Tom Kerridge’s six ways you can save money but still cook like the professionals

On a budget but want your food to have the wow factor? There’s no need to spend lots of money when you have Tom Kerridge’s simple tips to hand…

Tom Kerridge’s six ways you can save money but still cook like the professionals

Impressive food doesn’t need to cost the earth. By rethinking what you put in your shopping basket, how you cook food and figuring out ways to be as resourceful as possible, you can create stunning food without the Michelin-starred price tag. Chef Tom Kerridge shared his top cost-cutting tips with us.

Tom’s six ways to save money while cooking like a professional

1. Slow braising

lamb shanksPick cheap cuts with bags of flavour. Cook them low and slow. Don’t buy individual chicken breasts – they’re a waste of money. Buy the whole chicken and learn to joint or carve it. Also try lamb shanks or collar of bacon.

Read up on cheap cuts of meat

2. Invest in a knife

Buy one fantastic knife. Choose one which feels nice in your hand that will last you forever. You might spend a few hundred pounds on one. It sounds like a lot of money, but that knife will last you for 20 years and you won't have to buy another so it’s a long-term investment.

Read our guide on how to buy knives

3. Reinvent vegetables

Herb baked celeriacTry whole-roasted, unfashionable vegetables, such as celeriac, cauliflower or romanesco. They naturally look big and bold and can make a great focal point, rather than just being something you stick on the side. Or go for something like sugar-roasted beets.

Try our slow-baked whole celeriac recipe

4. Use your cooking juices

Use juices and flavours from the pan. So when you cook something in a pan, instead of throwing the liquid away at the end, use it. If you’ve cooked bacon, for example, and removed it from the pan, add a little oil and vinegar and you have yourself an instant dressing, instead of using an extra salad dressing. Look for places you can find flavour from every element of your cooking.

5. Save alcohol until the end

BeerDon’t cook with alcohol, only add it at the end. So if you want a beer gravy, put a little splash at the end and it’ll taste intensely of beer, rather at the beginning which will make it boil away.

6. Utilise your dry ingredients

Use things like dried chickpeas and lentils, soaked, then slow cooked. They’re very cheap.

Read our guide on how to use grains

More from Tom...

Learn to cook with Tom Kerridge
Tom's how to use truffle oil video
Butter-based pork loin recipe

What do you think of Tom’s money-saving tips? Do you have any of your own to offer?

Comments, questions and tips

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31st Jan, 2015
I'm surprise Tom Kerridge didn't mention home-made stock. Made from the carcass of a family roast chicken, or from any beef bone, it is cheap and easy to make and its addition (instead of water) to sauces or soups makes dishes taste really special. Whenever we have roast chicken I always make stock which then goes into the deep freeze for when I need it. Ditto with the Christmas turkey carcass. If my deep freeze is very full I'll boil down the stock so it becomes quite concentrated and freeze it as ice cubes. Brilliant for giving extra depth to a sauce.
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1st Feb, 2015
Do.n't buy a six-pack of apples if you know you will only eat one or two. Make your own Granola. Keeping eggs in the fridge will extend their shelf life by at least a week.