Cooking on a budget: Simple tips to make your meat go further
It can be a challenge for the household grocery shopper to find a range of ingredients to feed a hungry family week after week under budget constraints, but it can be done. The common misconception that eating healthy is more expensive.
Whilst meat can contribute to a ‘chunk’ of your grocery bill, it certainly doesn’t mean the family should go without, in fact eating less meat in the long run could lead to some nutrient deficiencies if careful dietary planning hasn’t been implemented.
There are a wide variety of beef and lamb economical cuts that are versatile and at this time of year can be done in the slow cooker which saves time in the evening. Expensive can often be put down to poor planning and the belief healthy food comes with a premium cost attached to it. It just takes a bit of practice on how to look for specials, how to whip up a meal on economical pantry staples and how to avoid the temptation of buying the numerous convenient deals from fast food outlets and the supermarket processed pre-made meals, which come at a cost to your family’s health.
THERE ARE MANY SIMPLE WAYS TO SAVE MONEY AND ENJOY HEALTHY FOOD AT LOW PRICES:
Shop around and look out for specials through catalogues
Plan meals for the week and write a shopping list, stopping you buying unnecessary extras
If you have space in the freezer, buy more than you need and freeze the extra in smaller portions, for example a large pack on meat on special
Butchers are there to help you. Ask for advice on which cut is best suited to your recipe or check out Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s cooking methods information or order your free beef and lamb cuts brochures
Mince, chops, chuck , schnitzel, topside and casserole meat offer value for money, ideal for family meals with lots of options using your slow cooker
Beans, lentils, rice and pasta are cheap and help a dish go further. Add a can of baked beans to a mince dish and you’ll feed an extra mouth or two
Buy fruit and vegetables in season, which will be much cheaper and tastier. Frozen and canned fruit and veges are also economical. Better yet, try grow your own veges and herbs
Try making your own pasta sauces or pizzas – this way the kids can help, you can choose your own ingredients and it’s likely to have less sugar and salt
HERE'S A LIST OF SOME ESSENTIAL STAPLES TO HAVE ON HAND TO WHIP UP ECONOMICAL, NUTRITIOUS AND TASTY MEALS FOR THE FAMILY.
Mince, chops, casserole meat
Herbs and spices
Veges and fruit (fresh/frozen/tinned)
Unsweetened yoghurt (can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes)
We would love to hear your food budgeting tips and tricks. Let us know in the comments section below.