I am a big fan of using a combination of coupons and a grocery price-book to save money when buying groceries. I am also a big fan of saving money in the kitchen, after those groceries have been purchased. Here’s how to save money in the kitchen – and minimize those costly trips to the grocery store.
These tips work for our busy family of 5. There are no professional organizers in this bunch!
In the refrigerator -
Keep things neat and tidy. It’s easy to forget what you have if you can’t see it.
Prep fruits and vegetables. We have kids – and kids like convenience foods. Rather than see our fruits and vegetables spoil, we slice and peel them when we buy them, and the kids eat them up.
Use it up. Waste not, want not. When a bottle is almost empty, turn it over, let gravity help you out, and use it up.
In the pantry -
Invest in a decent set of food storage containers. Stale cereal is the worst. We keeps ours nice and fresh in these cool Rubbermaid containers. As soon as I get home, we remove cookies, crackers, and cereals from their bags and boxes and pour them into storage containers. This keeps food fresher – and we think they make things look nicer, too!
Teach the kids to put away the groceries. Our kids have been taught to help around our house. As a result, they respect and value the things that we buy.
Put things where you can get to them – unless you shouldn’t. I have a sweet-tooth, so I put all of the healthy stuff at eye-level – and the not-so-healthy stuff in the back.
Rotate your canned-goods. Get in the habit of placing newer cans behind older ones. Check those dates!
Donate what you do not need. If you aren’t going to eat it – donate it to a local food-bank or homeless shelter.
Invest in a crock-pot. Seriously. A slow cooker saves us so much time and theyare so simple to use. If we are worried about cooking meat before it spoils, we’ll slow cook it in the crock-pot, with a few vegetable and some seasonings.
Use the oven when electricity is cheaper. Check with your power company and plan accordingly. Ours offers a plan with less expensive electricity before 2pm and after 7pm.
Make compost. We have a spring and summer garden – so we are always looking for scraps for our compost bin. Rather than waste egg shells and apple skins, use them to create awesome soil for your garden!
At the table -
Start with smaller portions. We have kids. Kids are picky. Rather than give them a huge scoop of beans, we’ll start them out with just a few. If they want more, they can have them. If not, we can put them in the refrigerator and have leftovers the next day.
Make the kitchen-table an awesome place to be.
Share the clean-up responsibilities. We clean up our kitchen as a family. Our kids know how to wash dishes and put them away.
Skip the heated drying cycle. Instead, dry dishes by hand. If you have a small amount of dishes, skip the dishwasher and wash by hand. (I’ve read conflicting articles about how much money is saved when washing by hand versus using the dishwasher. We use ours for one load a day and always wait until it is full to run it.)
These simple tips for how to save money in the kitchen work for our family. Our goal is to maintain an organized kitchen where we can enjoy good meals and good company. Blessings.