Smart guide to Slow Cookers & win £50 John Lewis Voucher [ended]

slow-cookerMy slow cooker gets used far more than my regular oven these days so I thought a guide to slow cookers would benefit people who assume they’re old fashioned! So without further ado here are seven reasons why you should try using a slow cooker if you don’t already, and hopefully this smart little guide will encourage you to try one!

  • Save time: Once you’ve chopped/prepared your ingredients you bung it all in together generally, saving you time juggling different saucepans and working out when to put what in the oven so everything is ready at the right time. Of course there are more elaborate recipes where you add things at different times but even then you’re not standing over a hob stirring!
  • Save energy & money: The average slow cooker uses far less than having your oven on, even if the slow cooker is on for hours more than an over would be! Then if you would have used your hob as well it’s an even bigger energy saving, meaning you’re saving money too!  Slow cookers themselves can be purchased very cheaply, I have a Crockpot branded one now but only because the knob fell off my supermarket version after about 6 years of use!
  • Dinner ready when you get home: Slow cookers have a low or a high temperature so even if you’re out of the house for ten hours you can set it when you leave in the morning and have dinner hot and ready when you walk in the door, no matter how much later that is. You can always use a timer switch for recipes that need less cooking time too.
    • Batch cook:  If you get a large capacity slow cooker you can cook more, and portion it up and freeze for later! Most Slow cooker meals are ideal for this, like curry, bolognese and lasagne for example.
    • Try new meals: There are so many amazing meals you can cook in a slow cooker, including desserts! I made an amazing orange chocolate cake a few weeks ago and it was SO simple and tasted delicious. But apart from sweet treats you’d be surprised at the variety of meals you can make, from casserole type dishes to full roast chicken with potatoes! Try my Pork Carnita recipe for something new!
      • Less to wash up: One pot to wash instead of three or four! Plus generally a good soak with washing up liquid does the trick, no scrubbing metal pots and pans!
      • Safer if you’ve got kids: No hot oven-front to worry about, and no pans on the hob either! You can set the slow cooker up on a corner of your work top and as long as the power cable is out of the way there’s nothing to worry about at all!

slow cooked pork carnitas

Out of all those reasons though I think the time and money saving aspects just make using a Slow Cooker a really smart choice, energy saving choice. E-on’s Smart meters are clever little devices that send real-time data about your gas and electricity usage, enabling you to really keep an eye on what you’re using and adjust your usage as you go. Being hit with a mega bill when you least expect it is never a good thing, so having the ability to know what you’re spending as you go would be really beneficial. The Smart Meter lets you set a a daily spend limit, check your current balance and shows your what you use in pounds and pence, rather than trying to work it out from kilowatts, smart indeed!

E-on wants to know what your very own food related Smart Tip is, have you got a culinary short cut that saves time or money? Or a dish that is delish but cheap as chips to make? Let me know in the comments what your tip is and you could win a £50 John Lewis Voucher!

 This post contains paid for promotion by E.ON. See if you could save money with their gas and electricity deals today. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter

345 thoughts on “Smart guide to Slow Cookers & win £50 John Lewis Voucher [ended]

  1. Always make stock in a large quantity and freeze it in plastic bags. That way, when you want to make a nice soup or boil veggies, you can simply pull the bag out of the freezer.

  2. Frozen veg can save you a fortune on fresh veg. To use in the slow cooker just defrost in a bowl in the fridge overnight. Mixed Farmhouse Veg makes a great base for loads of soups & stews.

  3. Make batches of food then split it into one meal sized portion & freeze them, this saves on electric & time 🙂

  4. My top money saving tip when it comes to food / cooking is MEAL PLANS!

    They save us a fortune and always nice to know whats needed and can incorporate any left overs into the next day meals

  5. Always plan your meals in advance and make a shopping list for your menu, and have a blank day for eating up any leftovers or things nearing their use-by dates!

  6. check sell by dates every other day and always have frozen veg and tinned meat for fast tasty meals

  7. Cooking at home from scratch and freezing the leftovers is the easiest way I’ve found to cut costs 🙂

  8. My tip is to never shop when you’re hungry or thirsty. I have done this and ended up with about a hundred packets of crisps or ten types of squash (and a large food bill)!

