Good Food Blog
Make do and mendPosted at 11:30AM, 11 May 2009 by Mary Cadogan - Food writer
We've all had to mend our spendthrift ways in these credit crunch times , but is that always such a bad thing? Statistics have shown that we throw away 40 per cent of the food we buy, but I wonder if that still holds true? Now that there is less money to spend on food, we're all having to take a long hard look at our shopping bills and decide what is essential and what is not.
In the recent past, buying a coffee on the way to work and picking up a sandwich at lunchtime or popping out for a bowl of pasta was the norm for many. Now it's cool to forego the coffee and bring homemade lunches to work. Soup, leftovers from last night's supper, slices of cold pizza, big crunchy salads, anything goes. A few months ago you'd have been labelled nerdy if you'd been seen scoffing these things, but now we're all swapping recipes and tips and incidentally probably eating better into the bargain.
I wonder when the credit crunch eases whether we will stick with it
It's the same story in the supermarket. Chicken breasts are the most expensive way to buy chicken. We all know now that if you buy a whole bird you can get three meals out of it, roast, risotto and soup or sandwiches. We are all turning to ways our granny would approve of and I wonder when the credit crunch eases whether we will stick with it. I think we have all learned a hard lesson on waste and I for one am enjoying it.
Next thing you know there'll be a rise in sales of pressure cookers (big savings on fuel), slow cookers (brilliant for cooking cheaper cuts) will continue their resurgence and we'll be making double to freeze half as the norm rather than on a whim to feel virtuous. We're all eating out less so sitting round the kitchen table sharing supper with friends is on the up. We'll be playing cards and board games and having musical evenings next (sounds like fun). Food prices have hiked up generally but there are bargains to be had if you shop around (shopping around, that's another old maxim) and know what's in season (Good Food can help you there).
My best penny-pinching tip? Make your own houmous by whizzing up a can of chick peas, juice of a lemon, teaspoon of cumin, a good slug of olive oil and some salt and chilli pepper. It keeps in the fridge for a week and makes five good lunches for under £1. So what's your tip of the week? Do share.