About the Frugal Kitchen

With food and fuel prices increasing all the time, most of us are feeling the need to tighten our belts and the Frugal Kitchen is here to help. 

A display of assorted grocery products including vegetables fruits wine bread dairy and meat

Hello and welcome to the Frugal Kitchen, a site dedicated to helping you to make your grocery budget stretch a little further. I’m Sally Akins, the owner of this site and a keen family cook for the last 30 years. Pour yourself a drink, pull up a seat at the table and read on to find out what’s cooking in the Frugal Kitchen today.

Before I tell you more about what the Frugal Kitchen is, I want to explain what we aren’t. While our recipes are designed to help you get the most from your money, they aren’t intended for very tight grocery budgets. 

Other experts are far more experienced in this area and if you need to feed yourself and your family on a very tight budget, I highly recommend getting hold of one of Miguel Barclay’s books. You can also get information from the Trussell Trust website and your local council website should be able to help. 

If you need further support or just need someone to talk to, this list of Support Helplines may be useful. 

A man using his phone to keep track of his bill during grocery shopping

So what is the Frugal Kitchen?

The Frugal Kitchen philosophy is underpinned by a number of principles and every recipe you find at the Frugal Kitchen will fall under one or more of these headings:

Frugal Recipes

We’ll aim to provide you with a range of recipes that keep the cost down, without using obscure ingredients or expensive equipment. Sometimes our recipes might require you to buy an ingredient that you only use a portion of, but we’ll do our best to provide you with at least one more recipe to use up what is left over.

And we’ll also provide you with some variations to help you use up what’s in your own kitchen rather than having to run out to the shop again.

A slow cooker full of chicken cacciatore on a wooden dining table

Shop Local, Shop Seasonal

We’re not suggesting that you should stick strictly to eating seasonal produce. The very idea of eating mainly root vegetables and cabbage all through the British winter does not appeal!

But it can be useful to have an idea of what fruit and vegetables are coming into season because local, seasonal produce should be more economical and tastier than watery strawberries in January or scrawny asparagus flown in from Thailand. It will also help you to know what is likely to be good for preserving each month, more about that later…

Close-up of a hand filling in a Meal Plan in a chequered pattern notebook

Meal Planning

This is one of the absolute cornerstone principles of the Frugal Kitchen, because deciding what to eat for dinner on the day is nearly always going to work out more expensive than planning your meals in advance.

Meal planning might feel daunting – where do you even begin? Or maybe you feel that it’s impossible to decide what you feel like eating next Tuesday evening. But don’t worry, we’ll share our tips and tricks to make you a meal planning master!

Reduce Waste

There are many reasons why you might want to reduce the amount of food you waste. Apart from being bad for the environment, you’re literally throwing money in the bin!

So we’ll help you to create planned leftovers and to use up the odds and ends in your fridge and cupboards. That way you’ll create less food waste and make your grocery budget go a little further.

A slow cooker full of a hearty winter meal

Frugal Cooking

In these times of spiralling electricity and gas prices, you’ll naturally want to keep the cost of cooking down as well as the cost of your ingredients. So we’ll be using efficient means of cooking including pressure cooking (Instant Pot), slow cooking and some other alternative cooking methods.

We’ll also give you plenty of recipes that you can easily double up, to make the most of your oven when you do have to switch it on!

Preserving and Storing

If you suddenly find that you have more food than you need, it’s important to know how to store it for future use. That might mean making sure that you have set your fridge at the right temperature and organised its contents well. It could also mean learning which foods freeze well and how to cook your frozen treasures.

But it’s also useful to know how to preserve food so that you’re ready to take advantage when the tomato plants on your patio deliver a great harvest, you stumble across a great PYO fruit farm or your neighbour shares the glut of courgettes from his allotment with you. We’ll share tips to help you make the most of your bounty.

So browse through the Frugal Kitchen collection of recipes and articles. We’re sure that you’ll find plenty of tempting food and useful tips to help you make your grocery budget stretch a little further.