Festive food is always something to look forward to over the holidays, but the expenses for a good meal can add up fast when you’re already juggling a busy budget. Save on your holiday feasting this year by trying out these six fresh prep tips!
#1. Check your pantry before you cook.
Save yourself a grocery trip by taking full inventory of what you have before delving into meal plans. Working with what you have is a great way to save both time and money.
#2. Stock up on frozen ingredients.
Not only are frozen veggies convenient, they also retain all of their delicious taste and nutrients! Pre-chopped frozen ingredients last much longer than fresh ones, and can often be bought at better value.
#3. Avoid preheating the oven.
Many holiday recipes call for a preheated oven, but doing so isn’t always necessary. Anything that needs to be baked for longer than an hour doesn’t need to be put in a preheated oven; most modern ovens are optimized to rise up to temperature quickly.
#4. Bake multiple dishes at a time.
Try baking multiple dishes in the oven at the same time to cut down on energy costs. Group things that need to be cooked at the same temperature, and occasionally rotate items on the rack for an even roast. Avoid opening the oven door too often, because doing so can quickly drop the built up heat.
#6. Try smaller appliances.
To save on energy, consider cooking meals with appliances other than your oven. Slow cookers, pressure cookers and air fryers use less energy, and they won’t heat up your kitchen.
There are plenty of holiday classics that are best served cold! Look into anything that can be prepped without the use of heating appliances to save on energy and cooking time.