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Grocery bills are inescapable. You gotta eat right? And while there are plenty of ways to cut down your grocery spend, it can still prove tricky to get the most value and use out of the food you buy.
That’s where these frugal food hacks come in.
Being frugal with food doesn’t have to mean going without, or making poor substitutions that do little for your health or your taste buds.
But it can mean just being a little more savvy where you can to make sure you get the most value from the food you buy. After all, it’s really frustrating to end up throwing away food you’ve paid money for, that could have been eaten.
In my house, it’s bananas.
For reasons only known to themselves, some weeks my kids eat through all the bananas in a couple of days and then we have none left. So the next time we might buy extra, only to find that sudenly all the kids now hate bananas and they turn brown on the side, uneaten. Drives me crazy.
I know I could easily use them up with a classic banana bread recipe, but honestly, I’m just not that keen.
These frugal food hacks help food last longer and go further, as well as saving waste and reducing costs.
- Wrap the tip of bananas in cling film: this stops them (and other fruit near them) from ripening so quickly.
- Wrap lettuce and broccoli in foil before putting in the fridge: this will keep them fresher for longer.
- Add a few marshmallows to brown sugar to stop it going hard
- Freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays: perfect for adding extra flavour when cooking.
- Regrow lettuce/celery: pop the stem in a little water and it will start growing again.
- Make a stock with peelings: Use leftover vegetable peelings to make nutritious stock.
- Batch cook and use freezer bags to save space: when cooking meals such chilli, bolognese or similar, cook more than you need and freeze in freezer bags – you can flatten these to store in the freezer, taking up minimal space and meaning you save time and energy cooking the next time.
- Dry leftover herbs: don’t throw away excess fresh herbs, dry them out to reuse later.
- Use vegetable cooking water for making soup
- Freeze spices: just make sure to use small containers to avoid clumps.
- Place crystallised honey in hot water: this will help the honey soften.
- Bake your own bread: it works out cheaper than store bought, tastes great and has the added bonus of making your home smell amazing.
- Pick your own fruit: even if you don’t grow your own, Pick Your Own fruit farms are great for delicious, good value fruit, and often a fun activity for kids too. Try blackberry picking too – free fruit!
- Buy in bulk: if you’re confident you have space and can store properly it’s almost always better value to buy in bulk where possible.
- Make your own pies: pies are a brilliant and cheap way to use up leftover meat and pastry is super simple to make, so it’s a great way to throw together an easy meal – or stew up some leftover fruit for a sweet pie.
- Use fruit rinds for infused water: Add citrus peelings for a ‘fancy’ fruit infused drink.
- Make vegetable crisps from peelings: Drizzle with a little oil, add some seasoning and pop in the oven to make your own vegetable crisps. Yum!
- Grow sprouty potatoes: Instead of throwing away potatoes that are sprouting, use them to grow some more; just add to a bag of compost soil.
- Use FIFO to organise your fridge and cupboards: First In, First Out – check the expiry dates on items and make sure the items that need eating soon are at the front, with the longer lasting items behind.
- Make sure to keep your food stored correctly to make it last longer: Bananas, garlic, onions, potatoes and citrus fruits should be kept on the counter, or in a cool dry place. Other fruits and eggs should be kept refrigerated. Tomatoes may lose some flavour when kept in the fridge, but it will slow the ripening process so they last longer.
Hopefully these simple frugal food ideas can help save some money on groceries! Have I missed any good ones? Let me know in the comments 🙂
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