Cook smart to save money - MoneySense

Cook smart to save money

With food costs skyrocketing, it behooves the conscious consumer to look for ways to stretch their food dollars further.

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Have you noticed that packages are smaller but prices are the same or higher? There are plenty of ways to eat well for less.

Meat is expensive. So is chicken and fish. Finding ways to eat less is not only good for your wallet, it’s good for your metabolism. Instead of serving whole pieces, sliver or shred for stir-fries and combo dishes.

Substitute less expensive forms of protein. Eggs are a bargain, and what could be lovelier than a frittata served with a salad for dinner, especially on a steamy summer evening? Or how about breakfast for dinner? Turn your thinking on its head and save some money.

Learn to love beans and lentils, adding them to chili, stews and ground-beef dishes. Not only will you need less meat, you’ll up your fibre intake, which is very good for your heart.

Eat more veggies. They’re not only healthy, they can be far less expensive if you buy in season. (Hard to do in winter, I know, but summer’s here so get saving!) Adding grated carrots and zucchini to chili, lasagna and other “combo” dishes not only adds volume to a meal to fill hungry teenagers, it adds essential vitamins and antioxidants to keep them healthy.

Don’t throw away food. If your veggies are getting close to their best-before date, cut them up and freeze them, or throw them in a soup or stew. If you’ve roasted a chicken or a piece of meat with a big bone, use the carcass to make stock. I buy my chicken breast on the bone, debone ‘em myself (only takes a couple of minutes) and then freeze the bones for my famous Mom’s Chicken Soup, which I mass-produce and hand out to sick friends and family. (Yes, it can cure a cold! Or at least make you feel better. That’ll save drugstore spending too.)

Since the grocery budget is one of our biggest variable expenses, putting in a bit of effort to feed your household well while spending less means you’ll have some money to save. Healthy bodies. Healthy bank accounts. Well done!

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