Cooking On A Budget

Take care of your diet to spend less money

In the Paleolithic, between 1.8 million years ago and less than 100,000 years before our era, Homo Erectus already practiced cooking, through its mastery of fire, and the cooking of meat.

The first hominids of prehistoric times made food preparations such as cleaning with water, taking a consumable part of a carrion or fruit, opening a shell or grinding food with a tool.

Culinary art has therefore existed since antiquity, and has never ceased to evolve, thanks in particular to the progress of agriculture and industrialization.

In recent decades, there has been a “return to the land”: more and more people are fleeing from agri-food because of its harmful effects, preferring organic cuisine.

Now it is possible to eat healthy with a minimum of money.

And yes! But to do this, you have to learn to eat again and change your eating habits.

Learning to cook is not difficult and, in addition, it is a practice that allows you to enjoy yourself and acquire a healthy diet while limiting your budget.

Choose your menus in advance

Are you the food shopping clerk and have a family to feed?

Single, you need to fill out your fridge?

There’s enough to wonder every day what we’re going to eat for lunch and dinner, right? “Well, tonight it’s pasta, olive oil and zucchini, because there’s nothing more in stock…”

To avoid this, make your weekly menus in advance.

Think of this exercise as a game: by looking for ideas for small dishes to cook and mouth-watering recipes for the week, you will enjoy learning to cook in the kitchen.

You don’t need to cook like a great starred chef.

Learning some basic cooking basics will help you progress quickly and test combinations of ingredients, taste, taste, taste dishes, wander according to creative inspirations, impress your friends, create a real gourmet workshop.Does that seem difficult to you? Lacking inspiration?

Our team has found for you a balanced menu planner that is in line with the rhythm of the seasons.

These are developed from the nutritional guidelines of the National Nutrition and Health Programme.

You choose the number of days to plan, your calendar, the number of people, the composition of the meals (starter, main course, dessert) and the site directs you to menu ideas and an optimized shopping list.

Even better than a cookbook!

Doing it yourself is cheaper than buying

According to an INSEE study, French households spent 35% of their budget on food in 1960.

57 years later, the budget item allocated to food has been reduced to 20% of income.

This trend reflects an average propensity to consume less, due to the increase in purchasing power.

But above all, food practices have changed drastically: nowadays, people are looking for better food while spending less.

Your income is modest, even low and you are used to frozen trays?

In his fight against junk food, Jean-Pierre Coffe (1938-2016) “campaigned” for a change in consumers’ eating habits. We will join him on one point: eating healthy is not only a pleasure for the rich.

Preparing and cooking food yourself remains a solution and it is important to focus on non-manufactured products.

Here’s how to optimize your shopping list to limit your food budget:

  • don’t shop when you’re hungry (to buy only what you need)
  • focus on fruits and vegetables (preferably organic), potatoes, eggs and cereals
  • limit your consumption of fish and meat: more expensive, they contain too much animal fat and, in addition, mixing several vegetables with starchy foods eliminates the need for meat protein.
  • learn to cook with natural foods that are not very processed (beans, peas, lentils): very cheap, they are also very healthy! Discover why cooking is good for your health….
  • Avoid sweets: if a 500 gram packet of biscuits costs €4, or €8 per kilo, then you will spend less on flour (or almond powder), butter, oil, eggs, yeast, sugar or cocoa, to bake a one-kilo cake!
  • learn how to make sandwiches: for €4 to €4.50, you can make several sandwiches with a baguette of bread, a pack of ham slices and a stick of butter, but this is often the price to pay in a bakery for a single sandwich
  • Vary the pleasures: whole grain rice, fresh pasta, beans, peas, lentils, semolina, etc., purchased at retail contain less fat than in cans, and are certainly cheaper
  • buy as much as possible from local producers, in an online organic basket, from the Hive that says Yes, for example
  • Learning to cook involves learning to do gardening. If you have an outdoor space – even a very small terrace – make yourself a vegetable garden.

Get into permaculture, a farming method invented in Australia in the 1970s.

In the vegetable garden, your natural vegetables grow while you learn to cook them. It will also significantly reduce your food expenses.

The last tip to save money: invest in good cooking utensils (blender, cooker, grater, etc.) to make salads, peel and cut vegetables.

No more vacuum-packed salads, grated carrots in trays with chemical mayonnaise, cassoulets or ravioli in cans…

Also, a real whole chicken or a large piece of meat will cost less per kilo than plastic cut pieces in a supermarket.

Make large quantities and store food

Your ally to save money and use your cork cooking lessons is the freezer. Would you like to learn how to cook without blowing up the piggy bank?

Be aware that many traditional dishes (stews, sauerkraut, couscous, etc.) are in most countries of the world, popular dishes invented by the poor populations.

Therefore, they are not expensive to prepare.

One strategy is to prepare in large quantities and then freeze what is not consumed the same day or the next day.

It will be cheaper to spend €20 to cook a dish that will last three or four days, than to go shopping every day for €10 for lunch and dinner.

If you have previously hunted down promotions and sales, you already have something to do in the freezer: saving money by cooking also means knowing how to manage your food stocks!

It is the pet peeve of the great chef: a poorly managed reserve leads to waste and loss of money, while by intelligently combining its products, it is possible to prepare healthy, tasty and balanced dishes.

  • think about making a list of what is needed before you go shopping
  • exhaust the entire food supply: cook dishes with what is left
  • cooking large quantities of sauces (bolognese, carbonara, béchamel, etc.), soups and soups, dishes (gratins, pan-fried, quiches, etc.), costs less than buying everything ready-made
  • freeze unconsumed surpluses
  • Cooking, even when you think you are a beginner and are learning to cook, also helps to avoid waste.

The law of 11 February 2016 on this subject is clear: the waste of food in supermarkets is now condemned.

Do the same, because it’s not very moral to throw food, especially if you have a tight budget – it’s like throwing money away.

In France, food waste is a scourge. All you have to do is drive along European roads and look at the ditches to see it: immeasurable quantities of plastic packaging, cardboard and paper are thrown out of car windows.

According to Planetoscope, France wastes nearly 10 million tons of food products per year, of which 1.2 million tons are still edible food.

That is nearly 20 kg of food still edible per Frenchman per year.

Learn to choose the right food

Cooking with a view to reducing consumer spending also means selecting your products. Obviously, we are interested in the quality/price ratio and, if possible, the production conditions of the food.

The greater the choice and diversity of products, the more tempting it is… And the more you exceed your budget! Avoid going to the supermarket to get your supplies!

Your cooking lessons at school may have taught you: healthy cooking is no more expensive than choosing fine food.

  • follow the seasons: because importing tomatoes or strawberries in December is more expensive than waiting until July to buy them from the local producer. The same is true for oranges, to be eaten in winter
  • favour direct sales channels: by consuming fresh and local produce, you put humanity into the business and adhere to a sustainable agriculture that respects the human body. An additional argument for learning to cook your own vegetables!
  • visit a local organic grocery store or the local AMAP
  • alternatively, in the supermarket, forget the big brands and opt for private labels or “discount” or “first price” products: most items, branded or not, are packed in the same factories!

Are you still lost in front of the stoves, such as an archaeologist scraping broken Palaeolithic bone fossils? Still wondering why cooking or how to learn to cook? Check out our blog everyday!