I wrote about my favourite ways to use up stale bread recently, and that got me thinking about all the ways that I try to be frugal in the kitchen. We are quite careful with our budget and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, mostly because I love it but also so that we save money in there. I’m so grateful that I enjoy cooking, because I know that this is a key so living a frugal life.
Here’s some of the ways that I keep a frugal kitchen.
- Save bones from roasts, freeze and when you’ve collected enough, use them to make stock in the slow cooker. Add your bones, with some celery leaves, a couple of carrots, some chopped up onions (including skins), a bay leaf, some thyme, mushrooms etc and put it on low for 8 to 24 hours.
- Bake your own sourdough bread. My loaves cost me about $1 each including flour, salt and electricity. I know that there are more frugal options, I could buy a 75c white loaf from the supermarket, but I wouldn’t be happy or satisfied with that decision.
- Don’t throw out your stale bread, unless it mouldy or too gross to eat. There’s some ideas of how to use it up here.
- Freeze left overs where you can. Using an ice cube tray to freeze small portions of things is a great idea.
- Rehash left overs. Recently I made delicious Asian beef cheeks and the next day I made risotto with the shredded cheeks. The beef was almost tastier in the risotto!
- Do some research and make conscious shopping decisions. I know that it’s best for us to do our grocery shop at Aldi and our veggie shop at the small primary school market. Then once I’ve done those two I see if we have enough money left for meat. It’s what works for us.
- Something that has saved us not only money but time, and also added variety to our kitchen has been meal planning.
BONUS: Some ideas form the lovely people on my Facebook Page.
- “We are mostly vegetarian to be more frugal. Use one two or three chicken legs to make a broth that is cooked over night before turning it into soup or stew. The chicken meat is often fished out to use for a sandwich alternative.” – Sarah from Creating Contentment
- “I certainly wouldn’t say I’m frugal in the kitchen from a spending perspective, but I love a bargain and I hate food waste. I also like to support local when I can. some things I do are – freeze veg scraps and meat bones to go into stock/broth, use stale bread to make breadcrumbs, read the supermarket catalogues before grocery shopping and writing a list that includes which shop to buy what, buy F&V at farmers markets, buy a lot of meat in bulk and directly from a farmer, menu planning so I buy what I need and when I need it.” – Mel from Mel Kettle Consulting
- “Pantry diving can lead to great finds, I try and regularly go through my pantry, pulling everything out, so I really know what’s there. Same for the freezer.” – Annette from I Give You The Verbs
- “1 roast chicken from the shops goes a long way! Always use the bones to make stock (but you already do that) it makes a much more delicious and satisfying meal when you have good stock, keep parmesan ends to add to soup, eating less meat, use the tops from veges like carrots and beetroot, bulk out meaty meals with beans/lentils, freeze bread ends that aren’t your fave or too hard to eat for breadcrumbs, grow your own herbs and potatoes, use stronger meats but less of them eg chorizo can go a long way as it’s quite strong, and adapt your meal to what you already have in the fridge/cupboard – use up what you have first!” – Jacqueline from Pantry in Suburbia
- “I like to cook up a big batch and freeze a portion or two to eat when I’m not well enough to cook/forget to take a work lunch. It’s like takeaway, but I’ve cooked it! And while I try to buy local, fresh produce, and non-supermarket brands, I buy the cheapest basics – beans, frozen spinach, flour and sugar are all basic brand.” – Carly from Carly Findlay
I’d love to hear ways that you save money in the kitchen, leave me a comment below.