Thanks to our chaotic, modern lifestyle that has us working 8 hours a day and spending another hour or two on the commute five days a week, many of us are tempted with surviving solely on fast food, as cooking seems like too much of a hassle. Unfortunately, cooking your own food is the only way you can guarantee that you’re giving your body all the healthy, nutritious ingredients that it needs to function and develop properly, so if you care about your health fast food is really not that much of an option.
However, what if I told you that you can not only improve your health but also save a lot of money by learning how to efficiently prepare your own food? In this article, I’m going to teach you how to do just that, by sharing some of the cooking strategies that I’ve learned over the years. Here are 5 Tips to Save Money When Cooking at Home
5 Tips to Save Money When Cooking at Home
1. Eat the Same Meal Twice
A great way to save on cooking is to simply cook a larger meal so you can eat it for both lunch and dinner, for example. Or just stick your dinner in the freezer and eat it for lunch the next day. If this doesn’t make immediate sense to you, think of it this way; the main way in which people waste money on food is throwing away extra ingredients that go back in the fridge because they didn’t get used up on time. By making larger portions, you use up more of your ingredients and so you get more use out of them, instead of throwing them in the trash.
2. Vegetable Stir Fries
If you’ve got a lot of leftover vegetables that you have no idea how to use up in a real recipe, you can always cook up a big stir fry and throw in any excess veggies you currently have in the fridge. It’s a quick and easy way to use them up, and as a bonus stir fries are usually very tasty and pretty healthy, as well. One of the main issues with stir fries is often the lack of protein, so feel free to throw in some chicken or beef to spice things up and you have yourself a tasty lunch that took away less than thirty minutes of your time, and helped you save your pennies too!
3. Get a Vacuum Sealer
Sticking half-eaten meals in the freezer and eating them later is a real money saver when it comes to cooking, but if you really want to be a pro at this, I recommend that you get a vacuum sealing appliance as well. Vacuum sealed food can practically last forever, since most of the microorganisms that affect food and cause spoilage require oxygen in order to survive. It’s a small investment for absolute freshness at all times, and it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
4. Healthy Takeout
If I told you that you can actually save money by ordering food instead of cooking it every once in a while, you’d probably think I was crazy, and a while ago you would’ve been absolutely right. But things have changed in the last few years, and now you have dedicated meal delivery services that can provide you with healthy food, made by professionals in reasonably, realistically sized portions (which is reflected in the price, of course). This means that you’ll neither still be hungry after the meal, nor too full so you have to throw some of it away. It makes both economic and ecological sense, so I highly recommend that you give it a try.
Another way in which you can quickly use up any leftover vegetables if you don’t feel like starting up a stir fry is simply to cook up some pasta. A while ago I discovered that putting leftover broccoli in my mac and cheese gives it a very fresh, unusual taste that I’m now crazy about – plus, I get to use up my leftovers with close to 100% efficiency! If you’re not a pasta fan, you can also use rice for this same purpose – the bland, neutral taste of these two means that you can combine them with just about anything and it’ll turn out great.
5 Tips to Save Money When Cooking at Home
About the Writer:
Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two and content writer at www.diet.st. She’s originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn’t cooking up some new health and fitness article, she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic-based recipes for herself and her kids.