Foodie Fridays

Foodie Fridays is a weekly meme hosted by Diary of a Domestic Goddess.

The aim is to share a recipe or a favourite food each week so that everyone else can try it.

If you take part, please leave a link in the comments!

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This week I have no recipe or favourite food to share with you. Instead I thought I’d share some tips that I wish I’d been taught in Home Economics when I was at school, something that is becoming more important in many homes while we’re in the grip of economic depression – how to make food go further.

1. Check Out the Cheap Stuff
Many of the supermarket own brands, and even their super-cheap versions, are made in the same places and by the same people with almost identical ingredients to name brands. When it comes to basics like pasta, you may be better off buying from the basics range. And if they don’t taste quite as rich as the bigger brands, they can be made to do so with minimal adjustments to recipes, such as adding a little tomato paste, herbs and spices to a basics range pasta sauce.

And don’t be afraid to check out the food that’s nearing expiration date. If you can use it (or freeze it and use it) within the expiration date, then you may be able to pick up premium range items at knock-down prices.

2. Divvy Up
As soon as you get your groceries home, divide all your perishables into individual portions and freeze them! I mean it – as soon as you get in! This way you will only ever need to cook exactly what is required and will have far less waste. Just take out what you need the night before and let it defrost overnight on the bottom shelf of your fridge. Come dinner time the next day, your food will be ready to cook.

3. Make Lists and Rotate
Regularly check the expiration dates on everything in your cupboards and move those nearing the end to the front for soonest use. Do this every week the day before you do your grocery shopping and you will always know what you have and what you need. You can now plan your menus for the coming week and only buy what is required.

4. Cook in Bulk and Freeze Portions
Whenever you’re cooking a big meal, cook one or two extra portions and freeze them for future use. Get yourself some of those tin foil cartons with cardboard lids and you can write on them the contents and the date it was made. They also stack really well in the freezer so you get maximum storage usage. And if you have a friend with similar tastes, swap one night a week. Agree several recipes between you and a specific night of the week, then cook an extra portion on top of your own one, then swap a meal. You’ll get a bit of variation and a night when you won’t have to cook from scratch. A crock pot or slow cooker is great for this kind of thing!

So there you go – four very simple tips to help you stretch your food a little further, saving on waste, money and time.

Do you have any handy hints to share? I’d love to hear them, so please leave a link in the comments below!

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