopping. Doing this will also encourage you to be more creative with the meals you make, pushing you out of your comfort zone by learning new recipes.
Using vegetables, beans and pulses to fill out dishes such as Bolognese and other pastas means that the amount of meat needed is reduced. You will get more portions out of the dish which will reduce costs. It will also help in reaching the five-a-day goal.
As easy as it is to assume a chicken breast will feed just one person, weighing the raw weight of ingredients will ensure that everyone is eating adequately without overeating, meaning you can get more meals out of your food.
The more liquid you drink, especially water, the fuller you will feel. Although you should still be eating your main meals, drinking lots of water before and during mealtimes will help keep snacking at bay.