Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My Frugal Kitchen

Waste not want not!
I truly believe this statement and live by it.  I was taught this concept as a child, as it was a necessary to survive.
Today I feel it is just the RIGHT thing to do and it is necessary to THRIVE!

We wouldn't just drive down the street and randomly throw dollar bills out the window - so why are we randomly throwing dollar bills into the trash?

Here are some of MY frugal kitchen ways!

  • I make our own tea and we often make flavored tea as well.  I can use fruit juice added to a glass, or Kool-aid, or herbs.  I make a gallon of tea at a time (2X a week).  Buying bottled flavored teas can cost a small fortune over a year.
  • We use insulated mugs and glasses for our drinks.  It keeps them cold longer and there are no un-necessary bottles to throw away. 
  • Coffee is made at home.  G is the coffee drinker, and likes to have different flavors from time to time.  I use flavored non-dairy creamers (we often make our own).    I also sometimes add a couple Hershey kisses or some other chocolate or caramel candy to the cup before adding coffee.  Drop a mint in the cup.  Pumpkin spices can be sprinkled over the top, or add a dash of vanilla or hazelnut or walnut extract, or eggnog.   No need to pay $4 or $5 a day for a special coffee.  ONE CUP A DAY CAN ADD UP TO $1,040 - $1,300 A YEAR (5X A WEEK)!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That is a huge savings!
  • We filter our own water and refill our own insulated bottles.  I refuse to buy water at the store.  I spend about $12 a year for filters.
  • Even when we worked - we had breakfast from home (or took it with us) and lunches from home.  I made up sausage biscuits, scrambled egg burritos, mini quiches, oatmeal put in our own microwavable bowls, granola bars, etc.  Leftovers became lunches or we took sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, homemade cookies, self packed chips (buy a big bag and re-package yourself).  I also took my own drinks.   Lunch  can be as much as $10 a day - 5 days a week = $2,600 a year!
  • Eating out is fun and a nice change once in a while.  If you want to go out and have a celebratory dinner of some sort - think about going before 4PM - meals are usually cheaper.  ALSO hopefully you can use gift cards, or find coupons for B1G1, or even go to a buffet.      Any time you can - get a doggy bag to bring home leftovers!         IF YOU HAVE KIDS - make sure you find a place where kids eat FREE!!!!!!!
  • Make your own spice blends - they can be make specifically to your tastes.
  • Soups, stews and casseroles are huge go-to meals at our house.  I can use leftovers, less meat, and just throw all kinds of stuff together.  It lasts for more than one meal.  Potatoes, pasta or rice are used a fillers - therefore being able to use less meat.  You also know there are no nasty added ingredients (preservatives) and you control the salt.
  • I use the crockpot a lot - so I can buy less expensive cuts of meat.  They ALWAYS get tender when cooking in the crockpot.
  • Make your own salad dressings, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, etc.
  • I keep the crumbs from cereal, cookies, brownies, etc. in a Mason jar.  These sweet bits are great on ice cream or over pudding.  They can also be added to sweet breads.
  • I keep crumbs from any type of salty, savory treat in another jar.  These are great to use as topping on casseroles or in breading of meats or fish or veggies.
  • I make our sweets from home.  Cookies, sweet breads, brownies, cakes, etc.  So easy and cheaper to make at home.
  • Make a large bowl of pudding or Jello and then portion out into individual containers for the kids treats or for your lunches.

I guess I just can't fathom waste.  There is another use for everything, if we just take the time to think about it.  If I can save money - I am all for it.  Pennies saved make dollars.  Dollars saved make payments or savings accounts!!! 
The money we saved  over our working years help pay off bills, mortgage and car.

I am sure I will think of more ideas over time and I will share when I do.  How about you?  What ways do you save dollars from your kitchen?



  1. Great post. I am trying to get better about not wasting food.

    1. Thank you. Just work at it each day and eventually it becomes a habit.
      Have a great day!

  2. Do you have a great go to recipe to make pancakes. I have one but wondered if you had one you really liked? I made an oatmeal one by Melissa K Norris and it is good but really heavy. Nancy

    1. Nancy I make them so seldom, that I have to say no I don't have one specific recipe I like.
      Sorry I couldn't help with that. Hopefully other readers may have one they will share.

      Have a great day.

  3. I do have a pancake recipe but it's at home, will try to remember to bring it in to work so I can post it for you Nancy!

    Also Cheryl, I was really in a packed breakfast rut, so many thanks for reminding me to make those breakfast sandwiches ahead of time, freeze, and carry in with my lunch!!!!

    1. and overnight yougurt and fruit and granola in a jar

    2. ellen - thanks for taking time to get the pancake recipe for Nancy. It will be much appreciated!

      We all get in ruts for sure. Glad to have helped. G likes the oats/fruit/milk jars.

      Have a great weekend.