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While eating home-cooked meals definitely costs less than eating out, it’s possible to save even more money by making a few small changes in the kitchen. From using the right cookware to the way you save leftovers, there are several ways to cut costs when it comes to preparing meals. Read on to discover five ingenious ways to save money just by tweaking the way you cook.
1. Induction Cooking
If you haven’t heard of induction cooking, you’re missing out on a remarkably energy efficient way of cooking. Induction cooking uses an alternating magnetic field to generate heat. This advanced technology heats the pan only – not the stovetop – allowing for faster cooking times in a much more energy-efficient manner.
For induction cooking to work, you must have an induction stovetop and any of the induction cookware sets available on the market. While the initial investment is greater than the traditional method of cooking, the long-term savings in time and money are well worth it.
2. Serve Healthy Portions
Today’s portion sizes are out of control. According to the American Heart Association, a healthy portion of meat or poultry is three ounces cooked. This food group should take up no more than a quarter of your plate.
To save money, be mindful of healthy portion sizes and avoid preparing more than you need to feed yourself and your family. When there’s more food on the table than is necessary, people tend to overeat, and leftovers often go to waste in the fridge.
3. Choose Cheaper Cuts of Meat
There’s no need to spend extra money on expensive cuts of beef and pork if you know how to cook the cheaper cuts. At $2-$6 per pound compared to $10 per pound and up, cheaper cuts of meat can be just as tender and tasty if you cook them low and slow.
Place a tough cut of meat in the pan and add enough liquid to keep it moist while cooking. Turn the heat on low, cover, and cook it for a few hours to make it melt-in-your-mouth yummy.
4. Take Your Lunch
Today’s world is a busy one, and many people like to grab lunch out while they tend to their work duties. The problem with this is that you end up eating way more calories than you should; not to mention how expensive it is.
Besides costing a small fortune each time, people who eat out often tend to be overweight, which ultimately leads to higher medical costs as well. To avoid the health and financial costs of eating lunch out during the work week, take a few minutes each day to prepare a healthy meal (and snacks) to take to work. Your body and your wallet will thank you.
5. Try a Slow Cooker
If you’re the busy type or simply dislike cooking, you can still avoid the eating-out trap by giving the old slow cooker a try. Slow cookers are brilliant because you can add all the ingredients in the morning, plug it in, and when you return in the evening, you’ve got a hot, tasty meal waiting for you. Another great advantage is the fact that a slow cooker can turn any cheap cut of meat into a tender, juicy delight with little effort on your part.
When in the kitchen, it’s possible to save a buck or two by following the tips listed above. From induction cooking to using a slow cooker, you can save money just by tweaking the way you cook.