A BUDGET-friendly chef has revealed the supermarket spending mistakes many people make, and shared some tips on what you should be doing instead.
Miguel Barclay became known as the One Pound Chef after creating delicious budget recipes – and insists there are plenty of ways to cook good meals at home for cheap.
Miguel Barclay became known as the One Pound Chef after creating delicious budget recipes – and has six cook books Credit: Dan Jones © Headline 2019
But that doesn’t mean you have to eat the same thing time and time again either, as Miguel said you can make food fun and still eat a varied diet.
This is because being on a budget forces you to cook from scratch – which often means eating healthier too.
Avoid pre-packed items
His first tip is to avoid microwave meals and pre-made sauces, which are often way “too expensive”.
Instead, he said there are plenty of new recipes online you can choose from and if you can’t come up with them yourself, he said they’re “people like him” who can help.
But it’s not just microwave meals and jarred sauces to avoid as Miguel said to scrap prepared foods altogether – including pre-chopped fruit and veg.
While they might be super convenient and save on time, they’re not good if you’re trying to save cash.
He explained that the price goes up the moment you add the preparation fee to items and said that you’re not only paying for pre-chopped carrots, for example, but the cost of running a factory, staff wages and packaging.
Another way to save on your supermarket shop is swap out a few ingredients that you might normally have, such as swapping mince beef for mushrooms.
Miguel, who has six cookbooks based around £1 meals, told Mirror Online: “If you’re making spaghetti with mince beef, but you swap it with mushrooms that’s going to be cheaper and healthier.”
And added that mushrooms are “probably my all time favourite ingredient” and is often the base of most of his meals.
He says mushrooms are his favourite ingredient and can be used in anything Credit: Rex Features
They are also super healthy too, according to Miguel who has been working with UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers, and said they are full of vitamin D.
He said: “One of the issues with living in the UK is we don’t get enough sunlight. We need to have vitamin D, it’s really important.”
Adding that a handful of mushrooms will give you “all the vitamin D you need in one day.”
Avoid small stores
Miguel advises shopping around to find cheaper items, but said you must also consider the cost involved in travelling between stores.
What’s more, the budget-friendly chef said that smaller supermarket stores are a no-no if you want to save some cash, as the smaller high street versions often sell products at a higher price.
Miguel’s staple ingredients:
These are the staples you should always have in the cupboard:
Miguel said you can make almost anything with curry powder – just throw a lot of stuff in a pan and throw some curry powder in.
According to Miguel, if you compare a portion of rice to anything, rice comes out as the cheapest and that pasta, mash and chips are more expensive.
Tins of chickpeas
Chickpeas last a long time so they’re good to have at a moments notice, he said.
They are the “best meat substitute” and are the “perfect ingredient.”
Another money saving hack is sticking to the common ingredients, as the supermarkets often want to sell them for less than their competitors, according to Miguel.
He claims they are willing to drop the prices on the big items to attract more customers, for example, supermarkets want to be cheapest for cheddar cheese, so you’ll get it for a good price – but not for other types of cheese.
Speaking of ingredients and brands, he suggested sticking to supermarket’s own brands which will take a huge amount off each shop.
Cook everything from scratch
While most of us want to take the least amount of time in the kitchen as possible, Miguel’s biggest tip is to cook everything from scratch.
While it might seem like it’ll take you longer, the chef insists you can create super quick and easy meals for cheap – just take a look at some of his recipes.
He said they’re “not too complicated” and they’re “not stressful to cook” so they’re perfect for anyone to try.
Meanwhile, a busy mum-of-four shares her VERY organised meal-prep system which helps her plan food for six weeks
Plus we shared how a mum-of-three reduces weekly food bill to just £30 thanks to batch cooking – here’s how she did it.
And a mum feeds her family-of-four for £1.50 each a day and shares her monthly meal plan so you can too.