Kirkcudbright chef Nick Morris shares his top tips for cooking on a budget as food prices rise

A chef in Dumfries and Galloway is urging people in the region to think more about saving money when it comes to buying food.

It is because of rising food prices due to record inflation which is causing a cost of living crisis.

Nick Morris, a chef in Kirkcudbright who runs the Station House Cookery School, specialises in teaching students how to cook on a budget and make food last longer.

He has shared his best advice for how people can continue to eat healthily, without breaking the bank.

Here are some of his top tips for eating well on a budget:

  • Batch cooking

Invest in some freezer zip lock bags and split up large meals and snacks for multiple days. Always label and date these, and put food for future use in the fridge or freezer. This way you can just pull out a bag and your food is ready to go.

Making meals in big batches then portioning it up is a good way to save money and have meals ready for later in the week. Credit: Eat, Shop, Save
  • Plan ahead

Plan your week ahead by creating things like meal plans so you know what to buy when you go to the supermarket.

Do not impulse buy or buy more than you need.

  • Know your weights and measures

Supermarkets charge different amounts for the same item depending on how much you buy.

Look at the small print on labels to see how much each item costs per set weight, for example per 100g or a kilogram.

  • Buy in season

Seasonal vegetables are much cheaper and normally travels fewer miles.

Buying local and seasonal produce often works out much cheaper than getting imported items. Credit: ITV News Border
  • Good storage management

Dry goods such as pulses and pastas have a long shelf life and you can just use the amount you need, but these things must be kept in cool dry places.

  • Good freezer management

Make sure you know what can be frozen and how.

Some items are almost always sold in larger quantities than you need in a meal, for example garlic and ginger. With foods like this you can blitz them with a little water and freeze in ice cubes to use in smaller quantities.

  • Do not shy away from frozen vegetables

Peas are often higher in vitamins when frozen and you use just the amount you need. This way there is no waste.

  • Love your leftovers

Along with your weekly plan incorporate leftovers into meals.

Some items have much better left over potential than others. For example rice is great to keep refrigerated as part of your lunch for the next day.

Only buying the quantities you need or buying a whole cut of meat and then portioning it up can often be cheaper than getting smaller cuts. Credit: PA
  • Know your cuts of meat and their value

If you eat meat then try going for the cheaper cuts which often have more flavour.

Try and find a local butcher and get to know them as they should be able to help you where a supermarket cannot.

  • Learn to love offal

It might not sound great but it has lots of flavour and is great value, just make sure you know how to cook it.

  • Basic butchery

Be prepared to get your hands dirty.

It is cheaper to buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself than to buy individual joints.

  • Try eating more vegetarian options

If you are not buying meat or fish your supermarket bills will be cheaper.

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