The heart of your frugal home is your kitchen. It’s where the magic happens and you don’t want to scrimp on that magic.
But you can still save money in your kitchen in so many little, easy and simple ways.
Saving money is not all about eating a rice and beans diet. There are so many ways you can save a little bit of money here, a few pennies there.
These savings add up to a healthy balance over time so never think that doing something to save a few pennies isn’t worth it.
It most definitely is!
So what can you do to save money in your kitchen?
55 Easy Ways To Save Money In The Kitchen
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Money Saving Food Tips
1. If you have snack monsters
At home then hide your snacks and bring them out bit by bit. Otherwise they’ll all be gone within 48 hours (speaking from experience here).
2. Stretch a whole chicken
(and other meat joints) – a whole chicken, even a small one, can be stretched to make multiple meals.
Keep the meat portions per meal small. I used to stretch a whole chicken to make the following meals for 4 people:
- roast chicken with all the trimmings
- chicken broth made into a heart soup, eaten with crust bread
- leftover chicken in a stirfry
- chicken sandwiches for Mr2p’s packed lunch
3. Add filler to meals
e.g. oats, lentils, potatoes and beans – meat is likely the most expensive ingredient in the meals you make. Stretch your meat further by using less and adding healthy alternatives such as oats, lentils and beans.
4. Have an eat from the cupboards month
If your cupboards are anything like mine then you have enough food to last a good while without visiting the grocery store.
Set yourself a challenge to make meals based purely on the food you already have in your cupboards and freezer and stay out of the grocery store completely.
(You might need milk and a few vegetables if you finish the frozen and tinned ones).
5. Get your portion sizes on point
So you don’t overfeed your family and have food left on the plate.
6. Eat at home
The biggest killer of your grocery budget is slipping in an extra restaurant meal or two. Cooking a meal at home is far cheaper than eating out and you have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what is in your food.
7. Use dried beans as a staple
In your home cooking. Go one step further to make life easier for yourself and cook them in bulk then freeze them in ready to use portion sizes.
Cheaper to pull out a bag of ready cooked beans to add to your chilli than buying tinned. Every penny counts!
8. Keep a freezer inventory
You know at a glance what food you have in there and you can use the inventory to help you plan your meals.
9. Re-use you butter wrappers
They are a great way to grease your cake and muffin tins and means you don’t need to be buying cooking spray.
10. Meal plan based on cupboard food
Meal planning is the best tool you have to keep costs low in your kitchen. But don’t start with blank paper and pick recipes out of the air.
Decide on your meal plan using the food in your cupboards as a starting point.
11. Focus on simple food
and stay away from exotic ingredients which always cost more. Simple, wholesome food can be some of the most satisfying and are a great way to save money in the kitchen.
Foods such as pasta, noodles, eggs, potatoes, bread, beans and ground beef can make a wide variety of cheap and easy meals.
12. Eat your leftovers
unless you have teenagers in the house who will hoover up everything, then you are likely to have leftovers from some meals.
Use these to form the basis of another meal or have a smorgasbord of leftover bits for one evening. Don’t let anything go to waste – it’s money down the drain.
13. Go meatless
you don’t have to be a vegetarian to not eat meat. Meat is often the most expensive ingredient in your recipe so choose some meat-free meals to reduce your spending.
We often have 2 or 3 meat free meals every week – vegetables are tasty!
14. Make your own stock/broth
never buy chicken broth when you can make your own from the bones of a whole chicken. Cover with water and simmer for an hour or more, or cook in your crockpot.
15. Learn to love beans
they are full of protein and a fraction of the cost of meat. They are also extremely versatile from beans on toast to re-fried beans to 5 bean salad, all tasty, all cheap.
16. Prepare meals in advance
a little preparation before you go to work or at the weekend will stop you reaching for a takeaway when you get home late and have had a trying day.
17. Make all your meals from scratch
Don’t pay for ready meals in a box. Take ingredients that Mother Nature provides and make them into wholesome meals for your family.
Cooking from scratch will save you money and you create healthier more tasty meals.
18. Make seasoning mixes in bulk
seasonings and spices add up to a costly packet when you use them regularly. Make your own and you will save a pretty penny.
19. Eat seasonally
you don’t need to be a gardener to know what food is in season in your area. Just check the grocery store for the cheaper fruit and vegetables and that will tell you.
Eating seasonally rather than the same food 52 weeks of the year makes sense. We gorge on strawberries in June when they are at their cheapest and don’t eat them at any other time.
20. Freeze your leftovers
if you can’t eat them within a few days, don’t let them go to waste. They can be used another time.
21. Make your own bread
& rolls and pizza bases – I cheat and use my bread-maker but you could do this by hand very easily. I’m just a little lazy and have this ‘thing’ about kneading dough #shudder.
22. Use frozen veg
it’s often cheaper than it’s fresh cousin and doesn’t go off so there is no waste at all.
23. Make soup
homemade soup can be as filling and hearty as a main meal, especially when you combine it with homemade bread.
Use your homemade chicken broth to give it a depth of flavor and add in lentils or beans to increase your protein whilst remaining a very frugal meal.
24. Cook once, eat twice
bulk cooking benefits you in two ways. Firstly you are saving time, it takes only a few more minutes to bulk cook bolognese sauce than a single dinner size.
And secondly you are using less energy through filling your oven and using bigger pans to cook. Freeze the extra portions for a quick meal during the week.
Further money saving posts for you:
Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!
Money Saving Shopping Tips
25. Stay out of the grocery store
the more often you visit the grocery store, the more money you will spend. Try to only visit a store once a week at the most.
