With food prices skyrocketing and fuel and interest rates going up, it’s time to get more savvy in the kitchen. In this article, I share with you my 5 top tips on how to save money in the kitchen. These are really simple tips, but if you implement one or two of them initially, and then introduce the rest, you’ll definitely notice a difference to the bottom line of your grocery bill. Yes, it takes a little bit of organisation but it is definitely worth it for the outcome. Right, let’s get into it.
1. Do a Meal Plan
Meal planning can take time, however, if you’re wanting to make your money go further, it’s essential that you plan your meals and write a shopping list. It will not only save you money in the kitchen, but time as well. Having a meal plan allows you to shop more efficiently so you’ll know exactly what to buy at the supermarket, and you won’t have ingredients go to waste in the fridge which you end up throwing out. Going to the supermarket without a shopping list notoriously encourages you to buy ingredients that you don’t need, or already have in the cupboard so ensure you follow your list. Grab my Winter Warming Weeknight Dinners free ebook to get you started with your meal planning.
2. Bulk It Out
Lentils and legumes are a great way to make a meal go further for a smaller amount of money. Not only do they taste great by adding a variation to your standard meals, they are also super good for you. Try using dried lentils, beans, chickpeas and soybeans in your meals (some require soaking beforehand). Otherwise, if using canned which is totally ok, ensure you rinse them really well which will remove about 60% of the sodium content. Check out my Beginners Guide to Lentils.
You can also use seasonal vegetables or frozen veggies to bulk out a meal. Try adding grated carrot and finely chopped spinach to a mince dish, or make up a big coleslaw to have in the fridge to accompany any meal. If your kids don’t like veggies, cook them first into a paste and stir through your meals and they won’t even notice.
3. Include More Vegetarian Meals
If you’re wanting to save money in the kitchen, including more vegetarian meals into your diet is not only a great way to add more nutrition, but it’s also a fantastic way to reduce your food costs. Try to include meat free meals 2-3 times a week as meat can be expensive. I love vegetarian cooking and there are so many amazing vegetarian recipes available in the Recipes section, check out my Chickpea Burgers w Roasted Cauliflower, Slow Cooker Turmeric & Coconut Dahl, Edamame Falafel Wraps, or Jackfruit Tacos and you won’t even miss the meat!
4. Shop Less Frequently
If you’re someone who pops into your local Fresh Collective or supermarket every couple of days, then you will end up spending more, as you never just buy those two or three ingredients that you need right? If you’re wanting to save money in the kitchen, this is for you! Instead of going 3-4 times per week, try and do a weekly or fortnightly shop for your pantry basics and then only shop once a week for your fresh fruit and veggies. I go to the fruit and veggie markets once a week, the supermarket every fortnight, and I do a monthly meat shop. You do require an extra freezer but if you have this available, it is definitely worth it and will make a difference to your bottom line.
5. Reduce your Uber Eats
I know this seems obvious, but it’s amazing the amount of women that I talk to who are wanting to reduce their food costs, but because they’re unorganised and don’t have a plan, takeaways and Uber Eats are all too convenient. Make a commitment to limit takeaways to once a fortnight, or even once a month and notice how much more money you’ve got in your back pocket. By planning your meals, you’ll know exactly what you’re having, so you won’t need takeaways.
As you can see, reducing your food costs is certainly possible. With a few small tweaks to your routine, you will be creating delicious meals that are not only healthy, but will make your money go further. Just start with one or two of the suggestions above and slowly introduce more as you get the hang of them!
Need some new winter warming recipes to spice up your menu and add some variety to your meals?
To help you get started with creating a meal plan and including some more vegetarian meals, grab my Winter Warming Weeknight Dinners free ebook and inlcude some of these in your meal plan for next week.