Cupboard Staples, In the kitchen

6 hacks to make recipes cheaper

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Raise your hand if you ever found a recipe you wanted to try but didn’t because it was too expensive. Can you see my hand raising high?

It comes as no surprise that I love to cook and try new recipes. And although I usually have the best of intentions to cook elaborate meals using one million ingredients my budget has a totally different perspective! Sadly, I am forced to follow it.
Below are six hacks I put in use to lower the cost of groceries.
1. Use what you have. We all heard this before. Shop your pantry, fridge and freezer first! Make an inventory of what you already have in stock. Then choose recipes utilizing the food you have stocked up.
2. Substitute cheaper ingredients. This is especially true when you cook meat. Many recipes call for the most expensive cuts but don’t feel forced to use that. If your budget allows go for a cheaper cut and adjust the cooking time accordingly. And if it doesn’t don’t fret! Beans and pulses, brown lentils make a great choice, can usually be substituted when a recipe calls for ground meat. Choosing dry instead of cans lowers the cost even more.
3. Swap frozen for fresh. By now we have all heard about the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. But when it comes to cooking is really fresh the best? Most frozen food is harvested at its peak and frozen solid within hours. This ensures that the produce will lose the least amount of nutrients. So if your money is tight why not give frozen produce a try?
4. Convert fresh to dry. Lately, more and more recipes, make use of fresh herbs and aromatics. The difference in taste is undeniable, but what we also cannot deny is the difference in price. Most fresh herbs and aromatics are quite pricey an in most instances you only want to use a very small portion of the quantity you bought. This makes them even more expensive. Owning a pot is a good idea if you love the flavor of a particular herb and use it often. But the next best alternative is to buy it dried. Dried herbs and aromatics are readily available and kinder on the wallet too!
5. Explore the magnificent world of spices. Does your food tastes boring to you? Try new flavors by just playing around with new spices and herbs. If you are totally new you might want to start experimenting with mild mixes that you can find in ethic food shops or your local grocery store.
6. Omit. Many times when you are trying a new recipe, small amounts of ingredients will not affect the end result too much. Try your recipe omitting these and if you like it next time make room in your budget to buy that specialty ingredient. And why not try more recipes that use it.
Have you tried any of these tips?
Now tell me all your secrets so I can steel them all!

 

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