This is a short one with just a couple of tips on how to save your food budget a bit, eating frugally and make the food you have stretch further. I’ve included my stocktaking template for you to download and print off as many times as you like.
- Treat your larder like a stationery cupboard, do regular stocktakes. Try and keep a written record of what you have and what you don’t have so that you know what you can afford not to buy. You can download and print off my stocktake template by clicking Wholesome Ireland Stocktake.
- Make your larder fun for the kids. 1 day a week let them choose 3 savoury items from the cupboard and cook a meal with them. They’re more likely to eat it then!
- If you grow your own food invest or acquire a chest freezer. Once your vegetables are in season and you have a glut spend a day blanching and bagging them. Freeze once cool and they will last for months. They are also very handy when you need a meal in a hurry because they don’t need to be cooked, just reheated. On chest freezers you can often pick them up for free on the likes of jumbletown or dublinwaste.
- When peeling spuds, peel twice as many as you need. Boil double the quantity in the pot. Mash the half you don’t need immediately, scoop into a washed takeaway tray and freeze once cool.
- You would be surprised how little protein you need on a daily basis to stay healthy. 2 chicken breasts for dinner should spread to 3 adults or 2 adults & 2 children. You can make them stretch by making your own homemade goujons, risotto etc – anything that requires you to cut the meat into chunks.
- Likewise for cereals. Modern cereal bowls are massive. Weigh your cereal out into the RDA size in the mornings. You will make your cereals last longer, and you won’t be eating loads of hidden calories by mistake.
Finally another tip on portion size. The Irish psyche that has been drummed into us is “clear your plate” and there’s “starving children in (insert 3rd world country here)” etc. I don’t know any child of the 70’s or 80’s who isn’t familiar with these phrases. There’s nothing wrong with clearing your plate if your portion size is right. The problem is that most dinner plates are too big. If you fill a dinner plate with food then you are more than likely eating far too many calories, but you’re also wasting food because you are plating food that could be used at another meal. Consider dining from a Tea Plate instead!
Here is a picture of a typical 26.5cm diameter Dinner Plate made by a well known manufacturer:
And here is a typical 20.5cm diameter Tea Plate:
The Tea Plate fits inside the dinner plate