You may have read my money saving tips on the side --> I thought I would explain the logic in my thinking, in case you are wondering whether I have totally lost the plot. I know some of them are a bit bizarre, but believe me, they work.
My background is that I was brought up in a family with no money to spare, my mother was brilliant at making ends meet, and so I watched and learnt from her. In fact I probably go further than her when it comes to saving money in the kitchen. You have to keep in mind that I live by myself, so it is a lot easier to adopt a frugal lifestyle. Some of the things I do may not be readily accepted by other members of the family.
For instance, cooking a three day stew in a big pan and eating it out of the same pan. I cannot see the point of putting a portion onto a plate, eating it, then you have to wash the plate. It costs money to wash dishes, so don't dirty them. When I make a meal I use the minimum amount of pots and pans, so I don't have to pay for the water, then heat it, and buy lots of washup liquid.
Who says you have to wash the dishes after every meal anyway? It's not set in stone, it's just a habit. Why not put them on the side of the worktop for a few days, and when you need a pan or a plate, take one off the pile. When the pile gets too big or they get too dirty, then wash them. I have been known to lick my plate clean after a particularly delicious meal, shock horror. I don't want to waste any of it. Not very ladylike you may say, but there is no one here to see me, and the plate can be used again. Seems logical to me.
My meals are simple. I use very little oil, I hardly ever make sauces, and never fry anything. For example, you fry an egg, frying is bad for you, it spits oil all over the cooker, time, effort, and money to clean it. Why not boil it in a pan used just for this purpose, you don't need to wash the pan.
I never use the oven, it uses too much gas, and it takes too long to cook anything, and I hate cleaning ovens. Those who want roast meat should seriously think about becoming vegetarian, it's a healthy lifestyle and a lot cheaper. You wont die if you stop eating meat. Which brings me onto the next point, bulk up your food with oatbran, it's wonderful stuff. Put it into everything.
I never follow recipes, it's cheaper to make it up as you go. How many times have you bought ingredients for a special dish only to use half of them, and the other half sits in the cupboard for the next five years! When concocting a meal throw in anything you happen to have in your store cupboard. Only buy items for your cupboard that you know you will use within three months.
When you shop for food don't take a list unless you have a terrible memory. Buy your food on price, good value for money, and nutrition. Don't be a picky eater, buying what you fancy costs a lot more. I don't care what I eat as long as it is not meat, and it is good for me. Food is the fuel I need to keep my body in good condition. I miss out whole aisles at the supermarket, dont do cakes, biscuits, soft drinks, crisps, ready meals, confectionary, sugary spreads, ice cream, and puddings. I might spend some time studying prices and reading labels, but it makes shopping a lot easier if you limit the range of food you buy.
And the last money saving tip is, never ever throw food away. Eat everything you buy.
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