This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.
Last Updated on April 18, 2023
There are many different reasons to learn to cook budget recipes at home. When you prepare your own food, you can control what goes in it. You know how much salt and fat you’re including. You can also save a huge amount of money by cooking at home instead of eating out. However, if you’re a novice cook, starting to prepare your meals at home can seem daunting. The tips below will help you get up to speed, save money, and still enjoy your food.
Paying Up Front
One of the best ways to ensure that you can eat well on a budget is to have the pantry ingredients and equipment to make a variety of different items. You don’t need to shell out thousands on fancy equipment, but a few pieces of decent cookware can make your life much easier. This can require some expenditure up front. It’s also helpful if you have room in your budget to buy food in bulk and jump on sales when you see them. Buying larger quantities is usually cheaper. Having various herbs and spices as well as other staples to hand helps ensure you can whip up a quick meal as needed.
However, to shift your focus, you may need to look at other ways to cut costs. See if you can shift your credit card debt onto a lower-interest card so that you aren’t paying as much each month. If you have student loans, you may want to take out a new loan to pay them off. This could involve either consolidation or refinancing. You may want to read up on student loan consolidation vs refinancing to determine which would be better in your situation. Becoming more aware of your expenses and cutting back on costs in general will give you more flexibility in the kitchen.
Learning to Cook
If you don’t know how to cook at all, this can seem like a bigger obstacle than making sure that your kitchen is sufficiently stocked. The good news is that almost anyone can learn to make a few dishes well, and this is where you should start. You don’t have to become an adventurous cook you can choose just a few dishes to learn at first. There are some advantages to this approach. First, it gives you the opportunity to master a few techniques. It also helps ensure that you won’t find yourself in a situation where you’ve spent a lot of money on expensive ingredients, such as spices, that you only use once. Practice those recipes a few times and then expand from there.
Practicality Versus Desire
One problem you may run into when you’re trying to cook on a budget is a collision between what you read that you should do and what you want to do. Among the cheapest ingredients to buy and inexpensive meals to make are things such as rice, beans, and root vegetables. However, it doesn’t matter how dutifully you purchase and prepare these items. If you don’t want to eat them, you’ll end up wasting food.
Another piece of advice you’ll read is that you should batch cook meals and freeze portions so that you have convenient food available to you at any time. This works great for some, but others find that this degree of meal planning simply doesn’t work for them, and they’ll end up going for fast food or other options instead of eating a meal they’ve prepared earlier. Take advice with a healthy grain of salt and an understanding of your own preferences. You may need to compromise, finding solutions that are both budget-friendly but also personally appealing.
Money Saving Tricks
There are ways to save money besides looking for sales and clipping coupons. Some vegetable delivery boxes may be cheaper than buying vegetables at the grocery store, particularly if you tend to eat a wide variety. Spices and seasonings are often cheaper purchased from whole food and similar shops, where they are sold in bulk but can be bought in small amounts.