Cooking on a Budget, Part 1
Image sourced from Here.
I’ve been thinking more and more about budget cooking lately. So many of my friends and family are cooking on a tighter budget lately (no thanx to the recession) and people have this idea that budget cooking has to be bland and boring. Therefore I have taken it upon myself to re-invent the way people think about ‘cheap cooking’. Not only can it still be utterly delish but it’s also healthier because you won’t be using as much cream, butter and cheese. So it saves you a few Rands and a few kg’s. It’s actually really easy to cook on a budget during winter because stewing meat and soup ingredients are probably the cheapest of its kind.
I’m going to be doing a whole budget series stretching over a few weeks. I’ll be discussing everything from shopping on a budget to using one ingredient a few different ways just to stretch it out a bit. I’ll also take some of my old recipes and revamp them to fit into the budget cooking category. Therefore if you are feeling a bit indulgent you can still make the original but there will be a equally delish ‘sister’- recipe to fall back on if month end just doesn’t seem to be approaching fast enough. I have a few friends that are INCREDIBLE at saving and budget shopping and some of them have given me tips as well as I am ashamed to say that I am a bit wasteful when it comes to shopping. I am very quick to throw expensive ingredients into my basket without even looking at the prices and checking if there’s something similar that’s cheaper. But since I started investigating this whole budget thing, I’ve become a lot more conscious of the shopping decisions I’ve been making and I’m definitely trying to make better ones when I go shopping now. So thank you to those of you that have inspired me, you know who you are!
Now before we get into all this, there are a few things I need to make clear. The recipes I’ve worked out along with their prices are all based on MY Kitchen and cooking style. I always have things like the basic spices (paprika, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, coriander and chilli), herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano), lemon juice and corn flour in my pantry. These are things that add an incredible amount of flavour and depth to your food without having to use too much of it. I buy them once every few months and use such a small bit that I’m not even bothering with adding their prices to the actual dish. If you wish, you can leave them out or substitute with fresh ingredients (many people have herb gardens, which by the way is a really good way to save money but still get great flavour).
I’m also working out the prices for 4 servings and I’m working on the average prices of things in most supermarkets. The average brand pasta, tinned goods, fresh produce and meat. Obviously if you find any of the ingredients on special it will work out much cheaper so always look out for specials, especially for things like meat.
Throughout the next week, I’ll be sharing a few budget-friendly recipes and tips so be sure to pop in everyday to have a look.