When I’m cooking on a budget, I make sure to be super smart about spending and start by looking at what I already have at home to cook with! If you find keeping meal costs down is difficult, try following these low cost cooking tips and ideas.
By planning snacks and meals ahead of preparation and cooking it makes sticking to a budget a whole lot easier. I cook smarter and therefore there is less waste. When I write my shopping lists, they contain only the necessities that I genuinely need. This makes it easier to stay on budget.
Cook the pantry and freezer
It’s astounding how many meals are just sitting in the pantry and freezer waiting to happen. Before I go shopping, I go through what I already have and see what I can cook. This handy trick saves money and eliminates waste from throwing produce out and repurchasing produce I already have.
Opt for inexpensive cuts
I tend to choose cheaper cuts of meat for meals I cook, as they’re obviously cheaper yet still taste just as great. They are meaty, full of flavor and extremely versatile. My favorite cheap cuts are chicken legs (for sticky honey and soy marinade), ground turkey (for all kinds of Mexican goodness) and bone in pork shoulder (for long, slow cooking to make pulled pork!).
Use a slow cooker
The inexpensive cuts of meat generally involve a different method of cooking that requires time and patience. They are usually tougher cuts of meat that need to be cooked over low heat for a longer period of time and result in tasty and tender dishes and has the added bonus of filling your home with a delicious aroma.
Cook with produce that’s in season
Stick with using fresh in-season produce, as there’s an abundance of it. It’s the smartest thing to do whilst cooking on a budget. If you select off-season produce it will most likely be more expensive and not taste as great. In-season produce is readily available with great taste and is less expensive.
What is your advice for cooking on a budget?