Save Time, Save Money: Cooking tips for Mid-Week Dinners
We live in a hustle and bustle society. Between long work weeks, family and social commitments, and sometimes being strapped for cash, everyone feels the pinch of coming up with healthy and affordable meals during the week. Here are a few time and money saving tips to keep your commitment to healthy cooking/living during the week.
1. Make a plan. The easiest way to save money at the store and prevent stress at the grocery store is to plan your meals for the week, make a list accordingly and stick to the plan.
2. Pick a double duty recipe. Choosing to make a protein like roasted chicken, pulled pork, flank steak, etc. at the beginning of the week allows you to use the leftover meat in other meals. Take that leftover protein to make tacos the next day. You can even roast veggies at the beginning of the week and combine those with any protein on whole wheat pizza dough to make pizza for the family.
3. Buy produce in season. The prices of berries in January will be noticeably higher than when they’re in season in August. You’ll also notice a taste difference. Don’t know what’s in season? Visit a local Farmer’s Market and see what they are selling. Farmer’s Markets Vendors often drastically reduce prices on fresh produce the last 30 minutes of the market which will save you money. Don’t have a farmers market nearby to tell you what’s in season? Google it. Google can be a wealth of knowledge. Also visit our Pinterest page and visit our Mangia! Board for seasonal produce listings and cooking recipes.
4. Shop Smarter. Knowing what you’re purchasing and how much you’re purchasing it for is key. Always look at the price per unit on the tag price of the grocery store. Also buying a non-flavored item (e.g. plain Greek yogurt instead of strawberry Greek yogurt) can save you money. The flavoring a company adds is always more expensive and filled with unwanted calories. Plus you can add your own flavoring with fresh fruit.
5. Cook in Bulk. Set aside a Saturday or Sunday and cook several bulk meal options such as soup, stew, chili, lasagna, pasta sauce etc. All these dishes can be assembled and/or cooked ahead of time and frozen for a later date. If you have a long day or week all you have to do is pull out the meal, thaw, heat up and serve.