I never thought I’d be making a post of out of this but it just seemed necessary.
Your frugal kitchen tips have blown me away!! I’m listing as many different tips as I can and am hoping you find them as helpful as I did. Thank you ALL! Giveaway winner is announced at the end of the post.
Frugal Kitchen Tips
- Making baby food with the food you already have stocked in the kitchen for your own meals.
- Lentils! They are cheap and can take on any flavor profile you want. They’re also loaded with protein + fiber.
- Veggie stir fries with quinoa or brown rice bought in bulk. [It uses up whatever veggies you have in the fridge and you just need a few spices to make it work.]
- Keep your fruit, even if it’s starting to go bad [not moldy bad, but maybe just slightly overripe]. Wash, cut, and freeze it!
- Reuse containers to store leftovers, dry grains, etc. ie: yogurt containers, jelly jars, nut butter jars, pickle jars, applesauce jars, etc.
- Ordering by the case at natural food stores will usually get you around a 10% discount.
- Ordering bulk items that can be stored safely for long periods of time.
- Asking for “seconds” or bruised items at the farmer’s market. I ONLY buy the “seconds” for peaches + apples at the market and save 50%. Most of the time the fruit is still in really good shape.
- Meal planning! [Something I need to get better at.]
- Buy ingredients you can stretch throughout the week and use in different meals.
- Costco’s organic produce. You can really save big on their organic frozen fruit.
- Making quiche or chili to use up ingredients at the end of the week.
- Shopping seasonally will save you money at the store.
- Joining a local CSA.
- Shopping at your local farmer’s market.
- Freeze dinner leftovers in single portions, instead of buying frozen meals.
- Plant + grow a garden. Even just planting herbs in a few pots can save you a lot of money.
- 5 ingredient or less rule for meals.
- Replacing meat with beans, lentils, eggs.
- Making something new with take-out leftovers. ie: using Chipotle leftovers in a breakfast egg scramble
- Shred your broccoli stalks for a crunchy salad topper or for making your own slaw.
- Buy in bulk + freeze.
- Buy dried beans and cook them in a slow cooker. [One of the most popular tips! Canned beans seem cheap but dried beans are much less expensive.]
- Do not buy single-serving packaged items. Buy a larger container and portion them out yourself.
- Make your own trail mix with bulk nuts + dried fruit.
- Buy extra peppers when they’re on sale then wash, cut, and freeze them.
- Buy veggie broth cubes that you boil in water instead of the 32oz cardboard containers. You will save 4x the money!
- Making extra dinner portions so you can pack the leftovers for lunch the next day. [I always do this for Chris!]
- Check for specialty items online. ie: chia seeds, hemp seeds, special flours, oils, vitamins, etc.
- Shop the bulk bins and store your items in glass jars.
- Do not buy single serving yogurt containers. Buy the larger containers in the plain flavor and add fruit and a little honey/maple syrup at home. You’ll save money and avoid loads of unnecessary sugar.
- Eat at home whenever possible.
- Avoid packaged/processed foods.
- Make homemade nut milk and use the pulp that’s leftover in baked goods.
- Buy brown rice in bulk. It can be used for any meal of the day.
- Cook a large pot of 1 grain to use throughout the entire week.
- Make a casserole using whatever ingredients you have left at the end of the week.
- Have an “everyone fend for themselves” night using whatever leftovers or ingredients are in the house.
- Buy extra produce when it’s in season and freeze it.
- Bake your own bread.
- Using frozen veggies for stir fries.
- Make your own veggie stock from leftover scraps. ie: ends of carrots, broccoli stalks, onion ends, etc.
- Make your own nut butters. [I like this one!]
- Utilize your slow cooker to save time + money.
- Buy spices in bulk. [This one is SO true.]
- Check store specials online before heading to the stores.
- Eat a lot of grains + beans.
- Stock up on bananas when they’re on sale and freeze them after they’ve ripened. Just remember to peel them before freezing!
- Never throw bananas away. They can always be peeled and frozen for smoothies or baking, no matter how ripe.
- “Everything but the kitchen sink” salads.
- Make your own yogurt at home and strain it to turn into greek yogurt.
- Make your own vanilla extract.
- Make your own salad dressing each week.
- Use simple + minimal ingredients.
- Pre-make frozen fruit combo bags for smoothies so they’re ready to go.
- Make your coffee at home!
- Eggs are cheap protein, even if you buy organic/local.
- Shop more often but buy less. You’ll have less waste and your focus will change to buy only what you need.
- Shop locally + seasonally.
- From scratch cooking.
- Shop multiple stores and check ads before you go.
- Keep a tub in the freezer to throw scrap veggies, herbs, etc. and then use them to make sauces and marinades.
- Tofu + tempeh for cheap protein. Even organic + non-GMO is very affordable.
- If you eat chicken, buy and use the entire chicken, not just the breasts. You’ll save money, have better flavor, and can use the bones to make chicken stock.
- Grind your own flours at home with a grain mill. [I use my Vita Mix.]
- Eating vegetarian/vegan.
- Make your own pasta/pizza sauces at home.
The most popular tips were: stocking up on fruits/veggies/meats when they’re on sale and freezing them, shop the bulk bins, shop at bulk stores, weekly meal planning, make large batches of beans at home, make large batches of dried grains [rice, oats, quiona, etc.] each week, and shopping locally + seasonally
Besides being more economical, following these tips will also lead to a healthier lifestyle. It definitely takes a little more time + effort, but your wallet and body will thank you.
simplicity in eating = cheaper = healthier
Here are a few of my more frugal recipes:
- Popped Amaranth [Make your own cereal at home and add whatever topping and cereal sauce or milk you like.]
- No Fail Omelet [great way to use up leftover veggies]
- Vanilla Bean Brown Rice [turn leftover plain cooked brown rice into breakfast]
- Quinoa Broccoli Casserole [a LOT of servings and easily customized with veggies you have on hand]
2lbs of organic dried beans = 15-17 cups cooked beans = about $3-4 total
three, 15oz cans of organic beans = 4.5 cups cooked beans = about $3-4 total
- Cinnamon Quinoa Oat Bread [super easy, minimal ingredients, gluten-free + vegan]
- Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding [great if your avocados and bananas are slightly overripe]
I try to soak and cook my legumes and grains that I plan on using during the week, over a weekend. Then I have a freezer stocked for a month with food only has to be reheated. And now that I have a composter, I compost all my veggie and fruit scraps :)
Congrats to Sonia and a big thanks to all of those who entered and left awesome frugal kitchen tips. Much appreciated!