(Written by Pauline Greenwood) With prices going up and wages going down, many people are going out less and cooking at home more. However, even cooking at home can get pricey if you are not careful, especially if you have a big family. The prices at grocery stores are skyrocketing, which can make it very difficult for frugal families to eat well at home. Luckily, there are a few cooking tips parents can cook at home without breaking the bank.
- Use a Crockpot
Consider cooking your meals in a crockpot at least a couple times a week. Using a crockpot is not only easy; it also allows you to use cheaper cuts of meat and it uses less energy than an oven. There are so many types of dishes you can make in a crockpot including buffalo chicken dip, whole chicken, pot roast, pulled pork and beef brisket.
- Cook Rice and Beans
If you are looking for very cheap sides, you should buy some rice and beans. Beans contain a lot of protein, making them filling and excellent substitutes for more expensive meats. Rice is also very healthy and affordable, especially when it is bought in bulk. For example, if you are having chicken for dinner, rice will make an excellent choice for a side.
- Purchase Ground Meats
Meat is tasty and can really fill up an empty stomach, but steaks, chops and roasts can get very pricey. If you are in the mood for meat, you should just buy ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey. Ground meats are a lot cheaper and taste very delicious. If you want your ground meat to be healthier, make sure to drain the grease before you eat it.
- Start from Scratch
Cooking your meals from scratch can take more time, but it can end up saving you more money in the long run. For example, if you want to save money on breakfast cereal, you could make your own granola by mixing oats with cinnamon, honey and vegetable oil.
- Use the Spices in Your Cabinet
Spices can be pricey and buying new ones each time you make a dish can drain your wallet. Before you decide on a meal to cook, look in your cabinet and see what spices you already have. Then, cook a meal that is focused on the spices you already have in stock. For example, if you have garlic and basil, you could make pasta for dinner.
- Freeze Your Food
Freezing your food might sound strange, but it is actually a great way to preserve leftovers. Almost any type of food can be frozen including meat, cheese, rice and bread. However, certain foods might lose their flavor after being frozen like vegetables and fruits. Make sure to freeze your food in small portions so that you do not have to keep freezing it over and over.
As you can see, it does not have to cost an arm and a leg to cook at home. If you follow these helpful cooking tips, you should be able to cook delicious meals at home without spending too much money.
About the author: Pauline Greenwood is an avid blogger and contributor to JustaPinch.com.