The frugal kitchen lifestyle that can see you saving thousands per year will take some deliberate and consistent effort on your part. The moment you start to slack off on your efforts is the time when things will get too casual, and you will be leeching away your potential savings. Don’t let that happen. Follow these kitchen rules, and you will be building up your savings for bigger things such as holidays, the deposit on a property, major investment, or even retirement.
I remember years ago visiting with an aunt and uncle in Florida and being utterly amazed that they didn’t use plates, cups, and glasses that us regular folk use. They relied entirely on disposables so that they could avoid washing up! Well, that was an utterly senseless waste of money in my eyes. For one, they had two daughters who could easily be put on a dishwashing rotation and each family member would only need to wash up twice in two weeks! Instead, they bought tons of disposables that not only took up space in their kitchen but also was a nightmare in terms of rubbish disposal.
Those girls are now adults, and guess what? They are also leeching money away in that regard, just as they learned from their parents. I just feel like someone needs to sit down with them and show them the figures.
Use those eggshells
Egg shells are rich in calcium, and other minerals and so are excellent plant foods for things such as rose bushes. It gives them a bright glow and big, healthy flowers. In general, egg shells are good for your garden so when next you boil or scramble eggs, just crush the shells and sprinkle them in your garden where they will decompose and form a healthy food that you didn’t have to pay extra for. How about that for some cool savings?
Save those citrus peels
I have a secret for you! Do you know those candied peels that are sold at Christmas time in the cake-making section of the supermarket? Guess what they are made of? Citrus peel from things such as oranges, satsumas, clementines, and lemons. As they are easy to preserve, I make my own candied peel mix throughout the year, bottle them, and save for my own Christmas cake making. Look for a little recipe and try it. It doesn’t take long at all. It will save you some money. You may also use it as frugal gifts for friends and family members.
It’s simple, but it’s true. One of the things I am proudest of is my compost bin and its produce. I love a pretty garden and doing it up every spring and summer used to cost me a pretty penny. I used to have to buy garden compost to make sure that my garden has the nourishment it needs. Now, I follow this one rule: if it’s compostable, it goes in the compost bin. So when I have paper, raw food peelings, egg shells, card, uncooked peanut shells, etc., I put them in. I give the bin a little stir now and again and come spring when I am ready to ‘reap’ the results of my efforts; I am so pleased. All I use is a large outdoor garbage bin with a hole cut out in the base with a well-fitted lid. I even have enough each year to share with my sister. The only extra effort on my part is to remember to put the bits in a small paper bin in which I have placed a compostable ‘plastic’ bag.
Embrace Meal Planning
We are just in the second month of the year, and I have just started to get into the groove of meal-planning. Have you embraced it yet? Here’s how I manage to save money with meal planning:
- I plan all the meals we are going to have for two weeks and buy only the ingredients to prepare them
- I buy small plastic containers to store individual meals
- I cook food in batches, cool them completely, and then cover and freeze until we are ready for them
- Leftovers are refrigerated, so nothing is wasted
- I cut out specialty ingredients that cost a lot but are only used
occasionally Imake use of my slow cooker, and that prevents us from eating out on our busy days
With meal planning, the long-term saving is also made by way of our health. I ensure there is less oil used, and also, we don’t have as many takeaways. I make my own takeaway style meals.
Optimize energy usage
We waste energy in various ways, and wasted energy in my book is equivalent to wasting money. So, think carefully about what you want to get from the fridge before opening the door. In fact, plan and be purposeful. When you are about to cook, think of all the things you will need from the fridge and get them out. Especially if the oven or cooker is on, it will increase the temperature of the kitchen, and if you open the refrigerator door repeatedly to get items from it, the temperature of the fridge will be affected, and it will, therefore, require more energy to get back to the correct temperature. Not only that, but you will make the foodstuff in the fridge go bad quicker, wasting money.
Also, try to switch off lights and equipment when they are not in use. This includes the light in the oven, the microwave, the cooker hood, and all other lights and appliances not being used.
Life is made richer when we save more. So follow these simple kitchen rules and ensure that you are saving for bigger and more substantive exploits. You will have a better-quality life for it.
Jo and Leisa are frugal lifestyle bloggers at https://joleisa.com. The girls are teachers and authors who hail from the sandy shores of Jamaica originally. They now live in Birmingham, England where they are raising their two awesome teenagers. Connect with them on social media:
Join the Son Shine Community
Become a master of the kitchen.
Acquire new recipes, learn new techniques, and discuss your kitchen accomplishments & mishaps with others.