I’m afraid these are by no means Pinterest worthy, they’re not glamorous at all, but they are practical, real life tips that work for me and my family. Some of these may seem pretty obvious, I find some of the more obvious ones I forget until I’m reminded of them so here goes, I hope you find them useful.
More Bang For Ya Buck
We’re talking about chicken. If you’re on a budget or just want more value for money than buying whole chickens is much more cost effective. You can get 3 chicken breasts at the supermarket near to me weighing in at 540g for £3.15 OR you can bag yourself a small whole chicken weighing in at 1.8kg for £2.19.
I find you get so much more chicken from a whole bird than just the chicken breasts, I can easily get 3-4 meals out of it as well as all of us nibbling away at it through the week. It’s also one of those products that gets whacked into the oven and forgotten about until the timer go off so no standing over a spitting hot pan, no need to prep it either and you have half your dinner/lunches made for the rest of the week. Winner!
Don’t underestimate the power of a microwave, it’s one of the best inventions. You can cook practically anything in a microwave. (I make a very sinful chocolate mug cake, so good)!
Before Dylan I barely touched it the microwave however since having Dylan it has become my lifeline! I use it to steam his veggies making them higher in nutrients, in fact I make most of Dylan’s meals using it. Dylan loves my sweet potato ‘floppy’ fries! It sounds horrendous but I can assure you it’s just cooked sweet potato, tiny bit of olive oil then spun in the microwave for a few minutes, he loves them!
It’s a fab time saver, for those days where time runs away with you until your little one starts screaming the house down and you realise it was lunch time an hour ago! We’ve all been there! And not forgetting heating any batch cooking from the freezer which leads me onto my next couple of tips.
Self-explanatory really and you may have heard other people saying the same thing so this should be nothing new to you and no need for me to harp on about it for too long.
It’s the ‘key’ as it were to a less stressful week. If you can dedicate just one day to plan your meals, get the supplies needed and prep even just parts of your meals for the week in advance I can promise you you’ll feel like a new woman! It honestly is one days pain for a weeks worth of gain here. For example, I have laminated a print out of a simple table and have it tacked to the cupboard door. Everyone knows what they are getting for dinner each week and most of it is batch cooked, it saves me so much more time to spend on other things.
It doesn’t need to be fancy or pretty, just practical. Meals are set out for the week and we try to be as healthy as possible!
It can also save you money if you stick to the list! I try and order online with the option to ‘collect’ depending on which place I shop at and if they offer that service rather than going into the supermarket because I have the breaking strain of a KitKat and I will come out with a giant ugly garden gnome and yoga mat (you know the place)!
Feeding An Army
Leading on from planning is batch cooking. Make this your forever friend! Linked in with planning if you can organise a hardcore batch cooking session (and enough room in your freezer) you can whip up a months’ worth of meals in one day. Old classics like Cottage Pie, Lasagne, curries, Stroganoff, Stir-fry prep, pasta bakes are all fab batch cook meals. Morning smoothie bags are also great for when you’re in a hurry to get out the door! In short, it will save you bags of time and for those nights where you just don’t want to think about cooking you’ll be so thankful you did it.
I lived off of my batch cooked meals from the freezer in the early months when Dylan was born, I would have starved myself if I hadn’t, I had no time to think about myself with a new born and I’m glad I did, it’s definitely changed my mindset to do this more often. Stick on some of your favourite music and get cooking like your feeding an army!
Get To Know The Shop Like It’s Your Home
You may or may not have thought about this one but getting to know your supermarket lay out is a money saving must. You can quite often find the same products but for a lot less in the world food aisles and they know this which is why they will ‘hide’ products from your natural eye line. My biggest bugbear is coconut oils! You can find it in one particular supermarket with all the other types of oils at an eye watering price of £4.99 for a 250ml jar stating it’s ‘cooking’ coconut oil. In the same supermarket you can hunt down the same product apart from not stating it’s for cooking (just bear with me) in the world food aisle at a price of £2.00 for a 500ml jar, its a no brainer but they will put this product out of your sight, so you have to work to find it. Not only that, coconut oil is coconut oil don’t be fooled into thinking if it doesn’t state ‘cooking’ on the label you can’t use it for that very purpose it’s all the same stuff!
So there you have it, 5 tips that help our family to save a little money and a lot of time! I hope you find these tips useful and they help you save a little of both, let me know in the comments what money and time saving tips work for you, I love learning new ways to help save a little more cash or a few extra minutes and if you would like me to do more I would also love to share some of our other family tips with you.