Online healthy food retailer MuscleFood shared “10 genius ways to help people cut the costs” when planning which dishes to eat as well as inexpensive ways to bulk up their weekly meals for half the price.
Prepare early in the month
It is recommended to get on top of the food shop early by creating a list of everything needed and planning where to get the ingredients from.
Tom Bennet, head of NPD for MuscleFood, explained: “It will not only help to prevent overspending on unnecessary products, but it can help decide which meals can be frozen early to use later in the month.”
Sunday batch cooking
The experts recommended batch cooking to “cut an extra £30 off the weekly food shop”.
Tom explained: “Spend Sunday evening batch cooking and freezing ahead of the week, to make meals worth £1 per portion.
“Big batches of chicken pasta bake and spaghetti bolognese are highly recommended to start out with.”
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Pick and freeze meat weekly
Select a different meat every week to save on wasting all of the pricier meats in a few servings.
Once used, freeze the leftovers and defrost them throughout the week to include in a packed lunch or to use in pre-planned meals which “will save you an extra fiver on the food shop”.
Add fibre to the meals
Buying big bags of lentils and chickpeas to include within meals throughout the week is a great way to bulk up delicious and healthy meals.
Beans will bulk up a meal in no time and can be added to pretty much any tomato dish like chilli or bolognese.
Leftovers for lunches
Britons should put the leftover meats and veggies into sandwiches for the next day to prevent the temptation of buying a meal deal and “if they want to stretch their cash even further”.
The expert explained: “You’ll find you don’t need a lot of filling to bulk up your sandwich so this should last you a couple of days.”
One pan meals
It is worth looking for one pan recipe ideas to cook for four people on a budget, and these can be used twice or more in the week.
Tom recommended: “Make sure to use the golden trio rule when planning the meal – carb, protein and veggies, to help bulk up your meals without using all the items out of the fridge.”
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Large pasta dishes
Another alternative is to buy large bags of dried pasta and make sure to cook extra to use as lunch for the next day.
“Not only will it save throwing out the leftovers, but it’ll cut back on buying a whole list of ingredients for another meal,” the food expert said.
Cut up meats
Consider cutting up meats like chicken and sausages if you want to bulk up something like a pasta dish before throwing them in. “You won’t need to use much for the meal to look fuller,” Tom revealed.
Adding eggs is a cheap way to bulk up weekly meals and makes it even easier to make a meal more delicious.
Tom recommended opting for sunny side up or a healthier alternative such as boiled eggs “which works great with salads for lunch”.
The expert added: “We wanted to offer people some simple tips on how to cook up some delicious meals without having to splash the cash on ingredients.
“With the cost-of-living crisis deepening, many shoppers are anxious about rising food prices and the impact it has on which meals they can make while on a budget.
“We’ve found simple ways to bulk up weekly meals on a dime, from batching cooking on a Sunday evening to following one pan recipes to feed a group of four.”