Cooking doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are tons of ways you can save money in the kitchen by making just a few small changes. The Meal Packs app is designed to get you thinking about your cooking routine a little differently and help you cut your costs in the kitchen, without any compromise on flavour or taste.
Here are a couple of our top smart tips, straight from the chefs themselves, for saving money and getting the most possible value out of everything you buy!
1. Use Your Chicken. All of It!
So you’ve roasted your chicken and got a good meal out of it. Time to throw the rest away, right? Wrong! There’s so much you can still use. Pop the chicken scraps in salads, sandwiches and risottos and use the carcass to make stocks and soups. It’ll save you money on future meals and eliminate any unnecessary waste too – win win!
Try the ‘Evening Warmth’ Meal Pack for tasty meals that’ll help you get the most out of your chicken.
2. Make Friends With Your Freezer
Fish approaching its expiry date? Bananas on the brown side? If it looks like you’re not going to eat it, chuck it in the freezer instead! Freezing food is a great hack for meal planning too – buy extra and pop your items in individual freezer bags so you can defrost as much as you need, when you need it. And remember, you can freeze herbs too!
3. Cook in Batches
Batch cooking is such a great way to make the most of your midweek meals. Cook up a big pot of food, then portion the rest up and freeze for future meals. Worried you’ll get bored? Mix up what you serve your meal with – try chilli with rice one day and a jacket potato the next. It’s always handy to have something ready to go in the freezer, and cooking in bulk means you’ll save on ingredients too. Larger bags and packets always work out cheaper by volume.
Try the ‘Budget Bangers’ Meal Pack for 3 delicious double-portion meals. Eat one half of what you make and freeze the other half for when you just don’t fancy cooking!
4. Bulk Out Your Meat
A top tip for saving money on your meat dishes? Bulk ‘em out with veggies and pulses! Use half the amount of meat and pad it out with beans, lentils or potatoes. You’ll get the same flavour from your meat and be just as full at the end but it’ll cost you much less, and you might even tick off 1 of your 5-a-day too!
5. Give Other Cuts a Go
It’s always tempting to head for the pricier cuts of meat, especially when you’re in a rush. But you can save money on your meal by simply choosing a different cut and cooking it for a bit longer. Try chicken wings and thighs instead of breast, beef shin instead of brisket and pork belly instead of loin – just remember to adjust the cooking time.
6. Make the Most of Your Leftovers
You can nearly always use up leftover bits and bobs and turn them into something tasty. Freeze veggie scraps or chuck ‘em in soups, whack overripe bananas in smoothies and cakes, and use stale bread to make breadcrumbs and pop ‘em in the freezer. Waste not, want not!
7. Cook From Scratch
It’s no secret that making things from scratch is cheaper than buying pre-made. You can make so many basic items like salad dressings, sauces and marinades yourself to avoid forking out for the shop-bought versions. Intimidated by the idea of cooking from scratch? The Meal Packs app is designed to guide you through trying new things in the kitchen.
Try the ‘More For Less’ Meal Pack for 5 budget-friendly meals that’ll get you whipping up everything from chilli to meatballs from scratch!
8. Know What You’ve Got
Ever come back from your weekly shop armed with bags of onions and potatoes, only to find you’ve already got drawers full of ‘em? Avoid this by checking off what you’ve got on the in-app shopping list before you head out. Want to get super organised? Make a list of everything in the fridge and freezer – that way you’ll never double up on bread or lose things at the back of the freezer.
9. Plan Your Meals
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: smart meal planning is one of the simplest and most effective ways of saving money on food! Not only will your pocket go further, but by planning your meals ahead you’ll avoid unnecessary trips to the shops, save time in the kitchen and cut down on food waste.
Ready to kickstart your meal planning and start saving money in the kitchen?
Grab your free trial of Meal Packs to make the most of our smart money-saving tools!