  9. Cook large quantities – and freeze in one or two portion containers. They’ll be a godsend for midweek suppers or when you can’t be bothered to cook

  10. Both my daughters have left home in the last couple of years, but I’m still in the habit of making a meal like stews, casseroles, spaghetti bolognese and chilli con carne for 4 people. When I do that, my husband and I eat half of what I’ve cooked and the other half is frozen. Last week, I used all the meals I’d frozen and didn’t have to cook all week!!! That not only saved me time (it felt like I was on holiday) but I’m sure my electric bill went down alot too, especially as I cook my beef stew for 3 hrs! 🙂

  11. I tend to make food in advance 🙂 so for example I will cook up a lasagne and freeze half 🙂 Saves wasting any.

  12. I always wear latex gloves to chop smelly & highly coloured vegetables. No more onion smelling hands or orange ones after cutting carrots!

    Thanks for a fabulous giveaway 🙂

  13. My top tip would be to make a shopping list and stick to it. Make meal plans and only buy what you need. Since I have been doing this I no longer have any wasted food and saved myself money, by not buying all those ‘special deals’ that I really didn’t want

  14. I buy the large 4-pint bottles of milk, and freeze half of it and then take out of the freezer the night before it is needed to defrost – no waste and cheaper.
    Another tip is to keep the freezer and fridge as full as possible, because it uses less electric because there is less air – it doesnt mean you have to buy in lots of food, just fill some bottles up with tap water to take the space up

  15. Always fill the slow-cooker when making your favourite recipe and freeze half some for another day – much faster than making two meals.

  16. I put my change from £2 and below in my safebox and take it to put in my ISA every few weeks – it builds up really quickly!!

  17. Invest in a chest freezer and pick up those yellow stickered/reduced items in the supermarkets. Particularly bread/meat products, you can save loads!

  18. Make a big batch of pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays, tipping the cubes into a bag when frozen. You can use it straight from the freezer in sauces, soups and casseroles – one cube is the equivalent of 1 tablespoonful. You can then make an almost instant pasta sauce by heating up a tin of chopped tomatoes and stirring a pesto cube into it.

  19. If you want to purchase an expensive thing then decide if you’ll use it and how you will benefit from it

  20. Cheap cuts of meat are perfect for the slow cooker – beef brisket, pork shoulder – cooking them slow and long makes them so tender.

  21. Try to cook from scratch as much as possible overall it will pay off with better health and friendlier on the purse strings

  22. I buy fruit & veg in season at the farmers market & freeze it, I can cook with fresh seasonal produce all year round

  23. Definitely making extra portions to freeze; a little bit of extra time chopping, but cooking time is the same!

  24. If you’ve got some red wine left over that isn’t going to be drunk, you can freeze it. The frozen wine is very handy for cooking with.

  25. Save money and your waistline with sensible portion sizes. If you find you’ve cooked more than you need, don’t just serve it all out, take for lunch or freeze for a homemade ready meal.

  26. I think planning meals for the week is my top tip. It saves money and time as I’m not hunting around at 5 o’clock trying to think what to make for tea.

  27. Grow herbs in pots on your windowsill. They’ll be available fresh throughout the year, and you can freeze or dry them as desired.

  28. Buy some small foil trays. Then make a load of Lasagnes, Shepherds Pies etc and freeze. Ideal meals for one when time is limited or in an emergency

  29. Buy reduced items from the supermarkets & freeze them – buying a second freezer was the best investment EVER!

  30. I use meat free mince in bolognese etc, I use the Tesco version which is very close to the real thing. I put it in the microwave for a few minutes before adding to my (homemade sauce). It saves so much time meaning you can make a quick and really tasty bolognese, yum!

  31. I use my slow cooker to make up batches of tomato sauce that I can then use to turn into bolognaise, chilli or even just poured over chicken breasts and cooked in the oven!

  32. Use an ice cube tray to freeze wine – this way you have handy little ‘cubes’ of wine as and when you need them!

  33. I batch cook in the slow cooker and freeze. Days I cant be bothered I can shove them in the microwave, job done. Cheaper and generally better than shop bought ready meals.

  34. Write a shopping list and stick to it so you don’t end up with things that you won’t use that will eventually just be thrown out.

