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The cost of living crisis is really starting to affect everyone now, isn’t it? Have you seen your bills go up and all the advice online but wondered which things you can do in the kitchen specifically to save money? Here I will share my top tips with you and hopefully give you some ideas you had not thought of.
Why save money?
With the cost of living crisis, it is likely you want to save money so that you can afford the price hikes and the bills. Alternatively, perhaps you are wanting to put the money into a savings account to save for a wedding, holiday or house.
There are so many savings calculators and budget calculators online you can easily see how quickly your money will accumulate from saving a few pounds here and there. An online college calculator will help you see how much you need to save to pay for your child’s university place for example.
Reducing food waste
It is sad how much food we throw away that could be used, here are some tips to help you save money by reducing food waste.
If you buy anything that you can not use find a way to freeze it. Whether you cook it first or freeze it raw will depend on the freezer space you have and the food item. I regularly buy extra vegetables if I see them in the yellow sticker area to freeze for things like mushy pea curry!
If it is only a little then freeze it in a small bag or with other items that you will use it with. You will be surprised how quickly it all adds up to save money in the kitchen.
Use the stalks
Do you cut the florets off broccoli and cauliflower and throw the stalks away? If so then you are really missing a trick. I cut the stalks up too, after peeling or washing well of course and eat alongside the florets.
If this isn’t for you then why not chop them into small cubes and add them to a curry, bolognese or similar to increase the vitamin c and bulk out the meal cheaply?
Make your own stock
Use meat or vegetable scraps to make your own stock. Simply freeze scraps and then boil them up when you have enough to make your own stock which you can freeze and use in portions when needed.
Bring stale bread back to life
If you have an uncut loaf of bread which has gone stale and hard but not mouldy you can easily bring it back to life and make it fresh again. This works well for baguettes and similar loaves.
Simply dunk the bread (whole not cut) into some fresh cold water. Allow the bread to feel a little soggy but not so much so that it is falling apart. Cook in a very hot oven or air fryer at around 220°c for 5 minutes or until the bread is back to how you would enjoy it, crispy on the outside and fresh on the inside!
If this method isn’t for you then how about turning stale bread into breadcrumbs?
Buy close-to-the-date food
Instead of paying full price for food look for the yellow sticker reductions and the Too Good To Go app where food is sold for low prices to reduce waste. This food can be cooked and/or frozen to ensure it lasts well and really helps to save money.
Reducing energy usage
With energy bills increasing and the unit rate going up it is helpful to reduce the energy you are using in the whole house but especially in the kitchen. Hopefully, these tips will help.
Use your hob wisely
when you use saucepans on the hob it is important to remember that any heat which is going around the side of the pan is being wasted. Always use the right size ring for your pan and turn it to the appropriate flame size if needed.
Use a steamer
If you are steaming vegetables you can use a three-tier steamer to use one lot of energy to cook three pans of food. This is one simple change to make and saves quite a bit of energy in the long term.
Avoid using the oven
Instead of using the oven which costs a lot of energy use appliances which cook the food quicker and use less energy. An air fryer is much better than an oven and cooks most things in a similar way. For heating meals, it is much cheaper to use a microwave than an oven. This simple change can save money in the kitchen without changing what you eat.
Use a slow cooker
If you have a slow cooker there are so many meals you can cook in your slow cooker and they are extremely energy efficient. A roast beef for example could cost a tiny fraction of the price cooked overnight in the slow cooker instead of a few hours in the oven and be just as nice, if not nicer.
Limit the use of washing machines and tumble dryers
Underwear should be washed after every wear for hygiene however outer clothes often do not need to be washed every time, especially if you are not exercising or getting dirty. Try to reduce the washing you do by wearing items more than once and with jumpers often wearing them a number of times before washing.
The tumble dryer is not very cost-effective and should be avoided on any day you can hang washing outside. If you do not have a washing line or space for one outside then an airer outside can be just as good.
Do you have any other tips?
Have you found any other tips to save money in the kitchen that I have missed, I know there are lots so do comment your favourites below and help each other out.