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12 Ways To Be A Frugal Foodie

Being thrifty does not mean compromising on your foodie quest.

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1. Buy food according to season.

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Shopping for seasonal produce is a fantastic way to cut costs, as well as pack more nutritious food into your diet. The quality of food is often much higher, and chances are the produce has been grown locally, as opposed to having been shipped in from a faraway land. If you see asparagus in September, steer clear.

2. Buy in bulk.

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Flours, beans, pastas, pulses, nuts, dried fruits, spices – these are all long-life ingredients that usually have high mark-ups when sold in smaller packages, but work out quite cheaply when sold in bulk. Smart spending at its finest.

3. Opt for own-brand products.

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Don't pay extra for the "designer label". Supermarket own-brand products are almost always just as good as their branded counterparts, but are always a fraction of the price. KER-CHING.

4. Banish laziness and DIY instead.

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There are so many small things you can do to trim back excess spending. Buying block cheese as opposed to grated will save you money. Flavoured single pots of yoghurt can be rather pricey – why not purchase a larger (and cheaper) tub of natural yoghurt and customise it to your taste with fresh fruit or honey? Rather than buying ready-made (and frankly disappointing) desserts, buy the ingredients to make a cake instead!

5. Buy large cuts of meat and divide them up yourself.

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Have you noticed buying a whole chicken works out cheaper than buying individual breasts? Once you've learned to slice and dice, buying large cuts of meat or fish means you can divide it up, use throughout the week in different ways, and freeze pieces to utilise at a later date. Genius, really.

6. Better still, try going meat free.

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There is no question, meat is an expensive addition to any shopping list. If making the transition to vegetarianism is too daunting, doing at least one meat-free day a week will make a favourable difference to your food budget. Vegetarian dishes are not just tofu and lentils either. There is a wealth of exciting recipes out there that are sure to sway even the most discerning of meat lovers.

7. Learn the times supermarkets put out their "bargain foods".

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This will vary from shop to shop, but it usually tends to be nearer the end of the day when shelves are restocked. This is prime time to bag excellent bargains – especially on meat that can be frozen straight away and used at a much later date.

8. Buy frozen fruit and vegetables.

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Yes, fresh is the most desirable, but the frozen variety is just as nutritionally dense and usually a lot nicer to your pursestrings. When it comes to making smoothies, frozen berries or pineapple are ideal, and it is unbelievably handy to have frozen vegetables like peas and sweet corn stashed away for a rainy day.

9. Take advantage of slow-cooking.

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The slow cooker is without a doubt your new best friend – you can use cheap cuts of meat to make scrumptious, comforting meals. You can cook in bulk and save leftovers for later in the week. The possibilities really are endless.

10. Ignore the sell-by dates, and DON'T WASTE FOOD.

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It is time to relinquish your reliance on sell-by labels and trust in your own judgement instead. If it still smells and looks good, it is most likely still good to eat. If vegetables are wilting, grill or roast them – you won't notice a difference. Cut away spoilt parts of fruit and veggies, and transform stale bread into croutons. Waste not, want not!

11. Know what you have in your cupboards and freezer.

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A lot of the time, people end up needlessly replenishing their supplies without really using all of their existing food. It's time to delve into your Aladdin's kitchen-cave and whip up delicious meals with the ingredients you already have at home.

12. Regrow scraps!

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Garlic, celery, and romaine lettuce are just some of the things you can regrow in your kitchen by just using the scraps. Spring onions are the easiest. Keep the roots in a glass with just enough water to cover them. Change the water every couple of days, and within a week, you'll have a brand new set of green onions, as if by magic.

When you shop at Lidl, you're guaranteed top-quality food at affordable prices – allowing you to live your foodie dream, no matter the budget. Why not Shop a Lidl Smarter?

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