Top 10 cooking hacks to make food more exciting on a budget

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Other smart hacks include ditching fresh veg for frozen, bulking meals out with vegetables, and making delicious spicy soups out of leftovers.

His advice comes after a study of 2,000 adults found nearly half (46 percent) admit to eating the same meals day in and day out, with 59 percent saying they are bored of money-saving dinners.

Due to feeling the pinch financially, 46 percent are compromising on the produce they purchase, missing out on flavoursome dishes they wish they were serving up.

And one in six (16 percent) struggle to cater for picky eaters in the household.

Lee Williams, head of culinary innovation from Schwartz, which commissioned the study, said: “It is clear that people are stuck in a rut in the kitchen.

“With the cost-of-living crisis a worry for everyone, it can sometimes be tricky to find meals that fit within your weekly budget, but don’t compromise on taste or flavour.

“Small changes to your cooking style and habits can go a long way.

“Bulking out meals with vegetables is a great way to make your food go that little bit further, and trying out different seasonings and flavourings can also be an easy way to vary what you’re eating throughout the week.”

The study also found a quarter only cook and prepare half the meals that they eat at home.

And a third struggle to think of new recipe ideas, while 26 percent don’t know how to make their meals more exciting.

On average, households are consuming three identical meals a week – with the top reasons being it’s simpler, eating what they know they like, and being able to rustle them up without thinking.

Meals that contain meat of some kind was deemed the most popular to cook (63 percent) – but three in five (61 percent) prefer to cook the simpler dishes, like beans on toast, omelette, or pasta with sauce.

It also found 63 percent have to prepare more than one dish at mealtimes to suit different tastes within their household.

And more than half (54 percent) said their food shopping list generally consists of the same ingredients week in, week out.

But half of those polled wish they could “work smarter” in the kitchen, such as being able to budget but also cook different meals each week.

Of those who took part in the survey, carried out via OnePoll, 36 percent said the flavour of their food is really important to them – but one in five struggle to know what herbs and spices to include in their recipes to make them more interesting.

Lee Williams added: “Making everyday meals more exciting could be as simple as spicing them up with kitchen staples, such as Cajun spice and smokey chipotle chilli.

“A lot of people are too scared to venture out their comfort zone when it comes to food, but it really is just trial and error.

“It’s a good idea to plan your meals each week and then shop for all the ingredients you may need, including seasonings, herbs, and spices which can transform a dish.

“A little goes a long way, so it’ll be a while before you run out of these – so it’s a great investment in the long run, and can make all the difference to your meals.”

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