  35. Going into the supermarket with a list – and not impulse buying. Looking at the price per unit – and not just looking at the discount price (some ‘deals’ supermarkets put on are not the cheapest way of getting the same product). Shopping at John Lewis/Waitrose seems expensive – but if shop smart they are just as cheap as Tesco/Asda etc

  36. when making stews make a large batch then freeze what u don’t eat, perfect for warming up those nights u need a quick meal

  37. I have 2 money saving tips:
    1. plan your meals in order to make a shopping list before you go, that way you only buy what you need.
    2. eat before you shop. If you shop with an empty stomach you will buy more – even with a shopping list you may grab for something you fancy because you’re hungry.

  38. Always check the reduced section in the fresh food section, you can pick up some amazing bargains and so much of it can be frozen for future use.

  39. Buy a £5 bag of frozen chicken fillets from Iceland and it makes 5 meals ( 4scotch eggs,curry,spag bol,casserole)

  40. Before going supermarket shopping, have your regular meal. As if hungry when shopping :- will spend more money, and not necessarily have bought healthy foodstuffs. As body craving fuel / energy.

  41. To peel a hard boiled egg quicker and easier, boil and pop in a small glass of water, shake and the shell will peel off quite easy x

  42. Grow your own veg, it’s cheap and has so much more flavour. Make big batches of stews, casseroles etc and freeze leftovers so you get some days of no cooking! Yay! ☺️

  43. Reduce food waste – use your freezer to freeze fruit or veg which is just about to go past it’s best and which you can’t use immediately. They can be used for soups, smoothies or puddings later.

  44. I always look for roll back offers, or 3 for the price of two when buying groceries, plus I freeze leftovers and sauces.

  45. always check can you get your shopping cheaper elsewhere, lower prices, coupons, discounts etc. All those pennies add up!!!!!!

  46. Make big portions and freeze saves on gas/electric and great when you just heat your meal up when you come in from work.

  47. When shopping always check if it is actually cheaper to buy a bigger size check how much it is per 100g etc which is in the small print under the actual price it’s not always cheaper!

  48. Whenever possible I make dishes large enough for two meals and freeze remainder. For example, cottage pies, quiches etc are easily frozen ready for when you next decide to serve the dish. Saves lots of time.

  49. Since hearing about the nutritional values of frozen veg I do tend to buy more frozen now – less wastage

  50. Saves time AND money to make large batches of things like a healthy veg chilli and keep it in the freezer rather than making something fresh every night

  51. Try growing your own fruit and veg. Even if it’s just a window box for herb or salads, it’ll be fresher and tastier than shop bought.

  52. I go to the supermarket near closing time to get vastly reduced prices on perishable foods – then I freeze them until required

  53. Cook a big meal, split into portion sizes, package and freeze, don’t forget to label them with what they are and when you froze it.
    This saves time, money and effort.

    Also creating a meal plan is very good for saving time and money. Putting meals that use up the other half of the onion etc. the day after using the first half, less wastage when you meal plan.

  54. I always plan my meals in advance and make a couple of dishes then alternate them over 4 days as I have very little time to cook. I wish I had room for a freezer which would make life easier!

  55. I batch cook meals, portion them up and then freeze. My hubby generally takes them to work to have for his lunch. Saves loads of time and money because he is not buying lunch everyday.

  56. I either put the leftovers in the fridge if I know I am going to do a fry up or a curry with the chicken, Or If I make too much food like Curry, Tikka I freeze it

  57. I always plan my daily meals in advance so that nothing goes to waste (just the right amount of everything) from meat to veg to the right amount of Yoghurts I never bin anything this way 🙂

  58. Make a shopping list and stick to it. Its too easy to get distracted and impulse buy things you don’t need.

  59. I’m not usually one for coming up with the great tips, more that I’m continously picking them up from others. One I did see recently said to always keep bananas bunched as long as possible – don’t seperate them in a bowl – and if you put some clean film around the stalk end it will stop them drying out or going brown for a lot longer. x

  60. If there’s a rainy day where we really can’t get out and about having fun, we put a great playlist on and dance around the kitchen cooking up a huge batch of chilli con quorn to fill the freezer! Its fun, and it provides us with easy meals for ages!

  61. To extend the life of food beyond its date, freeze it before the date and defrost and use within 24 hours. Saves me a fortune!

  62. To save both time and money, I batch cook – making extra portions of dishes and freezing them in individual portions so there’s something nice and easy to heat up if I can’t be bothered to cook! Buying ingredients in bulk for batch cooking saves money too.

