“Saving Money in the Kitchen”
As many of you may know, I love to cook.
I am not a “Chef” – I am a Home Cook.
I was taught by the best – my Grandma and my Mama.
These days, I find that a big portion of our budget
goes to food. Mostly because I choose to cook most nights
instead of stopping for fast food on the way home from work.
It takes effort and planning. I won’t lie.
It would be so much easier to pull through Taco Bell on the way home,
and to be honest – every now and then I do.
(yes, I actually love Taco Bell, thank you very much)
I was asked once by a good friend if I cooked every single night.
The answer is No.
I plan meals where I cook about every other night.
Sundays are generally for Menu Planning,
Grocery List Making and Grocery Shopping Day.
I thought I would share my
Top Ten Tips to Save Money in the Kitchen:
“Common Sense Tips You Probably Already Know.”
#10: Make A Menu!
I post my menu on the fridge, so I don’t have to go into panic mode
to figure out what I will cook on a Wednesday, for example.
A menu also allows me to think about what needs to be done the
night before, i.e. thawing, crockpot, prep, etc.
Here is a fun Menu Planner you can print:
#9: Make a Grocery List from the Menu
Using a grocery list allows you to formulate a POA (Plan of Attack)
at the grocery store. I even put my list in the order that the foods
are found at my grocery store, i.e.
b) Fruits and Veggies
(It’s sad that I know the exact layout of my grocery store, huh?)
#8: Make Meals That Are Versatile
For example, my
I make extras, and the next night I used left-over grilled
veggies from the previous night’s dinner for a quick
Crispy Chicken Tenderloin Parmesan Pasta.
A yummy, tomato sauce and some pasta – add the chicken tenders –
#7: Buy in Bulk
Most of us have Sam’s Club, Costco, etc – but do you really
use it wisely? I am not talking about the 20-pound bag of
I buy my oils, spices, rice, pastas, etc in bulk.
There truly is a savings.
#6: Keep Your Leftovers!
I rarely throw anything away.
The chicken skin which I saved from my chicken tenders,
for example, was used to make a Homemade Stock.
(I will post about that soon, and show you how
to “de-fat”your stock)
Vegetables, meats, rice – I keep it all.
On weekends, I challenge myself to create “recipes”
using all of these leftovers.
I have some Fabulous “Everything But the Kitchen Sink”
#5: Buy Store Brands:
I am not a “Brand” snob.
Unless I have a coupon, I always buy store brands.
With my store customer card, I can save considerably every week.
#4: Do Your Own Prep Work:
Have you ever noticed the difference in price between,
for example – a bag of shredded cheese and a block of cheese?
It’s significant. So, I shred my own cheese.
I also chop and shred my own veggies.
I can shred a lot of lettuce for pennies on the dollar for
what I can buy a bag of pre-shredded lettuce.
That goes for the bagged salad mixes, too.
Yes, they are convenient – and that’s what the makers
are counting on. That you will choose convenience over cost.
DON’T FALL FOR IT!
3) Cook From Scratch:
What? Everything from scratch?
Well, yea. At least as much as possible.
Take for example – Spanish Style Rice from Uncle Ben’s.
It’s ready to eat in 90 seconds in the microwave –
and it’s filled with enough sodium to fill 3 salt shakers.
Instead, make your own rice (even minute rice), add some fresh
chopped tomato, some cumin and chili powder, some chopped green
chilies and (optional) some black beans and/or corn plus a squeeze of
lime juice – and you have one of THE best
Spanish-style rice’s ever.
Bottom line, you need to COOK.
Yes, it takes some extra effort, but the
payoff is both a healthier meal and the savings.
#2: Use Coupons:
I have to honestly admit that I am NOT one of the
extreme couponers you see on TV. There is a part of me
that cannot justify buying a cart full of soda just because I
only paid .67 cents for it in the end.
But, I do use coupons for cereals, soups and especially
detergents and cleaning supplies.
And speaking of detergents, I am on a new path
towards making my own homemade detergents
and cleaners. I have realized I can save HUGE by making
my own cleaners, PLUS you’re removing harmful toxins from
your home and your family’s environment.
Check out my Homemade Febreze and
And, my Homemade Mouthwash.
#1: Buy Local and/or Grow Your Own!
The best part about buying local is you are supporting your
local economy and Farmers. But I need to say something
about Farmer’s Markets.
Just because a product is sold at a Farmer’s Market,
does not mean it is local. Don’t be afraid to ask if it is locally grown.
If you see large cardboard boxes filled with veggies and fruits,
it’s very possible these were purchased from a wholesaler for retail sale.
Just ask! If it’s not local, you are not accomplishing much.
I buy my eggs, honey, seafood and a lot of my veggies
from local sources. This year, I have a larger garden, so
I find I am not needing to go to the Farmer’s Market
as much as in years past.
I have gotten to know my “suppliers.”
For example, I know the older gentleman who I buy my eggs from
by name. He has free-range chickens, and feeds them corn he has ground
himself. I buy them weekly. Beautiful brown eggs.
He sells them about $1 cheaper than I can buy them at
the grocery store.
Back to my garden:
I realize that not everyone has the ability to grow a large garden.
But anyone, and I mean anyone, can plant a few post with tomatoes,
peppers, and even some beans when you utilize
vertical container gardening.
Here is a fabulous youtube video for growing 50+ veggies in
just 4 square feet!
These are all ideas which are basically just common sense.
But, it’s not the “ideas” it’s the commitment to these ideas.
It does take a bit more effort and time to be frugal,
but I guarantee you that once you implement these ideas into
your everyday schedule, it will become a way of life.
I would love to hear some of your Tips and Tricks to
saving money in the kitchen that you has worked well
for you and your family.
Have you just discovered
The Everyday Home Blog?
If so, I would love for you to follow me
by email so you never miss an update!
Delivered by FeedBurner
You can also follow me on FACEBOOK,
Sign up for the free Newsletter!
Like Farmhouse Decor on FACEBOOK!