Tuesday, 23 October 2012

I always cook from scratch...

...except when I don't!

 Without a shadow of a doubt, cooking from scratch is much, much more frugal than buying per-made, convenience foods or ready meals. However, sometimes I have to work late, or forget to take what I need out of the freezer, or just don't have time to squeeze in a shopping trip. On those occasions, a convenience food or ready meal can be a whole lot more frugal than my other option, which is to get a take away.

 I try hard to plan carefully and not let that occur very often, but when it does happen there are a couple of quick, easy meals that I can fall back on. Pizza is the first thing that springs to mind. In my book, there is no such thing as a bad pizza! Having a couple of frozen pizzas to hand can be a budget saver, providing me with something quick and easy to dish up. Even buying pizza from the local shop and cooking it at home is just as quick, and a lot cheaper than buying a take away. Also, pizza makes a good meal to offer any unexpected guests.

 A jar of pesto and a packet of pasta in the cupboard means that I always have a quick meal on hand. I can usually scrape up a bit more to add to it, such as some veg, cooked with the pasta (even if its just a few peas out of the freezer), or some grated cheese, or a couple of chopped up bits of ham, or a tin of tuna, but even if I have nothing else, no one in my house would turn their nose up at pasta and pesto.

 Convenience foods can sometimes be more frugal than the alternative, but I need to be careful that they don't become a regular part of the menu!


  1. Andrea this is wonderfully honest and realistic! I get fed up with reading frugal blogs where the blogger would have you believe that they always have time and inclination to cook everything from scratch, or sniff and sneer at those using quick options. Something I have found useful is to batch cook things like bolognese sauce, which then go in the freezer in plastic tubs, ready for days when I just know I'm going to be home late.
    (I found my way here from Living a Slow & Simple life, by the way)

  2. We have pizza in the freezer as well - I buy the really nice Co op ones when they have them on offer and cut them into portions before freezing. I usually add some exstra toppings - depending on what ever is in the fridge - sliced sausage, bits of bacon, ham etc - some spinach from the garden, just whatever is to hand.