Cook from scratch
It's so much cheaper to buy the unprocessed ingredients to make a meal than to buy ready meals. I know I have the luxury of working from home so I have plenty of time to get the dinner prepared but even if your time is more limited you could always use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker.
Buy in bulkI wouldn't dream of buying a little bag of organic rice from the supermarket, it's far cheaper per gram to buy a 25kg sack of organic rice online. I always like to shop around but I find the majority of the time Amazon has the cheapest prices. I like to buy large sacks of dried beans, pulses, flour, seeds, nuts etc. in bulk online.
When you buy in bulk, remember the freezer is your new best friend! With the dried beans I buy in bulk I will soak a big lot of them over night, then boil for an hour, leave to cool then divide into portions, place in freezer bags and put in the freezer. Then when I want to cook something like a bolognaise or chilli, I will remove a bag or two from the freezer the night before.
Grow your own
You could put your name down for an allotment or grow what you can at home. Even if you don't have a garden it will still save you money to grow herbs and chillies on a window sill. If you are fortunate enough to have some space in your garden then utilise it to grow some of your own food. I don't have much space spare in my garden and quickly realised that I'd save more money growing fruit than I would vegetables. Now I grow grapes, apricots, strawberries, and blueberries which are fruits that would cost me quite a lot to buy organic from the shop.
|Grapes growing in our garden|
We love keeping hens, we feed them organic chicken feed which costs us far less than the amount it would cost us to buy the organic eggs our chickens produce. If you have the space I would definitely recommend keeping a few hens. If I had the land I would love to keep a whole load more animals like goats (for milk), sheep (to spin my own wool), cows (for milk to make cheese) and bees (for honey) but for now that will just have to remain as my little fantasy!
|Imogen, Henry, Odin and Samantha watching the hens|
Go vegan/vegetarian at least once a week
I make a mean vegan chilli and it's so cheap, I worked out it costs less than £5 to make a big pot of organic vegan chilli which would be easily enough to feed eight people and have leftovers, I also like to make an organic dahl and that is even cheaper still.
|My mean vegan chilli|
Bulk out mince and stews
Another money saving trick of mine is to bulk out things like mince or stews with lentils and/or mixed beans so I can make 500g of minced beef be part of a substantial meal for all eight of us.