Start with smaller portions –
We are a family of five, with three children. Often, our kids will put more on their plates than they can actually eat. Start them off with a smaller portion and then allow for seconds. This also works for me in my efforts to lose weight. We will often find that we can cook once, eat, and have plenty for another meal.
Use paper towels sparingly –
Instead of using paper towels for every kitchen clean up, we have a small stack of cloth dish towels. After meals, we can use them to wipe down kitchen counter tops and clean up any spills. They go into the washing machine and can be used again.
Place fruits and vegetables where kids can get to them –
I hate wasting food, especially healthy fruits and vegetables. As soon as we get home from the grocery store or farmer’s market, we wash our fruits and vegetables, and place them on the counter or in the refrigerator, at kid-level. This both encourages our kids to eat them and keeps them from going bad, stuck in the back of the crisper.
Reuse grocery-store bags –
It’s almost inevitable, we are going to end up with plastic bags from the grocery store. We use them as trash bags in our various trash cans – and I use them in my shop to store old towels and wood scraps.
Be smart with cleansers –
Whether you are are using DIY cleansers or store-bought, use the smallest amount necessary to get the job done. It’s easy just to squeeze out a big glob of dish washing detergent, when a much smaller amount would be just as effective. The same goes for laundry detergent.
Use recipes –
Some people are born cooks. My wife and I, we were not. So, it’s important that we use recipes when cooking (especially foods that we are preparing for the first time). This helps us avoid over-using ingredients – and wasting money. Certain spices can be pricey – adding just a bit too much to a recipe can both waste the spice and ruin the dish.
Keep it clean –
My wife does an excellent job of keeping our house clean and organized. I pitch in and so do the kids, but it’s her system. When the kitchen is clean, we are more apt to put items away, wash the dishes, and keep things organized. This makes things easier to find, which leads to less food-spoilage and less buying of unnecessary items at the store.
Put a lid on it –
With kids, it’s easy for them to fix a soda, walk off, and leave the lid to the soda bottle laying on the counter. This is also true for peanut butter, pickles, jelly, etc. So, we teach our kids, very early on, to put a lid on it. This also goes for left-overs, to prevent spoilage.
These are just a few of the things that we do to save money and consume less in the kitchen. I’d love to hear your tips in the comments. Be sure to follow via twitter.com/NCN. Be blessed.