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Did you catch part 1 of my thrifty kitchen tips? No- get over there now!
Hopefully you found part 1 useful; we covered everything from coffee syrup to cheap cuts. Today’s tips are once again my own and some great contributions from my merry band of thrifty bloggers. So enough chit chat, let’s get to
Flatiron for a steak fix
I really enjoy a good ribeye steak. As we’ve cut back on red meat it is a great treat when we eat out. Occasionally we do still cook steak at home and flatiron has been a revelation for a mid-week steak fix. I can buy a piece of flatiron to feed us both handsomely for about £5-6 – two ribeyes from my favourite butchers is upwards of £15. So we have the ribeye as a real treat and the flatiron for less indulgent days.
The key with flatiron is to cook it very quickly on a very hot griddle. It will be tender and juicy- ideal for a cheeky steak sarnie.
Dried peas for baking beans
Making your own tarts, quiches etc not only tastes better than shop bought but pastry is cheap to make as well. But before you run out to buy all of the equipment, stop! Ceramic baking beans cost a few quid, but you don’t need them. A few years back, I bought a box of Leo Dried Peas for less than 30p (they are about 45p now) and I am still using them now. Use them exactly as you do baking beans.
Vohn at vohnsvittles.com wisely suggests that a decent stock lifts even the thriftiest meal. You can pick up bones cheaply, or even free from butchers, farms and markets and she cheekily adds: ‘call your stock bone broth and you are bang on trend to boot!’
I can recommend Essential Cuisine’s range if you can get your hands on them. They aren’t cheap but you don’t need a lot and are full of flavour so are quite good value in the long run.
Dark chocolate for milk
If you reach for the choccies after a hard day at work, it can be an expensive, not to mention unhealthy, habit. I hold my hands up- I’m not a chocolate snob and I turn to the Maltesers regularly at work. But honestly, I can eat two pieces of good dark chocolate and feel sated. Green and Blacks is great, and Hotel Chocolat is my heaven but expensive, so I also indulge in Lidl’s own 70% which is a quality bar of chocolate for little over a quid.
Get your oats
I’ve just looked at the Morrison’s online shop. Those Oat So Simple tubs that I see people tucking into in the office, work out at up to £2.05 per 100g. For oats!
Morrisons own brand oats on the other hand are just 11.5p per 100g. I don’t go for the convenience of those pots and sachets. I don’t have a microwave and I can whip up porridge in less than 5 mins. Porridge, milk, stir, bring to boil. By the time I’ve fed the cats it’s ready. If you take brekkie to work, put your oats and milk in Tupperware and heat when you get the office. It is barely slower than the instant guff and you’ll be so much better off.
I’ve never been into bulk buying but Off Beat Emily and Sabina over at Fashernably Late both suggest bulk buying your basics like rice and pasta saves in the long term as you can store them. Maybe I should get a Costco card!
A wise lady, otherwise know as Andrea at All You Need Is Love and Cake, has some simple advice. Go thrifty a couple of times a week, pasta, jackets, and use the money you save to splash on a treat you really want- maybe a big juicy steak.
Love your leftovers!
Cut it out!
The UK might not have been struck by coupon fever in the way America has, but some of us do use those money off vouchers that are in magazines and drop through the door. Jennifer writes My Mummies Pennies so knows about saving cash! She says keep them in an envelope by the door and take it with you to the shops.
I’ve surprised myself writing all this down, just how much I already do to watch the pennies in the kitchen. But it never feels like I am buying bad quality items or depriving us of what we want. It just takes getting into some good habits and not being drawn in by silly offers like BOGOFs.
I’d love to hear from you! You can leave your own tips and thrifty kitchen habits in the comments.
Happy cooking! xxx