Hints & Tips

Cheddar getting a bit past it's best? Don't bin it! Grate it, put it in a freezer bag & keep it in the freezer. Use it in mash for a cheesy treat & no need to defrost!!

 

 

Keep a list of everything in your freezer & check it before you go shopping. Do the same for the fridge & stick the list to the front with a fridge magnet!

Using your fridge/freezer contents list, make a menu plan once a week. If you've got your storecupboard essentials you should be able to avoid any extra trips to the supermarket!

 

 

 

 

Save freezer space by using bags instead of plastic containers. Also, don't forget to label things carefully to avoid having to play "Guess the food"!

 

 

 

 

 

As well as your shopping list, take a friend when you shop! Take advantage of 2 for 1 offers & Multi-buys & share the cost. Use one car & save on petrol too!

 

Line the salad draw in your fridge with a tea-towel, it will absorb moisture & stop that nasty slime building up!

 

Do you have a breadmaker gathering dust in the cupboard?Get it out & use it! Shop bought bread costs £1.20-£1.30, but making it yourself costs 55-65p! Come on use your "loaf" & save yourself a "bun"dle! (sorry I couldn't resist!)

Tomatoes getting a bit squashy? Just slice them & freeze them, first on a tray then in freezer bags. Use them when needed in stews, soups & sauces.

Bulk out meals with potatoes, chickpeas & other pulses that you an keep in your storecupboard.

 

If you do your food shopping online try www.mysupermarket.com
They compare all the major supermarkets so you can see who has the best deals & offers!

 

Check your fridge about once a week for food going out of date. Use these foods first to avoid waste.

Try using your local butcher & you may well find them cheaper then the supermarket! Also he will be able to advise you on what cuts of meat to buy for your budget. You will be helping a local business too!

Did you know how good pulses are for you? They are low in fat & a great source of protein, fibre, vitamins & minerals. Keep a few tins in your storecupboard-lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas for example & add to stews or soups. 3 heaped tablespoons counts as one of your 5-a-day too!

 

Love Bacon? Yep-me too! But what can we do with those lonely couple of rashers at the bottom of the fridge? Fry until nice & crispy, cool then break into small pieces, place in a freezer bag & pop in the freezer. Defrost a handful for a crunchy salad topping or stir into soup!

 

For bargain fruit & veg head to your local greengrocers or market stall later in the day when stocks will be reduced in price. Use squishier fruit & veg for smoothies soups or sauces!

 

Everyday your local supermarket reduces the price of goods at their sell-by date by up to 75%. Find out what time of day they do this & buy either what you can use straight away or what can be frozen.

Need breadcrumbs? Buy discounted bread that's going out of date & whizz in a food processor or mini chopper. Freeze in bags & use straight from the freezer!

 

For a clever cold addition to drinks freeze slices of lemon or lime on a tray then place into freezer bags & use as & when needed!

 

Don't waste precious pennies on bottled water! You can buy water filter jugs for as little as £6 (a 2 litre jug from Wilkinson's). Save empty plastic squash bottles, fill them with your lovely filtered water & chill-frugal refreshment!

Visit car boot sales at this time of year for bargain veg! People who grow their own often sell their surplus crops very cheap!

 

Grow your own herbs! Green fingers not needed, you can buy herb growing kits from about £5. All they need is a windowsill, water & a bit of love!

Use frozen grated cheese for a quick cheese on toast or in an omelette. Freeze crumbled Stilton to use in soups.

 

Do you find that there is always left over pasta in the packet but never enough for a whole meal? Break it into smallish pieces & keep in an airtight container to use in soups!

 

If (by some miracle!) you have a few drops of wine left over, pour it into ice cube trays & freeze. A nice quick addition to soups, stocks or sauces & will save you from opening a new bottle (which you will then have to sample-shame!)

 

 

Freeze whole lemons or limes & grate into pasta or puds for instant zesty goodness!

Check eggs for freshness by placing in a bowl of water. If they sink they're in the pink, if they float they've missed the boat! (Ok poetry is not my thing, I'll just stick to cooking!)

 

When washing your hands after chopping onions or garlic, rub them with a metal spoon & they will soon be smelling sweet again-try it, it really does work!

 

Lettuce gone a bit limp? Place in a bowl of cold water with some lemon juice & ta-dah! Nice crispy lettuce again!

Bananas going brown? Peel & freeze to use later in smoothies or cakes!

 

 

Bought a bag of chillies but only need one? Freeze the rest to use another day, just defrost under a hot tap!

To make lemons & limes easier to squeeze, roll them on a work surface first.

 

Peel onions in a bowl of water-no more tears!

 

For fresh fruit & veg try using your local greengrocer! You should find them cheaper than the supermarket & produce is usually locally grown. Also you can buy just what you need rather than a pre-packed bag full, saving you money & cutting down on waste!

 

Store fruit in the fridge to extend it's life. Except bananas & pineapples (because they don't like getting chilly!)

 

 

 

 

Cheese wrapped in foil will stay fresh for longer & prevent mould.

Fridge a bit pongy? Take half a lemon, scoop out the flesh, fill with table salt & place in the egg tray of the fridge (or use a small cup or egg cup) & any nasty whiffs should be eliminated!

 

Don't waste money on descaler for your kettle. Plain white vinegar works a treat! Fill the kettle with water first & boil, then empty & pour in the vinegar. Leave for an hour, empty, rinse & boil a couple of times. Your kettle will look as good as new!

 

Don't be afraid of buying a stores "own brand"! They are usually just as good as well known brands but a fraction of the price!

 

 

 

Bulk buy items that you use regularly, especially if they are in multibuy offers or BOGOFs.

Get into the habit of re-using your carrier bags, especially as supermarkets will soon be charging you for them! You could even invest in some fold-up re-usable bags, most of the supermarkets sell them!

 

Ok, I know this is probably a no-brainer but here it is anyway!
When making pasta bakes, pies or soups etc, make double & freeze half for a day when you know you'll be short of time!