Kitchen Tips for Saving Money
Here are some kitchen tips for you to try as part of your frugal living lifestyle. Whether indoors or out, stove top or oven, you can save money every day by using these tips.
I don't expect household tips like these to save you bundles of money, but think of it like coins you save in a big jar. Before you know it, you've saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
We waste our money little by little. We can save it the same way.
At first we don't see the leaky financial boat. Pretty soon we wonder where all the money is going. Plug small financial leaks as you recognize them, and keep yourself afloat.
Using the Oven
When using the oven, try to let the oven “coast” to finish cooking a meal. When you shut off the oven, it stays at the same temperature for several minutes before starting to cool off. And, it cools off gradually.
(Okay, so this is one of the kitchen tips and a lesson in thermal dynamics.)
Let the oven coast for as much as 10 minutes, and that will save you several minutes of electricity use. You get the same results for most everything you cook, but you save money – a little anyway.
Think of coasting the oven like coasting your car. You wouldn’t have your foot on the gas right up to the stop sign, so don’t be heating your oven right up to when you take the food out.
Also, this kitchen tip works well to avoid one other energy loss – leaving the oven on after you take the food out. If you practice letting the oven coast, then you are certain to have the oven turned off when you go to remove the food and walk away to the table.
Enjoy the BBQ
This tip can be used with a gas barbecue as well. Leave the top closed and shut off the gas. This allows the “lava rocks” to continue cooking your food without the need to use more gas. You might leave the grill “coasting” for only 5 minutes since it isn’t nearly as air tight as the oven and your food will cool down quicker.
In both examples, the idea is to use the stored thermal energy contained in the oven or “lava rocks” to save money. You paid for the energy, so you should use it to your benefit. Getting the most out of what you paid for is a good general frugal living tip to follow.
While we are on barbecue grills, I should point out another of the cooking related kitchen tips – a gas barbecue is very economical if your love to grill. Gas grills beat out the standard charcoal grill when it comes to saving money. Even with the higher cost of propane, you save money with a gas grill.
The cost of charcoal is high for its fuel value, and it is recurring. You can probably grill at least six times on the propane gas grill for the cost of a bag of charcoal briquettes. A single tank of propane might last you all season, even if you grill regularly.
In addition, the propane grill fires up and heats up quickly. You aren’t waiting around for the coals to get hot. The propane grill also provides much more even heat and temperature control.
One last kitchen tip for using the propane gas grill. Be sure to shut off the valve on the gas bottle after you are through with the gas grill.
Make certain the valve is closed tight, but not Tarzan tight. If you don't snug it down good, you will have a leak of propane that can empty your bottle in a matter of a few weeks.
The leak will be through the control valves on your gas grill. Those valves are more for regulation. The valves on the propane bottle are more for isolation, and they will keep you from leaking propane when not in use.
Here is a great cooking related kitchen tip for those who like to cook meat. When you are marinating meat, use a jar with a lid that seals or a small plastic bag with a seal, instead of a tray. A tray uses lots of marinade to cover the meat in a pool. A jar or plastic bag can marinate the meat in much less space and much less marinade.
Simply place the meat in the jar or bag (without stuffing it in tightly), and add a little marinade (about a 5th as much as you would normally use) and then turn the bag or jar occasionally while in the refrigerator. This allows all portions of the meat to be exposed to the marinating liquid while you use much less of it.
Try this kitchen tip next time you marinate meat. There is no sense soaking $8 worth of meat in $3.50 worth of
marinade when you can do it for about 50 cents.
Here is another kitchen tip for you. I like to clean the oven with water-based cleaners to avoid the expense and irritation of caustic oven cleaners. You don’t need to use an oven cleaner if you spray on some water-based liquid cleaner and let it sit a while, wipe and repeat. Doing this regularly makes the oven easy to clean.
An electric oven will have a self-cleaning mode. With a reasonably clean oven to start with, the self-cleaning mode on most ovens can incinerate the remaining soiled areas just fine. The cost of a can of oven cleaner is about two to three times what it costs in electricity to use the self-cleaning mode on the oven.
Paper Towels are Money Thrown Away
Here is another of the kitchen tips associated with cleaning. Do you use paper towels in the kitchen and around the house for drying your hands and cleaning tasks? Try to use cloth bar towels instead of paper. They are much more cost-effective than the "throw away" paper products.
Paper towels are more than $1 a roll, and the average family uses one or more rolls per week, so you have at least $65 tied up in something that you throw away each year. That’s not thrifty living. A large bundle of bar towels at Sam’s Club is less than one third the cost of the paper towels you are probably throwing away each year.
The other disadvantage of paper towels is that they crumble, tear apart easily, and leave lint. You just can't scrub with them.
Paper towels are good for cleaning up oil and grease, or soaking excess fat out of bacon, but not much good for other serious tasks. Use them only for nasty stuff that should be thrown away.
Make this one of the kitchen tips that you implement now, and stop giving your hard-earned money to paper product manufacturers.
Practice frugal living every day and in every room of the house. The kitchen is a great place to save money. Stay tuned for more kitchen tips. I'll update with more as I stumble across them.
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