Kitchen Cost Cutters
• Make full use of a conventional oven to economise on fuel. If you’re baking a cake, prepare a casserole to cook on another shelf at the same time. Or when you’re doing a roast, wrap the vegetables to go with it in foil and bake them alongside the meat for the last 30-45 minutes.
• Freeze leftover vegetables and gravy to add to soups later on.
• Don’t cook vegetables in separate pots if you’re already boiling potatoes. Just put them in a colander and steam them over the potato pan.
• Buy Parmesan cheese in blocks, rather than ready-grated, and grate off what you need each time. It’s cheaper, tastes better and lasts longer.
• Mix expensive olive or nut oils with mild vegetable oils such as sunflower to make them go further.
• Buy herbs growing in small pots rather than tiny bunches of picked leaves. With a little care, the plants will last for months.
• Save any leftover pieces of bread, biscuit and cake. Dry the bread in the oven and then grind it up to make breadcrumbs; and crumble up the biscuits and stale cake to make crumbs for a sweet dish.
• If you’re cooking on an electric stove with sealed hotplates, turn off the heat about two minutes before cooking is finished- or five minutes if you’re using a heavy stainless-steel pan. The plate will stay hot enough to finish cooking the food without using up any more.
• Freshen up dry bread by sprinkling it with water or passing it quickly under a running cold tap and then placing it in an oven preheated to 150°C (300°F/Gas Mark 2) for 15-20 minutes.