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Money-Saving Cooking Tips

The New Year is the perfect time to renew and refresh focus on what’s essential to us. Some decide to lose weight, others to be more physically active. We’re fans of both, but do you know what else can help you enormously during this time of the year? Learning how to stretch your food budget as far as you can. Here are some of our favorite moneywise suggestions.

Review the weekly ad circular and plan out your shopping list.

An easy solution? Go online to bigy.com to view our weekly circulars, create your own shopping list and print! Plan meals based on sales items each week and stick to your shopping list as you shop.

 

Take advantage of sales.

Stock up on sale items to save big. Protein foods have the biggest bang for your sale buck: If ground beef is on sale this week, buy extra portions to freeze for use later.

 

Stretch.

In many recipes, like stews, soups, pastas and casseroles, you can increase the amount of beans, pasta or rice used to stretch the volume created without losing flavor. Less expensive cuts of meat such as stewing beef or a whole chicken are easy to stretch into several meals, making them an even bigger bargain. Did you know you can make at least three meals out of a whole chicken? Your first meal can be the whole roasted chicken. Leftover meat can then be made into chicken salad, chicken pasta or chicken tacos for the next 3 to 4 days.

 

Switch.

Most of the time, when a recipe calls for a relatively expensive ingredient, you can swap it out for a more affordable cousin. For example, green bell pepper instead of red bell pepper and ground chuck instead of ground sirloin. Also check out store brands. You’ll get the same great quality and taste for less cost.

 

Stock it up.

Make vegetable stock as you clean out the crisper of your refrigerator. Don't limit your stock making ingredients to whole vegetables either. Save peels and rinds while you cook throughout the week. Your stock will be strained before being used, and all those unattractive peels will go away but their lovely flavor will add bounty to your stock.

 

Substitute.

In just about any recipe (except for cold salads), you can substitute dried herbs for fresh ones. Just remember this ratio: one tablespoon fresh equals one teaspoon dried.

 

Go meatless one night a week.

You can save money and add variety to your family’s weekly menu by going plant-based with dried beans, peas, lentils and peas and meat alternatives. And don’t forget the health benefits!

 

Eat seasonally.

Not only is in-season produce usually less expensive, it's also extremely flavorful.