Last week, I shared some of my top money saving tips that make a difference in our food budget. You all joined in with some of your favorites.
This week, I thought it would be helpful to share some kitchen tips of easy and odd ways that I save money without even realizing it. Some of these are so second nature to the way I run my kitchen, but I realize they may not be to everyone.
- (The best ideas are going to be the ones you leave in the comments)
- Rinse out your can of spaghetti sauce with a tiny bit of water and use it. Don’t let it go to waste. I know, you probably all do this, but my sister in law told me that years ago and it was eye opening. Considering how many jars of spaghetti sauce I have used nearly every week since I was single, that extra bit probably equals thousands of dollars of sauce. I do this for cans of creamed soup as well. You know that little bit you can’t get out? Use milk and rinse it out right into your recipe.
- Reuse bags and not just Ziplock bags, but bread bags, bagel bags, produce bags etc. Those nice sized clean bags I reuse. Since Ziplock bags are typically an item that I get inexpensively with my coupons, I am not one of those that washes them out if I use them for liquid or meat/messy type of items, but I always reuse them if I just have snacks or chips. When you’re done with your bagels, just shake out the extra crumbs and use again. My “baggie drawer” is full of a variety of sized bags that I consistently use for re-wrapping, covering etc.
- Grate dried cheese. Did the kids forget to reseal the block of cheese in its wrapper and now they want to throw it out? Don’t – it’s perfectly edible. Just use a cheese grater to shred and top your next casserole with that dried cheese.
- Don’t throw away stale bread and bread crusts. Use those pieces that the kids won’t eat and make my favorite Cream Cheese French Toast casserole or easy home made croutons
- Keep a “catch all” bowl in your fridge for odds and ends veggies. Do you have only a handful of carrots left or one half of a zucchini? They’re fine, but there’s definitely not enough for any recipe? Combine all those veggies for your weekly Stone Soup (homemade vegetable soup).
- Save money by using powdered milk or buttermilk in baking recipes. There are so many times I want to make a “buttermilk” recipe, but I don’t have any on hand. I have started storing powdered buttermilk and you can’t tell the difference at all. As to regular milk? I would never drink powdered milk, but it really is a wonderful convenience item that is not only a healthier option, stores much longer, but is also much less expensive – perfect for many recipes.
- Use cereal boxes to store magazines. If your magazines are running over, but you haven’t had a chance to cut out your favorite recipes yet, cut the lid off of the box and add a diagonal slit making an easy magazine holder. Let the kids paint, cover or decorate it.
- If the kids are smelling the milk, it’s time to use it up for a wonderful cream based soup. Don’t pour it down the drain.
- Don’t throw the left over coffee away. Freeze it in ice cube trays for inexpensive iced coffee treats.
- Soften HARD brown sugar by adding bread to the bag – check out this post for details.
- Re-heat your chips. I’m adding this one in after dinner tonight. I went to grab our tortilla chips to layer our taco salad and they were stale. UGH! Someone had left the bag open. I threw them on a pan, stuck them in our toaster oven for a few minutes and they were delicious,even better than before. I do this for crackers, Cheetos, Doritos – lots of snack foods.
- Start saving scraps for your garden. If you have any biodegradable food items, put them in a compost. I would not consider myself a “green blogger” by any means, but I do keep a little bucket where all my scraps are thrown. They either go to my chickens (which isn’t really an option for most of you) or right into my garden in a small “compost” section. By next spring, it will be dirt of gold.
Some of these ideas may seem so minuscule in the scope of saving money, but if you take the savings of a few dollars a week over the course of a lifetime, combined with interest, you’d be surprised at how the return will be tremendous.
I’d love to hear some of your money saving tips directly related to the kitchen.
Share those ideas that might not get a whole blog post dedicated to the topic, but it’s just helpful enough that we’d all love to learn it. So, click on the comment bottom at the end of this post and SHARE AWAY! Your tip just may be featured in a Kitchen Tips Round up that I do in a few weeks.