Affordable cooking shortcuts

Once the cooking is done and the meal is served, cleanup will only require tossing the used foil in the trash. Leftovers are your friend.

To really caramelize the veggies, use two baking sheets and two oven racks. This extra pan will let you roast double the amount of produce you need. Note that crowding them all on one pan will simply steam them.

Skip the extra pot of boiling water by adding torn kale to a pot of grains and cover to steam, or stir broccoli florets into a pot of pasta in the last few minutes of cooking.

Don't put the vegetables in for the entire cooking cycle; add them at the end instead to prevent them from getting soggy. Have masking tape and a marker nearby when storing food. Jot down the name and date of the dish and stick the label to the container.

You can also transfer leftovers directly to lunch containers. The habit of cleaning as you cook makes after-meal cleanup a lot quicker. Wipe down the counter, cutting board, and stove while things cook, and wash tools or load the dishwasher between recipe steps.

Roasting veggies or meat? First, line pans with parchment paper —a nonstick, heat-resistant, reusable standby that puts an end to baked-on bits of brownies or chicken.

To save even more time, use precut sheets. Preserve your ground meat by filling a zippered plastic bag with raw meat, pressing it flat, and sealing it. Score the meat into equal sections by pressing a chopstick over the bag, tic-tac-toe—style, then freeze the grid flat.

The next time you need ground beef, simply break off enough for your recipe. To ensure eggs are okay to cook and eat, place them gently into a bowl of water.

If it floats, toss it. The rind of a block of salty Parmesan cheese is full of flavor: Don't waste it. Throw it into a pot of simmering beans or a brothy soup to add richness.

To create an umami-rich side, finely chop a couple of fillets of anchovies packed in olive oil. Melt in hot olive oil, then sauté with kale or Swiss chard. Miso is a quick way to add umami flavor to any dish. Mix white miso into creamy soup or mashed potatoes. This will add depth of flavor.

You can also puree white miso with herbs and nuts to make a plant-based pesto. Two or more condiments are better than one. For instance, try these flavorful combos:. Always check for the following:. Excess sodium. Look for entree items that have less than milligrams per serving.

Be certain to look at the label and steer clear of overly sweet options. Other unhealthy additions. Frozen vegetables, fish, and chicken are great, but skip those that are topped with sauces or dressings that jack up the calories, sodium, and saturated fat. Look for unseasoned foods, such as plain shrimp or chicken, and then add your own spices for flavor.

Go fish. The seafood section is another place to stop for fuss-free dinner options. Frozen or fresh fish fillets are another fast-cooking option.

Just season the fish with your favorite spices. Consider vegetarian alternatives. Instead of a fast-food burger, try a meatless patty from your freezer case. They only take a few minutes to grill up on a busy night. Putting your burger on a bun? Or put your patty on a whole-wheat pita or on a couple of slices of whole-grain bread.

Another great option is vegetarian "chicken" strips, says McManus. Crack open a can. While nutrition experts generally advise you to avoid shopping in the center of the store, where the processed foods live, there are some healthy options in the canned food aisle. Canned tuna or salmon is a nutritious addition to a hearty dinner salad.

And low-sodium canned beans can be spooned into soup, a salad, or your favorite taco recipe. Taco salads are also easy to make at home. Add black beans, some low-fat Monterey Jack cheese, and chopped tomatoes to a package of mixed salad greens, says McManus. Top it with some seasoning, salsa, and plain Greek yogurt a great substitute for sour cream.

Many grocery stores have fresh options that are lower in sodium than most jarred varieties. Grab some grains. Round out your meals with prepackaged pouches or frozen bags of plain, precooked grains, such as brown rice.

Simply heat and use them to accompany your favorite stir-fry, or add them to your plate as a side dish. Also consider a whole-wheat or bean-based pasta as another undemanding dinner option, says McManus.

For a healthy pasta sauce, cook up some chopped vegetables in a pan with some olive oil and add a can of low-sodium diced tomatoes. Laid-back cooking is easier if you plan ahead and have the right tools.

Here are some strategies for whipping up an easy dinner. Invest in appliances. Indoor countertop grills, slow cookers, and pressure cookers can speed cooking or eliminate some of the work involved. Or toss some ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and it will make dinner for you by the evening.

Work ahead. Making a big batch of soup or chili on the weekend can give you something to heat up and eat all week. To save time, buy pre-chopped vegetables. Also mix up your favorite dressings or homemade sauces in batches so they are ready to go on busy nights.

