Six ways … to be a frugal foodie
Most of us need to keep an eye on the household budget these days, but eating delicious food doesn’t have to be expensive. Here’s where Hill Street comes in. Read on for six essential tips that will help you cook economical and healthy meals with fresh Tasmanian ingredients.
1. Vegetables are budget friendly!
In relative terms, veggies are cheap, and you can buy large amounts for very little cost. With a whole cauli for a few dollars, 2 kg of Tassie potatoes for about $6.95, or a kilo of carrots about $1.80, you can add satisfying volume to your meal or hero the vegetable in a vegetarian dish. Always buy in season when vegetables are plentiful and therefore cheaper. Buy in bulk when you can (we sell 10kg bags of potatoes for around $12.90 a bag, and 10kg onions for about $9.90). Stored well in a dry, dark place, these will last you months! Stuffed baked potatoes anyone?
2. Protein staples and cheap cuts are your friends
Chicken thighs and breasts, and lean beef mince, are always very competitively priced at Hill Street and can form the base of many meals – think curries, pasta sauces, stir fries, tacos and burritos. Cuts like gravy beef, blade or chuck steak, as well as bone-in chicken thigh cutlets, are economical and benefit from slow cooking to transform them into delicious stews and braises.
3. Extend your dishes with grains, pasta or legumes
Pasta, rice and beans are cheap, satisfying and nutritious. Adding a can of chickpeas to a chicken curry, making a big pasta bake, or adding a can of corn and a can of beans to a taco mince, can really extend your meal and feed many more mouths.
4. Don’t waste your leftovers
Leftovers are a valuable resource and can be frozen, repurposed, or taken to work or school the next day.
5. Batch and freeze
It’s always more economical, in terms of time and money, to cook a double batch and freeze half for another day. Don’t think you have to give over an entire weekend to batch cook 20 meals. Just double a recipe or two a couple of times a week, and you’ll soon build up a library of thaw-and-eat meals for those busy days or end-of-pay-period nights. Great dishes to freeze include curries, stews, soups and sauces. Just cook the rice or pasta on the night and dinner is on the table in 15 minutes.
6. Meal Plan
We’ve written about the benefits of meal planning before here – in short, if you plan what you are going to cook for 3 or 4 nights of the week, you will have less waste, save money and feel much more organised and in control of your budget and your time.