The old saying “waste not, want not” comes to mind when dealing with frugality in the kitchen. In our modern day, kitchen waste is through the roof. People literally throw hundreds of dollars away every year by not making use of what they already have.
With seven children and two adults living in our home on one income, we strive out of both necessity and desire to be as frugal as possible. The kitchen can be one of the most money consuming locations in the home, but with a few easy tips those expenses can be greatly minimized.
1. Use butter wrappers for greasing pans. Those wrappers that come on your stick butter? Keep them in a container in the refrigerator. When you are baking or cooking and need to grease the pan, pull them out and grease away! Much cheaper and healthier than buying spray or using shortening.
2. Don’t let fruit go bad. There is almost always a use for fruit that is on its way out. If it’s beginning to look too beaten up to just grab and eat, mix it up in a smoothie or throw it into a dehydrator to make fruit leathers.
3. Use your stale bread. Seriously. Turn your stale bread into bread crumbs or croutons. Delicious, and once again, saving you money and preventing unnecessary waste.
Cook from Scratch
4. Make your own chicken stock. Buy a whole chicken, chop off the wings, pour in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and simmer all day with some onion, carrots and celery. The result is the richest and healthiest stock you can imagine which can be poured into glass jars and frozen until you need it. Then you can use the meat from the chicken for one or more meals. If you really don’t want any waste you can even use the organs from the chicken by grinding them up and adding them to a chili where they will be happily hidden and eaten. You can also save bones from chicken or beef in the freezer and when you have enough, make a bone broth.
5. Make and freeze beans. Pick up organic dry beans in bulk, soak and cook them. When they are done cooking spoon them into glass jars, add a bit of the liquid to each one and store in the freezer. For the price of one can of beans you can make 8 -10 jars!
6. Steam vegetables and save the water. This makes a super easy and delicious vegetable stock that can be used for soups and other recipes.
7. Make condiments from scratch. Ketchup, balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, dressing, pretty much any condiment you can think of can easily be made at home using a few ingredients. Not only is it way cheaper to make them yourself but by doing so you can leave out all of the garbage that is in typical store bought stuff such as hydrogenated corn syrup, mounds of sugar and preservatives. The more items you make from scratch, the better on your body and your wallet.
Taking these steps will save you money and add to your families overall health. I have only shared a small amount of kitchen tips to get you started in your journey towards frugal living, but once you get started you will see that the possibilities for saving and reusing are endless. Challenge yourself to see what kitchen items you can re-purpose and have fun while doing it!
Do you have any frugal kitchen tips to share?