Saving money in the kitchen is certainly a struggle with families, isn’t it? The kitchen is one of those places that tends to be a financial drain…from cleaning products to grocery budgeting and even organization. With the right steps in place, you can turn your kitchen into one of the best money-saving rooms in your house!
Saving Money in the Kitchen
Here are some tips for saving money in the kitchen to put in place today so you can watch those savings add up!
Only buy what you can reasonably use
I fully admit that I’m a huge food waster. In realizing how much food our family wastes, I came up with a game our family plays. Here is how it works: Basically, you think of a meal that you can eat solely from your pantry, but since it’s a game and the kids are a part of it, it’s easy to get them on board. This game saves our family of 3 an average $125-$200/month! There are many variations you can put on this game to make it your own, so be creative!
One of the biggest wasters of money in most people’s grocery budget is having food that is not eaten and goes bad before you get a chance to use it. Be honest about how much you really need and scale back when shopping. You will be amazed at how much money you save with these two tips alone!
Make your kitchen a central organizing hub in your household and you will see how not only your time is saved, but money as well. Have a chart for planning meals, a calendar for planning trips in the car, and a place to put important paper like bills to make sure they get paid in time. Simply put, being organized WILL save you money.
Make your own cleaning supplies
The amount of money spent on cleaning supplies really adds up for most people. By making your own, you will usually save an average of $10-$15 a month. Making your own supplies takes very little time and by looking online, you can find recipes for just about every cleaner you use in the kitchen including dish soap, dishwasher tabs, counter wipes, and even disinfectant sprays.
Pre-make a lot of what you will be cooking for the week
You can chop veggies and stick them in water or storage containers for a day or two, cook large portions of meats for later use, and even make a lot of the convenience foods you buy at home for pennies. You may think pancake mix isn’t too expensive when you buy it pre-made, but you can really make it at home for just 50 cents or less, so you are spending a lot of money on having it done for you.
If you find that some of the recipes you want to make have ingredients that are expensive, find a cheaper alternative. As long as it won’t change the recipe too much or make it not work (such as with baking where things are very scientific) out, adding a different ingredient will save you a lot in the long run. You can even stretch your meals by adding certain foods to your recipes.
Buy in bulk, but do it wisely
Just because something comes in a larger package does not mean it is a better deal than the smaller one. This is especially true if you like to coupon. Pay attention to unit prices when you are buying in bulk. Units can be anything from ounces in the package to single serving sizes. Compare these with smaller packages to find out if you are getting a good deal or not. Some things are always a better deal. Things like spices, for instance, are just pennies when you buy them in bulk.
What are your favorite tricks and tips for saving money in the kitchen?
For more tips, check out this book – You Can be a Stay at Home Mom on One Income:
Sarah is a stay-at-home mom of two wonderful children. From homeless to well-off, this single debt-free mom is most known for her ability to live well on $18k/year. Sarah loves encouraging others that dreams do come true if they are willing to consistently work for it.
Follow her blog: Saving Money Never Goes Out of Style.