If you want to save money around the house, you don’t have to make huge changes to your life to make a difference. Just do a few things a little differently and you’ll soon see the savings adding up! Here are some top tips on how to save money every month on groceries.
- Don’t waste left-over food that’s stored in the fridge. Use fridge magnets to hold a large piece of paper on the door of your fridge. List the item, the date you put it in there and (in red) the date you need to use it up.
- Grow your own free herbs. When you buy a basil or mint plant from the supermarket, snip off the biggest stems (you need them to be about 3″ long) – put them in a glass of water until they grow roots. Put the rooted stems in a small pot of compost and watch them grow. When they are big enough to use, do the same again.
- Don’t throw away stale bread – use it to make a delicious bread pudding with: 225g (8oz) bread, torn into bits, 275ml (1/2 pt) milk, 175g (6oz) dried fruit, 75g (3oz) margarine, 25g (1oz) Demerara sugar, 1 level teaspoon mixed spice, a little grated nutmeg, 1 egg, tablespoon of brandy (optional!), a squeeze of lemon or orange juice. Pour the milk over bread and soak for 30 minutes, add the remaining ingredients and mix together well. Spread the mixture evenly in a flat dish, about 7 inches (18cm) diameter. Cook at 350F (gas mark 4/180C/fan oven 155C) for 100-120 minutes.
- Revive a limp lettuce by putting it in a bowl of cold water with half a lemon and popping it in the fridge for an hour.
- Take the bones, Parsons nose and unwanted scraps of a chicken, add half an onion and half a pint of water and create a superb home-made stock.
- Make your own breakfast bars rather than buying shop bought ones. Mix 2 cups old fashioned oats, 3/4 cup brown sugar, one cup flour and half a cup of olive and an egg. Add vanilla extract, raisins, whatever you want, press into a 13″ by 9″ shallow tin, then bake at 180 for about 20-30 mins until golden brown. That makes about 20 bars for a fraction of the cost of shop bought bars and you can adjust the recipe to your own tastes or to make a lower calorie version.
- Add oats to your minced beef to make your meat go further. The oats soak up all the juices and flavourings, so it’s tasty too.
- If you have over-ripe bananas, put them in the freezer. You can defrost them later and use in banana gingerbread, banana bread or Fiji Tart. (Place a layer of bananas onto the bottom of a pre-baked pastry case, cover with fresh breadcrumbs from stale bread, and dribble well with golden syrup. Bake at 180 degrees C for 20-25 minutes.) Another way of using them is to peel the bananas and wrap them in clingfilm before putting them in the freezer. You can eat them straight from the freezer as a banana ice-lolly. A great way to get children to eat fruit!
- If you have cooked too many vegetables, put them in a plastic bag in the freezer instead of throwing them away. Keep adding to it until there is enough for bubble and squeak.Before you make a trip to the shops, think carefully if you could wait one more day or could you leave it until tomorrow. You may find that you can make food last longer than you expected. This is one of the great tips on how to save money every month on groceries.