5 Simple Ways To Save Money In the Kitchen

 

Last January I joined a great group of bloggers to bring you 5 Simple Ways. We each offered 5 simple tips to start the New Year covering various subjects like money, decorating, fashion, organizing, healthy living, kitchen life, and more. (Don’t forget to pick up the free ebook we put together from last year’s 5 Simple Ways series.)

Today we are back with more great tips to start the new year right and I am sharing 5 simple ways to save money in the kitchen.

These tips are things I have mentioned often on my site because they are things that I try in incorporate into my everyday kitchen life. They are basic tips that do not take very much time or work.

Menu plan, menu plan, menu plan

Yes I think menu planning is important, because it saves me so much time and money in the kitchen. If I plan my menu with what is on sale and what I have in my pantry, I avoid spending extra money on the dinner time panic of what do I feed my family for dinner. I am a big believer though in making your menu plan work for you.

What works for my family will not work for yours. So, if planning only five dinners a week works for you, plan only five meals and give yourself some freedom on the rest. If you like to do a ground beef Monday, Mexican Tuesday, and a Soup Wednesday type meal plan, than do that. Do what works for you. The important part is to have a plan.

Make it from scratch

I love making what I can at home. Yes, I can find inexpensive prepackaged food with sales and coupons, but the reality is that most things are cheaper to make at home. Things like homemade seasoning mixes and taco mixes are so easy to make at home and are much less expensive.

Eat out less

This one is not directly saving money in your kitchen, but it is saving money on food. I have found that I can often make a similar, if not better, version at home for much less. I can make my whole family a homemade version of Panera’s broccoli soup, tomato soup, or even potato soup for the price of one bowl at Panera. I can make burrito bowls very similar to Chipotles at home for much less than I can feed my family eating out. And the list goes on and on. Pizza is much cheaper to make at home. No it is not quite the same, but it is still very good and much healthier.

Keep a well stocked kitchen

Spur on the moment or last minute purchases can quickly ruin a budget. Running to the store for that item you ran out of often costs more than that one item, because you find at least five other items that you also “need”. Keeping a well stocked kitchen allows you to shop from your kitchen when you need to make a meal or recipe. It saves you from always running out and buying that one item. Now, I am not saying that you should run out and buy a ton of stuff right now to stock your kitchen. You can easily stock a kitchen with the basic canned goods, spices, pastas, etc over a few weeks or a month, by watching sales and spreading it out.

Keep a well organized kitchen

Okay, so here is where I admit I struggle. When people come over to my house, I often hope they don’t notice how unorganized my pantry is. It is an area I am far from perfect on, but I do know that when I keep a well organized pantry and kitchen, I spend less on groceries simply because I do not buy things I already have. I cleaned out my kitchen cupboard recently to discover I had at least 3 containers of cinnamon. And when I cleaned out my fridge, we had 3 or more opened jars of strawberry jelly. If things had been more organized and I had known what I already had, I would not have bought more of something that we did not need.

I would love to hear your tips on saving money in the kitchen. What do you think are the easiest ways to save money in the kitchen?

And don’t forget to check out the other great bloggers joining me for this 5 Simple Ways series.

 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Comments

  1. My biggest problem (although not the only big problem) in organizing the kitchen is the refrigerator. How do you keep that organized? Its ALWAYS a problem. Ideas / suggestions would be appreciated

    • That is a great question and I think I will make it an Ask the Readers question soon. I am sure my readers would have a lot of good ideas to help in this area.

    • What I do is when I make food and put it in the fridge I make sure it is all done with dates and how long to keep em and that way every thing gets used up. Also make sure u put the most resent food made in back and the ones that needs ate up in front. I also put juice w/ juice, Milk w/ milk, Fruit with fruit, vegies with vegies, and so on so everything is in order. Another great tip…. if u need room for like a big bowl or a cake in your fridge put your butter and other drinks in fruit bin until u get the space freed up. Hope this helps you all!

  2. Great article!
    Kat- to keep my fridge organized (an interesting chore w/3 teen boys who like to cook) I clean one shelf & one drawer/door shelf thoroughly right before I go grocery shopping. If that’s once a week, then it’s one shelf that gets pulled out, washed off, and the walls surrounding it get wiped too. If I’m shopping every two weeks, then I might double that up. I keep a pretty good handle on leftovers, etc., but this method helps me double-check what things have gotten pushed to the back and what needs used up before it goes bad. It really cuts down on waste and keeps the fridge from being one of those *big* chores that you absolutely dread. HTH!
    And……… if you mean how do you decide where stuff goes, I kind of have a *place* for the most common things that we buy, so the cheese/eggs/produce are usually in the same spot. Don’t know if you were asking about that too…………. :0) but it makes looking for things much faster.

  3. Sarah Cassill says:

    The easist way to save money in the kitchen is USE YOUR LEFTOVERS!

    Home Made Pizza’s, stir fries/ fried rice, omelots/frittatas and soups are all great ways to use up/remake leftovers!

  4. We don’t eat out very often, because my husband says I cook better than what they offer and it’s cheaper at home to feed all 6 of us! So I’ve started to make double batches of food and freezing the 2nd one for those days when a) I don’t feel like cooking or (b) I ran out of time/something came up and there is not enough time to put something together!
    One of the things I do with leftovers is that I plan on having leftovers! I bought a bunch of divided plates (3 sections) with a lid. Once dinner is over with, I put the leftovers in one of those plates and Voila! my hubby has lunch the next day! And I can always label them and freeze them if I need to. I also make soups from leftovers and freezer them in the 8 oz bowls. When I have no leftovers (yep, it happens, lol) my hubby can just look in the freezer and grab a bowl of soup out of the freezer and make a sandwhich (or I do too when I need a quick lunch!)

  5. I agree that menu planning is so important! On the weeks that I don’t menu plan, we are often eating breakfast for dinner on the fly thanks to my lack of planning. Now I make a menu plan almost every week.

  6. Menu planning and cooking from scratch are the main things that I do to save money. Our kitchen is very small (one cabinet for food), and so is our refrigerator (apartment size), so I don’t have room to store or freeze a lot of extra stuff. We have homemade pizza every Saturday, and my hubby and kids all love it. I don’t do much couponing because most of the coupons that I see are for things that I don’t buy. I shop at Aldi for most of my staple items and for fruit and veggies when they have good sales. I also watch the ads for Walgreens and our local grocery store and shop there for sales. We don’t eat a lot of meat, but occasionally I do buy some when the grocery store has a good deal on it.

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