Augment prepared meals. If you can find a prepackaged meal in the freezer section that is low in sodium and saturated fat, you can use it as a base for an easy dinner when you are in a pinch.

Doing these things yourself could save you money compared with buying packaged equivalents at the supermarket. Fruits and vegies needn't have an uneconomical early grave — you can turn them into baked goods.

Look for specials at the fruit market or supermarket on fruit that is browning or about to turn, and take it home to turn it into cakes or muffins for more affordable lunchbox snacks and treats. Buy discounted produce that's overripe, or choose a day of the week to go through the fridge and use up any veg or fruit that's about to turn.

Vegetables can be sliced to use as a topping on focaccias and pizza doughs. Fruits such as soft berries or browned bananas can be whipped into breads, cakes and muffins.

Save on the price of stock by using cooked chicken, lamb and beef bones to make your own you can always freeze the bones to make the stock at a later time. Fiona says, "This is a must, as good store bought stock isn't cheap.

Pad Thai noodles, abandoned cake mixes and enough cans of chickpeas to survive the apocalypse you never know what you'll find in the far reaches of the cupboard. Embrace the cupboard shop and cook from what you've already got or use it as a base so you know what you have before you go shopping and spend money you don't need to.

Another tip from Fiona is always to have a roster of basic ingredients stocked, depending on what cuisines or dishes you like to eat. For example, if you love curries, stock up on extra coconut milk and spices so you can make one with leftover vegies at a moment's notice.

Skip to content Skip to footer navigation. Top of the content. JavaScript is disabled If possible, please enable JavaScript for an enhanced experience on the CHOICE website. Top tips for cooking on a budget Keep your belly and budget happy with expert cooking tips.

Amira Stevenson-Hynes. Last updated: 20 July Fact-checked. Fact-checked Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Text-only accessible version. Tips for cooking on a budget 1.

We care about accuracy.

4Compare prices 5Buy convenience foods with the most bang for your buck Looking for delicious budget meals? We're here to help. Shop smart, cook clever and waste less with our 12 tips for cooking on the cheap

Affordable cooking shortcuts - 3Take advantage of your freezer 4Compare prices 5Buy convenience foods with the most bang for your buck Looking for delicious budget meals? We're here to help. Shop smart, cook clever and waste less with our 12 tips for cooking on the cheap

Preserve your ground meat by filling a zippered plastic bag with raw meat, pressing it flat, and sealing it. Score the meat into equal sections by pressing a chopstick over the bag, tic-tac-toe—style, then freeze the grid flat. The next time you need ground beef, simply break off enough for your recipe.

To ensure eggs are okay to cook and eat, place them gently into a bowl of water. If it floats, toss it. The rind of a block of salty Parmesan cheese is full of flavor: Don't waste it. Throw it into a pot of simmering beans or a brothy soup to add richness.

To create an umami-rich side, finely chop a couple of fillets of anchovies packed in olive oil. Melt in hot olive oil, then sauté with kale or Swiss chard.

Miso is a quick way to add umami flavor to any dish. Mix white miso into creamy soup or mashed potatoes. This will add depth of flavor. You can also puree white miso with herbs and nuts to make a plant-based pesto.

Two or more condiments are better than one. For instance, try these flavorful combos:. Never underestimate the power of salt and pepper—and be sure to use the good stuff kosher sea salt and cracked black pepper —even when using ready-made sauces or dressings.

Lemon juice adds brightness and acidity to any dish. Be sure to squeeze fresh lemon or lime in sauces, dressings, and on proteins to really wake up the flavor. If you want to perk up some of your standard dishes, the light heat from a jar of Calabrian peppers does the trick.

We love adding a dash to eggs and pasta. Olives add a pungent kick and nice texture to just about any dish. Giardiniera—an Italian relish of pickled vegetables in oil and vinegar—gives vibrant crunch and acidity to grain bowls and salads.

Make some of your own, or pick up a jar near the olives in your local grocery store. Before you drain your pasta, be sure to reserve a cup of the boiled salty water. Then add it back into the pasta with tomato sauce or a mix of other kitchen staples, like a handful of parmesan and a sprinkling of pepper.

Those few pieces of leftover bread you always end up throwing away? Those can be toasted and thrown in to a blender or food processor to create homemade breadcrumbs.

Leftover hot dog or hamburger buns work, too. Use limited data to select advertising. Create profiles for personalised advertising. Be certain to look at the label and steer clear of overly sweet options.

