The price of food is going up. Over the past year the price of wheat has gone up by 60%, corn by 50% and the price of meat is at its highest for 20 years. With the experts predicting this upward trend to continue for at least the next 12 months saving money on the food bill is going to become a necessity for most of us – if it hasn’t already. Of course there’s no getting away from the weekly food shop – but there are some foods that can actually save you money!
Oats are one of the most versatile foods around. They can be used in a wide variety of dishes, including pancakes, porridge, flapjack, cookies, muesli, crumbles and even burgers. Not only are they versatile but they will fill you up for hours and are a great source of fibre. As a wholegrain oats also contain vitamins and minerals which are important for good health.
The humble egg is another very versatile cupboard staple. Eggs are cheap, nutritious and extremely filling. There are hens’ eggs, duck eggs, quails eggs – they can be fried, poached, boiled, scrambled and baked. Eggs can be used in many different recipes; there is even an old wives tale that says a chefs hat should contain at least 101 folds, one for each way it is possible to prepare an egg! Use them to make quiches, curries, omelettes, cakes, puddings and pancakes.
By this I mean a full chicken! One chicken can go a heck of a long way. So, instead of buying chicken breasts, or roasting a full chicken and then throwing away the carcass after one meal, get creative instead. A single chicken can provide four or five meals – a roast with all the trimmings, a cold meat salad, a rice dish such as chicken risotto, and a soup. Keep the legs to slow cook them in a curry sauce – delicious!
Beans and Pulses
Kidney beans, lentils and other pulses can be used in stews and soups and are great for ‘padding’ dishes out or as an alternative to meat. They’re cheap rich in protein and fibre and low in fat. Try swapping them with meat once or twice a week and you will save ££s.
The general consensus is today that frozen vegetables are almost as nutritious as their fresh counterparts due to advanced freeze-drying techniques that lock in the nutrients. Frozen veg is much cheaper than fresh and makes a fantastic substitute. It also won’t go off!
It’s extremely frustrating when you need a specific herb for a recipe so you buy a full packet and two-thirds of it goes to waste. Solution – grow your own! Anyone can grow herbs on a kitchen windowsill or, if you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, try cultivating a herb garden outside. You will save a fortune as well as brighten up the plainest of dishes! You could also dry and freeze your outdoor herbs for use during the winter months.