1. CHOOSE CHEAPER CUTS OF MEAT
“Instead of the sirloin and tenderloin steaks that Hubby and I used to cook for romantic weekend dinners, we now pick cheaper cuts like flank or chuck. If it’s well marinated with good herbs and cooked using the right method, it can be an equally tasty but much cheaper meal. For example, braising for long hours works wonders for tougher cuts. I just throw the meat in the slow cooker to make a stew before I head out in the morning.” – Chan LP, 42, mum to three kids aged nine, seven and two
2. BUY IN BULK
“Though there are only four people in my household, I often buy items in bulk, especially if they’re on sale, to stock up for ‘rainy days’. It really pays off during weeks when we’re feeling broke. We only have to buy fresh vegetables and fruits to complement the ingredients we already have in the freezer and pantry cupboard. Of course, make sure you regularly clear out and replenish the food before it expires.” – Koh Meiqi, 36, mum to two kids aged six and three
3. COMPARE AND SAVE
“Instead of always sticking to the same brands, I scour the supermarket for promotions for items that we are not too fussy about, such as toilet paper and washing liquid. With two kids, every cent saved counts!” – Patricia Lew, 36, mum to daughters aged four and two
4. BUY FROZEN INSTEAD OF FRESH
“I can only go to the supermarket once a week so whatever fresh meat I buy goes straight into the freezer. I’ve read that when food is flash frozen, it locks in the nutrients better than when the food is frozen later. I also like how some brands freeze their meats in smaller portions perfect for a small family like mine, which helps cut down on food wastage.” – Irene Seow, 43, mum to a 15-year-old son
5. KEEP IN-LAWS AT BAY
“In the past, I’d often pit my ‘modern, scientific methods’ against my mum-in-law’s old-fashioned parenting style. This put a serious strain on our relationship. Now, before I argue with her, I take a deep breath and try to see if there are any merits to her methods that I can praise or thank her for. Next, I calmly but firmly share some things I’d like to change.
“For example, I wanted my son to eat pureed vegetables with steamed fish instead of the usual porridge. After I explained to her that this was to feed my son more fibre and vitamins so as to prevent constipation, she became more understanding!” – Phoebe Neo, 29, mum to a seven-month-old boy
This article was originally published in Simply Her March 2015.