  63. Take advantage of seasonal foods, like going blackberry picking, then freeze open on trays so they do not stick together, then bag. Try growing lettuce – easy even if you only have a window box. Grow a couple of tomato plants indoors – taste delicious. Fruit trees, even miniature ones can provide a healthy crop which can be stored.

  64. We always write a list at the start of the week of what meals we will have so we don’t buy more than we need and waste food x

  65. Get some microwaveable/freezable food trays, then cook a bit extra and you can make your own healthier microwave meals.

  66. Buy fresh meat when it is on offer or reduced (often when the best before date is due) and then freeze

  67. Plan your meals for the days ahead and do smaller shops instead of big weekly shops as you tend to waste less food!

  68. Love your freezer – freeze leftover stock in ice-cube trays; old bread made into crumbs; sauteed onions; pasta sauces and complete ‘ready meals’.

  69. Time trips to the supermarkets so that you can get the best price reductions and then freeze your bargains or share with friends

  70. My top tip with cooking/meals is to decide what meals you are going to make for the week and only buy what you need, I have found that my budget is buying us much better quality food rather than me just filling the cupboards with foods i’m not even using that week

  71. I love using my slow cooker, also love to freeze left over herbs
    I have found that planning our meals for the week saves us lots of money as does doing an online shop rather than popping to the supermarket several times a week

  72. Invest in a slow cooker, The food tastes so much nicer and will save you time. Just put it all in and then come come from work and dinner is ready 🙂

  73. I buy veggies when i see them marked down, parboil then freeze them. They are great for last minute dinner making!

  74. I always bulk cook in a large slow cooker, then freeze ‘ready meals’, I also do a weekly food plan, and shop accordingly

  75. If you have the room grow your own fruit and veg then freeze what you can’t eat when they are fresh. We grow and freeze sweet corn, peas, carrots, leeks, parsnips, peppers, tomatoes, kidney beans, raspberries , strawberries and cooking apples (after cooking first) Saves us a fortune and we know they are all organic 🙂

  76. If I’m cooking something such as chilli, I only buy the meat if it’s on offer to cut costs, I then make double and freeze half.

  77. I have a huge freezer and when baking or cooking casseroles etc I always make too much and freeze the remainder for another day

  78. Plan meals for the week in advance and shop accordingly (definitely not when you’re hungry!) so that there are no leftovers or waste.

  79. Invest in a slow cooker. Stews and casseroles are cheap to make and go a long way when trying to feed a family on a budget. Steamers are also a good option as they use very little electricity.

  80. I freeze whatever doesn’t lose its flavour like ginger/garlic. Also recently started using a pressure cooker and amazed at how much time it saves with some dishes like lamb/beef/lentils

  81. Have one zero spend day a month when u empty the fridge freezer and cupboard and come up with original if weird concoctions

  82. I always make double the stock or gravy that I need and freeze the surplus in ice cube trays. That way when you need them you can just add a cube or two to enrich whatever you are making.

  83. When I buy fresh herbs I immediately freeze them to avoid waste. They can be added to recipes straight from the freezer.

  84. i freeze all sorts of things to have to hand when i need them – saves loads of time e.g. baked sweet potatoes that can be popped in microwave from frozen, ice cubes of lemon juice which can be quickly defrosted, small portions of rice / quinoa / cous cous to defrost and use in salads etc

  85. If buying vegetables for soup or casseroles, find out what time of the day your local supermarket marks them down and buy those. The vitamins lost in older, marked down vegetables are lost in cooking, anyway, so it is sensible to buy cheaply.

    However, if buying for salads, steaming or stir fries, buy only the freshest!

  86. Save up and bulk buy meat then plan meals using veg/fruit on offer/reduced each week. Also make bigger batches then you need and freeze some. I have a whole drawer of homemade ‘microwave meals’ in my freezer which is very handy when I’m working late shifts, when plans change or there’s an unexpected bill/expense you hadn’t budgeted for ☺

  87. Make use of frozen vegetables – quick, easy and convenient and a great saver of time and money. No more using half an onion and leaving the rest in the fridge, till it goes off – just take out what you need when you need and the rest is there for another day (or week).

  88. Buy frozen veg and plan meals so fresh produce can be used two days running indifferent meals to ensure it isn’t wasted.

