Friday 20 April 2012

10 ways to save in the kitchen

  • Use the oven full. This is easiest with a fan oven but with can be done with any oven. Good choices for lower shelves in a non-fan oven are meringues, rice pudding, sliced tomatoes and cooking granola.
  • Add pulses to meat dishes and use dried pulses, pre-soak, boil for 10 minutes then add to casseroles.
  • Home made marmalades and jams are not cheaper than the cheapest shop bought but better. They are far less expensive than equivalent quality products.
  • Make your own stock.
  • Use left over vegetables in casseroles.
  • Make your own bread. We calculated that our bread maker paid for itself within 100 loaves. We eat at least a loaf a day. Additionally, home made bread tastes so much better.
  • Probably heresy, but value plain flour makes a fine white loaf, in the bread maker.
  • Make home made soup. We had a flyer through, this week, advertising soup which cost 8 times the price of our home made lentil soup. Some vegetable soups may be even less.
  • Grow herbs on the windowsill.
  • Don't take recipes too seriously-substitute. My children say that I am always doing this but there is no reason why sultanas can't do for currants. Don't take this too far-like with like.
Over to you. How do you save in the kitchen?


  1. Very good advice. I never take recipes too seriously, else I'd be running to the grocer all the time. :-) Blessings!

  2. Good ideas, thank you. I find that writing a meal plan for the week saves money also. To make sure we save even more I tend to write a list of what we have left in the house before I plan the meals for the next week too. I list foods under 'fresh', 'frozen' and 'cupboard' and then sit down and work out how many meals I can make from what we have left.

    Also, lentil soup left overs make a good base for a curry (with spices and meat/veg added), or a base for a pasta bake (with mince added). Another thing I find helps is making sure I label any left overs so that I can be sure to use them up in good time. Otherwise I forget when I cooked them and they end up going to waste because I have left them too long!

  3. the way the picture at the bottom of the post looks yummy! Is it pea and ham soup?

  4. Naomi, I think the soup in the picture is broad bean although I do make pea and ham quite frequently.
    I like the idea of using lentil soup left overs for a curry-hadn't thought of that.

  5. The biggest way we save is by using left overs, even if there are just a couple of portions I put them in the fridge and use them the next day.

    Also when we can, buying short dated/reduced food, and eating it quickly.

    Our local fruit stall is so much cheaper than Tesco or any supermarket, so we all our fruit and veg there (except potatoes cos I like the ones I don't have to wash).

    And like you say, I've found home made soup to be very much cheaper (and generally preferred) to shop soup (esp when cooking for 14)

  6. I always double up with everything. That way I can give myself "days off" cooking by just picking something out of the freezer, it saves money in the long run too. I like to get the kids to bake with me that way it's easier to make sure the oven is full like you say above and there is always a full load waiting to go in, I think it helps when you have assistants to do this. I'd say the slow cooker is a definite saver too even though mine isn't working at the moment. Grow your own and use what you have always helps. I also use Naomi's idea of writing down what meats I still have in the freezer before I go shopping. Great ideas, thanks for sharing....

  7. Elaine, I need to double up more. I find that when I remember to do this, the second version needs to be hidden so it doesn't all disappear. Great idea to have your assistants providing oven "fodder".

  8. Henrietta,

    I went to my local veg stall, this morning and couldn't believe how cheap it was esp the mushrooms which have been getting so expensive in the supermarket-very bad as I love this. Will have to frequent it more often-good for the children's education too as it is near the library!

  9. Do you have a view on veg stalls that are by busy roads? I wonder about pollution affecting the veg.

  10. Jo-no, I don't but guess it could be an issue. No idea of the evidence either way-do you know?