Choosing to eat at home instead of eating out is generally cheaper, and there are plenty of ways of making life at home in the kitchen less expensive.
Food and cooking, on average, is the second most costly part of living, behind rent and bills across the UK, so saving money in the kitchen is crucial for many.
What are kitchen hacks?
Kitchen hacks consist of making life in the kitchen easier, both with time and cost. Food preparation with certain kitchen hacks allow tasks to become faster, easier and more efficient.
How can I save money in the kitchen?
There are multiple ways in which you can save money in the kitchen, from where you shop to how much food you’re wasting.
Below are more specific ways on how to save money in the kitchen.
Top ways to save money in the kitchen
We’ve listed our top ways to save money in the kitchen, from not wasting food, conserving energy and saving time.
Food saving hacks
It is so much easier to purchase already shredded cheese, however, cheese is already a costly product and if it is sliced or shredded, the price only increases.
Instead of purchasing sliced or shredded cheese, purchase blocks of cheese and slice or shred the cheese yourself – any cheese you don’t use can be frozen to use whenever.
This hack could save you a few quid each week if cheese is a constant product being purchased for your household.
Keeping your fruit fresh
Bananas rarely come separately and making sure they all are fresh when eating them can be a hassle, and usually ends in binning a few which is only wasting your money.
To ensure that they stay fresh, break them off from the bunch and wrap the stem ends in clingfilm to keep them fresher for longer.
This won’t fully combat them going off, but bananas can be frozen to extend their shelf life even longer.
Getting the most out of lemons can be irritating and prove insufficient, causing you to need more lemons than you thought.
Before squeezing your lemons, make sure you roll them quite rigorously on a hard surface or cutting board. Doing this will give you twice the juice.
Energy saving hacks
Fill your freezer
Your freezer runs day and night constantly. Whilst the freezer is only storing a few things, it is consuming more energy as it is harder to circulate cold air than it is to power a freezer that is full.
Not only will having a full freezer save you money on your energy bills, but also save you money in the long term as you will have less food waste as more of the leftovers are being frozen and the freezer’s overall lifespan will be longer as it isn’t working as hard.
90% of food can be frozen; this can be any leftovers, different fruits or even pre-made smoothies.
The bigger the better
A bigger pan has a larger surface area, meaning that the food you are cooking will heat up faster.
Doing this will not only save energy, but also save you time.
Ceramic and glass materials are a better conductor of heat
The usual way people cook food in the oven is through using a metal tray. Metal trays are initially cheaper; however, metal takes longer to heat up your food, meaning it is taking longer to cook.
The longer the oven is on, the more money goes into your bills. Instead, use ceramic or glass dishes. These materials are great conductors of heat and will help cook your food in a shorter time.
Use smart energy monitoring
Invest in smart energy plugs that allow you to monitor how much energy you are using in the kitchen.
Smart metres and plugs allow you to clearly see which appliances use the most energy, and you can either aim to use these or reduce the time in which these are turned on.
Time saving hacks
Cooling items faster
Sometimes products within the kitchen need to be cooled down before use and after use. It could be butter which you need at room temperature, or a batch of rice, maybe it’s quinoa.
When it comes to butter, simply cut small chunks out and place onto a plate. This shortens the time it takes for the butter to reach room temperature.
For batches of rice or quinoa or any other products like it, spread them out thinly onto a baking tray. Due to the surface area being increased, the time it takes for them to cool down decreases.
Preheating means efficiency
Making sure you plan ahead with things, like ensuring the oven is preheated, or if you are going to boil something, a pot of water is already boiled.
With making sure you do these simple tasks first you can save so much time and also so much money as in the long-run you’ll be using less energy within the kitchen.
Most vegetables nowadays come already cleaned and ready to cook. It is still a smart idea to give them a quick rinse and clean yourself to make sure, but when it comes to peeling them, there isn’t much need.
Not peeling veg saves a lot of time and, as an added bonus, not peeling carrots, cucumber or potatoes leaves you available for the nutrients and fibre within the skin!
If you do wish to peel vegetables, you can reduce the amount of waste by boiling the peel and making your own vegetable stock!