Everyone is looking for ways to trim down their spending these days, and one way to go is to look at your grocery bill. Just because you are budgeting doesn’t mean you have to loose out on good nutrition. Forget the new super foods, you will pay an arm and a leg for them instead look to how our ancestors ate, and not that long ago either!
During World War 2 people had restricted diets, especially here in the UK, things like butter, sugar and eggs were rationed. People grew their own vegetables. Now in times like that you would think that the children who grew up on such a restricted diet would be sickly and badly nourished. But the reverse is true. War time children grew strong and healthy, they lived longer, got fewer health complaints in later life, and instead it is THEIR children who are developing diabetes and heart conditions. That really is something to think about when planning your family meals.
Family meal ideas
Family meals should contain less meat than vegetables, and if the vegetables come from your own garden, so much the better, and the vitamins have had less time to degrade than in shop bought produce. Bulk up with good carbohydrates like potatoes, (not doughnuts!) they are filling and give you energy, despite the bad press they have had! Try some cheap recipes like Shepherd’s Pie, Casserole, and pasta. You can even make your own pasta, and you don’t need a machine to do it! Just don’t forget to have salad with it.
Cheap lunch ideas
Lunch is normally a rushed affair, so a quick and easy fix is the ideal here. Jacket potatoes with various fillings, omelettes, salads and toasted sandwiches are the way to go here.
Cheap cooking methods
For me the cheapest cooking method has to be the Slow Cooker, or Crockpot. You can put your ingredients in it in the morning, turn it on, and leaving it cooking all day. You come home to a nutritious meal, ready to be served, all for the price of burning a light bulb. It costs more than that to boil a pan of potatoes for heavens sake!
If you can’t for some reason use a Crockpot, the next cheapest method of cooking is the one pot steamer, the same cost as boiling a pot of potatoes!
Hob cooking is next in line on the costs table. Always remember to use lids wherever possible, it reduces the time the pot takes to boil, and turn the pot off five minutes before the end of cooking, the ingredients will carry on cooking themselves until done!
The grill is next, or griddle (I think the Americans call it). The shame with this is; it is rare to find a meal you can cook all on the grill, often you have to have the hob cooking too.
The oven is the gas guzzler of the cooking world, and if you can avoid using it, do so. If you can’t avoid using it, try batch cooking. Start with the item that needs the highest temperature, and work your way down until the oven goes off. Try to fill each shelf while cooking. Make the most of the energy you are using.