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Money saving

How to make food go further for your family

Posted 15 October 2016 by Christine Walsh

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Cut down on trips to the shops and your expenses, by making the food you buy go further.

Food is an expense you just can’t avoid. And if you’ve got a family to feed as well, it can feel like you’re constantly having to buy more food to keep them happy and full. If you’re on a budget and looking for ways to make your food last longer why, not see whether any of these ideas work for you. 

Pool your money and buy food with other family members

Is there someone that you could join forces with for your food shopping? Maybe a parent or family member? You could pool your money together and see whether it goes further that way and whether you can get more meals for your buck. 

Plan to cook big batches of food for everyone that’s pooled their money, so everyone benefits equally. 

 

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Buy certain foods in bulk

If you find yourself able to, you should try and buy certain foods in bulk. It can sometimes work out cheaper if you buy a larger amount but you should always check the packet first. If you a lot of the items that you know you'll need you should find that you always have the food in that you like, and that it lasts you much longer. This way you’ll also save on the cost of going to the supermarket as well. 

If you’re going to buy in bulk go for foods that have a long shelf life, like canned goods, grains, pasta and dried beans. 

Cook and freeze batches of food 

This is definitely one to bear in mind. Plan to cook a big batch of whatever you and your family likes, and portion it away in the freezer. It’s then so easy to just grab a portion out of the freezer when you’re a little too tired to cook, or your family has a particularly busy schedule one day. 

Your trusty freezer will keep everything fresh for you and you’ll feel like you have more time in the evenings as well. If you make good use of your freezer, you should definitely feel like your food lasts you longer. 

Add filling ingredients to favourite dishes

There are certain foods you can add to your favourite dishes to make them more filling and last longer. 

Peas, beans, chickpeas, pasta and potatoes are great ingredients with this in mind. See whether adding them to your cooking makes your other ingredients last longer.  

Use that food at the back of the fridge

Do you end up with food at the back of your fridge or cupboard that never gets eaten? What about those eggs, or the last bit of cream cheese or those tinned tomatoes?

To make sure that you don’t end up wasting a proportion of what you’ve already spent your money on, try to throw together some random dishes from what you find at the back of the fridge. You’ll be able to find some quick and easy recipes here. You’ll probably surprise yourself by what you can create even when you thought you had no food in the house. 

If you’re worried about using food that’s a little old, remember it’s the ‘best before’ date that tells you when it will taste its best, and the ‘use by ‘ date that will tell you when something is ready to be thrown out. 

Get your portion sizes right

It can be pretty frustrating if a substantial amount of whatever you’ve cooked ends up in the bin at the end of the meal. Get to know how much you and the rest of your family can comfortably eat in one sitting, and try not to put more than that on the plate. If you happen to cook a lot of food all in one go, put the rest away in the freezer for next time, rather than feeling like it all has to be dished out. 

Make sauces and smoothies 

If you have fruits and vegetables that are over-ripe but still fine to eat, turn them into smoothies and sauces. You can throw almost any fruits in a smoothie together and it’ll taste great, and over-ripe tomatoes make a great sauce for lots of dishes. 

You may find all it takes is a few tweaks here and there, and your food goes a lot further than you thought it could. For more money–saving tips have a look at the rest of the blog.

 

by Christine Walsh

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