  89. When making a meal, always make extra at the same time so that you can put it in containers and freeze to use as a quick meal when you are pushed for time.

  90. Don’t stick to branded products. Try supermarkets own brands and you might not even know a difference in taste only in your purse

  91. Use any leftover veg in a bake – just chop everything up into 1.5″ chunks, drizzle on Grapeseed Oil, Moroccan Sprice, Season and add Garlic, Fresh Basil and Parsley – roadt in a Big Baking Dish Covered in Foil aor 30 minutes at 180, than remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes.. Healthy and Delicious

  92. We always make larger portions so can freeze some for those days when hectic , as least have home cooked food

  93. I plan my meals for the week ahead and only buy what i need, this has saved me money as i don’t buy as much, i don’t buy items on the spur of the moment and plan to ensure everything is used up

  94. I cook big batches of our favourite foods, such as spaghetti Bolognese, and freeze. It saves a lot of time on those busy days when you still want a hearty meal!

  95. Meal planning is important, I always make extra so that it can either be eaten for lunch the next day or frozen for another evening.

  96. For some fancy salmon pasta, use smoked salmon, you will need less of it as the taste is stronger than fresh salmon fillet!

  97. When cooking a roast dinner, cook your vegetables at the same time that you are roasting the meat, in casserole dishes at the bottom of the oven.

  98. Using my slow cooker regularly for family meals usually saves me a lot of money as I can buy cheaper meat cut and cook in large quantity. I will then divide the meal into small containers for freezing and quick meals during the week,

  99. I cook big batches which I then freeze into individual portions, my family can eat what they like, when they like with little wastage and no temptation to eat ready meals.

  100. Never, ever, go food shopping when you’re hungry. Research shows you’ll pick higher calorie foods, compared to someone who’s already eaten who’ll select low calorie items.

  101. we always make a large shepards pie it lasts for two days and that saves a lot of preparing time and also cooking time you just have to reheat it the next day

  102. Make a meal plan and only buy the items required for the meals at the shop – sometimes you can get sucked into buying bogofs or special offers but if your not going to use it then its not actually a bargain and you end up wasting food.

    We tend to do a 2 week plan for food shopping – we add in a few extra bits but generally stick to our list – only difference is when we go late and items are reduced – we buy extra then that we know we will use and can clean and freeze as we have a a large freezer. When we do this we include them in the next 2 weeks of meal planning so we dont dupe items

  103. When going shopping look at the top and bottom shelves for bargains. The supermarket will put the things they want you to buy at eye level as that at is where you normally look!

  104. I tend to buy veg in bulk when it’s on offer and cut it up and freeze it, I go to the reduction aisle before I do the rest of my shop. It saves me money and I have food in the freezer so I have it at hand when cooking, saves on chopping time and saves money too!

  105. Use up left over veg in either soups or stir frys as no matter how limp they start to look most can still be used

  106. Lately I’ve been a lot into DIY beauty treatments. It has saved me a lot of money and they were actually more beneficial than the ones I was buying in store.

  107. One of my fav top tips is freeze grapes and either have them as a frozen treat or pop them in your drink instead of Ice cubes

  108. I write a list of what I need and I order online. I don’t waste money on petrol or unnecessary tempting items and I don’t waste time. At the moment I am on a free 3 month delivery pass and when I have to pay I book the cheapest slot (99p)
    My list wouldn’t say ‘chicken’ or ‘beef’ – it would say ‘meat’ and I go online and see what met is on offer and that’s what we have, same with everything else – fruit, veg, yoghurts, snacks etc – if no great offers I just get the value/basic. I love cooking so can conjure up great meals with anything.

  109. I buy meat when it is really reduced in the supermarket and buy as many packets of say, stewing beef, as I can. I then make a huge batch of stew, slow cooking it until it is really tasty and tender and then I freeze it in meal sized portions.

  110. We bought an extra freezer for in the garage, we stock up on items from the reduced section in Tesco – figured if we go at closing on a sunday, we can get loaves of bread for just 7p, so we buy all of them lol and stick them in the freezer.

  111. We try and buy meat that we can use again the next day, ie, a chicken that will do for a few meals. Our current favourite is a gammon joint, cooked in pressure cooker, shredded, use it for sandwiches, alredo and jacket potatoes.

