Saving Money in the Kitchen

Stop buying the latest and greatest kitchen tools and gadgets; stick the basics, and you will save more money in your kitchen than you ever thought possible.  Saving in the kitchen not only helps your wallet, but you become more aware of the food you buy, when you buy it, how you store it, and when you eat it.  After all, being sustainable in the kitchen is about spending responsibly, but also having a higher standard to the meals we prepare, as well as the environment.

For starters, invest in tools in the kitchen that you actually need to cook.  A set of high quality knives is a necessity as it can do a number of jobs without the need for additional tools.  Of course it is fun to make zucchini spaghetti noodles with a peeler, but you can make veggie noodles by slicing them thinly with a knife as well.  Do not buy a cheese grader, lemon zester, or garlic peeler when they all do the same thing, and just spend a few extra dollars and invest in a high-end paring knife to get the job done.  When it comes to hand held mixers, blenders, and food processors, just pick up a Vitamix, which may have a high sticker price, but serves as a blender and processor and will last for years.  Read about the possible treatment options for trigger finger if you find yourself having too many kitchen gadgets.

Next, try and reduce the use of throwaway products in the kitchen.  I know that paper plates and paper towels are very convenient, but the cost can really add up when you start to notice how many you are using.  I find that I often tear off too many paper towels at once and have more meals on paper plates than I should, adding to the garbage load when I could have easily have rinsed off a plate.  Remember to keep those fast food and carryout napkins when they throw extra in the bag, as they are free and do a great job cleaning up small messes.  Using fabric towels that you can wash and reuse is a great way to save, as you can buy great fabric towels and plastic plates in bulk or at a dollar store.  Investing in reusable products, may not seem like much in savings, but think of the amount of paper products you are throwing away in a week, let alone a month or a year, adding much to plenty of savings.

Finally, storage containers are a great investment and are never missing in my refrigerator.  When packing your lunch, use washable plastic containers instead of plastic sandwich bags you throw away after each use.  Save the nice containers when ordering carryout from your favorite Thai restaurant, or the plastic bowls you receive from the deli counter at the grocery store, as these are free and you can use multiple times simply by washing.

With a little discipline and a new outlook to the way you organize the kitchen can add up to huge savings.