Other unhealthy additions. Frozen vegetables, fish, and chicken are great, but skip those that are topped with sauces or dressings that jack up the calories, sodium, and saturated fat.

Look for unseasoned foods, such as plain shrimp or chicken, and then add your own spices for flavor. Go fish. The seafood section is another place to stop for fuss-free dinner options. Frozen or fresh fish fillets are another fast-cooking option.

Just season the fish with your favorite spices. Consider vegetarian alternatives. Instead of a fast-food burger, try a meatless patty from your freezer case.

They only take a few minutes to grill up on a busy night. Putting your burger on a bun? Or put your patty on a whole-wheat pita or on a couple of slices of whole-grain bread. Another great option is vegetarian "chicken" strips, says McManus.

Crack open a can. While nutrition experts generally advise you to avoid shopping in the center of the store, where the processed foods live, there are some healthy options in the canned food aisle.

Canned tuna or salmon is a nutritious addition to a hearty dinner salad. And low-sodium canned beans can be spooned into soup, a salad, or your favorite taco recipe.

Taco salads are also easy to make at home. Add black beans, some low-fat Monterey Jack cheese, and chopped tomatoes to a package of mixed salad greens, says McManus. Top it with some seasoning, salsa, and plain Greek yogurt a great substitute for sour cream.

Many grocery stores have fresh options that are lower in sodium than most jarred varieties. Grab some grains. Round out your meals with prepackaged pouches or frozen bags of plain, precooked grains, such as brown rice.

Simply heat and use them to accompany your favorite stir-fry, or add them to your plate as a side dish. Also consider a whole-wheat or bean-based pasta as another undemanding dinner option, says McManus. For a healthy pasta sauce, cook up some chopped vegetables in a pan with some olive oil and add a can of low-sodium diced tomatoes.

Laid-back cooking is easier if you plan ahead and have the right tools. Here are some strategies for whipping up an easy dinner. Invest in appliances. Indoor countertop grills, slow cookers, and pressure cookers can speed cooking or eliminate some of the work involved.

Or toss some ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and it will make dinner for you by the evening. Work ahead. Making a big batch of soup or chili on the weekend can give you something to heat up and eat all week. To save time, buy pre-chopped vegetables.

Also mix up your favorite dressings or homemade sauces in batches so they are ready to go on busy nights. Augment prepared meals. If you can find a prepackaged meal in the freezer section that is low in sodium and saturated fat, you can use it as a base for an easy dinner when you are in a pinch.

Very often these meals skimp on vegetables. Add your own to improve the nutritional value, says McManus.

Make your own pizza. Did you know that nearly all the shrimp you buy at the grocery store was once frozen? Why not just have a stash in your own freezer.

Frozen shrimp defrosts quickly and if you buy it peeled and deveined, you cut down prep time significantly. Tip: To defrost frozen shrimp, put them in a large bowl and cover with cold tap water. Stir from time to time to break up any frozen clumps and they should be ready to go within 20 minutes.

Having a few spice blends in your collection is an easy way to dress up your food. A few to consider include Old Bay for shrimp and other seafood dishes, Chinese Five Spice for grilled steak or roasted sweet potatoes , Chili Powder for pinto and black beans, Ras al Hanout for chicken dishes, and Everything Bagel seasoning for scrambled eggs and avocado toast.

Tip: Store spices in airtight containers away from heat and light. They will last longer. Tip: If adding frozen grains to a pot of soup or stew, no need to defrost.

Just add them directly from the package. Cut the tofu into cubes and add it to Asian-style salads, stir-fries, noodle and grain bowls, or enjoy it as a snack. Tip: The experts at Hodo Foods, maker of high-quality tofu, recommend submerging leftovers in water and storing it in the fridge, where it can keep for up to five days.

Use limited data to select advertising. Create profiles for personalised advertising. Use profiles to select personalised advertising. Create profiles to personalise content. Use profiles to select personalised content. Measure advertising performance. Measure content performance.

Understand audiences through statistics or combinations of data from different sources. Develop and improve services. Use limited data to select content.

Affordable cooking shortcuts - 3Take advantage of your freezer 4Compare prices 5Buy convenience foods with the most bang for your buck Looking for delicious budget meals? We're here to help. Shop smart, cook clever and waste less with our 12 tips for cooking on the cheap

Always make more rice than you initially need so you can use it for fried rice the next day. Go to your local Asian markets for the best prices. Then, when I have enough, I add it to fried rice or make a vegetable soup.

