Doable, tried-and-tested, money-saving hacks to help you eat better and spend less. From energy saving tips to eating well on a budget, find all the advice you’ll need below.
Did you know you don’t have to cook pasta in boiling water for the full time on the pack? Simply boil the pasta for 2 minutes, then stir, turn off the heat and cover. The pasta will cook in the residual heat for the normal specified cooking time. Check to see if it’s cooked to your liking, then mix in your favourite sauce and tuck in!
Microwaves heat your food in short bursts, meaning they are an economical cooking method, so make the most out of this staple kitchen appliance.
Why not whip up a tasty red lentil dhal in just 15 minutes using just your microwave and 4 ingredients?
The humble kettle can do so much more than make your morning cuppa. It costs about 6p of electricity to boil a full 2ltr kettle.*
Boil you kettle just once in the morning, then pour it into a flask for instant hot water throughout the day without using more electricity.
You can make couscous by soaking it in boiled kettle water. Put your couscous in heatproof bowl, then add your water. Stir and cover for 15 minutes, until warm and fluffy. Try topping your couscous with spicy mackerel and crunchy veg for a delicious, low-cook lunch.
This hack also works for noodles.
You can make soup in a slow-cooker for about 12p in energy. This French onion soup recipe is super easy to make, and you can freeze any leftovers you have to enjoy at a later date.
Your slow-cooker can also make stews, chilli, lasagne, dhal, shepherd's pie and mac and cheese.
Try an air-fryer. It’s a mini oven that cooks at a really high temperature with a fan, using less energy than a regular oven. A typical fryer (1,000W) costs just 34p per hour, which is roughly the same wattage and energy consumption as a conventional oven, but it heats up very quickly and you can cook meals in a fraction of the time, making it a great-value cooking method.
You can cook pretty much anything in an air-fryer, from pasta bakes, veg and roasts to cakes and casseroles. If you can make it in an oven, you can probably make it in an air-fryer.
This apple crumble recipe is baked entirely in an air-fryer. Simply put your apples, cinnamon and demerara sugar into your fryer, then add a golden, crumble on top for a cosy, comforting and affordable pudding the whole family will love.
See more air-fryer recipes here.
Upgrade nourishing and affordable tinned soup with extra toppings! Try a sprinkling of cheese on tomato soup, or homemade crispy croutons (made with stale bread) on a bowl of leek and potato.
Give instant noodles a delicious makeover. In a heatproof bowl, beat 1 egg with 1 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tsp crushed garlic and the seasoning from a pack of instant noodles, then stir. In a separate bowl, cover your noodles with boiling water (to pack instructions) and leave to soften. Pour half the noodle water into the egg mayo mix and stir well. Add the remaining water and the noodles and stir to make an instant noodle broth that’s silky and comforting.
Try batch cooking meals and filling your freezer with healthy dinners to help you through busy weeks.
This veggie soup base mix can be frozen in small portions to save space in your freezer. Defrost with stock to make a hearty homemade soup.
Try making this one-pot lentil and bacon stew, which can be made in the slow-cooker or on the hob. This recipe makes 8 portions, so you can freeze leftovers to enjoy later.
See our best batch cook recipes here.
*You can work out the rough running cost of an appliance by finding its wattage and using the calculation that you pay around 34p per kilowatt per hour (a kilowatt (kW) is 1,000W).
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