We all know that cooking is important to our health and well-being. And while it can be fun, it can also get expensive if you don’t plan ahead. There are many ways to save money when cooking, the most obvious of which is to buy ingredients in bulk. But there are other tricks like buying cheaper cuts of meat or using alternatives like beans for protein that will help you cook on a budget without sacrificing on quality or flavor!
Save Money by Buying in Bulk
Buying ingredients in large quantities for recipes you know your family will eat can save money. If possible, store these items properly so they don’t spoil or become unusable due to improper storage conditions. Shopping for fruits and veggies at local farmer’s markets is a great way to save money on your weekly grocery bill! You can, shop for these items when they are in season as this will make them even cheaper per pound than if you buy them out of season.
Use Cheaper Cuts of Meat
There are many cuts of meat that you might not be familiar with. Some, like the flank steak or skirt steak, can often be bought for a fraction of the price of more popular cuts, but taste just as good! If your family isn’t used to eating these kinds of meats, start by adding them into recipes where they will be less noticeable, like chili or pasta dishes.
Use Beans for Protein
Beans are a great source of protein and healthy carbohydrates, but they can be pricey! One way to save money is by buying them dried instead of canned. Be aware though that you will have to soak the beans overnight before cooking them (which adds time), so make sure that you plan accordingly.
Eat Less Red Meat
Red meat is not only expensive, it’s bad for the environment too! Eating less red meat like beef saves money on your grocery bill, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (which contributes to global warming), and reduces the risk of food-borne illnesses since ground meats are particularly susceptible to contamination.
Eating more vegetables is good for your health and when you eat out, choosing the salad option over the meaty entree will help to lower costs too! And since it’s better for your waistline to cut down on red meats in favor of healthier proteins like chicken or fish (which can be much cheaper), this is a win-win.
Don’t Be Afraid to Improvise!
Don’t be afraid to alter recipes you find online or in cookbooks by adding your own twists and spices, substituting ingredients for cheaper alternatives (like using dried herbs instead of fresh), cutting down on fats that can add unnecessary calories, etc. These little changes can make the difference between spending a huge amount on dinner for your family and sparing some change while saving money!
Cooking on a budget is possible with just a little planning. Try these ideas today, you won’t be disappointed!