In a perfect world, all fabulous cooking tips would also save money on groceries right? Well, for the duration of this article consider the world perfect! These cooking tips will have you stashing cash faster than you can cut coupons out of the Sunday newspaper. I promise!
These secret tips will save precious time when you get home from the supermarket. Really, who the hell wants to spend another half hour unpacking the damn stuff? Not me. I’d much rather be watching reruns of my favourite TV show than standing at my pantry with a piece of roast beef before realising, in my dazed post-grocery state, that I should be standing at the freezer.
If you want to wiggle your nose, click your fingers and have the week organised bewitched-style please, be kind to yourself and read on.
Cooking tips | Getting organised and fast
Put groceries away
If you used the packing tips in previous chapters you will now find when you get home you can easily unpack your groceries into your home, pantry, fridge and freezer. This saves time in the kitchen and frees you up for other jobs so you can get on with your day or evening.
Bring older items forward
When placing items in the fridge or freezer bring older items to the front so you will use them up first. Mark leftovers on a leftovers calendar so you remember to use them up. You shouldn’t have to do this however, since there shouldn’t be any leftovers left at this point.
Use up your leftovers first for either lunches or in an extra meal to cut down further costs. (Note: See previous chapters about using up leftovers before shopping.)
Wash fruit and veggies
To save water during the week, fill a sink with water and wash all fruit and veggies when you get back from the store. Now put them in the fridge and pantry.
Prep in bulk
Chop up and pre-prepare any veggies you can for the week and freeze them. For example, peel and dice up carrots. Carrots are a pain midweek when time is short.
Meat, poultry and fish
Divide up meat and poultry into portions and freeze.
Wash and reuse containers that meat, poultry or fish came in to divide up items in your freezer or fridge.
Get bulk-buy happy!
Grate cheese and package up for easy use during the week. Put the cheese into a ziplock bag. Make up items for the kids, for example, cheese and cracker bags for the lunch box.
Rice and pasta
Boil up rice and pasta and keep in airtight containers for use during the week. Check storage times.
After packing away groceries put eco-bags straight back in the car now that they are empty.
Start a Sunday arvo routine
Make up school lunches and freeze for the week to come.
Make up a big batch of soup to use up any vegetable leftovers you may have before using fresh veggies. Or you could make up a batch of muffins or muesli bars for kids’ lunches and freeze. Whatever you make always plan ahead to save time and money.
Check the back of your receipt for deals and coupons. See if any could be useful. Take your grocery receipt out of your wallet and place it in a box for future reference. Mark your spend in a notebook. See if you can beat that spend next time you shop as a challenge.
Alternatively, keep a spreadsheet or use an app to record your grocery spend and regularly look at ways you can trim costs. Set aside a time in the week to analyse your ongoing grocery spend.
If you do not want to keep physical records simply photograph the receipt and throw it away.
Need more great tips?
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Printables for creating budget meals and weekly menu planning
- Essentials grocery list
- Blank grocery list
- Monthly menu planner
Read more for just $35 a year and access all the time and money saving cheat sheets in the Savings Room!