To well and truly become a money saving master, you need to find all angles of your budget to attack.
For me, the last place I ever want to attack is my food. I hate reading financial bloggers who tell you to eat baked beans every night so you can pay your mortgage off in 15 years instead of 30. Not practical and almost laughable (sorry to all of my readers who might have seen me give that tip many moons ago, I admit my mistake now!).
Here are three quick and easy meals that will slice some cash out of your food budget. They cost very little, often provide leftovers and tend to be a big hit in most families (my family at least!).
Good old spaghetti bolognaise
Mince is cheap. It always has been. You can source the cheapest possible mince or even go for the heart smart stuff- either way; it’s far cheaper than most other meat purchases.
The trick here is to compare your local supermarkets along with your multiple local butchers – this will help you get the best possible price.
In the past I would recommend making the bolognaise source from scratch, however these days there are far tastier and far cheaper alternatives,such as readymade sauces in the form of supermarket brands. Buy these in bulk and I am finding the cost per serving of four is under $2.
Combine this with home brand pasta and voila, you have a meal that is seriously cheap.
Curries to hide your lacklustre produce
Curries were originally utilised as a great way to mask meat and vegetables that were, how do you say it, ahem, slightly past their used by date.
Curries in turn are a great way to chop up just about every conceivable vegetable in your fridge that is nearing its shelf life, combining with some cheap beef or chicken (choose slightly cheaper cuts, the slow cooking will make even the worst meat taste great) and some pre-made curry mix from one of your local supermarkets and ‘boom’; you have a cheap curry that tastes great.
Stir-fry’s that never end
Vegies, chicken and pre-made bottled Asian sauces. That is essentially what a stir fry is. For me, I like to load up the dish with more vegies than meat and create enough stir fry to get me not only a dinner, but a few days worth of lunches. Try and buy up any cheap vegetables from your local supermarket late at night (cheapest time of day for vegies is past 9pm at all night supermarkets).
A great money saver for those looking to eat healthy, avoid extra time in the kitchen and feed a family for next to nothing.
The point here is not to give you a step by step guide to recipes or how to make the above meals (heaven forbid my mum ever finds out I am giving any kind of culinary advice) – all I am saying is that these staples consistently help me clear my fridge, avoid wastage and feed the family on substantially less than I anticipated possible.
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Alex Wilson is the founder and editor of Savings Guide, Australia’s number one saving money website. For regular money saving tips, visit Savings Guide or follow Savings Guide on Facebook.