How to cook money-saving meals from your storecupboard | Melissa Hemsley
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How to Cook From Your Store Cupboards

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How to Cook Money-Saving Meals From Your Store Cupboard

Melissa Hemsley plastic free kitchen

I don’t know about you but for me, the post-festive season is the time when I’m looking for cheap easy healthy meals that are also comforting and delicious. 

Cooking from my cupboards is absolutely the best way to do it for me. I’ll spend a day sorting through jars and tins, half empty packets and forgotten ingredients that have accumulated over the year.

It’s a great starting point to making delicious meals while cutting back on my food shopping, unnecessary plastic packaging and food waste too. 

If you haven’t heard, my new book Eat Green is out now and it’s stuffed with plenty more tips and ideas to get you cooking more cheap, easy healthy meals from your cupboards and fridge, helping you to cut your food waste and you save on cash too.

So let’s get started! Put on a good podcast (if you’re stuck, here are 10 of my favourite podcasts), chuck on an apron and have a good spring clean of those cupboards.  

1. Tackle each cupboard one by one. Take everything out, including all the packets and bottles, tins and jars.

2. Sort through what you’ll never use and set aside to donate at your nearest supermarket or food bank. Anything that’s nearing its expiry date, plan your cupboards so those items are near the front and you’re reminded to use them up.

3. Collate half-empty packets of pasta, nuts and seeds into clear jars and order them so you’re reminded to use them before buying more. 

happiness balls edible gifts

4. My baking cupboards tend to be full of half packets of chocolate, cocoa, flour, dried fruits and nuts. Sort through what you’ve got and bake any odds and ends into fruit and nut vegan cookies or my favourite Happiness Balls. Get the recipe here.

5. Get ahead and soak that forgotten pack of dried beans to turn into this stew recipe or this store cupboard kale and bean soup. You could also spend the time you’re in the kitchen to pre-cook soaked beans, then freeze them for rainy day hummus or a quick soup. 

6. Glass jars! Don’t chuck jars straight in the bin, clean them out and reuse them! Use them to collate random packets, like nuts and pasta (see above) or for storing anything you bulk buy from plastic free supermarkets and shops, or save jars for tasty meal prep. Read on here for more ideas. 

7. Give shelves and cupboards a good wipe down. If you’re really good, make your own zero-waste eco cleaning spray. The brilliant Max La Manna shows you how here using citrus peels and vinegar.

For more top tips for a sustainable kitchen, follow my ongoing journey towards a plastic free kitchen.

Portrait photo: Sophia Spring for Telegraph

  • A proactive cook's guide to shopping, stretching and saving through uncertainty | Melissa Hemsley
    Posted at 23:00h, 17 March Reply

    […] 1. Start at the storecupboard. Before going shopping, have a good rummage through your cupboards. Take everything out, including all the packets and bottles, tins and jars. Collate those random packets of pasta, rice and grains, sort out the baking cupboard, and make an inventory of everything you have. See what needs using up first and bring that to the front of the shelf. Here are more of my tips to cook from our storecupboard. […]

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eat green

Get your hands on my brand new cookbook "eat green” here.