Never throw away any food ever again!
It is estimated that Australian households throw away up to 1/3 of all food purchases because they aren’t stored properly, they aren’t’ eaten in time and spoil, or they are just throw away in the bin. If the average weekly food shop is say $200 – that is $60 you are throwing in the bin every week!
Here are some simple ideas on preserving food before it spoils – or will help you get that food wastage bill down to hopefully ZERO!
1. Prepare and Marinate Chicken in advance
You will save a lot of time if you divide the chicken (both breasts and chicken pieces) into Ziplock bags with marinades before you freeze them for later. You can mix different sauces from barbecues to curries. Store them in the freezer. Make sure you pop on the zip lock bag the used-by date (chicken is three months in the freezer).
That way you can take out a few bags and defrost them in the fridge overnight ready to pop on the barbecue or baste in the oven.
Bonus: they will taste better, too.
Some ideas for simple and delicious marinades for chicken include:
- Honey and Mustard
- Honey Soy
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Lime and Soy
2. Preserve Manky Fruit From the Fruit Bowl
Bananas are yummy and very useful, but they are also notorious for going bad quite quickly, especially in the hotter months, they tend to get the black spots super fast. To save time and effort, preserve bananas by wrapping the crown with a plastic wrap. Some also say this can be done with aluminium foil.
But another great way – is to wait until the bananas are very ripe (lots of black spots), then peel and place in a zip lock bag and pop in the freezer.
Frozen bananas make fantastic banana ice-cream, are yummy in smoothies or put them through a Yonanas Healthy Frozen Dessert Maker machine with other frozen fruit for a healthy and delicious dessert.
All fruit is great to pop into the freezer for this purpose!
Another great way to use up any damaged or manky looking fruit is to use it to make a dessert. Cut up all the bruised fruit and place it in a baking tray and either top it with some butter, oats and brown sugar to make a fruit crumble (delicious with custard). Or make a fruit Charlotte, but making up a simple cake mix and pouring it over the top of the cut up fruit.
3. Prepare mince or ground meat ahead of time
Similar to chicken, you can also prepare mince ahead of time by sectioning it and freezing. Thus, when you need a portion, your meat has already been divided into portion-sized patties. Better than stuffing bulk mince into the freezer then having to eat the whole lot at once!
4. Prolong the shelf life of your herbs
Herbs, like fruits, are extremely helpful food aides but they are also known for having early expiration dates. To save time and effort, you can either dry your herbs using the microwave or mix them with melted butter or oil in an ice cube tray and make frozen herb butter.
5. Peel potatoes in record time
If you’re anything like me, a good portion of your meals have potatoes in them. But we all know how time-consuming it is to peel potatoes, right? Here’s the trick: cook them partially, dunk them in cold water, and remove the skin in seconds.
6. Say goodbye to hardened ice cream forever!
Ice cream is always an exciting part of dessert (and can be the main star of dessert itself!), but hardened ice cream is such a let-down. It also takes time to soften ice cream. To prevent it, freeze ice cream by putting the box inside a Ziplock bag.
7. Prepare meals in advance and freeze them.
One of the oldest tricks in the book for frugal cooking is preparing meals in advance and freezing them. But aside from being super budget-friendly, freezing meals is also one of the best ways to save time in the kitchen! For a whole book dedicated on how to freeze your meals and waste less – we highly recommend Once a Month Cooking by Jody Allen, it is the bible of freezer cooking!
Freeze any food leftovers you have too – perfect for topping a baked potato or using as a filling in a jaffle!
8. Use aluminium trays to thaw meat
Thawing meat must be one of the things that take the most of our time in the kitchen. But there’s a trick that the veterans know: thaw meat using aluminium trays because the metal absorbs heat faster. This tip is proven.
9. Use the slow cooker to cook your meals
The slow cooker is an indispensable part of any frugal person’s kitchen. Gone are the days when you have to spend hours on your feet watching your meal cook. One of the best ways to save time is to let your crock pot cook your meals for you! Slow Cookers make the cheaper cuts of meats such as mince or chicken on the bone lovely and moist. Especially good when you are heading into the Winter months when heavier meals are what families are craving. Pop some frozen veggies or rice in the slow cooker too to bulk out the meal – and you will be eating like Kings on only a few dollars!
We have fabulous slow cooker recipes that you didn’t think was possible.
10. Prepare instant mixes
Instant mixes are not the pre-packaged mixes that are sold in grocery stores. Instead, these are mixes of your recipes for, for example, salad dressings and pancakes. Now your meals are still made from scratch but don’t take as much time.