Find out how to save money cooking at home and still eat like royalty.
Due to all the advice about not eating out as much, you might be wondering how to save money cooking at home. Besides the time it takes to do the cooking and cleaning yourself, you may have a concern about the quality of the food. But don’t worry, you can eat well at home and still save gobs of money compared to eating out.
Buy Ingredients with Coupons
Coupons are the staple money-saving strategy for anyone who likes to cook. For example, why pay $2 for an ingredient when you can get it for $1.50 after using a 50 cent coupon? Coupons are good for both staples as well as exotic items, like a special cheese, sauce or meat. If you want to try a fancy new recipe that calls for a relatively expensive ingredient you don’t have, check online for a coupon. There’s a good chance you can save a bit of money when you buy it by using a manufacturer’s coupon.
Buy in Bulk
If you enjoy cooking, then there are many ingredients that you will almost always need and that store for a very long time. Butter, sugar, salt, flour, seasonings, and oil are all ingredients that can last months or years in storage before they go bad. For these types of staple ingredients, you can easily buy them in bulk from a warehouse store.
If you buy something like a chicken, use all of it. You can eat the chicken as part of your dish, then save leftover meat for another meal, like a chicken sandwich, salad or casserole. Then you can place the bones and other parts of the chicken in boiling water to make your own chicken stock.
Use Less Meat
One of the most expensive ingredients in many recipes is the meat. You can save money on these recipes by cutting back slightly on the amount of meat, substituting for lower cost meat or replacing the meat with a substitute. For example, you can cut the number of beef cubes you use in a stew by half, but add more chunks of mushroom. These mushroom pieces provide a very meaty taste without the cost. They’re also healthier!
Use a Slow Cooker
A slow cooker is great for two big reasons. First, it’s a time saver. You can add the ingredients, let it sit all day, then by dinner you have a freshly cooked meal. Second, it allows you to get by with cheaper ingredients, especially meat. A lower quality piece of beef may make a lousy steak, but after eight hours in a slow cooker, it’ll taste as good as a premium cut of beef. Another advantage is that slow cooker meals usually make a lot of food, which is great for having leftovers for dinner or lunch later that week.
Make Your Own Ingredients
You can make your own chicken broth, for example. If your recipe calls for canned beans or veggies, buy the dry beans or fresh vegetables yourself and cook them in water. This doesn’t add much work to the cooking routine and will save you a ton of money compared to using beans or vegetables directly from a can.
Have a Garden
It’s a lot cheaper to grow your own vegetable or herbs than buy them at the store. It takes a lot more work, but if you enjoy gardening, this work will be something you look forward to doing. Another advantage is better taste. Your produce will taste better not only because you helped them grow, but because you raised them for the best flavor. This means you didn’t pick them before they were ripe so they’d last longer on store shelves. You picked them before you needed them for a dish you were preparing that same day.
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