Making cooking fun! While reducing costs and reducing waste
Reducing costs and waste while making cooking fun
Whilst, in the past, cooking together as a family was very much a part of everyday life, this is much less so now. In an increasingly pressured world, with many more options that are easily available for take-away meals, there are also fewer opportunities for children to learn essential culinary skills.
For a few hints and tips, BBC Good Food provides an excellent Guide to Cookery Skills by Age which includes recipes that make use of ingredients which are often seen as leftovers.
Focused recipes are also available for specific situations e.g. student life, camping holidays, family picnics and children’s parties within the BBC Family and Kids section.
Increasing cost to families of ready meals, fast food and takeaways
Recognising the additional and increasing cost to families of ready meals, fast food and takeaways, the BBC’s Eat Well For Less programme now also provides a plethora of useful suggestions for reducing the family food budget, reducing food waste and encouraging healthy options.
Buying a ready-made lunch every day costs approximately £1,200 per annum
In an article in The Guardian (3rd Nov 2017), it was estimated that buying a ready-made lunch every day costs approximately £1,200 per annum! This is quite a significant amount of money that could be saved for say a car, a wedding or a holiday! (Or maybe something a little less extravagant!) Take-away food on the other hand not only increases the costs to families but is also likely to include excess sugar, salt and fat with health implications.
A little bit of food prep, planning and some extra freezer space
When considering the preparation of packed lunches in advance, there is a common misconception that this involves a lot of extra work. In fact, a little bit of planning, and preferably some space in the freezer, is all that’s needed. It is really easy to make an extra portion or two every time you make dinner and either place it in the fridge for later in the week or tuck it in the freezer for longer-term use. Here are some examples of meals that can be made in advance and frozen.
Reducing single-use plastic with a little careful planning
A further benefit of home cooked food and careful planning will be a reduction in the amount of single-use plastic. We have all been challenged by the Blue Planet series and the need to consider our use of such materials. More shops now are allowing you to refill your own bag or container, saving on food and waste packaging, and the Refill tap water campaign aims to make refilling your water bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by introducing refill points on every street. Check out the West Sussex Refill points using the app.
Recipes…sharing family favourites
Do you have any favourite recipes that you learnt from family members or friends? Or do you have other tips and tricks that you have learnt to reduce the family budget, simplify the preparation of meals in advance (for home and work use), whilst simultaneously reducing waste and enjoying healthy options?