My daughter swears by a bi-weekly shop with a visit to the corner store for milk which she cannot store enough of for 2 weeks.
26. Always check the clearance shelf
for produce nearing their shelf life date. Still good to eat for the next few days and you can get them up to 70% off.
27. Stick to your list
the better you get at writing a full grocery list and sticking to it, the more money you will save. No more buying just in case, then finding you already have 2 in your cupboard.
28. Stock up on sale items
if you regularly use ground beef then when it’s on sale it makes sense to stock up, freeze it and count the savings you make.
Related post: How To Stockpile Food On A Budget – 10 Easy Tips
29. Don’t stick to just one store
grocery stores have great bargains at different times. When you buy all your groceries in one store you can end up paying more for some items.
Check out the deals of your local stores and buy their deals (and no more).
30. Get fruit and vegetables in season
from local pick-your-own farms. When you want to bulk buy to satisfy your preserving urge then pick your own farms fit the bill.
31. Buy store’s own brand products
they are often made in the same factory to the same recipe as the premium brand.
I’ve seen enough chat forum messages from people who work in these factories to know this actually happens.
32. Don’t buy cookbooks
use Pinterest for recipe inspiration. These two posts can help with inspiration for new meals:
33. Pack your lunch
whenever you are out and about whether at work or out for the day. You can easily spend $7 or more per day on lunch, that’s $35 a week or over $1500 a year. Take 10 minutes and pack your own lunch.
34. Make your own coffee at home
you know buying coffee to go is expensive. You don’t need to go without, just get smart and brew yours at home and use a drinks mug to keep it hot for hours.
35. Buy in bulk
if you are buying the same product every week then buy it in bulk when it’s at a cheap price makes sense.
Potatoes store very well so don’t buy a small bag, buy a sack from your local farmer and store some place cool.
36. Don’t buy ready chopped
or pre-peeled fruit and veg. These are always more expensive than their whole equivalent. You are basically paying a premium for someone else to prepare your food.
37. Shop at the discount stores
discount stores can have some real bargains. They don’t stock the same products continually but what they do stock can be half the price of regular stores.
I love Encona’s West Indian Hot Pepper Sauce and always buy it half price in my local discount store. I’ve learnt to stock up though as it’s not always there when I want it.
38. Buy reusable kitchen items
single purpose items mean you have to buy them over and over. Spend a little more and buy reusable items as they will both save you money and are better for the environment.
My favorite reusable items are:
For more tips on being eco friendly check out this post:
39. If you get the urge for takeout food
no need to splash the cash – this fakeaway recipe book has all the recipes you need to create your own tasty fake takeaway foods.
General Ways To Save Money In The Kitchen
40. Look after kitchen appliances
keeping your appliances in tip top condition by following the manufacturers instructions will help you get maximum value and life out of them.
41. Use cloth not paper
stop buying paper towels. I use microfiber cloths in my kitchen as they don’t leave any smears. But you can also make your own from old cotton clothing such as t-shirts.
42. Waste not want not
reduce your food waste and you could be cutting 30% off your grocery bill just like that!
these use less energy than a conventional oven so base more of your meals around recipes that use these and save on your utility bills.
44. Grow your own
you can grow your own vegetables in the smallest of spaces, even just a few pots can provide you with tomatoes, zucchini and beans for weeks.
45. Don’t overfill the kettle
if you have a smart meter you will know that it goes mad when you put the kettle on. Don’t boil more water than you need only to let it go cold again.
46. Defrost your fridge and freezer
defrost them regularly to keep them working as efficiently as possible. Defrosting your freezer might seem like a faff, but once you start it only takes a couple of hours at most.
True story – I volunteered to defrost my parents upright freezer – never again! It had been turned off and on a couple of times so the ice in it was packed so hard I couldn’t get any of the drawers open!
It took me 3 hours to get all the food out of it and 6 hours in total to defrost completely, it was that iced up. Don’t let your freezer get that bad. It ain’t fun defrosting!
47. Put lids on pans
when you are cooking on your hob, always put lids on your pans. You save energy and things get to the boil quicker.
48. Change how you cook
never use your main oven for just one item, fill it up by batch cooking big portions or add some baking in there.
Money Saving Laundry Tips
49. Avoid using a tumble dryer
these really do gobble electricity. Pay attention to the weather forecast and wash on dry days using an outside rotary line.
If it’s raining you can still dry inside with an indoor airer. I also hang many clothes from hangers in the bedroom doorways, they dry super fast that way.
50. Wash at 30 degrees
most washing powders and products are now designed to be used on cold washes, as are your clothes. You will use up to 40% less energy washing at 30 degrees.
51. Do the sniff test
only wash properly dirty clothes. Check for dirt and use sniff test to determine if your clothes actually need washing. Unless you do a manual job you can often get away with wearing the same top twice before washing.
52. Use a bowl when washing by hand
don’t wash under a running tap. And if you only have a few items consider waiting until you have more or only fill the bowl part way.
53. Choose energy efficient appliances
when you are in the market for a new appliance, invest in the most energy efficient one you can.
54. Don’t automatically buy an appliance
when you could use another – My elder daughter’s toaster broke last year and rather than rushing out for a new one she made toast in her George Foreman grill for 4 months.
55. Streamline your cleaning cupboard
there is no need to have loads of different cleaning products when an all purpose cleaner and washing up liquid will cover 99% of your cleaning jobs.
So Many Ways To Save Money In The Kitchen
I hope these 55 ways to save money in the kitchen have given you some new ideas that you can implement today. Why not check out these posts as well for more inspiration?