9 Ways to Save Money in the Kitchen
If not well-managed, the kitchen can become the most expensive part of the home to maintain. This is because of the constantly increasing cost of living. Saving money in the kitchen requires planning and mindfulness. Although most of the changes you can make may seem insignificant, adding them up can result in large savings. Cutting the kitchen budget may be challenging, but focusing on one or a few items at a time can make it easier.
Save Money in the Kitchen
To successfully save money in the kitchen, monitor your expenses to determine what you spend and track your kitchen inventory. This will help you identify the areas you can save on, eliminate, or leave as they are. You may consider keeping a kitchen expense journal for efficient monitoring and tracking. Here are ways to save money in the kitchen.
Use energy-efficient products
Switching to Energy Star appliances for your kitchen can help improve energy efficiency and energy bill savings while lowering their impact on the environment. Choosing Energy Star appliances allows you to enjoy tax credits, rebates, and sales tax exemptions offered for energy-efficient products. The refrigerator you select should have bottom freezer models and be lit using LEDs with low energy consumption.
Go for dishwashers with Tier 2 recognition and consider choosing the latest features such as versatile rack system, advanced drying and washing, and wireless performance monitoring to save time and energy. Choose cooking appliances such as induction cooktops which use electromagnetic energy, and Advantium speed cooking ovens, which rely on microwave and convection technology to cook. You may also consider convection ranges and ovens, warming drawers, and Energy Star microwaves.
Buy in-season produce
When produce is in season, farmers harvest in abundance, resulting in increased supply and low demand, reducing costs. If the crop is locally sourced, storage or transport costs are eliminated, reducing the production costs that would have been passed to the consumer. If you buy out-of-season produce, they’re probably sourced from other areas, and their demand is usually high, making them pricey. Consider looking at a seasonal food guide to determine which foods to buy when.
Consider freezing foods
Food wastage is among the top contributors to high kitchen expenses. Having excess food or leftovers that can’t be eaten at the moment, freezing keeps them fresh, avoiding wastage, and saving money and time. When freezing food, ensure it’s cool so you don’t increase the freezer’s temperature and cause all other foods to defrost. Consider filling your freezer as it’s economical to run and put food in sealed containers to avoid freezer burn.
Only freeze fresh foods and store them in realistic portions; don’t freeze food that can feed 10 people when you intend to serve three. Label your dishes and include the date they were frozen to avoid confusion. Avoid freezing high water content vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, soft herbs like basil and parsley, and egg-based sauces.
Start a kitchen garden
A kitchen garden can help reduce grocery expenses. However, this depends on the costs involved, the amount and types of produce grown, the yield, and more. Knowing the crops that thrive in each season and the practices involved will help succeed at kitchen gardening.
To grow a vegetable garden that saves you money, go for the products you like and is expensive to purchase at the grocery store. Choose produce that can easily be stored or frozen, so it serves you longer.
Be mindful with your appliances
Thanks to the collection of appliances used, the kitchen accounts for most of the energy used in the house. While you can upgrade to more energy-efficient appliances, lack of finances may restrain you. However, you can still make your kitchen energy-efficient by unplugging the appliances when not in use, keeping the freezer full, ensuring refrigerator and freezer doors remain closed most of the time, and cleaning refrigerator coils at least once a year.
Consider switching to energy-efficient bulbs such as LEDs, use ceramic or glass dishes in the oven, and install low-flow faucets to improve your water usage. Defrost food before cooking so you don’t use more energy when cooking.
Eat from the pantry
Eating from the pantry involves eating much of what you already have in the house, resulting in little or no grocery shopping. Consider creating pantry challenges to reduce food waste and save on grocery expenses. Take note of all the food in the freezer, refrigerator, and cabinets. This will help you know what you have so you can plan your meals. Consider the available perishables and prioritize them.
Shop in bulk
Buying household items and food products in bulk is an excellent way to lower your shopping expenses as you may get discounted prices. Grocery items that last long such as rice, dried fruits, and spices, can make great saves. Buying in bulk allows you to think of how much you need to reduce food wastage. When bulk buying, avoid items you haven’t tried before and buy what you’ll use. Consider your storage options so you can keep your things fresh for longer.
Prepare your meals
Compared to eating out, cooking at home is more cost-efficient and promotes healthy eating. This is because you only prepare what’s needed, and if there are leftovers, you can freeze them to cater for a different meal. Baking your bread is also cheaper than buying it, and what’s more, you can make more baked products for less and freeze them for later.
Take advantage of on sale items
Stocking up on kitchen items during a sale is an excellent way to save money. To save more smartly during a sale, buy discounted gift cards, check for coupons and promotions to land better discounts, and compare the prices given by the sale offer to find the prize that saves you more while ensuring quality. Leverage cash-back opportunities to save more money.
Saving money in the kitchen can be challenging, especially if you aren’t conscious about it. Create a plan on how to reduce your expenses and implement it in parts. You can also incorporate the above tips in your plan to save more.