Butter: Make butter go further by beating 500 grams of softened butter until it turns pale and then slowly adding 1.5 cups of extra light olive oil while still beating in a mixer. The mixture will be quite liquid but hardens up overnight in the fridge. Clean and save a couple of 500ml used margarine/butter containers and use those for your new whipped butter!
Milk: You can simply water down milk by adding 1 or 2 cups of water to 1 litre milk before you drink any. This can take some getting used to in taste but works well to save money. Alternatively you can mix in made up powdered milk to double your litre. Mix one litre of made up powdered milk into 1 litre of store bought milk to make it go further. Also use made up powdered milk for all your cooking.
Bread: If your family struggles getting through a loaf of bread before it turns mouldy, put half the loaf in the freezer, in two-slice portions, as soon as you buy it. Bread defrosts in minutes, or pop straight into the toaster and toast!
Olive Oil: Mix olive oil with half a vegetable oil to keep the cost down and make the oil go further. Olive oil is strong and will overpower the vegetable oil taste. This works great for sesame oil too!
Casseroles: Adding beans, lentils, rice, potatoes or noodles can stretch out a casserole and make it more filling. Also try making dumplings and adding them to the top of the casserole for the last 20 minutes or so. Bulking up casseroles and curries with extra vegetables such as an extra potato or sweet potato might then give you enough leftovers to make a few pasties to freeze for another day.
Dumpling Mixture Recipe
2 cups self raising flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp butter/margarine, melted
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup minced fresh herb leaves such as parsley, chives, and tarragon (optional)
Make the dumpling batter by whisking together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the chopped fresh herbs then pour in the melted butter and milk and mix gently with a wooden spoon until mixture just comes together. (Note: do not over mix or your dumplings will turn out too dense.)
Drop small tablespoon sized dumpling batter onto the surface of the simmering casserole. (The dumplings will easily double in size as they cook.) Cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, about 15 – 20 minutes. Once you have covered the pan, do not uncover and peek while the dumplings are cooking! In order for the dumplings to be light and fluffy, they must steam, not boil.
Mince Dishes: Adding breadcrumbs and leftover vegetables to rissoles, meatloaves etc will make the meal go further. You only need about 150g of meat per adult for a healthy serving size and 100g per child.
Roast Chicken: It’s easy to get four meals out of one large roast chicken! (Buy the largest chicken you can, around 2kg) Night 1 = Roast Chicken Dinner, Night 2 = Chicken Curry or Chicken Salad, Night 3 = Chicken Soup, Night 4 = Chicken Pie
Fruit Juice: Fruit juice isn’t really a good choice to drink for yourself or your family but if you can’t do without it altogether try watering it down. Try one part juice to two parts water.
Cereal: Mixing together no name cereal with your favourite cereal will make it go a lot further and save you a lot of money.
Shampoo and Conditioner: Once you’ve used about 1/3 of your shampoo and conditioner just top it up with water and shake to combine.
Hand Wash: I have always diluted my hand wash by using the same method as for shampoo and conditioner. A dilution of two thirds hand wash to one third water. However now I’ve discovered foaming dispensers I’m saving even more! For healthy hands I just add a couple of drops of tea tree essential oil to the mix.
Toilet Cleaner: The same applies to your commercial toilet cleaner as to the shampoo and conditioner suggestion – Once you’ve used about 1/3 of it just top it up with water and shake to combine.
Washing Powder: If you use commercial washing powder you can make it go further by purchasing a packet of washing soda and mixing it in with your powder. This not only bulks up the powder but you can use less in each load as the washing soda boosts cleaning performance.
Breadcrumbs: Consider mixing into your plain breadcrumbs some wheatgerm or rice bran. This not only makes the breadcrumbs go further but also makes them a lot healthier – an easy was to up your fibre intake and the kids wont even know!
Pet Food: Add cooked grated carrot, another vegetable or cooked rice and pasta to pet food to make it go further. You can add these to either canned pet foods or your own homemade one, loaves and minced meats.