Planning and prepping meals can be tedious and time-consuming, but with a few simple cooking hacks, you can save both time and money in the kitchen. Here are some of them:
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Utilize the power of your freezer by freezing ingredients
Preparing meals doesn’t have to be a complex, time-consuming process. An excellent way to save both time and money is to take advantage of your freezer. When ingredients you know you will use in future meals go on sale, stock up and put them in the freezer. This allows you to reduce waste by only taking out what you will need for the meal and provides added budget savings.
Any perishable items that may need cooking such as meats can easily be defrosted if properly packaged and labeled with their contents and use-by dates. You’ll save valuable time planning meals when you already have many of the ingredients on hand and ready to use, talk about a winning combination!
Choose an unprocessed base ingredient to cook around
A useful cooking hack to make things easier is to always have a healthy, unprocessed base ingredient on hand. Lentils, whole grain rice, and beans are all good options—they’re versatile and much healthier than the pre-packaged box dinners you’d find at the store. Best of all, they provide a tasty base for an endless array of dishes. With just a few simple ingredients added in, these basic bases can be transformed into delicious meals like veggie stir-fries, hearty soups, or nutritious salads.
And if dinner isn’t quite ready before time runs out, simply freeze the prepared foods for later use. Making your own meals at home gives you complete control over what goes into your food so that you can stay within your budget and enjoy healthier eating habits for years to come.
Plan your meals for the week and make a grocery list accordingly
Planning meals for the week and creating a grocery list accordingly is an easy cooking hack that can save you time and money. The key to success with this hack is taking some time out of the weekend to plan out your menu and review what ingredients you already have at home. This way, when you head to the store troubles of forgetting items or overbuying will cease to exist – both of which cause circumstances in which time and money are wasted.
Furthermore, knowing what groceries you need ahead of time will help you stay within budget, as well as shop more efficiently. With this cooking hack, meal times throughout the week become much less stressful!
Consider using one-pot recipes
One-pot recipes like stir-fries and chili are an easy way to save time and money. These meals are typically made with ingredients you have on hand, reducing the amount of time spent shopping for groceries and increasing the odds items don’t spoil before you can use them. Additionally, these one-pot meals limit the number of pots and pans required for a meal, cutting down not only on dishware usage but also the amount of time it takes to clean up afterward. A one-pot recipe is a great hack that can make cooking easier and more cost-effective.
Invest in a solar cooker to maximize convenience
Investing in solar panels has been known to be both a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution to your energy woes; but did you know that solar panels can also be used to simplify mealtime? Solar cookers are an easy and affordable way to save time and money. This solar convenience maximizes efficiency as solar cookers create thermal energy directly from solar radiation, bypassing the need for fuel or electricity.
Solar cookers enable you to prepare meals with ease no matter where you are; whether it’s a day at the beach, camping, or simply an outdoor family gathering. Saving time, money, and the environment— solar cookers make cooking delicious meals effortlessly convenient!
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Look up seasonal produce before going shopping
Embracing seasonal produce when cooking meals is a great way to save time and money while still enjoying delicious dishes. Depending on the season, certain fruits and vegetables may be in higher supply with decreased prices, giving you greater access to fresher ingredients without being overcharged.
This also ensures that your meals have more variety since you can combine multiple seasonal ingredients with flavorful staple items to craft something special. For best results, look up what seasonal produce is readily available before you hit the store so you can take full advantage of the savings.
With these tips in mind, budgeting meals can not only become efficient but enjoyable!