The Kindest Cut
The very first weekend I had my Thermomix I set out to make lasagne from scratch. I am talking, the pasta, the bolognese, the tomato sauce to go in the bolognese and the béchamel with freshly milled cheese on the top. It was amazing. My kids helped and we loved the whole experience. And it was cheap—as cheap as it gets to feed a family of hungry man-children.
Of course, this would not be practical on a weeknight when kids need picking up/dropping off, to have their homework checked or any one of other tasks that cannot be left undone, and all before dinner.
So if you are hoping to see grocery savings by using your Thermomix, this is the article for you. Here is a full of list of strategies that make cents!
1. Never buy expensive prepared basic groceries that are easy to make in the Thermomix.
Think salad dressings, breadcrumbs, grated cheeses, tomato puree, stock pastes or powders, dips, hummus etc.
Making breadcrumbs is just a matter of saving crusts, stale slices or rolls, drying them in the oven, milling and storing in the pantry. Super easy: no waste.
I have learnt through working with chefs in the past few years that no waste is the key to saving money as well as saving the planet. The widely known Thermomix recipe for Vegetable Stock Concentrate Paste is a prime example of using up what you have to make something that will add flavour as well as save your health, and reduce waste.
2. Buy fresh and buy local
Fresh vegies and fruit are generally quite a lot cheaper than pre-made groceries you could be spending your money on. Buying local is harder to do in some places than others but if you can reduce the miles the food has travelled, you are not only saving money on transport costs, you are reducing your footprint—and the food should be more nutritious, as it generally will not have been stored as long.
3. Buy in season
It comes naturally to us to eat food that is in season as it smells, looks and tastes better than food that is not. It can also mean we get more bang for our buck. Where seasonal food is abundant, it can mean that pricing is more competitive per kilo. While they are cheaper, freeze those in-season strawberries, apples or cauliflower.
Using what you end up buying is key to saving money. If you didn’t get to eat all the plums that are slowly wrinkling, get to it and make some jam, or stew the older fruit and freeze it for a night when you just feel like stewed plum, apple, pear, nectarine, peach, strawberry or rhubarb crumble.
4. Plant a herb garden
It is spring! Go for it. Most of my recipes involve herbs. There is so much flavour to be had in just a sprig or two. Even if you have nothing bigger than a balcony, get some pots and seeds and make it a project. Most herbs will grow pretty easily in our climate. Buying herbs to use in cooking can be super expensive, whereas with a bit of water now and again, some sun and just a small amount of time, you can enjoy the fruits of your labours while you save dollars! (Just don’t start with coriander, she says, speaking from experience.)
When your basil goes crazy, whip up a pesto and freeze it in ice-cube trays. Instantly transport yourself to Italy when you add a cube to any dish. Amore!
5. Eat great chocolate
This is the controversial tip from me. The average spend on chocolate in Australia is $6 billion per year. You and I are responsible for a lot of that. I personally eat chocolate every day. But I eat great chocolate, bean-to-bar artisanal chocolate, and I eat less of it. Ergo I save money by eating more expensive chocolate but in smaller quantities.
I believe chocolate is a health food if you get “real” chocolate as opposed to popular chocolate confectionary. We know that 70 per cent or above has no dairy and there is less sugar the higher the stated percentage. So go for a chocolate that has health benefits, eat less of it and save money. (Did I sell you on that money-saving idea?)
Now if none of that fascinates you...get on into the Insider club and start saving money on recipes straight away. There are literally $100's worth of recipes for less than $2 per week. Surely you spend more than that on coffee am I right? Come join us...you will LOVE the savings.