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Winter Meals: Enjoy Budget-friendly Comfort Food

Healthy & Happy

Posted on Tuesday, July 6, 2021

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On days when winter coats and heaters fail us, we look to those hearty winter meals to do the job. With the right grocery list, easy-to-make healthy comfort-food recipes, helpful cooking tips and enough food for the household to dig into, you’re guaranteed to have a cosy winter. Here is what will keep your kitchen and your pockets full and warm.

 

Ingredients for winter

 

There are a few versatile ingredients to consider for your next winter grocery shopping list. The best part is that they can be used in so many ways to spice up your winter meals, boost your immune system or simply keep you warm. Besides, who wants to eat the same foods all year long?

 

  • Citrus fruit. The best source of vitamin C – it’s citrus, actually, that keeps the doctor away.
  • Root vegetables. Sweet potatoes, carrots, onions or potatoes are perfect for bulking up a roast. You often get these in bulk packs on special.   
  • Spinach. It can easily be included in many meals.
  • Apples. They are so versatile for winter meals, whether poached, roasted, pan-fried or raw.
  • Dates. The perfect treat to snack on in between meals – and they add just the right amount of sweetness to baked goods.
  • Minced meat. Ideal for adding meatiness to soups, it can also be bulked up with lentils or beans.
  • Soup-type legumes. Barley, lentils, chickpeas and peas are great on days when you don’t feel like eating meat but still want something hearty and filling.

 

All fresh produce is seasonal. It helps to shop for ingredients that are in season. That way, you save an extra buck or two. Looking at a fruit and vegetable seasonal chart and knowing what is in season makes it easier to know what to expect and include in your shopping list.

 

Money-saving cooking

 

When the chill of winter sets in, we can very quickly end up with a high electricity bill. You want to be able to cut costs somewhere, right? With the right habits and approach to cooking, you can save more.

 

  • Invest in a slow cooker. It uses minimal electricity and does the job of cooking for you.
  • Choose affordable cuts. They may take longer to cook, but they are also some of the most flavourful. Neck cuts, shoulder cuts, brisket, chuck and topside are just a few.
  • Cook on the bone. Meat on the bone is less expensive and the bones add flavour. If your family is not partial to the bones, cook the meat on the bone and remove the bones later.
  • Multitask with the oven. Take advantage of the days you use the oven to bake and roast all you can. That way you know you won’t need to use the oven again.

 

What’s cooking?

 

What you cook is important; it can mean the difference between buying groceries weekly, thus overspending, and sticking to your budget. So take time to think about it. What kind of meals beat the chills, taste delicious and go a long way?

 

  • Soups. You can make soup with almost any ingredient, so you aren’t limited by what you have on hand. Soups are easy to cook and freeze for later.
  • Stews. They allow you to stretch your meat cuts because they can easily be bulked up with other ingredients, such as vegetables and legumes.
  • Casseroles. These are one-dish meals, saving you time and electricity.  
  • Pasta dishes. They are versatile, rich in carbs to fill you up and quick to cook.