My Frugal Life: 106 Ways To Save In The Kitchen - Part 3
- Don't grocery shop when you are hungry
- Don't grocery shop at convenience stores or drug stores where prices most likely will be higher.
- Don't buy impulse items. Stick to your list. Avoid items on endcaps - they are usually priced higher.
- Shop without spouse or children when possible.
- Try to combine your grocery shopping with other errands to save on fuel.
- I take a cooler with me, and my coupons in case I find an unadvertised special or meat reduced.
- Watch store ads, and try to buy what is on sale and plan meals around them.
- Spices can be frozen, if well sealed.
- Don't fall for all those kitchen gadget TV ads. Most people who buy all those never use them.
- Stale bread makes great croutons (just brush on butter and spices, cube it, broil it, let cool and I put in a zip lock baggie and freeze). Stale bread also makes good cheesy bread - add shredded cheese to the top and broil. Good for a snack or with tomato soup.
- Never turn down zucchini You can make ANYTHING out of it.
- If you buy a whole frozen chicken, it is usually cheaper than a cut up fresh one.
- If you are not into making and baking your own bread or rolls, then buy the ones that are already made and frozen. I can get 6 loaves of frozen dough (for loaves) for $2.59. That is cheaper than buying 1 loaf of bread. You can bake them all at once, or one at a time.
- Label your canned and frozen food with the name and date.
- If your freezer is not completely full, fill it with a couple of milk jugs with water in them (3/4 full). Helps your freezer to use less energy. Same applies to your refrigerator. Less air space is less to cool.
- Keep your kitchen clean, organized and decluttered so you are not buying more of what you already have. Store things in the proper environment-away from moisture or heat. If you need kitchen organization ideas, check out some websites or an RV kitchen (they have a place for everything in them.)
- Time is money. So organize your kitchen to save you time. For example, in one area I have all my baking bowls, mixer, flour, sugar. When I bake, I am not running all over the kitchen. Another corner has the oatmeal, cereal and toaster for breakfast. I know where my items are at. If you get distracted while cooking, you will make mistakes and waste food.
- When our knives get dull, I have my husband sharpen them. I have a friend who throws them away and buys more. I have had some of the same knives since 1980.
- If you have a high water bill, or have to haul water, save water in the kitchen. Don't let the faucet just run. If you are waiting for it to get hot, stick a pitcher under it to water plants with, or brush your teeth with. When I was a kid my aunt used dishpans to wash her dishes with. When done, she would then dump the soap water down the toilet (house full of kids, so it always needing flushing) and the rinse water went to the garden or the houseplants.
- Wimpy celery and peppers can be revived in cold water.
- Recycle. I save glass jars for several things - one, they make great cups for husband while on the tractor (they have a lid, I can make the tea in them the night before and freeze, so it stays colder for him longer) and good containers to keep or freeze leftovers or to freeze produce. Plastic containers are great for lunches and storing craft items. Some areas pay for trash pickup by the bag, so this can save you in that area as well.
- An inexpensive way to make kitchen curtain is out of kitchen dish towels. If you want to change your decor, just turn them back into dish towels again. (Real easy, just hem one end for the curtain rod, or sew on tabs)
- Check out your local farmers market, or check the local paper for ads put in by farmers who have excess produce. Roadside stands can be a good deal also, but if in a touristy area, they can also be a rip off.
- If you like plants in the house, grow inexpensive ones in the kitchen. Potato, sweet potato, red pepper and pineapple tops are all fun to grow, and are basically free since you eat the rest of the veggie. My kids also like to save avocado pits to grow as well.
- This one I am always drilling into my kids - DON'T leave the kitchen while you are cooking. Usually after burning 3-4 things, they understand that one.
- I keep a bulletin board in the kitchen to keep coupons, menus, and recipes on. At a glance you can tell if Thursdays supper is the same as the school lunch that day. I keep this above my baking area. I put my recipes in a plastic protector sheet hanging from it while I mix, so it serves dual duty.
- If you are bad at planning menus, and great source is the website or newspaper where the publish the school or senior center menus for the week.
- Save small pieces of meat and veggies for grilling. bake kabobs out of them. Just freeze till next time you grill.
- Sometimes my husband will grill or smoke 1-2 weeks worth of meals at once. It saves charcoal and wood chips. We just freeze till ready to serve.
- Don't call a repair man if your stove burner or heating element go out. These can easily be ordered and you can do it yourself, unless you have the type where they are sealed in glass.
- Check out your local park department to see if they offer cooking or baking classes. Most do at a very reasonable price, and you get to eat what you cook! If they don't and you are handy in this area, then see what it takes for YOU to teach one. I taught such a class years ago (it was snacks for kids, a cooking class for kids) and make $4 for every student. I had 10 students, so $40 for a 3 hour class. Plus, the park department also gave me a free family pass to the pool good for 1 year.
- If you don't buy the paper, check online for coupons. Some will even email you coupons you can print for free.
- I have kids, and kids sometimes have unexpected company. So, I keep "cheap quick meal makings" on hand items such as the makings for spaghetti or chili hot dogs.
- Make your own french fries and corn dogs.
- Assign each family member their own color for the kitchen. We each use one cup all day long. Cuts down on dirty dishes.
- Especially those with picky kids or husbands - if you are at a church dinner or event and see your kids or spouse eat something well - get the recipe. It beats making stuff they won't eat.
- Get creative in the kitchen! Add rice to leftovers and stir fry, try new combinations to use up odds and ends.
- Make sure you seal food well after it is opened to avoid bugs and freezer burn.
Source: Just ideas I have done throughout the years.
By April from NW Missouri
Editor's Note: To see the first two parts of this list, click here:
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By guest (Guest Post) Flag
September 20, 20080 found this helpful
Wonderful ideas. Thanks
September 14, 20100 found this helpful
You can also make your own dishwasher detergent and dish soap cheaper than buying the ready made stuff.
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