Looking at inflation news and current economic challenges, My Blue Tea is stepping in to share tips on how to save costs on food, easy meal recipes along with some gardening tips for plant to plate deli meals. If you have any ideas and tips, do share with us.
Food budget tip #1 - Plan your meals
With so many recipes on our website, you can plan your meals for the week and cook a bit more to refrigerate them in containers. Bring your own lunch to work.
Footballers don't run onto the field without a game plan and when it comes to grocery shopping, the same goes. Planning your meals for the week ahead (or, at the very least, a few days) can pay big dividends. Not only does it allow you to incorporate items you might already have in your fridge/pantry, therefore cutting down on wastage, it also allows you to plan around specific ingredients. For example, if you need a couple of spring onions for fried rice one night, make a chicken and corn soup the following night to use up the leftovers. Remember "failing to plan is planning to fail".
Food budget tip #2 - Cook extra
It’s cheaper to cook in bulk and use leftovers for lunches, to freeze, or as the base for another meal. Cooking from scratch, and in larger quantities, saves time and money by putting extra meals in the freezer for those hectic days, which means you'll be less likely to resort to takeout when there's nothing left in the fridge. Batch cooking also uses less power so you'll save on energy bills.
Food budget tip #3 - Grow some seasonal produce
Veggies: You can still plant cabbage, Asian greens like mizuna, mibuna, tatsoi or pak choi, lettuce, rocket, spinach, carrots, celery, cauliflower, spring onions, leek, onions, radish, turnips and swedes. Spread coffee around your lettuce or set up a beer trap to discourage snails and slugs.
Other suitable veggies, especially to plant and grow at this time of year in New South Wales, include Mustard Greens, Kale, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Rocket, Peas, Silverbeet, Beets, Potatoes, and Spinach. Give peas a chance this May; they are a top addition to any patch.
Food budget tip #4 - Buy in bulk
When you're feeding a family, buying enough meat for hungry, growing kids can add up. An easy way to counteract this is to buy in bulk, portion and freeze. If you're buying in bulk or feezing small portions for meal prep, a vacuum sealer might also be a worthwhile investment. As well as helping to keep your frozen food fresh for longer, vacuum sealing will also help to prevent freezer burn, which can affect the taste and texture of your frozen food.
Food budget tip #5 - Write a shopping list
Once you've planned your meals, write a shopping list. You can even download an app (such as AnyList, Bring and Our Groceries) to help you track and manage your shopping needs, or even apps that allow you to customise meal plans and recipes and then organise the required ingredients into a list for you. Even if you think you can remember what you need, having a list helps keep you on track and can reduce the temptation to go rogue and buy things you won't end up using. It will also save you from having to make a second trip to the supermarket when you realise you've forgotten a key ingredient.
Food budget tip #6 - Choose cheaper cuts of meat - with our spices you will be able to make it YUMMY
If you're looking for more economical ways of cooking, particularly for larger groups of families, slow cooking is the answer. From chicken curry, beef rendang, lamb shank Palembang style to lamb casserole, slow cooking is the secret to dishing up deliciously effortless dinners. As well as lending themselves to cheaper cuts of meat - such as beef short ribs, lamb shanks and pork shoulder, slow cooking is a set-and-forget meal. Simply prep the night before than put them all in a slow cooker before you leave for work in the morning and you'll come home to dinner already made. These meals also freeze well so make extra and have another dinner up your sleeve.
Food budget tip #7 - Use legumes and veggies to bulk out meals
Bulking out your meals with lentils, tofu or vegetables is a cost-effective, not to mention delicious and healthy way to stretch your budget a little further. Add grated carrots or zucchini to your beef taco mix, bulk up your chili con carne with red kidney beans or add sweet potatoes or chokos and pumpkins and chickpeas to your lamb stews. Or go meat free with something quick and tasty like our budget-friendly Maharajah Chicken, Pumpkin or Beetroot curry or this easy Spicy Spaghetti Carbonara. or bake these super easy Pandan Cupcakes.
Food budget tip #8 - Avoid processed / ready-made foods
Save on GST by avoiding ready-made and processed foods. Go back to basics and grow some produce, grate your own cheese, and wash your own lettuce leaves for salads. Not only will you be better off financially, but it's also better for your health as you'll be avoiding the added salt, sugar and other preservatives that are hidden in process foods.
Our products are all natural without MSG nor preservatives and best part is you can create!! Be the Chef you wanted to be!
Growing your own food is good for your physical and mental health
From your own plant to plate, the feeling is always GOOD! Of course, eating your the food that you grow is healthy but more importantly growing your own food can lower levels of depression and anxiety.
In one Japanese study, looking at plants reduced stress, fear, anger and sadness, with a positive impact on blood pressure, pulse rate, and muscle tension. Plus, being outside in the sun provides about 90% of the vitamin D required by an individual, a vitamin that has been linked to anxiety and depression. Increasingly, gardens and green spaces are being added to hospitals, elderly homes, and other community care environments as a result of these studies.
What's growing in our farm and our friends' farms
From left: Chokos, Bitter Melons, lots of pumpkins, our Kangas who love to explore and keep eating our Sweet Potato leaves, Asian Spinach ie Amaranth and Blue Tongue Lizard who chomps up our strawberries and tomatoes. So good to have them around... and Papa Kanga came to say "hello" - such a huge bloke.
An event to bring My Blue Tea closer to you - Slice of Haven in Laurieton on 28th May
We'll be there at the most awaited festival in the Mid North Coast - Slice of Haven, Laurieton on 28th May 2023, Sunday. Come find us and savour some delicious Malaysian Chicken Curry, Ayam Goreng ie Spiced Fried Chicken and maybe Creamy Cabbage in Coconut Sauce + Blue Tea and various Superfood Powders.
Our team will be there with our beautiful spices, coconut shake and other products with printed recipes for you to take home.
Plus fresh oysters, local produce ie lamb, beef and veggies, food, wine, beer and music all in one day with expected 14,000 strong followers attending.
If you can't wait till the 28th May, come this Sunday, 14th May we will be a the local Know Your Producer Festival with some Chicken Curry. Bring Mom along to try our magnifique curry tastings and celebrate Mother's Day. Gift her a portable blender and stock up some Spice blends for Winter. Butterfly Blue Tea for Mom to brew some colour changing Blue Tea for our magical mom.
Know Your Producer Festival is starts from 11.00am to 5.00pm located at 10 Winery Dr, Fernbank Creek NSW 2444, Australia at Cassegrain Wines, Port Macquarie
Some budget food recipes
For the budget conscious, check out the beautiful recipes.