How to Save Money by Cooking Right?


How to save money by cooking right?

Saving money is a serious undertaking. It is long term and entails a lot of sacrifices. One needs to be frugal in handling finance.

The most basic daily necessity, which is greatly affected by frugality is the food and the way we eat.

Not to mention the level of satisfaction we get from the food we've just eaten every time.

Save money by cooking right.

In today's article, you get to learn the secret of how to ensure your family's health without compromising your long term project of saving money for their future.

Or should I say living frugally and save money without compromising the nutrition needs of each member of your family?

Saving money by cooking the right way.

We're gonna talk about cooking here in the most practical way possible.

The purpose is to lessen if not eliminate the possibilities of illnesses. These are brought by wrong eating habits, e.g., too much cholesterol, too much salt, etc.

Without illnesses, money intended for medications would go to saving.

The importance of this topic to your goal of having a big amount of saved money in the future is so huge.

Why? We've already mentioned illness prevention could help in saving money. But that's only the first part.

You see, every time we cook the wrong way, we add extra layers of expenses. But if we have known the three myths in cooking, would we still do it?

The 3-myths in cooking

  1. dish will be tasty and delicious only if it is sauteed
  2. the more ingredients the tastier
  3. pork with fat attached still needs oil to fry

Usual ways of cooking

Usual ways of cooking don't help to save money.

In a Filipino household, dishes determine the satisfaction one gets after a meal. A dish should be palatable, delicious, and dainty. Above all, a good dish makes everyone full and satisfied.

And so dear mother would cook a luscious and delightful dish for dinner. She might prepare fried liempo, either by deep fry or shallow.

The old way of cooking chicken tinola

For the hot soup, she would cook chicken tinola. She would start by stir-frying alliums — garlic, ginger, and onion — before putting the cut chicken onto the pot. Papaya or chayote, malunggay, and little onion leeks would follow.

The old custom of making adobo

Our favorite adobo has a lot of variations. A popular way of cooking adobo is by stir-frying alliums first before adding pork and/or chicken then the rest of the main liquid ingredients. We'll stop at that part and talk about it later.

The old habit of sauteing mung beans

Highly nutritious mung beans dish is done also by stir frying allium vegetables and adding the boiled mung beans and the rest of green vegetable leaves such as bitter gourd leaves, moringa leaves or pepper leaves.

All mentioned above dishes are among Filipino dishes that are cooked with unnecessary ingredients and if done right would not only give immediate savings but long term health benefits which translate to more savings.

A Filipino bad way of cooking a vegetable is also done by some, oblivious that they're throwing nutrients away. Even nutritionist would tell them it's wrong. You'll learn about it later on the next main topic.

How to cook and save money?

A dish cooked by a frugal person who is saving money would only be beneficial if the food is:

  1. inexpensive
  2. nutritious
  3. delicious

Save money by cooking inexpensive but nutritious meal.

Avoid double-trouble

Don't buy cooking oil to be used for fried liempo. When you fry liempo by using oil, you will have too much oil in that meat — from cooking oil and from liempo's fat. Too much oil is very bad for health. Same applies to adobo and singang.

How to fry liempo?

Place the liempo in the frying pan. Add a little amount of water to cook. Sprinkle it with salt or the optional "powder seasoning." Turn it over and do the same.

The meat will produce oil from its fat with the help of the boiling water, which will dry out giving way for fat's oil to shallow-fry the liempo.

How to cook adobo?

You can have a savory and tasty pork adobo without resorting to cooking oil. The secret is the time you simmer once you have completed adding all the ingredient and seasoned it to your liking.

The oil from the pork will come out slowly, and after simmering for enough time, the sauce full of oil will cover your adobo. This way of cooking adobo makes it taste so good. It also applies to chicken adobo.

Do not saute the sinigang

You can achieve the excellent taste of sinigang by the combination of pork's fats and tamarind's sourness blended with the mixture of flavors of different vegetables, including the spiciness of green chilies.

Simply put, you cook sinigang by boiling the pork. Sauteing is unnecessary in making sinigang. It will only increase the cost needed to have good dinner or a meal for that matter.

Switch from sauteed to boiled

As boil cooked dish turned to sauteed has bad effects not only in our pocket but health as well, it's different the other way around.

In fact, it is much delightful to taste when you boil the customary sauteed dishes when you actually cook it. You do boil-cooking by using a pressure cooker except if the dish is vegetable based.

How to cook chicken tinola?

Save money by cooking chicken tinola the right nutritious way.

I highly recommended this. I always cook my chicken tinola this way. And if you do it exactly as I say, you will love it.

You must use a fresh and good quality of a chicken. And you must use a pressure cooker.

If you do it right, the soup of your tinola would have oil as if you sauteed it.

That's the primary purpose of pressure cooker — it retains the natural fats and essential nutrients.

In a way, tinola cooked in a pressure cooker has more nutrients compared to the tinola cooked in wok or pot through sauteing.

