Cooking: You can look at the economy and also enjoy nutritious and light menus. Choose local products, buy with your head, and not discard food even if you have a small quantity.
The coronavirus pandemic and the forced confinement have caused us to organize ourselves day by day in a different way. It has also forced us to rethink what to eat.
Most likely, during these weeks at home, we have ingested and pecked more than we should, but apart from that, now it is time to invest in the foods that can better and better nourish us without the domestic economy suffering further.
The key is to save and take care of yourself at the same time with star dishes from the kitchen, always within the light and balanced menus.
1. 8 Healthy and Cheap Ideas
Time to kick-start your imagination, starting with some necessary preparations.
- Pasties. They are simple to make, and you can fill them with a farce made with sofrito and some pieces of fish that you have leftover from a meal. You can even make them in the oven to avoid the oil expense (and calories).
- Croquettes and fritters. Another star resource that allows as many variations as you like. Vegetables, legumes, fish or seafood, roast chicken, chop them up, mix them with mashed potatoes or a bechamel sauce, slice them, and do!
- Gazpacho. The classic can change according to your convenience by adding fruits or other vegetables that you have in the fridge.
- Pistons. Tomato, zucchini, onion, pepper, you can cook all the “cuts” and get, at the same time, a garnish for today and a sauce that completes a pasta dish the next day.
- Cold soups and creams. Both vegetables and legumes are the perfect harvesting dish because they can be lengthened with a little broth or milk.
You can turn a garnish for today into a delicious sauce for tomorrow.
- Pizzas to taste. If you do not dare to prepare the base yourself, buy it and spread the ingredients that suit you best: rolled mushrooms, some arugula leaves, a little ham, some vegetable cuttings (the eggplant looks excellent, for example).
- Dumplings. Beef and pork, chicken, cod, salmon, vegetables, cheese, and nuts can also be cooked in the oven.
- Tortillas. You can enrich them with what you like the most: cheese, vegetables, mushrooms, Scrambled eggs are another option.
2. Calculate Well When Making the Purchase
Whenever you can, buy seasonal and local food (the more intermediaries, the more expensive). These examples will give you a plan of why fresh produce so much more than processed:
- With ½ kilo of tomatoes, you can prepare a sauce for 4 people. If you buy it already made, you will need at least 2 cans. Even if you spend gas and a couple of olive oil tablespoons, the cost is lower, since you can find ½ kg of tomatoes for around € 0.80.
- With 400 g of cooked chickpeas, you can get 6 servings (about 66 g per person) of hummus. If you buy the hummus already prepared, with a 240 g tub, you will only have 4 people and a higher price, € 1.40 minimum.
- With a 1 kg pumpkin (€ 1.80), 4 leeks, and a potato, you will have 6 servings of puree; if you buy a ½ liter Brik, you will cover only 3 meals (or 4 less generous), and you will spend € 3.
3. Save Also When You Cook
Your home finances will not only appreciate that you make a good shopping list and cook using food wisely. How you do it can also help you adjust your budget.
- The espresso pot, more efficient. It is the one with which we save the most (up to 50%) because cooking is done in less time.
- If it is a regular pot, cover it. You spend 25% less energy because the heat is distributed better, and the preparation is done earlier. And even better if you use casseroles with a thick diffuser bottom.
- Put out the fire. Turning it off 10 minutes before the end of cooking will finish with the residual heat without spending gas or light.