  112. when potatos are about to go out of date peel and cook them and freeze them ready to use for roasts, saves time and money

  113. My mum always uses cheaper cuts of meats with her slow cooker such as lamb shoulder. The flavours of the meats really come though with the extra cooking time ????

  114. My best tip is to batch cook so that you don’t wast any food and freeze in portions for future meals…I live with my 18 year old son so this is what i do for us.

  115. I cook more than I need and freeze in individual portions so there is always something in the freezer for days when I cannot be bothered to cook! I see others do similar.

  116. Freeze leftovers in one portion sizes, ideal for those evenings when everyone needs to eat at separate times due to other commitments

  117. Make a base meal in the slow cooker that things can be added to easily, kidney beans and spices to make a chilli con carne, tomatoes and basil to make a past suce – then freeze into 1 or 2 meal portions and you have quick & easy meals for busy mid week evenings

  118. Use a slow cooker. Most of your leftovers can be used to make a nice stew. Very little work involved, just wait for it to smell delicious and serve.

  119. My money saving tip is to plan! That way you only buy what you need and don’t waste food.
    And my time saving tip is to prepare what you can earlier in the day and then cooking tea doesn’t take as long!

  120. Go to the supermarket after 6 pm when you will find many perfectly good items reduced for quick sale.

  121. Make a huge batch of homemade soup – freeze in meal size portions to take into work rather than buying lunch.It costs nothing (especially if like me you love lentil and tomato or other vegetable soups) but tastes so much better.

  122. Never go shopping when you’re hungry! If you do, you’ll waste money on extras that you do not need.

  123. We cook extra meals and the portion and freeze them. Things like spag Bol, soup and curries can just be taken out, defrosted and cooked as needed. Saves money and time

  124. I switched to farm foods and bought frozen veg and meat. It tastes just as nice, it’s cheaper and I don’t throw anything out.

  125. I make a lot of meals to freeze which saves lots of time and I always prepare packed lunches the night before

  126. Buy tinned, dried and packet food and sauces etc when on offer. Not only will this save you money but it will stock up your store cupboard and you should always have enough ingredients to knock something quick and simple up to eat.

  127. A great meal is curry. Perfect when you have any old vegetables that are nearly out of date. Use them and freeze the rest. Makes a quick meal for very cheap cost.

  128. if you are making bolegnese, stews, soups or curry double up so that you have a meal for the freezer saves time and effort during the week

  129. Turn your cooker off 10 mins before your food is ready there will still be enough heat incthe oven to finish your food off

  130. My son loves Lime , Chili , Cool Doritos and lime are not available in small bags . So we have always then bought big bags and put a portion in small box for school. Saves money and your in control of how much they have

  131. Think up new ways to cook using left overs. I’ve only just started doing this and I can’t believe how much money we’ve saved! Also using things like beans or different vegetables, cut back on the meat consumption.

  132. For slow cooking cheaper cuts of meat are far better ( eg chicken thighs don’t tend to dry out as much as more expensive breasts and they have far more flavour too!)

  133. My money saver is to have a “menu” for the week and go to the store with a set list of ingredients and items to buy! 🙂

  134. With dinners I usually prepare the salad / veggies ahead of time so I’m not rushing around when it’s time to cook the other bits. Lovely giveaway, thank you 🙂 xx

  135. Grate the end of a loaf into breadcrumbs, then freeze. When a recipe calls for breadcrumb topping, use straight from the freezer – no need to thaw. This can really speed up making a meal, and feels especially good when you’re tired!

  136. Always look at the reduced section, sometimes you can find items around the store that people have just left somewhere completely different to where it should be.

  137. Make the most of your gas oven time/cost when cooking your evening meal by baking a cake or cookies, or even a tray of sausages/baked potatoes for the freezer for quick meals . Also, I cook potatoes for a bit in the microwave then just do the for 20 mins in the oven as opposed to an hour to give them the ‘baked’ effect

  138. Make the most of your freezer I recently bought a chest freezer and never looked back. I make shepherds pies lasagnes etc then freeze to save money and time when busy at work xx

  139. I tend to improvise a lot with my slow cooker, use whatever meat I have and then all the bits and pieces of vegs that are sitting in the fridge (never enough for a serving but great in a casserole with either some stock or tomato puree and hot water and lots of herbs and or spices and make a delicious meal that dosent cost a fortune. If any left over I had haricot or kidney beans the following day for another meal

  140. I always buy reduced items in Supermarkets, cook on the same day and freeze for another day amazing what you can save

  141. if you have veggies getting close to their use by, chuck them all into some stock, boil and whizz up into a yummy soup for the freezer to save wasting it.

