Keep your store cupboard stocked up with essential ingredients from your local Co-op and you’ll always have the basis for plenty of delicious, quick meals…
With a few of these long-life foods to hand, you’ll never be far from a satisfying meal. We’ve come up with some recipes to show you how easy it is — just add a few fresh ingredients.
- Chickpeas – Drained and rinsed from the tin, with no need for a colander, these can bulk out dishes.
- Chopped tomatoes – A staple ingredient found in everything from pasta sauces and soups to stews and curries.
- Dried herbs – If you only need a little, use dried herbs instead of fresh. They’ll last longer and cost less.
- Marmalade – This brings flavour and depth to stews.
- Hot sauce – Drizzle over eggs, stir into soups or spoon on your favourite meat and veg as a condiment.
- Rice – Cheap and filling, rice works as the main event, such as risotto or biriyani, or as a side.
- Canned tuna – Mix it with mayo for a sandwich or dress it with oil and vinegar as part of a salad.
- Dried spaghetti – Simply boil, then toss with pasta sauce.
- Pesto – Spread on sandwiches, mixed into pasta or spooned into soup, a little goes a long way.
- Olive oil – The best meals start with this ingredient, whether you’re roasting veggies, frying an onion or mixing a salad dressing.
- Balsamic vinegar –Buy the best quality you can afford — you’ll notice the difference in your cooking.
- Dried chilli – A tiny pinch of chilli flakes — simmered in or sprinkled over — will spice up any dish.
- Curry paste – This gives you a tasty curry in a fraction of the time it takes to prepare from scratch.
- Butter beans – Stewed whole, mashed with butter or blitzed for a dip, butter beans are cheap and brilliant!
- Mustard – This classic condiment can take a dish to the next level, and you don’t need to use much.
- Egg noodles – Quick and cheap, these soak up flavour.
Top 10 Tips to save money this January (and beyond!)…
- Making use of your freezer will save you a shed load in the long run. The trick is to always freeze things in portions, and check food packaging to see what’s freezable.
- Try a ‘Too Good to Go’ bag. Find out more here
- Look out for products in store that have been reduced (yellow stickers) – You can make soup or smoothies with these, or leftovers if possible, or use your freezer.
- Write a shopping list before going food shopping – and try not to deviate from it.
- Plan your meals for the week and buy the ingredients accordingly.
- Don’t obsess over best before dates– just use your eyes, your nose and your common sense.
- Shop for the season – It’s not just about health advantages, eating food that is in season ensures you get the best flavour. By choosing ingredients that are naturally in season, you will get fresher, sweeter and perfectly ripe produce that tastes better. It also might be cheaper as it’s not had to travel far!
- Invest in a slow cooker – even the cheapest of meats taste amazing when they’ve been cooked for 12 hours. They are also cheaper to run than a traditional oven and are great for using up leftovers.
9. Take your shopping bags with you – Not only is it a waste of money to buy them every time you shop, but they’re also bad for the environment. Green reusable bags are available in our stores.
10. Look for budget ranges – try our honest value range (below) in stores. Find out more here.