My Frugal Life: 106 Ways To Save In The Kitchen - Part 2
- Try to use resealable and reusable containers instead of foil, Saran wrap and such.
- I make my own "convenience items" such as hamburger helper and cookie mix when times are slow. I then store away. Then when needed and its busy, we get those out and just add the last remaining ingredients (wet ingredients) and cook or bake.
- Remember kitchen items make great gifts (cookies, cakes, spiced tea mixes) for teachers, delivery people.
- Keep your appliances clean so they don't have to work a hard to run. This means cleaning burners, heating elements, vents and around fans and drip pans.
- Keep your windows and light bulbs and fixtures clean to allow for max lighting to avoid having to use a higher watt bulb.
- If you can't afford a cookbook, get your recipe collection on line and make your own book or card collection of recipes.
- I buy very few kitchen cleaning chemicals. I want it safe around my food, so I mainly clean with baking soda, salt, lemon juice and vinegar. All these items are cheaper than remade chemical cleaners.
- Using your stoves exhaust fan in the summer will keep your kitchen cooler and saves extra work from your AC.
- I try to do the majority of my cooking during nonpeak hours that are posted by our electric coop. Same with the running of the dishwasher. I normally run it while we are sleeping, as that is when our rates are the lowest.
- At least once a week we have a meatless meal.
- Beans and rice are good inexpensive food items that will fill you up.
- Cheaper (and sometimes tougher) cuts of meat can still be tasty. Marinate them over night, then slow cook them in the crockpot and they will be tender.
- Watch for meat that is reduced. Use or freeze ASAP.
- If you really like (or dislike) a food product, email the company. sometimes they will send you a coupon.
- Make your own compost for your garden or house plants. If you have no room, you can at least crush eggshells and put them in water to use on your houseplants.
- Plan out your menus before you go shopping. While shopping buy necessary missing ingredients to avoid extra trips back to the store (and fuel).
- When making your kitchen/grocery budget, don't include non kitchen items. This includes items such as pet food, cleaning supplies. They are not items you eat!
- Drink water at one meal (or more) a day.
- If you are a coffee or tea drinker, make it at home and take to work with you instead of buying it at work or on the way.
- If the bananas go bad, make banana bread. It can be frozen - so can the bananas - just mush them, bag them and freeze them until you have enough for bread.
- I keep watch over my freezer, pantry and refrigerator contents. Sometimes I have to change the menu to use something so it doesn't not go bad or out of date.
- If you purchase a food item and it is bad, or goes bad before the date, or buggy - take it back. Our local store will double your purchase price.
- Don't buy more of something than you can use or freeze just because it is on sale.
- Next time you want to invite someone to go out, instead cook and stay in. Rent a movie or play games and you can save quite a bit of money this way.
- Substitute. I have several that I use - such as white fish for crab meat, or a little vinegar in milk instead of sour milk or sour cream. Why buy the more expensive item for only one recipe.
- A baked potato is a great way to use leftovers up. Small amounts of meat, cheese, chili, make great toppings. It makes for a very good and inexpensive lunch at work or meal.
- If you buy premade frosting, put it in the blender or mixer on whip, and it will double in size. That means you can frost twice as much with it, and eat half the calories.
- We have a diabetic in the family. So, instead of frosting cakes, cupcakes and cookies, we sometimes sprinkle a light amount of sugar (or splenda) and cinnamon over the top. It's real good on a yellow cake for a brunch with some fruit.
- Buy produce and meat when in season. Freeze what you can as it will go up in price during off season.
- On "pizza" night, we each make our own small pizzas, just they way we want it. Usually saves us about $30 compared to buying pizza for 7 at Pizza Hut.
- If you are one of those people who already has everything you need, suggest at birthday and Christmas time that you would like gift certificates to your favorite grocery store or restaurant.
- Buy 2 percent milk instead of whole milk, unless you have a toddler in the house on milk.
- I make my own noodles. Costs 1/3 of the price of a bag of them ready made.
Source: Just ideas I have done throughout the years.
By April from NW Missouri
Editor's Note: The third part of this list will be posted next week.
To see the first part, click here:
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September 12, 20080 found this helpful
Thanks for this! We do nearly all of these things---it's essential with a big family. I buy skim milk, though. Cheaper than 2%.
September 12, 20080 found this helpful
Good tips! Thanks for the info. One suggestion though, my grandfather worked in a dairy plant for many many years and told me to buy whole milk, pour half into another gallon jug, then add water until its a little over 3/4 the way full, its the exact same as 2%. I have been doing this for years and cannot tell a difference between the two. Its an easy way to get more milk for the money.
By guest (Guest Post) Flag
September 16, 20080 found this helpful
Thanks for all the wonderful tips.
Would you consider sharing your hamburger helper recipe? It would sure be a help to me, and I am sure to many others.
September 18, 20080 found this helpful
I never thought about freezing the bananas for later!
We never frost our cakes either. If people want frosting they can drizzle a little generic chocolate sauce over it and add sprinkles from the dollar store. We do this with angel food cake, brownies, etc.
We are so on board with the water at mealtime and the weekly meatless meal. Out meatless meal usually is breakfast for dinner! I usually do this when hubby is working. The kids love having what they call "upside down" dinner. Eggs, pancakes, etc.
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