  1. Put the chicken — tinola cut — into the pressure cooker with half-full water.
  2. Add the onion, ginger, papaya, and your favorite granule seasoning.
  3. Cover it, turn on the heat to start pressure-cooking.
  4. Pressure cook it for 10 minutes which starts after the “air vent” lock slides up.
  5. Turn off the fire and wait until the pressure inside the pot has dissipated.
  6. For first time users of the pressure cooker, read the warning below before continuing to #7.
  7. Now, you've opened the lid. Turn on the heat in the medium so that it boils.
  8. Add your chosen vegetable leaves — moringa leaves, chilly leaves or bitter gourd leaves.
  9. Adjust the taste to your liking.

Now that's chicken tinola leveled up. Quickly cooked, nutrients maximized and savor intensified. Without adding unnecessary and bad agent cooking oil.

Warning in using the pressure cooker
  • If it's your first time using a pressure cooker, beware of the danger.
  • Don't open the lid without lowering first the pressure to the point where it is safe to open it.
  • Use the “quick release button” found on the lid and release the button to slowly release the pressure.
  • Once the “air vent” lock slides back down, that's the time to open the lid safely.
  • Alternatively, if you have a lot of time to spare, wait until the air vent lock slides back down.
  • If yours doesn't have an air vent, bring the cooker underneath the faucet and let cold water flow onto the pot until there's no more pressure coming out when you wiggle the pressure regulator.

How to cook mung beans dish?

Cooking munggo beans the right way to save money.

Forget sauteed mung beans, as this mung beans dish has more flavors, more nutritious and simply done.

The main factor of sauteed mung beans dish being that tasty is the use of cooking oil. You have to saute the tomato and alliums — garlic and onion.

But with the same method in cooking chicken tinola with the pressure-cooker but this time you add the main ingredient, what you will get is a very delectable and highly nutritious mung beans dish pressure cooked.

  1. In the pressure cooker, put together mung beans, cut tomatoes and all alliums that you usually use in sauteing mungs.
  2. Now for the main ingredient, choose between 2-3 pieces of beef shanks or 2 beef marrow bones.
  3. Add your selected beef parts. Add the usual seasoning that you use.
  4. Cover it and pressure cook it for 15 minutes.
  5. Lower the pressure and open, add the usual leafy vegetables and boil for 1 minute.
  6. That's it.

Don't throw nutrients away

Now we're in part where I will reveal the highly nutritious vegetable which is being wrongly cooked by most of the Filipinos.

Whenever I see them do that, I get irritated because they're wasting their money.

It's ampalaya, folks. Or bitter melon to be precise in its taste. It's also called bitter gourd.

Now let me share my thought here. Why would we buy a vegetable that we know bitter-tasting, and then we extend extra effort in squeezing it jut to rid of that bitter taste?

For me, that's wasting money right there.

The bitterness of bitter melon is where the nutrients are. In squeezing bitter melon before you cook it, you are ridding it of its plant insulin that helps lower the level of your blood sugar.

I leave that to the nutritionists, but as a maximizer and a smart buyer, I cook my ampalaya as it is. Besides, I found it delicious when properly cooked.

How to cook bitter melon — ampalaya?

Save money by eating bitter gourd or ampalaya.

It is sauteed dish. You have to add extra tomatoes. If you're using 2-tomatoes, make it 4. Add allium quantity as well.

Use the popular granule seasoning if you like, but I don't, usually, and two beaten eggs will blend well with the bitter taste and give you a very flavorful taste.

Don't stir up too much. Above all, don't overcook it. Half-cooked ampalaya with the right amount of ingredients and rightly seasoned is one of the best tasting vegetable dishes in the world.

Serve all-veggies as the side dish

Save money by serving all-veggies side dish.

Cook all-veggies dishes

Sauteed the dish with usual ingredients only with the higher amount. Don't add any meat, whatsoever, even fish. If you're using granule seasoning, go for it. But for me, the combination of salt and pepper, sprinkled with the right amount, is enough to get the delicious taste I want. When you get used to it, you'll find it not only economical but definitely healthy.

A good example is ginataang kalabasa

Put the cut squash in the pot together with the crash ginger, onion, garlic and add the coconut milk. Do not use granule seasoning and monosodium glutamate. Slow cook it until the squash is tender. It's one of the best rustic dishes I ever found. Simply done yet so nutritious and appetizing. Great as a side dish for any fried meat or fish.

The classic adobong sitaw

It can also be cooked and tasted great without any meat or fish ingredient. Just saute it with allium, add soy sauce first then vinegar, don't stir up, cook a bit longer and can be seasoned with powder seasoning. Monosodium glutamate is only at your discretion. I always prefer salt and pepper.

Final thoughts

Food cooked in a manner that no nutrients escape ultimately helps in saving money. Healthy body avoids the expenses of natural illnesses.

When we cook food in a method that we get all the nutrition from it, we increase the value for money we spend on each of the ingredients.

We stretch the amount of budget we allocate to the market. Savings from your food "department" accumulate if you think long term.

Do you have a method of cooking you think helps you save money without sacrificing the nutrition? Or do you cook the old way you learned from your parents? Let's discover and learn by sharing in the comments' box below.

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Vernie Mallorca is an entrepreneur and blogger with years of experience in selling to institutional accounts. He gradually shifted to blogging when he found out that it is his calling to write timely and helpful articles online that can help others to save money, make money, and secure their future by handling their income smartly. In this blog, he shares both managing your finances, however small it is and valuable information on running a small business.

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