The Bank of England recently announced that UK inflation is heading in for a 13% rise this year. This alarming news has surely pressurised many households. And if you’ve been googling frantically on how to feed your family by cooking recipes which cost less without reducing the quality of the final dish then my friend you’ve reached the right place.
I’ve got you- Thou shall not be worried anymore.
HOW TO MAKE A RECIPE COST LESS WITHOUT REDUCING ITS QUALITY
FIRST UP: Mise-en-place
As part of my training to become a chef, our head chef always told us to prep our mise-en-place before going on to the next step while following a recipe. That in my opinion is the very first step in removing any unnecessary costs from a recipe. Read the recipe well before you begin and chop, portion, measure, etc. all your mise-en-place before you actually begin cooking, baking, grilling, roasting, etc. This will also ensure you manage your time well in the kitchen and do not waste resources mindlessly.
Plan and portion a recipe
Having a well-planned and portioned recipe, which includes shopping for low-cost, fresh, seasonal produce without compromising on quality will ensure that your recipe costs less. This also includes avoiding unnecessary ingredients in a particular recipe.
As I always mention in my recipes, if you’ve been following this blog for a while now you’ll know that I always measure the ingredients you’ll need for a particular recipe to make the recipe fool-proof too. For example, I’ll even let you know how many cloves you would need to add to the garlic pulao recipe to give it that added fragrant and aromatic dash.
Time to shop
Shopping from the right place and shopping for the right ingredients will also ensure this. Many food items may be cheaper to buy from the local butcher, fishmonger or even a wholesaler.
Bulk buying and shopping during special offers also bring down the cost of ingredients used without compromising the quality of the final recipe. This is a good hack if you have to feed a huge family.
Reducing food waste
Reducing food waste will also ensure that a recipe is cost-efficient. Storing fresh fruits and veg properly, and using homegrown herbs for garnishes, marinades, sauces, etc. will facilitate this.
Some veg like courgettes need not be peeled. These can be used as-is while making roast veg, courgette fries, courgette spaghetti, courgette lasagne, etc. thus removing cost while retaining the nutrients found under the peel.
Add these goods to your meals
Buying pulses, grains, nuts, seeds, etc. in bulk and using only required amounts for a particular recipe as these have a longer shelf life will make a recipe cost less.
Combine meals with fillers
Have fillers like roasted veg, rice, mashed potatoes, blanched and tossed veggies, some pulses like chickpeas or beans, etc. in recipes to keep the cost low without compromising on quality.
Repurposing, upcycling, and reusing a single ingredient, a single dish, or leftovers into more recipes.
A roast chicken can be eaten as is or used to make a chicken sandwich, while the carcass can be used to make a stock to flavour soups, stews, etc.
Try out the ultimate roasted harissa chicken recipe.
Choose your pick: Fresh and Seasonal
Cooking with seasonal produce can be beneficial as it is fresher, more flavourful, and generally picked at peak ripeness. The price of these foods may rise when not in season.
Shopping from local farmers, independent grocers, and speciality ethnic stores is great for seasonal produce which will also ensure the quality is the best.
Have a little kitchen experiment
Try and use an ingredient to its maximum potential, be creative and make sure flavours marry together. Try and experiment in the kitchen whenever possible.
For example, a can of chickpeas can be used to make hummus, pancakes, thicken stews, a base for brownies, a filler for soups, etc. They are cost-effective yet keep the quality of a dish uplifted.
Think out of the box
Always think out of the box with a recipe or ingredient. Think of how you can work with it to its maximum potential.
Back to basics
Using pantry essentials and cooking with staples and whole foods can help you be cost-efficient in a recipe without compromising on quality. For example: cooking with beans, lentils, seeds, grains, nuts, seasonal produce, etc.
What else would you like to add to this list? Leave a comment and let us know.
Hopefully, this post helps you and teaches you how to make a recipe cost less without reducing its quality. This will help you feed your family through the rising inflation.
If you ever try any of our food recipes from this blog then you can DM me on Instagram or even share your recipe pictures with us using the hashtag #trulysoulfullyeats and tagging us.
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See you soon xx