With the rising costs of food, it can sometimes feel like it's so expensive to cook and eat at home. However, the truth is that you don't have to eat boring meals in order to eat affordable meals. There are many ways you can save money cooking meals at home. Whether you take care to stock your pantry with affordable foods or you learn to transform leftovers, these tips will help you start cooking on a budget.
1. Stock Your Pantry
First things first. Start stocking your pantry with items you find on sale. Stock up on pasta, pasta sauce, rice, canned vegetables, canned beans, tuna, etc. When you stock up on these items when they're on sale, you will be able to cook meals for so much less. The reason meals often cost so much to cook is that people go and buy the ingredients for whatever they want that night. This means that they're usually paying regular price for everything. Stop. Stock your pantry and you'll lower those prices.
2. Use Your Slow Cooker
A great way to save money is to use less expensive cuts of meat. These cuts are usually tougher than expensive cuts. However, if you use your slow cooker, they will turn out fork tender each and every time. For example, a chuck roast is a very inexpensive cut of meat, but you can slow cook it on low for 8 hours and end up a succulent, delicious roast.
3. Shop for What's In Season
Strawberries in February may sound delicious, but you'll pay for them. When you buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, you not only get the best tasting, local produce, but you save money. If you want to save even more, shop at your local farmers' market.
4. Plan Multiple Meals That Make Use of the Ingredients
One way money is wasted while cooking is making a meal that leaves you with ingredients left over. Instead of this happening, plan meals that use the same ingredients. For example, if you're making tacos one night, the next night make a salad to use up the rest of the lettuce and tomatoes.
5. Transform Leftovers
If you find yourself tossing out leftovers, you need to learn how to transform them. While your family may not like leftovers, chances are they will love the new meals you create. For example, let's say you slow cooked a chuck roast and had leftovers. Instead of tossing the meat, chop it up, mix with barbecue sauce, and serve on toasted hamburger buns.
Cooking at home doesn't have to be expensive. There are several great ways to save money. Whether you use your slow cooker or shop for what's in season, you'll be able to cook delicious meals while on a budget.