Cooking healthily doesn’t have to mean a more expensive food bill, and often local shops can offer good value for money especially once you get to know the staff and get to know the seasonal options.
Some fish is very expensive, but mackerel or coley are two that are not. Ask your fishmonger what he’s got that is cheap today, you can always adapt a recipe and this can be a good way of trying out new flavours.
Similarly at a butcher’s, you can ask for the cheaper cuts of meat: it may be a bit tougher, but if making a stew, just cook it a little longer.
A smaller amount of good quality meat (even the cheaper cuts can be good meat), can be made to go a lot further with a tin of kidney beans or lentils and lots of vegetables.
To save on cooking costs some meals can be entirely or partly made from leftovers, including:
Wraps stuffed with tuna and cucumber, Vegetable quiche/Spanish omelette, Vegetable / Chicken and vegetable soup, Pizza, Tuna, tomato and pasta bake, Spring chicken, Turkey or chicken nuggets, Fish and spinach patties, Pea, ham and broad bean risotto, Pasta salad
More generally, savoury pies, with pastry or mashed potato toppings, are excellent for using up leftover meat and vegetables. Alternatively mix them with white or tomato sauce and serve them with pasta.
- Supermarkets are designed to encourage you to buy more, with more expensive things at eye level and the cheaper varieties on the lower levels, so remember to always look down!
- Try not to go shopping when you’re hungry, this can lead to impulse buys.
- Allow plenty of time to do your weekly shop – so you can think about which are the cheapest alternative options if you find items on your list aren’t available.
- Try to go shopping alone. If you can’t, try to involve children, partners and anyone else who is with you in your shopping to make it more interesting.