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6 Budget-Stretching Tips For Foodies In Malta

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Instagram is more of a second stomach for millennials these days, but oftentimes the meals that we show off online come at a hefty price. We’re here to tell you that good food doesn’t have to cost a lot, budgets do work. For those of you who find it hard to not swipe your card at every eatery you pass or speed through supermarket aisles like you’re on a trolley dash in a toy store, enough is enough.

Here are 6 tips all foodies in Malta should take on board the next time their tummy rumbles.

1. Fish are friends and food

One might argue that, when dining out, fresh fish dishes are some of the priciest on the menu. But to that we say: stay at home and do it yourself.

 

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Obviously, if you’re going after king prawns and lobster you’re going to pay through your nose. When browsing the fishmonger, follow this mantra: local is sustainable, sustainable is cheaper. Pappagal is arguably one of the tastiest fish you’ll find at markets and their price per kilo won’t break the bank. Salpa, a smaller fish closely related to breams, are very dear in price as well – and if you’re a stoner on a budget, too, they say that eating large amounts of the fish will induce LSD-like effects  for several days.

2. Don’t rely on prime cuts to fill you up

When dining out, there is a tendency to splurge (because #treatyoself is better than #eatyourself). But there’s a reason stews will fill you up more than a T-bone steak.

 

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Adding sauces and spices to your meals will extend their reach, but don’t be hunting down the wagyus or kobes for these meals. A kilo of chuck can go a long way, and the great thing about stuffat is that you can literally chuck it all in one pot cover with water and leave it for an hour while you go about your business. Hooray for productivity!

And, if you really can’t hold off from your veal then try a topside for a change.

3. The minimal approach

Most of us have the idea that the more the merrier, but this is not the case when it comes to food. Remember: quality over quantity.

 

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This is especially vital if you’re feeding a family. Some meals really don’t require that many ingredients – a carbonara only has four, pulpetti also only need four, and a Florentine steak only requires two.

4. Don’t worry if you do go overboard – leftovers are life savers

Made too much of a bechamel? Freeze it, or add to a risotto tomorrow and you’ll have cut your cooking time down and made the prior day’s ingredients last longer. Let your imagination run wild with this one.

 

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You’d be surprised what you can squeeze out of leftover ingredients. Vegetables that are about to lose their life are great in stews and curries, old tomatoes make great pasta sauces, any extra meat from the day before can be chopped up and stirred into a bowl of rice or quinoa while cold and turned into a salad for a quick dinner in the summer.

5. Shop local

We’re all too quick to grab the cheapest items on supermarket shelves and complain when traditions dry out. When was the last time you chased down your local vegetable truck for a full food shop and not just those 3 onions you need for tonight’s lasagne?

 

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Local fish, local fruit, local veg. All a grand deal cheaper than anything you’ll find in most stores – and while a punnet of mushrooms from your local grocer might cost slightly more than a tin of buttons from the corner shop, you can sleep easy knowing you’ve not just pumped your stomach with preservatives. Also, a Gozitan caprese sounds a whole lot better than the boring old Italian style.

6. Roll those sleeves up and stop starving yourself

Spending less time in the kitchen has sent our food bills into skyrockets. Our 9-5 schedules have forced us all to rely too much on convenience. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself of otherwise, junk food just tastes better and is equally practical. Blame that on the salt.

 

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There is no doubt it: home-cooked food is always less expensive than a meal out (unless that meal is from your local pastizzeria).

If you’re not that hungry in the afternoons but are still conscious of missing out a meal, and granted you should not do this every day, a pair of irkotta pastizz will only knock you back about 70c and just under 400kcal (16% of an average guided intake). The change you save with your pastizz can go towards your vegetables for tonight, so like the wheel of great karma you can see your budget-conscious decisions spin into something worthwhile all in the same day.

Do you have any other tips for sticking to a food budget in Malta?

READ NEXT: 7 Incredibly Cheap Places To Grab A Bite In Malta

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