Frugal cooking starts with great planning, as being wise with your purchased ingredients helps you get more from your small budget and at the same time will give you get the most for every meal you create with it.
Don't Run Out of Kitchen and Pantry Staples
Stock up on the most basic ingredients and supplies and shop just as soon as it runs out. One of the few things that as much as possible shouldn't be forgotten to stock up is vegetables, spices, oils and canned produces that you use frequently. Most people nowadays are practicing that frugal idea of ¬"eating the entire pantry out¬", which they use any and every ingredient that's still available to make an off-beat dish. This is a great trick to eliminate wastefulness and utilize all of the stuff that's in there before going grocery shopping.
Plan your shopping
Last-minute grocery shopping always leads to wasting incredible amounts of money by buying more than what you actually need, or purchasing something more expensive because you haven't really compared prices thoroughly. It's funny too, because I remember my sister doing her grocery like this all the time. She does have what she calls a ¬"guide¬", a short grocery list, but when she steps inside the grocery store she would remember important things that she needed to buy, only in the end she's short on cash than what she planned, and she bought more than she can use.
Cheap but fresh ingredients
Buying produce that's in season will cost less for you as produces will be abundant thus has a lesser price. It will surely taste better too, when you buy season's produce fresh! And when you're out picking fruits and vegetables, look for those that are heavy for its size which means a lot of meat and juice are inside. When it comes to buying fish ask to cut off both head and tail first before weighing it, especially if you're not fond of cooking fishes whole. If you're going to throw away the head and the tail, why pay for it, right?
Buy your herbs dry but whole, if you can't get them fresh. Whole spices can be kept longer, produce flavor better than their grounded counterparts and cost lesser than ones in prepackaged containers.
And as much as possible, buy produce from local farmers instead of just going to a grocery chain or supermarket. You can find it in every city and town, and you can visit the USDA website to search for certified farmer's markets nearest to you.
Simple meals can easily become dull, tasteless food if you don't give it a little something. Though with frugal cooking you are encouraged to keep the ingredients minimal, but your food doesn't have to become lackluster. Get some resources on recipes for all kinds of breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack dishes that you and your family will love. The Internet is home to millions of recipes added daily that range from the simple to exotic, and grand to simple. You can even get creative with leftovers, too. And that will save you tons of money and you can utilize a previous dish to make a snack or be part of a lunch dish for the next day, or make a casserole or a soup out of it.
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