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Category: Kitchen: Frugal Tips

Related Links:  | Recipes | Frugal Tips | Barbecue | Dessert | Fruit | Homemade |
 | Meal Planning | Meat | Organization | Sauces | Veggies |


The ABCs of a Frugal Kitchen

by Jan Rideout

If you’re Aware of penny-saving ideas around your kitchen you can accumulate many small savings that will Amount to big bucks.

Bread does not have to go stale or be thrown out.  Put sliced bread right into your freezer and take it out in the morning for toast and sandwiches (It will be fine by noon).  If you have a loaf of stale baked bread, run it under cold water and shake; then put it in the oven at 300 degrees for twenty minutes.  It will come out like fresh-baked.

Cleaning supplies are cheaper, and often more effective as well as safer, if you use what you have in your cupboard.  For example, white vinegar cuts grease, cornstarch cleans windows and furniture, and isopropyl alcohol disinfects.

Dry your clothes on the line for outdoor freshness and savings on running your gas or electric clothes dryer.  In the winter use an indoor drying rack.  You can find them at second-hand stores for under $10.

Energy is expensive in your kitchen.  Buy newer Energy Star appliances and save big.  But, there are other short cuts.  One is turn off your dishwasher at the drying cycle and let the dishes air dry.  Another is unplug appliances over night and save on phantom energy waste.

A Freezer can save you lots of money.  Freeze things before they go bad.  Buy in quantity any foods you use regularly that you find on sale and store in the freezer. 

Grocery stores are set up to tempt you to buy.  Make a menu of week’s meals and then create a list of what you need.  People who shop with grocery lists save.

Hosting people in your home can be expensive if you serve wine.  Why not buy cartons of wine or large bottles of wine for savings.  Or, you can serve the more expensive wine first and the cheaper wine later as the evening wears on and the taste buds become numb.

Some Ingredients required in recipes can be expensive.  No problem.  Substitution saves money, and you’ll never know the difference.  Powdered milk works as well as real milk in recipes. For cream use 2% milk. For real garlic or lemon use minced garlic in the jar - and use lemon juice.

Jams are a luxury and expensive.  So, make your own.  Freezer jam is an easy recipe and can be made from any berry, even the blackberries in your back yard or from the blueberries along the roadside.  Instead of buying berries for your jams, or pies, pick your own to save money.

Kale is cheaper and healthier than lettuce.  Kale is also a winter plant.  Yes, it will survive even very cold climates.  Buy seedlings, plant in moveable pots, put them in a protected spot along your house foundation and watch it grow.

Laundry detergents always give you directions for using a bigger amount than necessary, use a third to one-half less than recommended on the box, and your clothes will be just as clean while you count your pennies.

Make your food go further to stretch your meals.  Don’t throw out leftovers but reuse them in casseroles or stir fries.  Don’t throw out stale bread but use it for bread crumbs and croutons.  Use flavored side dishes with vegetables to stretch an expensive piece of meat.  You can even use old food in your compost.

Night lights in your kitchen are good to have so you don’t bang your toe when raiding the fridge or getting a midnight snack, but they are using energy.  Try night lights that have a motion detector sensor, and you’ll light up when you enter the kitchen even before you open the fridge door.

Onions often go bad, and you always need onions.  So store them to save them, and you’ll save on replacement costs.  They need to be in a dry place like a cabinet or a pantry.  Do not store in plastic bags; use paper bags instead.  And, do not store near potatoes, as potatoes give off moisture.  Use any onion that sprouts right away. is a great site to use for kitchen-saving ideas.  This site has a little bit of everything with big savings ideas.  The site also has freebies, deals of the week, and tackles many topics from homebuilding to college savings and from buying shoes to making investments.

Quick meals may mean ordering out or going to MacDonald’s, but those kinds of meal can add up.  Instead bake larger meals on the weekend like lasagna, meatloaf, or soups.  Then divide into individual servings and freeze for quick warm ups and money savings.

Roasts and steak are great tasting, but you can buy lesser known and less-expensive meat cuts and still make a tasty meal.  Try flank steak, pork shoulders (You’ll get a couple meals out of this cut for $10 or less.), and shank cuts--which you can braise to make more tender.

Snacks are cheaper made than bought—and just as good.  Make trail mixes out of dried fruit and sunflower seeds or make bagel pizzas.  You can even have a family cook in—each person makes several of his/her favorite snack foods and freezes for later. 

Throwing away something without thinking about saving some parts for later can be a mistake.  If you cut the buttons off old shirts, you won’t have to buy them latter.  Or, if you save the laces from old shoes, you can use them for lots of repairs and for organizing without going out and buying.

Utilities may seem expensive.  But, you should know that washing dishes by hand is more expensive than washing them in a dishwasher.  Why?  Because you use much more water and the electricity to pump that water.  Just make sure when you buy utilities for the kitchen they are Energy Star products.

Vacuums are another expensive but necessary kitchen need.  Just make sure to change filters when dirty, bags when full, and keep the vacuum brushes and wands clean.  Then you will extend the life of your machine.  You can also try sweeping.  It burns calories, saves on your vacuum, and saves energy.  That’s why kitchen floors should not be carpeted.

Water is used a lot in your kitchen.  Turn down the heat on your water heater by five degrees and save.  Also, if you wash pots and pans fill one large contain or your second sink with rinsing water to save running your water unnecessarily.

Xtra staples, spices, and other food supplies that keep well should be bought in great volume when they are on sale.  Use coupons with sales and double your savings.

Your budget is important.  Budget your food costs and your other kitchen needs.  You’ll be amazed how planning ahead and having reasonable limitations for spending can save.  And, when you buy, round up every purchase you make with your debit card or from you checking account.  For example, if your grocery bill comes to $115. 67, treat it as $120.00 in your accounting.  Before you know it, you will have accumulated a nest egg.

ZZZZZ….Now you can sleep soundly knowing the little things you do to save in the kitchen can save you big $$$$$$$s.


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Category: Kitchen: Frugal Tips

Related Links:  | Recipes | Frugal Tips | Barbecue | Dessert | Fruit | Homemade |
 | Meal Planning | Meat | Organization | Sauces | Veggies |

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