Wednesday, May 18, 2016

8 Tips to Save Money on Foods - Cooking

      In my yesterday's entry, I wrote about how to save money during your grocery shopping. Even when you shop groceries wisely, you cannot save money on foods if you don't use them up. When I just started saving money in my early 20s, I sometimes had to waste foods. Vegetables and meat which I purchased with a great deal sometimes went bad sadly. It was wasting of foods and money. Gradually, I learned how to save money on foods from my experiences. Even when I was super busy, I tried to avoid unnecessary eating out and wasting foods. When I was in Japan, I headed toward my workplace at 6:30 a.m. and came back home at around 10 p.m. I worked 6 days a week. I was very tired but I always took lunch to my workplace and ate dinner at home. I'm going to share 8 tips to save money on foods with you.

1. Avoid Throwing Away Foods
     In order to save money on foods, not throwing away foods is very important. You should know how to store vegetable and meat properly.

2. Put Away Meat in Freezer Right After Your Grocery Shopping
     As soon as coming back home from grocery shopping, you should decide how much meat you use for cooking that day. If you don't use it that day, you should put it away in freezer. Decide how much you use at one time, and wrap each one-time use of meat with plastic wrap. Then store them in freezer. You can keep them fresh for about a month. Do not buy another meat until you used it up.

3. Always Keep Cooked Rice in Freezer
     Even though I eat rice one to two times a day, I don't cook rice every day. I always cook rice as much as possible at one time. Then, wrap an each serving of cooked rice with plastic wrap. Store them in freezer. When you want to eat cooked rice, just microwave it for about 2 minutes. It really saves your time. My rice cooker can cook 5.5 cups of rice at one time, so it can make 11 servings of cooked rice at a time.

4. When You Chop Green Onion Finely, Make Extra Ones to Use Next Time
     When I have miso soup, I always put finely chopped green onion in it. When you make finely chopped green onions, always make extra ones. Keep the leftover fresh chopped green onion in container. You can keep it fresh in refrigerator for 4 days or so. I don't have to chop green onion every time I want to have soup.

5. Cook Extra Meals
     When you cook meal for dinner, always make extra ones for next days, so you don't have to cook following days. If you are super busy in weekdays, it's good idea to spend a little over hours cooking on Sundays. You can make a lot on Sunday, and eat them on Sunday through Wednesday.

6. Find Something You Can Prepare in 5 Minutes
     When you are very tired, you don't want to cook. Are you going to eat out because of that? Find something you don't have to cook or just cook in 5 minutes. It's faster than eating out.

■Something You Don't Have to Cook
Hiyayakko (Silken Tofu) - Just put soy sauce on silken tofu.
Natto - Just add sauce and stir.
Instant Miso Soup - Just add hot water, and sprinkle fresh green onions.
Grape Tomatoes - Just serve.
String Cheese

■Dishes You Can Cook in 5 Minutes
Cooked Rice - Microwave frozen cooked rice for 2 minutes.
Fried Egg
Scramble Egg
Grilled Sausage
Udon - I always keep frozen udon noodles in my freezer. Cook, and add an egg, wakame and chopped green onion.

7. Make Your Drinks
    Making tea and coffee is very simple and easy. Have your favorite double-wall tumbler, which keep your drinks hot or cold longer.

8. Take Drinks, Snacks and Light Meals to Your Road Trip
     When you go on road trip, you are away from home. Always take drinks, snacks and light meals to your car. You don't want to eat out just because you are hungry. By having some foods in your car, you can skip eating out at least one time. I usually take some water, coffee (or tea), rice balls (or sandwiches) and candies to my road trip. I sometimes make bento (Japanese style lunch box) before leaving home such as tamagoyaki, grilled sausage, grape tomatoes and rice balls. Having bento outside home is very refreshing. :)

These are my entries you might like.

1. Why Couldn't You Save Money?

2. Start Saving Money In Your Early 20s

3. 3 Steps : How to Start Saving Money

4. Cost of Eating Out vs Eating at Home

5. 9 Ways to Save Money on Food - Grocery Shopping

6. 8 Tips to Save Money on Foods - Cooking

     My entries related to money can be seen here.

     My entries related to cooking can be seen here.

     This is my entries related to my favorite recipes.

     My entries related to Japan can be seen here.

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