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Thursday 30th October 2014
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Cooking in the credit crunch

stephen-saunders.jpgCelebrity chef Stephen Saunders gave Bill Buckley his five top tips for how to cope with cooking in the credit crunch.

Buy own-brand food
We're still too obsessed with branded food. Many items, such as rice, are the same as the supermarket versions, but cost up to five times more. You can now find bargains at all supermarkets, even Waitrose, which has some terrific deals for cheese.

Avoid wastage
Wasting both food and energy costs people a lot each year. When you roast a chicken, you could have the breasts one day, the legs as a curry the next day and use the carcas to make chicken stock the day after. Once the chicken is cooked, you can freeze it and use it again later that month. It also means you aren't just using the oven for one meal.

Know what time your supermarket does their marking down
Get bargains for perfectly good food by picking up the recently marked-down items at your supermarket. Meat, veg and bread are all marked down in the evening, so after 8pm they may be a third of the price than before. Be careful of Buy One Get One Free deals... they are great value, but do you actually want two of them?

Buy meat on the bone
Fillets of meat aren't as good value. Meat on the bone will have more flavour, suffer less shrinkage and therefore give you more for your money.

Buy what you can afford
Good value doesn't mean cheap. Value is also about how tasty the food is. For example, you can buy two cheap steaks for £4 but there is a higher chance they will be chewy. But if you can afford it, 28-day hung beef will be delicious and better value for what you get. Most people try to eat free-range chickens, but some say they can't afford to. A good alternative is farm-assured chicken, which is taken care of by the RSPCA, who ensure that they are cared for better, have more space. These cost about £4, which is substantially cheaper than free-range chicken.

 

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