Ahead of our Instagram live, we asked SORTEDfood to share their smart tips for saving money in the kitchen. To view the live tune into @jasminebirtles on Instagram on Friday 25th February at 12:30 pm. Don’t worry if you can’t make it as it’ll be added to our YouTube channel after the broadcast.
SORTEDfood is a social media based food movement dedicated to making delicious food accessible to everyone. It was founded by four school friends back in 2010 and has grown to be one of the world’s largest online food communities with over 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube. The concept began when after starting university three of the founders realised they couldn’t cook, fortunately, the fourth – Ben Ebbrell, was training to be a chef and helped by sharing recipes with the group, first on the back of beer mats and then via social media. Interest from other friends soon began to grow and the group started uploading videos to YouTube showcasing their cooking exploits. From this, the SORTEDfood community was born, dedicated to the purpose of helping others with practical tools to live their best life through food.
To help home cooks looking for mealtime inspiration on a budget, SORTEDfood recently launched the Meal Packs App, a meal planning tool that takes the stress out of cooking through smartly designed menus of recipes that use common ingredients to save money, time, and reduce food waste.
Ben has shared his top tips with MoneyMagpie for saving money in the kitchen. Ben comments, “Cooking doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are tons of ways you can save money in the kitchen by making just a few small changes. The SORTEDfood Meal Packs app is designed to get you thinking about your cooking routine a little differently and help you cut your costs in the kitchen, without any compromise on flavour or taste. Here are a couple of our top smart tips, straight from the chefs themselves, for saving money and getting the most possible value out of everything you buy!”
- Use your chicken. All of it!
- Make friends with your freezer
- Cook in batches
- Bulk out your meat
- Give other cuts a go
- Make the most of your leftovers
- Cook from scratch
- Know what you’ve got
- Plan your meals
So you’ve roasted your chicken and got a good meal out of it. Time to throw the rest away, right? Wrong! There’s so much you can still use. Pop the chicken scraps in salads, sandwiches and risottos and use the carcass to make stocks and soups. It’ll save you money on future meals and eliminate any unnecessary waste too – win-win!
Fish approaching its expiry date? Bananas on the brown side? If it looks like you’re not going to eat it, chuck it in the freezer instead! Freezing food is a great hack for meal planning too – buy extra and pop your items in individual freezer bags so you can defrost as much as you need when you need it. And remember, you can freeze herbs too!
Batch cooking is such a great way to make the most of your midweek meals. Cook up a big pot of food, then portion the rest up and freeze for future meals. Worried you’ll get bored? Mix up what you serve your meal with – try chilli with rice one day and a jacket potato the next. It’s always handy to have something ready to go in the freezer, and cooking in bulk means you’ll save on ingredients too. Larger bags and packets always work out cheaper by volume.
A top tip for saving money on your meat dishes? Bulk them out with veggies and pulses! Use half the amount of meat and pad it out with beans, lentils or potatoes. You’ll get the same flavour from your meat and be just as full at the end but it’ll cost you much less, and you might even tick off 1 of your 5-a-day too!
It’s always tempting to head for the pricier cuts of meat, especially when you’re in a rush. But you can save money on your meal by simply choosing a different cut and cooking it for a bit longer. Try chicken wings and thighs instead of breast, beef shin instead of brisket and pork belly instead of loin – just remember to adjust the cooking time.
You can nearly always use up leftover bits and bobs and turn them into something tasty. Freeze veggie scraps or chuck ‘em in soups, whack overripe bananas in smoothies and cakes, and use stale bread to make breadcrumbs and pop ‘em in the freezer. Waste not, want not!
It’s no secret that making things from scratch is cheaper than buying pre-made. You can make so many basic items like salad dressings, sauces and marinades yourself to avoid forking out for the shop-bought versions. Intimidated by the idea of cooking from scratch? The Meal Packs app is designed to guide you through trying new things in the kitchen.
Ever come back from your weekly shop armed with bags of onions and potatoes, only to find you’ve already got drawers full of them? Avoid this by checking off what you’ve got on the in-app shopping list before you head out. Want to get super organised? Make a list of everything in the fridge and freezer – that way you’ll never double up on bread or lose things at the back of the freezer.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: smart meal planning is one of the simplest and most effective ways of saving money on food! Not only will your pocket go further, but by planning your meals ahead you’ll avoid unnecessary trips to the shops, save time in the kitchen and cut down on food waste.
The SORTEDfood Meal Packs App is a meal planning tool that takes the stress out of cooking through smartly designed menus of recipes that use common ingredients to save money, time, and reduce food waste. It is just £4.99 per month (the first month is free) and users can expect to save 30% on their shopping bills and cut their food waste. Each week they publish a new set of menus for you to choose from. Once you have chosen your recipes for the week it gives you a shopping list of ingredients to buy (you choose where to buy them so you can shop local, supermarket or online), these are then used multiple times across the dishes so that there is not one bit of waste.
Ready to kickstart your meal planning and start saving money in the kitchen?
Grab your free trial of Meal Packs to make the most of the team’s smart money-saving tools!