Cheaper to Cook From Scratch
When you think about it prepared or convenience food is expensive. Buying such items stretches our budges and besides they’re not really good for us. So what is the answer? The answer to saving money is to cook from scratch. It all depends on what works for you but making a big pot of soup or stew when you have purchased the ingredients on sale works really well to save money. You get to have a meal or two and you can freeze the rest for future meals. It is important to make a list of the ingredients you should always have on hand so that you can make meals for the family.Cheap Ingredients to Keep On Hand
Potatoes are always handy when you want to make a meal from scratch. You can boil them, bake them, fry them, and mash them. Every time you use potatoes you can make a whole different meal. You can also stretch your food budget by using potatoes to thicken stews and chowders by pureeing them and using them as a thickener.
Rice is an inexpensive starch and you can choose between white or brown rice. You can include rice as a side dish for most any meat or chicken. You can make rice casseroles, pilafs, and even rice cakes. One great tip is that if you refrigerate or freeze uncooked rice it will last much longer.
Pasta lasts a good long time. You can choose from many different pastas some of which are very healthy like those that include spinach. There are pasta brands that have added fiber and there is wheat pasta. You can have pasta as a side dish, make casseroles, and add pasta to soups. Pasta casseroles can be frozen and can be kept on hand for many future meals.
Chicken can stretch your food budget if you don’t buy chicken parts but the whole chicken and cut it up at home. You can divide up the chicken yourself and make meals from the various parts. You can take a whole chicken and boil it and then use the cooked chicken for different kinds of meals. When you’re in the process of cutting up the chicken you can take the bones and make a
delicious chicken soup. Either way you win when you do it this way and once your chicken is all cut up the parts you don’t use right away you can place in a freezer bag and freeze for another time.
Beans are great to have around. When it comes to beans it might be more convenient to use canned beans but it will save you money if you purchase dry beans. Just soak you beans overnight and then boil them until tender. You can use those beans for many different meals like soups, stews, even casseroles. They are full of protein and high in fiber and will fill you up. Cooked beans can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 7 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
Eggs are great to have on hand. Always store them in their own cartons and make sure to use them by the date suggested. You can do many creative things with eggs and hard boiled eggs will stay in their shells for up to a week. Some great tips are that beaten eggs can be frozen for up to three months and when needed defrosted in the fridge.
These are some ingredients to always have on hand if you want to save money on food. Remember to always stock up when your store has a sale and you’ll never wonder what to use to make a meal.Saving Money on Desserts
There are many desserts you can make without stretching your food budget. Keep in mind that many desserts need only a few ingredients to turn into sweet, delicious treats. Making your own desserts like cookies such as banana cookies and different cakes saves you money because you are not paying the added price of having someone bake them for you and buying them ready made. There are even many five ingredient desserts that you can create and your family will know you made them with love.
Sticking to a Food Budget
When deciding on how much you’ll spend for food you have to consider how much income is generated and how much you spend on your rent and utilities or other payments you are responsible for each month. Then come up with a reasonable amount for food per week and per month and stick to that amount. Never purchase more and never go over budget. If you keep all the food staples at home and you always make use of coupons and sales you’ll do just fine. You can even make such delicious things to eat like potato chip cookies. Remember to check what you have at home and what you are running low on every time you go to the store.Keeping Fit
For everyone who wants to keep fit it means maintaining a healthy weight and eating the right foods. By keeping active and not indulging in fast foods you will find that you have more energy and you can do more each day. Staying fit and healthy is easy as long as you remember to include salads with your meals, drink low-fat milk, have fresh fruit on hand, and grains like oatmeal at home. Then you can treat your family to an oatmeal cake. Be sure to buy only lean meats with chicken usually being the best choice. Keep in mind that juices, soda, sweet drinks, and alcohol all have lots of sugar and calories. So make sure that you can create a healthy meal with what you purchase and always look for foods the offer nutrition and are low-fat.