Experts share kitchen hacks to ‘help budgets go further’ amid cost of living crisis

Experts have shared the cooking hacks they use to help limit food waste and make their budgets go further as the cost of living continues to rise.

The advice comes after a survey of 2,000 adults, carried out by Schwartz, found that 46 per cent of adults are eating the same meals every week in a bid to save money.

Additionally, 46 per cent said they are compromising on what they would like to eat because food prices are becoming too high.

The news comes as the rate of Consumer Price Index inflation rose to 10.1 per cent in September.

The Office for National Statistics said rising food prices were the biggest contributor to the rise, driven by an increase in the cost of staple food products such as bread, cereals, milk, cheese and eggs.

The survey found that, on average, households are consuming three identical meals a week. More than half (54 per cent) said they tend to buy the same ingredients every time they go grocery shopping.

However, one in two people said they wished they could “work smarter” in the kitchen and cook a wider variety of meals on a budget.

Lee Williams, head of culinary innovation at Schwartz, said it was clear that people are “stuck in a rut” in the kitchen.

“With the cost of living crisis a worry for everyone, it can sometimes be tricky to find meals that fit within your weekly budget, but don’t compromise on taste or flavour,” Williams said.

“Small changes to your cooking style and habits can go a long way. Bulking out meals with vegetables is a great way to make your food go that little bit further and trying out different seasonings and flavourings can also be an easy way to vary what you’re eating throughout the week.”

 (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Experts at Schwartz have explained their top tips for cooking on a budget.

For those who are used to batch cooking their meals, Williams recommends splitting up the portions and seasoning them differently to create different meals.

For example, instead of using mince for a big batch of chili con carne, half could be turned into bolognese. This way, you’re less likely to get bored of your meals throughout the week and have fewer leftovers.

Experts also recommend trying different cuts of meat. “Buying whole cuts can often be more cost effective than buying individual pre-prepared pieces for the majority of meats,” they said.

With energy bills going up, many people will be keen to use as few appliances as possible. In this case, experts recommend incorporating some “one-pot wonders” into your weekly meal planning.

“One-pot wonders are a beneficial way to not only save time, but also saving on the washing up afterwards too,” they said.

“This also includes using slow cookers and air fryers, both of which are easy and energy efficient to use at home.”