request info email to friend
Saving Money in the Kitchen
Food and the cost of preparing it is a major expense for most people. But there are things you can do to avoid waste and save money. Experts suggest:
Use the right size burner. If you put a small pan on a big burner, you are just wasting the energy that it takes to heat the area the pan does not cover. Match the size of your burner to the size of your pan. Not only will you save money, but you also will cook more evenly.
Put a lid on it. If you are boiling water, such as for pasta or potatoes, put a lid on the pot until the water boils. That traps the heat inside and makes the water boil more quickly.
Don’t run your dishwasher half-full. Wait until you have a full dishwasher to run a cycle. Otherwise you are wasting both energy and water.
Plan your menus – and your shopping. If you go to the supermarket without a plan, you probably end up buying a lot of things you don’t use. Plan your meals for the week, and try to plan for leftovers. For example, if you have a meal that includes rice, plan another meal that could use up any leftover rice. Then make a list of the items you need before you get to the store.
Take advantage of preferred shopper deals. Most supermarket chains have a preferred shopper program. They might offer a discount or save you money on gas. These programs are usually free, so signing up is a no-brainer.
Don’t heat your whole oven for something small. Consider getting an inexpensive toaster oven to use for smaller jobs. It is much cheaper than turning on the big oven.
Make the most of it when you use the oven. If you are baking something, consider whether you can double the recipe and freeze the extra for later – whether you are making cookies or meat loaf.
Clean out and organize your refrigerator. Everyone has had the experience of pulling open the crisper drawer to find a bag of lettuce that you forgot about and that went bad. That is pure waste. Organize your refrigerator so that you know at a glance what you have.
Get a slow cooker. This helps you save money in two ways. First, a slow cooker uses much less electricity than other appliances. Also, you can buy less expensive cuts of meat because a slow cooker is designed to make even tougher cuts melt in your mouth.
Start small with servings. You can always have another serving, but once you have eaten from your plate, you probably should toss what you don’t eat. This is especially important if you are serving kids: Some nights they are ravenous, and some nights they just pick at their food. So start with a small amount, and then gladly give them more if they ask.