May 3, 2014 by Alicia
Welcome to Part II in my new “Saving Series – Saving in the Kitchen.” Be sure to check out Part I – Setting Up Finances and the upcoming parts: Saving in the Laundry Room, and Saving by Cutting Expenses.
I am here to share a few tips about how to save money in the kitchen, including groceries. I don’t know about you, but as a stay-at-home-mom I feel like I am ALWAYS in the kitchen. Cooking, cleaning, or prepping. I have found a few ways to cut costs of the most used room in our house.
1. CROCKPOT. It is more energy-efficient than using the oven. That saves money on utilities to power the appliance. It also doesn’t heat up your kitchen like an oven does. That saves money in the warm months from your air conditioner turning on to compensate for your hot kitchen. A crockpot also saves on time. For a lot of crockpot recipes you can just throw your ingredients in and walk away. Saves money, time, and sanity. Can I get an amen?
2. DISHWASHER. Dishwashers use less water than washing dishes by hand. On average, washing as many dishes as would fill the dishwasher, you would use at least 6 more gallons of hot water to wash by hand (data provided by FirstEnergy). My dishwasher also has a “heat dry” option which I turn off. When my dishwasher is done, I just open it and let the dishes air dry, using less energy.
3. TOASTER OVEN. It is more energy-efficient than using the oven. That saves money on utilities to power the appliance. It also doesn’t heat up your kitchen like an oven does. That saves money in the warm months from your air conditioner turning on to compensate for your hot kitchen.
- Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan! It saves time. It saves money. It saves sanity. It’s so great it deserves its own post. Check out my how-to on meal planning. If you don’t do any of my other tips on saving on groceries – do this one.
- Cut coupons almost only for things that you were already planning on buying. The only reason I say “almost” is because a good time to try a new product is when you have a coupon. But hear me say that buying things just because you have a coupon is a sure fire way to overspend on groceries. My favorite coupon sites are coupons.com, smartsource.com, krazycouponlady.com, and pennypinchinmom.com. (On Penny Pinchin’ Mom, you can search the coupon database by brand name for everything on your list) Also check out your local stores to find out who doubles coupons.
- Shop the sales! If you grocery shop weekly, base your grocery list around what’s on sale that week. Every week there is meat, side dishes, produce, desserts, beverages, etc on sale. This is a great excuse to try new recipes too.
- Price matching. Wal-Mart will price match any identical item (brand & size) on sale at another store right at the register. You don’t even have to have the other store’s flier. I have done this dozens of times and they’ve never questioned me or given me any problem at all. This way you can still build your list around what’s on sale, but you don’t have to go to numerous stores. I just write the sale price and store name next to my item on the list and tell the cashier. However, they are much happier with you if you put all your “price match” items together, either at the beginning or the end of your check out.
What steps have you taken to cut costs in your kitchen? Do you have new ideas I could implement in my own kitchen to save time and/or money?
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