I intend to cost all of my recipes, partly to show how cheap this basic, good quality and often luxurious food is, and partly for my own interest, and to inform my future recipes. Now, I have got my weekly and monthly, (and quarterly!) food shopping budget down to a fine art; using wholefood wholesalers for bulk buying of organic and fair-trade products at cost price, I use a veg box scheme for all fresh produce and I shop online (by far more cost effective) at a more ethical supermarket for fortnightly top ups of other bits and bobs… and that’s really about it.
Now I realise that this fine tuning of my shopping habits has taken a few years to perfect, and I know that most people don’t have access to a lovely friend with a health food wholesale account. So, my costings will generally be based on organic ingredients bought at supermarket, health food shop and veg box scheme prices. This means that the costings I give for a recipe could well be chipped away at, depending on the quality of ingredients you choose, and the buying power you have at your fingertips.
Also, I’ll be frugal, and only cost the recipe based on the actual ingredients used; so that might be one table spoon of barley malt extract, or one desert spoon of miso paste or one teaspoon of marmite. I’m a great believer in using up leftovers and only shopping for what’s necessary, I’m a recent convert to meal planning which has revolusionised my use of food. Most store cupboard ingredients will have a long shelf-life and fresh ingredients need to be bought with the week’s dinners in mind. Food waste is not only costly, but is a huge sin… why waste what you can eat?! I try to make every penny spent on food count, and I’ll try to include plenty of recipes for using up whatever’s left in the fridge or the cupboards.