Money Saving Tips For The Kitchen

Money and time saving tips in the kitchen with these cooking tips, ideas and short cuts.

Everyone wants to save time and money. But, how? Below are nine money saving, time saving kitchen tips that everyone can use.

1. What do you do with the drippings left over in the frying pan after you've cooked a batch of bacon? For certain dishes these drippings can take the place of butter or margarine and can also add a hint of additional flavor to enhance your recipe. The next time you are cooking bacon let the drippings cool but not solidify. Pour into an icecube tray and place into an airtight freezer bag and freeze. These "cubes" can then be removed one at a time for sautéing or in place of oil in some recipes. (Please note that this TIP is not appropriate for all recipes - there are certain foods that you do not want a hint of bacon flavor added to).

2. How many times a week do you cook pancakes, waffles of french toast for breakfast? Do you spend more money than you have to by buying these items pre-made and frozen? Rather than waste time and money try making larger batches at one time. These freeze well and can be reheated in either the toaster or the microwave in minutes.

3. What do you do with the crusts or heels of a loaf of bread? Do you throw it away or give it to the birds? Simply run them through the food processor and freeze until ready to use. You will never have to buy breadcrumbs again. If you prefer the seasoned variety, add some basil, oregano and garlic powder while processing. They freeze well in a plastic container or freezer bag.

4. Okay, so now you have too many breadcrumbs. What else can you do with those crusts and heels of bread? Make stuffing! Take the frozen bread crusts and cut into cubes (note: it is easier to cut clean cubes when the bread is frozen). Toast these bread cubes in the oven at 400 degrees F. turning once during cooking until golden brown. While baking sprinkle with whatever herbs and spices you desire or leave plain

5. Have you ever made a mess when you are preparing meat or vegetable recipes that require breading? Rather than making a mess, try filling a large plastic freezer bag with your coating mixture. Add the meat or vegetables and shake. This process covers more evenly and cuts the mess down to a minimum.

6. Think back to the last time you cleaned out the refrigerator. Be honest. Did you throw food out? Everyone has busy days when they don't have time to cook. Next time you're running late don't spend a fortune on takeout. Have a home cooked meal. Spend a couple of dollars on some nice individual serving freezer containers. (The ones with the separate compartments are great). The next time you have leftovers use these containers to store and freeze your meals. Then, when you do have one of those days you can simply pop one of your "tv" dinners into the microwave and your family can enjoy a homecooked feast in minutes. You'll save time and money in the long run!

7. Everyone makes salads with leftovers. There is chicken salad, turkey salad, ham salad. And, most people get pretty tired of salads at one time or another. Next time, rather than making your typical, run of the mill salad try "dressing it up". Prepare your salad as you normally would but cut mayonnaise in half. Add a creamy salad dressing in place of the mayo such as Ranch, Creamy Italian or Caesar, etc. This zings up your salad just enough for family members to think you spent much more time than you actually did in the kitchen.

8. After you take something that is stored in the freezer in a plastic freezer bag what do you do with the bag then? Do you throw it out? That can run into quite a bit of money. Next time you go shopping try buying two kinds of freezer bags. Purchase a less expensive type that needn't have a state of the art zipper to store your meat in and to throw away. Then buy a better brand with the fancy zipper to store, wash and reuse. You'll be surprised by how many uses you can get out of one bag.

9. Whenever you are boiling meat you are not only cooking the meat, you are also creating a stock. Don't throw this away. After cooking the meat strain the water, save it in a covered bowl or plastic container and place in the refrigerator. As is cools, the fat from the meat will rise to the top. Skim this off of the stock. Add some salt and pepper to taste. At this point you can use your stock in your favorite recipes or freeze until ready to use.

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