We’re halfway through January braai-fam. The only month with 365 days! Little dough in the bank but loads of bread to bake. We’ve got a few tips how you can survive for the next little bit, still braai and have fun without really swiping everything you have left.
No need to deny it, we’re South African too. In this country, we thrive on big tables filled with a roasting tray full of meat, dish upon dish of potatoes, salads and sauces. A photo worthy spread! We know you’ve also quickly raced to the supermarket to buy an extra garlic bread just for incase there’s not enough food. We want to challenge you to check yourself before you do. Portion sizes can really help you to save a lot of money. Yes, the spread looks lovely, but rather more smaller braais than no braai at all. Here’s a few tips:
- Ask your guests to each bring their own meat.
- Instead of mindlessly making side dishes, plan out one starch and one veggie/ salad dish.
- For more information on portion sizes, check out our blog Braai to reach your goals.
- Don’t buy out of habit. Ask yourself ‘do I really need an extra loaf of bread or extra bag of chips?”
- Limit snacks. Too many snacks will fill your guests anyway. You can do with a small snack, a chip and dip, and that’s it. No need to keep eating till you’re ready for the actual meal.
Cheaper cuts of meat
Instead of going for your default choice of steak or lamb chops, choose a cheaper cut of meat to stretch your pocket. Check out these recipes:
- Beef: Bertus Basson’s Brisket. Brisket is a tough, cheaper cut of meat usually used for slow cooks. He gave us a very valuable tip how to prepare it without it turning into rubber as you braai.
- Chicken: A great go-to for low budget meals. You can make a sweet and sticky potjie or even braai the pieces of chicken like our rosemary smoked chicken.
- Pork: Depending on the cut you get, pork is in general a much cheaper option than lamb. Try out something simple like pork rashers or pork chops with chakalaka and steamed bread.
Try to amp up the amount of veggies, salad and starch you add to your dinner table and reduce the amount of meat. You can add other forms of protein like chickpeas, spinach, nuts or even eggs to your braai. Check out these recipes:
- Breakfast braai: An Earthen Life’s braai shakshuka
- Lunch braai: Ichumile’s bacon, spinach, and feta phyllo pie
- Dinner braai: Jan Braai’s putu pap
Get everything out that you can
Save money by minimizing your waste and getting the most out of each ingredient you can. Here’s a few examples:
- A whole chicken: A whole roast chicken is not just good for chicken pieces, get your sharpest, smallest knife and dig into every nook and cranny to get everything out. You can use the smaller bits of chicken for a sandwich or pasta. Make sure to catch the juices when roasting your chicken in a tray or on the rotisserie to make a delicious sauce without buying extra stock.
- Pumpkin: Cook it on the braai for a hearty side dish and dry the pumpkin seeds in the sun for crunchy salad topper.
- Lemon: You can literally use a whole lemon in any dish. The zest for over freshly braaied meat and the juice in the marinade or sauce.
For more ideas how to save, check out our blog on An Earthen Life’s way of living, and braaiing with vegetables.
Braai-fam, even if you are down to just making braai broodjies with tomato and a little bit of cheese, a braai is always a good idea to lift the spirits of your friends and family in a difficult month. Together, we’ve got this!