Money saving cooking tips

  • By
    Lily Barclay - Senior writer - bbcgoodfood.com

Wondering how to cut costs in the kitchen? The BBC Good Food cookery and editorial teams share their expert advice for thrifty cooking- we include some of your tips, too.

pile of pound coins

The rising cost of food can feel overwhelming, but with a bit of clever cooking shopping costs can be dramatically cut. The Good Food survey, to mark 'Home Cooking Month', found that supermarket 'buy one get one free' offers were the number one method of saving cash according to 2,236 readers. Cooking entirely from scratch was the second most popular tactic, while using the freezer was third and using leftovers was fourth. Other popular tips included planning ahead, growing your own veg and using cheaper cuts of meat.

The crucial ingredient is imagination; getting creative in the kitchen means you won't lose out on flavour or quality and a little inspiration can go a long way. We asked our Good Food experts and our Good Food fans to share their money saving tips for making thrifty food fabulous. Here are some of our favourite suggestions...

What our experts say...

Start from scratch
Assistant food editor, Cassie Best: Breakfast cereal can be really expensive, I make my own granola by mixing oats with honey, cinnamon and a drop of veg oil and baking until crispy. It keeps well in Tupperware for a few weeks. 

bowl of chillies

Cool your chillies
Editor of bbcgoodfood.com, Hannah Williams: To avoid any waste I store my chillies in the freezer and just defrost them under the hot tap, very quick and easy. 

Eat your veggies
Sub editor/writer bbcgoodfood.com, Roxanne Fisher: Bulk out meaty dishes with lots of vegetables or red lentils, not only is it cheaper but it adds a health boost to your meal too. 

Don't go hungry
Writer, bbcgoodfood.com, Lily Barclay: Don't go shopping when you're feeling hungry, you're sure to add all sorts of naughty, unnecessary things to your basket that you don't actually need.  

Go bananas
Assistant food editor, Cassie Best: If I end up with a fruit bowl full of brown bananas (this tends to happen quite often in my house!) I peel and freeze them for using later in smoothies or cakes.

Stay chilled
Food editor bbcgoodfood.com, Caroline Hire: Reassess what's in your fridge midweek and freeze ingredients you're not going to use, before they get too close to their sell-by-dates.

What our Facebook fans say:

Samantha Whyte: Buy ginger, garlic, chillies, and spices in bulk from ethnic supermarkets! Much cheaper in bulk and then you can use them to make curry pastes that'll keep for a month in the freezer!

Nina w kuchni: I buy herbs in September (when they are cheap) and freeze them - already washed and cut.

What our Twitter fans say:

@fdennistoun: Breast of lamb is a very cheap cut for a Sunday roast and looks impressive rolled and stuffed.

@DawniesKitchen: Whizz up leftover bread into breadcrumbs and freeze. Defrosts in minutes and you can use them a handful at a time.

@HabibaAnwar: Substitute 1 tbsp lemon juice + 1 cup milk for 1 cup buttermilk! I do this a lot when making cakes that call for buttermilk.

Do you have any more thrifty cooking tips to add? Join the debate on Facebook

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