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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Get Your Kitchen into Gear and Start Saving

Whether it’s the hassle of prepping meals or the exhaustion from work at the end of the day, there are plenty of reasons people turn to take-out and delivery. In fact, restaurant spend has been at an all-time high recently, with many households spending almost $9,000 annually on food purchases.

Ready to start saving money by making more meals at home? We’re here with our favorite tips and tricks to get your kitchen into gear so you can start saving on food costs today!

Invest in Appliances that Help

Most homes and apartments come stocked with a fridge and stove, but there are plenty of other appliances that can help you save time (and money) while making food at home. Instead of having to pre-heat an entire oven, you can save on energy bills with smaller appliances that cook a meal just as well. A couple of our favorites are a small microwave, crockpot, panini press, and air fryers. Each of these can be purchased for around $40 at local retailers and can turn cooking into a breeze!

Don’t Let Leftovers Go Bad

One of the largest ways to save money in the kitchen is learning how to keep your leftovers fresher, longer. Have you ever popped leftover rice and chicken into the microwave and had it come out drier than before? To avoid dried out leftovers, lay a damp paper towel over your plate or bowl or put a small dish of water in the microwave with your meal. This will help hydrate your food while it cooks and help you avoid the dreaded “microwave taste.”

Skip the Cooking Spray

A little-known fact that could save you money (and make your food healthier) is to skip the cooking spray. Not only will you avoid putting harmful chemicals into your food and the air, but you can use alternatives like butter, olive oil, or coconut oil just as easily with your food coming out just as delicious!

Freeze Produce

One of the best parts of cooking at home is being able to enjoy fresh produce straight from the market. However, fresh produce doesn’t have as long of a shelf-life as other non-perishables, making it difficult to avoid letting food go bad on accident. Solution? Freeze, freeze, and freeze! Everything from fruit to herbs can be frozen to prolong use. Instead of throwing out that other half of a banana or unused garlic cloves at the end of a meal, chop them into cook-able pieces and keep them in the freezer. Herbs are especially good if you use an ice-cube tray with a bit of water. This allows you to pop them straight into the pan with your next meal for a delicious kick!

Plan Your Meals

The best way to save money while cooking at home is to plan out your meals ahead of time. Keep a whiteboard in your kitchen, or a notebook, and plan out your meals each week to avoid food waste. This can not only keep your grocery shopping on track, but will also allow you easy access to your pantry and freezer while you plan what meal to make next!

Whether you’re eating at home to get healthier, save money, or to increase your cooking skills, these tips should help get your kitchen ready for some great cooking!

 

Your Turn: What are some of your kitchen necessities? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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