Everyone is feeling the pinch right now with budgeting, particularly so where there is a whole family to feed. When it comes to making the pennies stretch further for family meals, without compromising on the nutritional content, it can be hard to strike the right balance. However, it’s not impossible to do and can be very satisfying when you get it right. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.
It’s the oldest trick in the book for making meals stretch and a great way to make the money go further. Make a slightly larger amount of an evening meal and eat the leftovers for lunch the next day, or get good at recycling a meal from the night before into an entirely new one with the addition of a few spices or a sauce.
Simply Recipes have a great site for easy and quick meals that you can put together on tight budget. The recipes are great for leftovers too!
Buying in bulk
Is a great way to make money go further, as bulk deals mean that you are paying less per item than if you bought each one of those items individually. Household staples such as rice, pasta, beans, cereal, chocolate treats and biscuits work well as bulk buys.
Keep one eye on the deals
Although you don’t have to stick exclusively to the supermarket deals it can be a good idea to keep an eye on them, as most products tend to come up as discounted eventually. Most supermarkets offer a very wide range of deals on just about anything, from fruit and vegetables to bread and dairy products so see what’s on offer and then cash in.
Make A Shopping List
This may seem like an overly simple idea, but it can make a huge difference! Having a clearly defined shopping list ready with you as you travel through the aisles can stop you making any unnecessary purchases that increase your costs.
For most good old fashioned pen and paper will do the trick, but for those who are more technology minded there are plenty of apps out there such as Shopping List by Hensoft.
Cut down on meat
As this tends to be one of the most expensive components of our daily diet. Not only is it healthier to reduce the amount of meat in your family’s diet but it will also reduce the bills too. Remember that you do need some protein in your diet so replace meat with other sources to achieve a balanced eating plan.
For plenty of great vegetarian recipes try the BBC’s Good Food Guide.
Eat smaller portions
It might sound a little too simplistic but with so many of the UK public already overweight, cutting down on the amount we consume seems a sensible option to both save money and reduce weight concerns. Smaller portions, fewer snacks and cutting out late night treats can all help cut your weekly food bill.
Cook in bulk
It is far cheaper to prepare one enormous dish and then portion it out to cover a number of meals than it is to prepare fresh each time. Use Tupperware containers or freezer bags to store and freeze food and simply defrost for each meal rather than buying a whole new basket of ingredients each time.
Grow your own
Even if you don’t have a huge plot of land it’s still possible to grow some of your own food. A single tomato plant, box of herbs, or batch of strawberries it might have some impact on reducing your monthly budget.
Kitchen Garden Magazine offer a great range of tips and articles to help transform whatever patch of soil you have into a delicious, money saving project.
These are some great creative ways to cut household bills and still eat well. Remember that, in addition to the above, fruit and vegetables are still some of the cheapest ingredients around so use them and learn how to prepare tasty, cheap and filling food without the enormous price tag.
There are plenty of helpful websites out there with tips and tricks that can make the pennies go further so here’s a couple more to help you with your budget.
Netmums – Great website for Mums with tonnes of ideas for eating well for less
All Recipes – Another great selection of recipes with plenty of vegetarian dishes too