1. Make fruit last longer. Divide your bananas up so they aren't stacked on top of each other. This will make them ripen faster. Also do not store apples with other fruits, this will also cause them to ripen faster.
2. Make your own kitchen staples. Find a few things your family loves and learn to make them at home. Things like yogurt, chicken stock or dry beans prepared at home can save a lot of money and take little prep.
3. Save your fruit and vegetable scraps. If Ryals only eats half a banana or there are a few grapes left on a plate I put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer and save them for smoothies. I also do the same with scraps of onions, carrot and garlic. When the bag is full I make vegetable stock.
4. Use a foaming soap pump. Someone gave me foaming soap for Christmas. It was fabulous and I used all of it. I refilled the bottle with a dab of unscented Dr. Bronner's soap and a drop of orange oil.
You can do the same with body wash in your shower and your shower gel will last a lot longer!
5. Keep snacks fresh. Our cheddar bunnies were going stale so quickly. I started storing them in old Ragu jars. I feel like this is a two for one because I am not throwing the jar in the trash (our area doesn't recycle glass).
6. Save your aluminum foil and ziplock bags. This is not only good for the planet, it is good for your wallet. After I make a casserole where I use aluminum foil I flatten it out to get out the wrinkles and use it again.
With ziplock bags you can wash them with soap and water and then turn them inside out to dry.
7. Invest in reusable snack bags. I feel like we are talking a lot about plastic bags but... my mother-in-law gave us these cute reusable snack bags made by Bumpkin. They cost about $7 for two but you can use them again and again and again. They are machine washable and perfect for everything from cookies to cracker to grapes and blueberries.
8. Stretch your rice. If you find your grocery budget busted at the end of the month stretch your rice out as far as you can.
Put one cup rice to three cups water or stock in a pan. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 90 minutes. You will get six servings of rice for just $.32 worth of rice!
9. Run your dishwasher at bedtime. I called my power company and learned that off peak hours were after between 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
During off peek hours power companies need to buy less energy so they charge less per kWh, up to 40%.
So running your dishwasher at bedtime or in the middle of the day will save you big!
10. Make your own cleaning products! I know a lot of you do this already, but making your own cleaning products can save you a few dollars each month and require a few simple things like vinegar and dish soap. Click here to get a bunch of recipes for cleaning products.
11. Freeze your staples. We all know things like fruits and vegetables can be frozen. But did you know things like bread stay fresh in the freezer. The bread my husband likes is way more expensive than the run of the mill store variety. So when it's on sale I buy multiple loaves and freeze them.
12. Buy your meat in bulk. I mentioned this last week. We started buying our meat in bulk. We were able to get boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.49 per pound from Zaycon and 92% lean ground beef for $3.99 a pound. I haven’t sat down and done the math on what this will save us. But I know that it does and it makes life easier to have six months or more of meat in the freezer.
13. Go meatless once a week. I read an article that stated going meatless once a week will save $200 a year. I believe it's probably more than that. In fact, I know it. Our family goes meatless at least once a week.
Find some recipes you already love and make them meat free, like this meat free lasagna casserole.
14. Stop using paper towels. We talked about this a few weeks ago, but we don't use paper towels. I use old t-shirts cut into strips. They work even better and I don't throw them away.
15. Put your dish soap in a pump. You will use more with a squeeze bottle. Instead, put your dish soap in a pump and limit yourself to one to two pumps while washing dishes.
What about you? What money saving kitchen tips do you have?