After binge-watching the whole MasterChef US series, it never ceases to amaze me how remarkably beautiful and fresh the cooking ingredients found in the MasterChef pantry are.
I remember watching an episode in the MasterChef US series wherein contestants had to transform their $20 bill and turn it into a budget-friendly yet Master Chef-worthy that is fit for a family of four.
Considering the prices of every ingredient found in the MasterChef pantry not reflecting what is necessarily common in everyone’s pantry, I was really interested to see how this would turn out.
Cooking on a budget is something we can all relate to. But let’s be honest, it’s not easy to find a way to feed a family, let alone feed them a healthy, nutritious dinner without breaking the bank.
Thinking about my audience coming from all walks of life, I have thought of ways of how having a plant-based lifestyle on a budget would generally benefit everyone.
- Cook at home: That stove of yours is there for a reason, and it is not to just sit in your kitchen doing nothing. It’s important you spend time learning how your stove actually works. Granted that it is a common knowledge how cooking saves us tons of cash, getting a cookbook from your nearest bookstore or going to your trusted website to learn about recipes of food you want to eat will surely help you save money instead of eating out and spending a fortune for just one meal.
- Make a shopping list and stick to it: Before shopping for groceries, sit down and think about what you need from the grocery store. Doing so will help you not waste time from going aisle after aisle but also save you from impulse purchases.
- Back to basics: If you compare pre-packed items, fruits, and vegetables found in the grocery store to the ones that are sitting on a rack of a farmer’s market, the former is more expensive than the latter. Any item that comes in a box is expensive, and it is because of the labor of packing (if packed manually) or energy (if packed by a machine) put into it and the packaging that comes along with it. Find a local farmer’s market near you and befriend them not only to be able to get good deals from your purchases, but also advice on which food ingredients are in season, will help you save money.
- Be an adventurer: Being an adventurer does not necessarily mean you have to go out on an adventure. It could mean, explore with food. You can experience and enjoy international cuisines without having to travel. Like what I have mentioned in point number one, cookbooks with different cuisines will give you that country of your choice the experience you like to feel and enjoy.
- Cook in large batches: Not all people have the time to prepare food every single day. Plan one to two days a week to cook different batches of meals in the kitchen. After letting the cooked meals sit for a couple of minutes, put them in a container and freeze them. Reheat for quick and easy lunch or dinner.
- Plant a garden: Planting different plants that could be used as a cooking ingredient will save you money in the produce department. If unfortunately, you do not have a green thumb, you can always support your local farmers by buying from them.
So, there you have it! Feel free to drop a comment if the ways I mentioned in saving money worked for you or if you have tips yourselves that you would like to share with others and me.