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Cooking and saving money

During 2022, when the world economy almost started to collapse because of Covid pandemic and Russian invasion of Ukraine, inflation and financial crisis became apparent. That whole situation paired with the fact that every household uses most of their money on food encouraged me to write a guide about saving money while grocery shopping, cooking and storing food.


Since the guide is in Croatian, I will list the advices here :)


Shopping advice

  • Write a menu plan and shopping list

  • Buy food that is seasonal and local. Foods that do not ripen in a certain season are imported from distant countries, and the price is therefore higher

  • Don't go to the store hungry. Customers tend to buy more on an empty stomach

  • Buy in bulk. Lentils, chickpeas, beans, walnuts, almonds, fruits and vegetables, mushrooms, dried fruits - everything is cheaper when bought in bulk than packed. Avoid packaged salads as well

  • Buy larger packages. They are small packages the most expensive, although it doesn't seem so at first

  • Small shops are more expensive than large chains

  • Look up and down. Groceries in the middle shelves (eye level) are generally the most expensive

  • Follow weekly and weekend deals

  • Invest in reusable items - cloths, bags, silicone sandwich bags, reusable baking paper...





Cooking advice

  • Put the lid on the pot when you cook so the heat is retained better and the dish is cooked faster and less energy is consumed

  • Do not open the oven while it is working. Avoid opening except when necessary. By opening up it loses heat so the oven consumes more energy for reheating

  • Use ceramic baking pans if you have them. They retain heat better than metal ones

  • Soak beans and lentils before cooking

  • When making baked potatoes, boil them first, then bake. That's how you reduce the baking time

  • Cook 2 in 1. For example - if you prepare rice and vegetables, put the rice in a pot with water, and the vegetables into a metal strainer or cooking mesh to steam on top of the pot

  • Don't let food go to waste. Make breadcrumbs from old bread, soup from sad veggies, cake from overripe fruit... Use your imagination!


Storing advice

  • Freeze properly. If you freeze at home, make sure that the fruits and vegetables are completely fresh and healthy, without rotting. Do not freeze lettuce, fresh tomatoes, apples, grapes and old potatoes. Fruit can stay in the freezer for 6-12 months, vegetables 8-10. Frozen soups and stews can last up to 3 months

  • Do not wash the fruit before storing. Washing adds moisture, which accelerates rotting, so wash only before eating

  • Do not leave canned food in open cans. Uneaten canned food should be placed in a glass or plastic container, closed and stored in the refrigerator

  • Before storing green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, chard and spinach in the refrigerator, wrap them in paper towels, which will absorb excess moisture and prevent rotting

  • Fresh spices, spring onions and asparagus are best stored in a glass of fresh water and used within a few days

  • Store the onion and garlic in the pantry. It is best to store them in a dry place, not in the fridge

  • Store root vegetables in jars with water. Carrots, parsley root, celery root and similar vegetables will last longer if you clean them, cut them and store them like that

  • Don't attract bugs. Nuts, seeds, cereals and flour should be kept tightly closed in a dry and cool place


If you need some more help, feel free to contact me. If you know Croatian, you can see and download the guide here, it's free:


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