Beth from Budget Bytes shares her tips for cooking on a budget, including what cheap ingredients to keep stocked, what foods to buy in bulk and how to meal plan for success.
On today’s episode I speak with Beth Moncel from Budget Bytes about all things cooking on a budget! Whether you’re actively trying to cut down your weekly food budget or just be more mindful of what you’re purchasing, you’re going to get so much out of this.
For the past ten years, Beth Moncel has been dishing out healthy, inexpensive recipes and teaching kitchen basics through her popular blog, Budget Bytes, the corresponding cookbook, Budget Bytes – Over 100 Easy Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half, and the Budget Bytes Mobile App. She loves getting creative in the kitchen and hopes to show others just how fun and rewarding cooking can be.
Beth and I chat about smart ways to save money on your weekly shop, how to meal plan to make the most of your food budget and how to freeze foods to save money and reduce waste.
HOW TO MEAL PLAN BETTER TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR FOOD BUDGET
Start small – start with one recipe a week, and once you get comfortable planning out that meal you can start to add more in.
Build a habit – Taking 5-10 minutes each week to sit down and plan out what meals you intend to make during the week can help not only save money but also stop unnecessary trips back to the grocery store during the week.
Figure out what works for you – Find time in your schedule where you’ll have the energy to cook. Also think about how many recipes you can realistically make a week.
SAVING MONEY ON PRODUCE
Lean heavily on frozen fruits and vegetables – they won’t spoil and you don’t need to worry about what’s in season.
Focus on sturdy fruits and vegetables – if it doesn’t spoil quickly in the grocery store, it will naturally be cheaper. Types of sturdy vegetables include cabbage, onions, potatoes, carrots etc.
Don’t focus on trendy superfoods – Superfoods command a higher price tag. Stick to the basic fruits and vegetables that are cheaper and just as delicious and great for you.
BUDGET FRIENDLY INGREDIENTS TO KEEP STOCKED
Keep your pantry filled with staples like rice, pasta, lentils, canned tomatoes and beans. You can then easily use these as a base for your meals.
Also keep your freezer stocked with frozen fruits and vegetables that can be used in a host of different ways. They won’t go bad and are fairly cheap.
BUYING INGREDIENTS IN BULK
- Buy more expensive items like meat or cheese in bulk as they will work out to be cheaper. Divide them up and freeze them for later.
- Use bulk bins to buy small amounts of ingredients you don’t use often. So if you need a particular type of nut that you don’t normally use for one recipe, only by the amount you need to cut down waste.
FREEZING INGREDIENTS TO SAVE MONEY AND REDUCE WASTE
Beth shared her favourite things to freeze to save money and reduce waste:
- Tomato Paste
- Bread, Muffins and Scones
- Citrus Fruits – freeze whole for zesting and juice
- Ginger Root
5:15 – Meal planning
7:14 – Saving money on produce
9:16 – Budget friendly ingredients
10:30 – Buying in bulk
12:11 – Freezing foods
WHERE TO FIND BETH
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