One of the biggest budget items in our house is food, which makes sense, considering we need it to survive, be happy and make the children stop crying.
The amount of cash we shell out for meals makes them a big, easy target for budget cuts.
Eating at home is one of the easiest ways to achieve some serious savings on your supper, but with it comes WORK: the grocery shopping, the cleaning and, oh yeah, the actual cooking.
I myself am
a lazy an efficient chef, and over the years I’ve developed a few habits that have made the process a little bit tastier and a whole lot easier, budgetarily and otherwise.
1. Better than Bouillon
My first purchase of this jar of magic goo stemmed from my distaste of carrying heavy cans of broth in from the car. Efficient, right?
It turned out to be so delicious, now I use it for any recipe that requires broth and some that don’t. And maybe I even sneak a taste in here and there.
Budget Bonus: This $3-4 jar makes the equivalent of 38 cans of broth but takes up less space than one.
2. Quinoa as a Protein Substitute
I’m not super crunchy or all about (or against) organic, but I do try to keep our diet as healthy as I can stand. I’m also not a big meat eater (it’s a texture thing), so when my friend told me this tip, I was ALL about trying it. Let me tell ya, the whole family LOVES it.
For every 1 pound of ground meat in a recipe, add 1 cup of cooked quinoa. This perfect protein won’t change the taste of the meal one bit.
Budget Bonus: One $4-5 box stretches multiple meals at a much lower cost than adding more meat.
3. Leftovers, meet Freezer
If dinner requires a lot of work and I know it reheats well, I’ll make extra and save it for another moment of… efficiency.
It works great for:
- Soups and stews
- Marinated meats (uncooked)
- Breakfast burritos
Budget Bonus: Having some pre made meals on hand will save you from moments of weakness on those days when you just don’t feel like cooking.