Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, Gabriella Paiella shows us how to make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety.
Today: Our favorite frugal tips.
We're coming up on a year of My Broke Kitchen. The weather's also, finally, warming up, and as my spring fever kicks in, my devotion to cooking wanes slightly. So instead of launching a new project, let's review some of my favorite frugal advice:
1) DIY versions of boxed childhood favorites -- like ramen or mac and cheese -- are still cheap, but taste way better.
2) Don't waste money on buying lunch that you'll probably scarf down hunched over your desk. Brown bag it instead.
3) And when you're tired at night, memorize a formula for a simple, filling, nutritious dinner.
4) Stop being afraid of tofu -- it's one of the best cheap protein sources out there. And it's verstatile as hell.
5) Ditto for beans.
6) Little luxurious touches go a long way, so make your own tapenades and add richness with coconut milk.
7) Don't have a kitchen fully stocked with gadgets yet? Don't worry about it -- you can hack your own equipment, from double boilers to salad spinners.
8) Be a lush on the cheap by infusing your own booze. Your home bar will thank you.
9) You can totally throw a massive dinner party without blowing your budget. Just get a crafty friend to help.
10) When in doubt, put an egg on it.
Tell us: What are your favorite frugal kitchen tips?
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).Order now