If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to cut your budget and save a buck or two. Feeding your family can really be expensive if you’re not mindful.
The following are 7 ways I’ve saved some money in my kitchen.
1. Buy 3-4 sets of cloth napkins. I haven’t bought napkins for 7 years, and we don’t miss them. You may be saying—“but wait!! It’s more laundry, count me out!!” My thoughts, I’m already doing mounds of laundry anyway, a few more small napkins are not going to break me. I also stopped buying paper towels. If I don’t buy them, we can’t use them, and we have to figure out other ways to clean up our messes. I was going to figure out how much money I have saved in 7 years not buying napkins and paper towels.. but then I found this blog post and it sums it up pretty well.
2. Reusable water bottles. It makes me so sad to see people still buying cases of plastic water bottles, when it’s so easy to buy a reusable water bottle and refill it. I particularly like eco bottles, but any will do.
3. Make your own chicken stock. This seems silly, but lots of recipes call for chicken stock. I’m not even sure how much it is in the store, because I don’t buy it, but you too can cross it off your grocery list and make your own. When I make a whole chicken (buy local!) I throw the bones in the crock pot, fill with water, sometimes add onions or herbs, sometimes not, and cook on low for 12-24 hours. Then I strain, refrigerate for 12 hours and skim off the fat from the top. Then I portion and freeze.
4. Use all of your food. Stop overbuying, and when you are cooking, make sure you use the whole vegetable. For example, chop up broccoli stems and use in salads, soups, spaghetti sauces, meatloaf or meat balls.
5. Grow your own. Connection with the earth and cheap food. Of course gardening is an investment to begin with—you have to buy the seeds and starters, but once they take off and start producing, you will save so much money on groceries. Doesn’t get much better than fresh home picked vegetables and fruits!
6. Can your own. Canning is awesome, and again there’s an upfront investment for the jars and supplies, but once you’re set up, you’re good to go. While canning is time intensive, I really have some great memories with friends putting up food, and my home canned food tastes so much better than anything I can buy in the store!
7. Store food properly so it lasts longer. Cue the Tupperware. There are so many food storage solutions that Tupperware offers. My favorite, Fridgesmarts, prolong the life of your fruits and veggies. An air venting system creates the perfect air flow for the fruit or veggie that you’re storing. I also store all of my pantry items in modular mates with air tight, liquid tight seals. My dried goods never go bad.
These are just a few ideas on saving some money in your kitchen... how do you cut back when you need to?