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Simple Saving Savvy: Savvy Saving Solutions...Frugal Tips in the Kitchen ~

Simple Saving Savvy

Practicing Wise Stewardship & Blessing Others Out of Our Abundance

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Savvy Saving Solutions...Frugal Tips in the Kitchen ~

Along my frugal journey, I've picked up various non-coupon tips that help to save money on my household budget.

Now mind you, these are not lightning bolt from the sky, ground breaking tips. They are, in fact, very common tips that many of you probably already use. But on the off chance that it will help someone, I'm going to share them anyway.

In the kitchen....

Potato Chips ~ You know when the bag of potato chips gets down to the very last...when there's more crumbs than chips? Instead of throwing them away, add them to your next meatloaf as a substitute for breadcrumbs. They work the same and then you don't have to add any salt.

Bread Heels ~ Instead of throwing out the ends of your bread, simply bake them in the oven at a low temperature until throughly dried out. Put them in a ziploc bag or on a huge cutting board and grind them down using your rolling pin. Transfer to a freezer bag or container and never buy bread crumbs again.

With this same thought in mind, you can also cut the bread into cubes, spray it with cooking spray and sprinkle with the herbs/seasonings of your choice. Then bake and VOILA!!...croutons!

Chicken Broth ~ I pretty much buy boneless meat but every now and again I purchase bone in chicken. I boil the chicken and de-bone it. I place the bones back in the water I boiled it in and continue to simmer, adding a bit of salt to make a broth. Freeze the chicken and also freeze the broth. The smaller ziploc containers are the perfect size for this, stack nicely in your freezer and are the perfect portion for using in most recipes.

Cob Corn ~ My family loves cob corn. I make alot so everyone has their fill but there's almost always a cob or three left over. I cut the corn from the cob and freeze to add later to casseroles.

Green Chilis - Instead of buying canned green chilis, buy them fresh (late summer is the best season) and roast them yourself. The flavor is so much fuller and a little goes a long way.

You'll want to be sure to pick fleshy green chilis. Start the charcoal grill (you can also use your oven broiler but you won't get the smoked flavor) and while you're waiting, cut the chilis in half and remove the seeds.

When the grill is ready, place them skin down on the grill. The skins will turn black (you'll also hear some sizzling and popping). Once the skins are completely black, remove from grill. The skins should peel right off. Be sure to use disposable gloves if your skin is sensitive.

Chop and transfer small amounts to freezer containers or bags. They'll be ready to thaw and add to your favorite dishes or soups.

Thanks, to my friend Nancy, the Santa Fe Queen, for teaching me how to do this.

Black Beans (or other bean varieties) ~ I LOVE black beans. Just ask my family...I find ways to sneak them into everything.

But what they don't realize is that not only do I use them because I like them, they also nicely fill out a dish so I don't have to use as much meat. I add them to chicken for chicken soft tacos, to ground beef for taco salad. I make chicken burritos by adding black beans AND rice and only use a small amount of chicken. And we add them to our fish tacos.

Plant a few vegetable plants ~ This year I (read hubby) planted a cherry tomato plant and a yellow bell pepper plant. We used containers so they were low maintenance. It sure was nice to have yellow bells in our tossed salad without having to shell out $0.99 a piece. Next year I'm planting two cherry tomatoes, one regular tomato and an orange and yellow pepper plant. Again in containers.

Salad Greens ~ I never buy bagged lettuce UNLESS it's FREE or very inexpensive. I buy head of iceberg, green leaf and romaine and wash it myself. This saves alot of money. If I plan to use lettuce for several diffent meals throughout the week, I'll wash and chop it all at once. Let it dry in a single layer on a towel and then put it in ziploc bags in the crisper drawer. It's ready to use when I need it.

Freezer Bags ~ Re-use them! Just wash in hot soapy water and let dry thoroughly. I only do this with the sturdier freezer bags, not with sandwich baggies. And I do not reuse bags I have stored meat in.

Around the house...

Hydrogen Peroxide ~ I no longer pay the extravagant prices for carpet stain removers. I put hydrogen peroxide in a bottle, spray the stain, let it soak for a bit, then mop up with a clean towel. The stains disappear. It's also effective in removing some stains from clothing. I always try it first before using the more expensive laundry stain remover.

Alcohol ~ Alcohol removes ink from fabric, most of the time. I try to buy the highest concentration of alcohol I can find. In times past, they used hair spray because of it's high alcohol content, however, the fixatives in hairspray can actually cause stains to set.

Baking Soda ~ You know those little grease spots that get on your clothes that no stain remover or laundry detergent seem able to get out? Try mixing a small amount of baking soda with water to form a paste and rub into the stain. The baking soda will neutralize the grease so you can rinse it away.

Goo Gone ~ This stuff is my best friend. If you're not familiar with it, it removes all kinds of stains from fabrics along with any kind of gummy substance whether it's gum in clothing or the adhesive from a price sticker. A little goes a long way. In fact, I've had the same bottle for several years and it's still half full.

Toothpaste ~ Looking for a way to use all the FREE toothpaste we get? I use it to polish my silver whether it's jewelry or platters. It works like a charm and it costs way less than special cleaners.

Cold Water ~ I wash almost all my laundry in cold water except hubby's work clothes and our towels. Everything else gets washed on cold and guess what? It gets clean just the same...and saves money too!

Dryer Sheets ~ My good friend Lynn taught me to cut these babies in half. Half a sheet works just as well as a whole, you'll never be able to tell the difference, but your pocketbook will.

What do you do to save money around the house?

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Blogger DeDe said...

Thanks for the great tips!They are very useful.
I have used my ice cube trays to freeze chicken/beef stock and buttermilk that is about to spoil. That way I know that there is two tablesoons in each cube when I set them out to thaw. The buttermilk is not creamy after it thaws but will taste the same in a recipe.

October 8, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

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