10 ways to bulk out your meals on a budget – The Money Pages

in Household Bills, Useful guides October 13, 2022 0
You can save money on your food without compromising on flavour or healthiness by choosing the right ingredients and shopping more mindfully. Here are 10 tips to get you started…
Creating healthy meals when the price of food keeps rising is no easy feat.
Proteins and fresh organic veggies, which are essential for our health, wellbeing and strength, tend to be more expensive and harder to source. Even the holy grail of budget food – pasta – has soared in price recently.
As such, often, it’s easier, quicker and cheaper to buy less healthy alternatives.
But eating well needn’t be a financial strain. By combining cheaper but protein- and fibre-rich ingredients into your meal plan with some smart cooking techniques you can feed yourself, and the rest of your household, with hearty meals which will see you through winter.
We took some tips from online healthy food retailer, MuscleFood, on how to cut the costs of eating well.
Tom Bennet, head of NPD for MuscleFood said: “We wanted to offer people some simple tips on how to cook up some delicious meals without having to splash the cash on ingredients.
“With the cost-of-living crisis deepening, many shoppers are anxious about rising food prices and the impact it has on which meals they can make while on a budget.
“We’ve found simple ways to bulk up weekly meals on a dime, from batching cooking on a Sunday evening to following one pan recipes to feed a group of four.”
Get on top of the food shops early by creating a list of everything you need and planning where you’ll be getting the ingredients from.
It will not only help to prevent overspending on unnecessary products, but it can help decide which meals can be frozen early to use later in the month.
Select a different meat every week to save on wasting multiple pricier meats in a few servings.
Once used, freeze the leftovers and defrost it throughout the week to include in a packed lunch or to use in pre-planned meals which will spare an extra fiver on the food shop.
To cut an extra £30 off the weekly food shop, spend Sunday evening batch cooking and freezing ahead of the week, to make meals worth £1 per portion.
Big batches of chicken pasta bake and spaghetti bolognese are highly recommended to start out with.
Have a look at buying big bags of lentils, pulses and chickpeas to include within meals throughout the week to bulk up delicious, healthy meals. This will make the meal more filling and the more plants you can add to your plate, the better.
If you want to stretch your cash even further, put the leftover meats and veggies into sandwiches for the next day to prevent the temptation of buying a meal deal.
You’ll find you don’t need a lot of filling to bulk up your sandwich so this should last you a couple of days.
To cook for four people on a budget, explore one-pan recipe ideas which can be used twice or more in the week.
Make sure to use the golden trio rule when planning the meal – carb, protein and veggies, to help bulk up your meals without using all the items out of the fridge.
Opt for the large bags of dried pasta and make sure to cook extra to use as lunch for the next day or a late afternoon sack.
Not only will it save throwing out the leftovers, but it’ll cut back on buying a whole list of ingredients for another meal.
Beans, such as haricot, black beans or kidney beans, will bulk up your meal in no time and you can add them to pretty much any tomato dish like chilli and bolognese.
If you’re looking to bulk up something like a pasta dish, then consider cutting up meats like chicken and sausages before throwing them in. You won’t need to use much for the meal to look fuller.
Adding eggs is a cheap way to bulk up weekly meals and makes it even easier to make a meal more delicious.
You can opt for sunny side up or go for the healthier alternative with boiled eggs which works great with salads for lunch.
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