  142. Buy food from the supermarket that is considerably cheaoer because it will be out of date on that day, because you can cook it up on that day and freeze it. Thanks

  143. I love to grow my own fruit and veg and it saves loads of money. Plus you cannot beat freshly grown produce.

  144. Prep food in advance, such as pre-chopping veg that you may want for weekly meals. Store them like this and it’ll save time on the day of use.

  145. chop up leftover or reduced fresh herbs and freeze in oil in ice cube trays. perfect to pop out when next needed 🙂

  146. Make soup from the unused ends of asparagus spears which are not cooked as they are not tender enough. You’ll need to sieve the soup to remove fibrous bits. Sprouting broccoli stalks also make lovely soup. You can freeze it if you have too much.

  147. Make bulk loads of meals and freeze desired portion sizes. Much cheaper to buy things in bulk with one cook up session c

  148. Make a whole chicken last, have you chicken dinner, use the left over meat for a stir fry and then use the bones to make some soup,

  149. When you have fresh herbs which you know you’re not going to use chop them up and freeze them in a bit oil or water in IceCube trays so when it comes to needing them you just need to pop another IceCube in x

  150. A lot of times we don’t use a full bread loaf, so we freeze most of it for toast and such! Plus, any veg that’s on the way out we chop and freeze 🙂

  151. I always used leftover chicken to make a meal for the next day, even if there not much it makes a lovely chicken sandwich the following lunchtime

  152. Make batches of yummy homemade meals and freeze them. If your feeling lazy during the week you can still have a hearty home cooked meal ready in half the time and with half the effort.

  153. Make any leftover vegetables into a soup and freeze. With my children now taking part n lots of after school clubs its useful to be able to give them a hearty but quick snack some times in the evening.

  154. If you can always make extra to store in the freezer for those days when you are rushed and not enough time to make meals x

  155. Easy to make sauce or custard: Heat slightly less than the required amount of milk or water in the microwave, while mixing the custard powder/cornflour in a small amount of the same (cold) liquid. While stiring the hot (steaming) liquid, pour the custard/cornflour cold liquid mixture in, while continuing to stir. If it doesn’t thicken ehough, microwave a little longer. Once thick, add any necessary flavouring (cheese, stock, etc.)

  156. Utilise supermarket offers with friends/family that way you still benefit from the offer without wasting it if you won’t use in time

  157. Once a month go through the cupboards and see what’s nearing its best before date – then focus recipes on those ingredients. It saves waste and saves you wondering what to cook 🙂

  158. My top tip would have to be batch cooking 🙂 especially things like pasta – I eat a lot of pasta salads and things so if I’m cooking pasta I will always cook extra and freeze some, then it’s so easy to just get some out and quickly defrost it. I also find it brilliant for brown rice because that takes sooo long to cook, though obviously you have to be very careful with rice as far as cooling/reheating goes

  159. Pick your mint when fresh and young freeze it and crush with a rolling pin, take out what you need pop the rest back in the freezer for next time.

  160. If you have to use your oven make sure you fill it so you make the most of it! Make lunch or dinner for the following day, pudding or snacks that will last several days etc. I bake veggies or fruit cos they can be used it lots of ways.

  161. Only buy branded products when they are on offer. If they aren’t on offer in your regular shop, look around, and then stock up

  162. I always make meals to feed four (even though our kids have flown the nest) then freeze half for another time, rather than leave it languishing in the back of the fridge to be thrown out at some later date because you forgot about it. Every few weeks I not only have a week where I spend a lot less on food shopping, but I don’t have to cook either!

  163. Make a meal plan for the week so you only buy what you really need. Also make big batches of meals. Saves time and fuel cooking it all together and you always have a meal ready to reheat.

  164. Check the reduced sections in the supermarket. You can get meat reduced sometimes half the price or more that you can freeze and also you can get tinned food cheaper because the tin is slightly bashed

  165. Buy food that has been reduced in price because it is nearing it’s expiry date and if you dont want to eat it straight away you can freeze it to preserve it until you want to eat it, then defrost it overnight to cook it the next day. There are a few foods that cannot be frozen so always check the label to find this information.

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