Hello, everyone. I am back with the remaining 5 tips to save money in the kitchen.
Dry beans and lentils
For this one, I agree it is very convenient to buy the store bought canned beans. However, here is an actual calculation as to why you should not unless it is on sale. And, by sale I mean anything below 70 cents per can (19oz).
Let’s take dry red kidney beans as an example here:
1 cup of dry kidney beans when soaked overnight yields 3 cups of cooked beans which is far more in quantity than what you get in a can + all the chemicals used as preservatives.
1 cup of cooked beans made from dry beans is 30 cents
1 cup of cooked beans from canned (not on sale) is CAD1.18
Hence, I no longer buy canned beans on sale.
I soak beans for the week on Sunday night. On Monday morning I drain and store them in my refrigerator in glass containers (Pyrex or Anchor). That helps them last for the week in the refrigerator without showing any signs of deterioration.
Stretch your meat
Ok this is strictly based on preference. We eat meat only thrice a week (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). The meat is either chicken, fish or lamb (mainly in winter). Eggs are also a good alternative to reduce meat intake. For example: Whenever I am running low on salmon, for instance, I add in a boiled egg in my husband’s lunch. Its best to buy meat on sale and then portion and freeze it.
This one is my favorite. Be your own chef. Ever been in a situation where you just open and view the ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry and think “I cannot make anything out of this?” and then end up ordering from outside? Use these websites to never ever encounter that situation again. Just put in the ingredients you have on hand and these websites will suggest what you can make with it. My favourites are supercook and cookthink and recipematcher
Go green in the kitchen
Use reusable cloths in the kitchen to wipe counters and spills. I love the ones I bought from Canadian Tire on sale about a year ago. To keep them clean for this long, I wash them in hot water with bleach. I do not keep paper towels on my kitchen counter (unless I have company), as I have noticed that one (my husband) ends up using more paper towels when they are accessible. I use paper towels to keep lettuce fresh long. Keeping lettuce leaves in a glass container with a folded paper towel keeps them fresh for long.
Use mason jars and store produce correctly
This one I recently discovered. Sometimes wastage is caused due to simple reasons like not knowing how to store the produce (tomatoes stay longer outside instead of inside the refrigerator) or not knowing the best storage container. I have realized that sliced strawberries and grapes stay fresh the longest in mason jars. You don’t need to rush to the store and buy new ones. You can use the empty ones from jams, pasta sauce, and other preserves. Just make sure you dry them in sunlight if you are using them to store dry spices or grains. You can use paper towels to wrap lettuce and herbs like coriander/cilantro (if you aren’t keeping their roots submerged in water) before storing them in glass containers or reusable take out containers to prolong their freshness. Meats are cut into portions and frozen in zip-lock freezer bags or as whole if I am planning to cook in bulk.
These are the first five steps to a frugal kitchen. Hope they help you get started. Stay tuned for the remaining five. See you soon!!