With the nation bracing itself for a tough winter, google searches for money saving food tips have trebled in the past three months.

Public and experts alike have been sharing their tips on how to save money, though some take it to such extremes you have to question whether the energy expended was really worth it.

Take a cup of tea for example.

Taking into account the price of gas and electricity and how long it takes to boil a cup of water in a kettle, on the  cooker or microwave, number crunchers at uswitch.com have revealed how best to brew a cut price cuppa.

Providing you cover the pan, the cheapest way to boil a cup of tea is on a gas hob. It will save – wait for it –  one third of a penny compared with a kettle and a quarter of a penny compared with the microwave.

Many people have realised that boiling a full kettle and then saving the water in a thermos to use during the day will save money compared to boiling the kettle everytime you want a cuppa – but for some the taste just isn’t the same.

So the compromise, if you drink a lot of tea or coffee, is to boil exactly enough water for two cups at any time. One cup to drink now, the other you put a coaster over the top of the mug and save for later. Wrapping a woolly sock around the mug will also help keep it hot for longer just as a tea cosy insulates a teapot. The second cup will still be hot one hour after making and this has been calculated to save  £150.00 a year if you drink four cups a day.

Times of adversity can throw up ingenious solutions and often it’s the shopper that comes up with the best hacks rather than the boffin in a white coat and lab. Thanks to the internet these can now be shared globally. 

The best thing since sliced bread has to be the top tip to freeze sliced bread and each morning remove only what you need that day. And how about this? You can make packed lunches using frozen bread. By lunchtime the bread will have thawed ready to eat and it doesn’t leave a pool of water, who knew?

Ever battled to get the last drop of tomato paste or cheese spread out of the tube? Perhaps you’ve even been driven to cutting open the tube and scooping the dregs out. Use the long handle of a wooden spoon as a rolling pin instead, less messy and you won’t cut your finger. Also works with toothpaste but don’t get confused and put that in your spag. bol.

The quest to get the best out of food has turned some people bananas, literally. It’s the fruit that generates more debate that any other and the worldwide wisdom is clear – don’t keep them in the fridge; hang the fruits to delay blackening; and if they do overripe they’re still fine to make a smoothie with. When they are ripe, that’s the time to freeze bananas, either whole, sliced or mashed but always peel them first.

About Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.