As we all face skyrocketing energy prices, keeping the family warm and well-fed requires a savvy approach. Whilst there are several ways to keep costs low, when feeding a big family it’s a great idea to find out how to reduce food costs.
Saving energy when cooking
As you’ll see if you visit any energy site, running even the smallest appliances takes its toll on your energy consumption. Checking out exactly how your energy bills are broken down can be really helpful in identifying your peak energy usage times and working out how you can cut back.
For example, if at all possible, try to cook several meals ahead of time and freeze them. As they can be gently reheated, this will mean you use less energy overall without losing out on nutrition. It might be a good idea to invest in devices like a steamer which require very little energy to cook delicious and healthy foods like white fish and vegetables. Tips like these for keeping energy prices as low as possible can have a dramatic impact on your overall outlay.
Make clever food choices
Although it is important to get a good mix of vitamins and minerals to keep growing bodies healthy, meat can be a costly option on any menu. Red meats once a week are more than enough and something like a simple bolognaise is not only easy to cook but will reheat beautifully. Also make sure to keep your store cupboard stocked with canned and dried goods, as anything with a long shelf life will be great for supplementing an evening meal at short notice.
It’s also a good idea to try to shop outside of big branded supermarkets. If you are lucky enough to live within reach of a market, stock up on an array of vegetables. Not only are they inexpensive and full of goodness, but they are also wonderfully versatile and you can make everything from vegetable pasta bakes to ratatouille in a flash. Apple slices and carrot sticks are also an excellent snack alternative to crisps and biscuits!
Get in to a food friendly routine
It might sound bizarre, but make a date with your fridge freezer once a week. Check out your expired items and try to identify a pattern amongst your wastage items. Meats tend to go off quickest and as they are the most expensive they can take a huge chunk out of your budget. Consider dividing up meats into individual servings which can be popped in to the freezer and use things like leftover yoghurt to create fruit smoothies or cereal toppings.