It lasts a while. I use it for my Wednesday late work night mashed potato bowl. Instant potato flakes also make a great potato soup. It also helps thicken soups I want creamy but without cream. I waffle mash potato salmon balls, and my prep work is cut in half with a quick add of boiling water to my instant potato flakes.

We cut a lot of our meat dishes with some beans. For example, I use black-eyed peas in my jambalaya. I use sprouted lentils in my BBQ or sesame turkey meatloaf. Throw in some vegetables for extra fun. Put the required amount of water in the rice cooker.

Next, add frozen vegetables and frozen fish, chicken, beans, or sausage, and some additional spices. Add grated cheese or instant potatoes for a creamier soup. I put together 23 meals that only needed to be dumped into a crock pot or instant pot with ingredients I already needed to use.

I make taco soup often with whatever I have. Veggies, any meat or beans, use whatever you have. Bread, rotisserie chicken, even heavy cream. Use silicone muffin tins and freeze them. Fresh berries can become very expensive in Australian winters and often spoil quickly. Try frozen berries instead — they can be kept on hand to add to smoothies, juices and sweet sauces, at a fraction of the price of fresh when berries aren't plentiful.

Frozen corn kernels or tinned creamed corn is an excellent addition to make chicken soup go further, as well. The easiest way to reduce your spend on meat is simply to buy less.

If you're worried about whether or not your family will embrace one or two or more! vegetarian nights a week, start with more substantial, sustaining vegetarian meals that are guaranteed to not only celebrate cheaper seasonal fresh produce but also to fill them up, too.

Try a creamy mushroom pasta, ricotta lasagne layered with eggplant, zucchini and mozzarella, or eggplant schnitzels prepared in the same way you would a chicken schnitzel served with a side of mashed potato or fries.

Buying produce in bulk will generally cost less than buying smaller amounts check unit prices to make sure. So get into batch cooking and make large quantities of a meal.

Eat some now, divvy up leftovers and freeze for later. Make sure nothing goes to waste by storing meals correctly. Fiona says, "You can also preserve, pickle and dehydrate cheap seasonal foods for later.

Chargrill discounted zucchini, eggplant or capsicum, and bottle them in olive oil to be used on sandwiches, salads or a vegie lasagna. The infused oil can then be used for other cooking. Load up on legumes 2. Embrace tinned and frozen veggies 3. Regular meat-free meals 4, Buy in bulk and preserve 5.

Do your own prep 6. Bake with overripe or wilted produce raid the specials bin 7. Make your own stock 8.

Shop from your cupboard first. Do your own prep and make things from scratch Pre-cut meat and vegies are convenient, and for people with mobility issues they can be a necessity.

But if you're able to DIY you can save a lot of money, when you're paying up to five times more for pre-cut vegies. One appliance worth buying is a food processor. Doing these things yourself could save you money compared with buying packaged equivalents at the supermarket.

Fruits and vegies needn't have an uneconomical early grave — you can turn them into baked goods. Look for specials at the fruit market or supermarket on fruit that is browning or about to turn, and take it home to turn it into cakes or muffins for more affordable lunchbox snacks and treats.

Buy discounted produce that's overripe, or choose a day of the week to go through the fridge and use up any veg or fruit that's about to turn. Vegetables can be sliced to use as a topping on focaccias and pizza doughs.

Fruits such as soft berries or browned bananas can be whipped into breads, cakes and muffins. Save on the price of stock by using cooked chicken, lamb and beef bones to make your own you can always freeze the bones to make the stock at a later time.

Fiona says, "This is a must, as good store bought stock isn't cheap. Pad Thai noodles, abandoned cake mixes and enough cans of chickpeas to survive the apocalypse you never know what you'll find in the far reaches of the cupboard.

Embrace the cupboard shop and cook from what you've already got or use it as a base so you know what you have before you go shopping and spend money you don't need to.

10 Ingredient Shortcuts That Every Smart Cook Should Know Tequila-Lime Bargain Food Specials Thighs. Crockpots, in particular, are very affordable and can cpoking large quantities of food cookiny once, Affordable cooking shortcuts makes for great meal prepping. Impulse buys. Loaded with sausage, veggies, and plenty of cheese, this easy weeknight dinner has all of the cheesy, tomato-filled goodness of our favorite take-out pizza, neatly packaged in a 13"-by-9" pan. sounds like torture.

Video

Cooking Tips For Kitchen Beginners - Epicurious 101

Related Post

1 thoughts on “Affordable cooking shortcuts”

Добавить комментарий

Ваш e-mail не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *