I have a bit of a reputation of being a food snob, and its fully deserved! However, part of living a normal life is that as much as I would love to make everything from scratch, it’s just not possible. Having said that, modern supermarkets have an absolute plethora of cost and time-saving foods that I didn’t know about until I got over myself!
The first, and my personal favorite is frozen veggies. I’m not just talking about sweetcorn, peas and carrots. My best find has been frozen chopped onions, chopped peppers, chopped garlic, chopped garlic, and chopped chillis. Look, I know it only takes a minute to chop up an onion, but it takes me 5 seconds to open a bag and throw a handful of chopped onions into the pot!
This also works really well with my attempts to cut our food waste. I cannot tell you how many celery stalks have gone onto the food waste because I buy them and then they die a soggy death at the bottom of the fridge. Now I buy celery either already frozen, or buy it fresh, cut it into slices and throw it into Ziploc and in the freezer. When a recipe calls for celery I take out as much as I need. I only buy fresh onions if they are required raw for a salad or sandwich, I buy prechopped and frozen onions for any that I need for a cooked dish.
My next lifesaver is my freezer, I am saving up to buy a tall freezer for the shed, but at the moment I am utilising my fridge freezer to its full potential. I found this post here about freezing sandwiches and lunches and it’s become my go-to for making life easy
As an example, I found bagels at Aldi the other day that were half price as they were getting close to the best before date. For £ 0.35 I got 5 bagels, and the cold meats cost £ 1,35 for a packet, of which I used less than half, and these I did with salad cream (don’t judge me Liya loves salad cream!), and a few with grated cheese added as well. So each sandwich ended up costing around £ 0.32. I wrapped them in cling film and threw them in the freezer. Liya just takes out a sandwich in the morning, pops it into her lunch box, grabs a piece of frozen banana bread and a piece of fruit, a packet of crisps, and that’s lunch sorted.
When we cook we try to double up when we can and freeze at least one meal for later. We did this last night with a sausage ragu,& its now patiently waiting in the freezer for its turn on the menu plan.
Which neatly brings me to menu plans. If you google Menu plans you will find millions of ideas and templates for how to do it, and it’s because they WORK! It can seem a bit daunting to do a menu plan, but I am planning a post with some suggestions that may work for you!