Five frugal foodie tips
Times are tough at the moment. It seems like every day a new vegetable doubles in price, so we thought we’d share a few frugal foodie tips that have helped us below.
1. Herbs and spices are your friend.
You can make a simple dish taste completely different by just adding a pinch of ginger or some Italian herbs. While they can often seem like a needless expense, having a few go to herbs in your cupboard can really help meals feel more varied, even if you’re starting out with the same few basic ingredients. Read our guide to five herbs you should have in your pantry.
Look for offers in the supermarket to grab these at a more affordable price or try local markets. Ask your neighbours for swaps too – most people never get through a jar of herbs so I’m sure they’d be happy to trade basil for curry powder or cumin for coriander.
2. Grow your own
(It’s much easier than you think).
The recent lettuce price debacle totally passed me by as I just wander out to my garden and grab what greens I need. It does mean it’s not always lettuce, it might be rocket, spinach or beetroot leaves, but there’s always something there. Fresh herbs are another easy one to get started with and will grow almost anywhere.
To begin with you’ll need a bag of potting mix (This one is an affordable option), a trowel (we started out with this one from Bunnings) and seeds (start from less than $2 a pack). You can grow herbs in most things – I use coffee cups, yoghurt pots and milk cartons among other things. Plant pots are often given away in local Facebook groups or in Hard rubbish and seed swap groups can help you grow your collection quickly. Many plants are perennial so come back year after year, or you can easily collect your seeds to use next season.
There’s also plenty you can grow from scraps. See our growing from veg scraps guide here.
3. Freeze it
Whether it’s that leftover soup you couldn’t manage or that basil you’re growing but just can’t use right now. Chuck it in your freezer.
I usually have a go to Stash of leftover veggies, garlic, celery, onions and various fresh herbs from the garden in one freezer. As well as bread, meat and leftover meals in the other. Yes, I have two because I freeze so much, and I have no regrets about this at all!
Also, did you know it’s cheaper to run a full freezer than an empty one? So get freezing!
4. Eat seasonally
Sometimes the reason that cauliflower costs the earth is because it’s not the right time of year to be eating it. (It also means it probably won’t taste its best either). Get used to knowing what’s in season. These products are usually the most affordable.
Then, take advantage of local markets (we’re huge fans of Dandenong Market) or pop up farmers markets to get your seasonal fruit and veg at much more reasonable prices than the supermarket!
5. Love your leftovers
Food waste is a huge problem. In Australia annually each person wastes on average over 300kg of food.
Wasting less can not only reduce this but can save you a fortune too!
Portion out dinners and pop extra into a Tupperware for tomorrow’s lunch, or into the freezer for a meal at a later date. Our 5 tips to help you reduce food waste is a great place to start.
Also, Check out our leftover veg soup recipe here, and our top pantry supplies to make the most of your leftovers.
If you have any other frugal foodie tips please let us know in the comments!