4 Ways to Save Some Dough in Your Kitchen
Maximize Groceries, Minimize WasteBy Brandpoint
Spending more time at home and in the kitchen means learning the importance of not only keeping food fresh longer, but also minimizing waste for fewer trips to the grocery store. Food waste also impacts our wallets. In fact, a recent Bosch home appliances survey conducted by OnePoll found that the average American tosses $2,798 in spoiled food a year.
Whether aiming to reduce waste, save money or be creative in the kitchen, these five tips will help you make the most out of your ingredients.
Seventy-seven percent of Americans attribute tossed food to forgetting they are in the refrigerator or losing them amongst the clutter. When it comes to refrigerator and pantry organization, being able to see your items is half the battle.
The first step when organizing your pantry is to remove items, wipe surfaces clean and take inventory. Then, use clear, stackable containers to repack loose items or tough-to-store packages, such as oatmeal or condiments. For the refrigerator, use the “first in, first out” method as well as using or adding organizational features like clear containers.
2Shop for a variety of foods
To avoid overstocking, start by making a list. In addition to fresh fruit, vegetables and other necessities, add versatile non-perishables, proteins and starches. Fermented and pickled foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and tempeh boost your immune system, while also lasting months. Beans, seeds, oats and alternative milks, as well as investing in new spices, are also helpful. You may need to spend more money than usual initially on your grocery trip, but these items can help you save money later by allowing you to create more meals.
3Be creative with what you have
Prioritize items that are going to spoil soon and build a recipe from there. Apps on the market such as Chefling can provide helpful meal suggestions based on what you have with the simple scan of a grocery receipt.
Instead of running to the store for an ingredient, search your inventory for replacements. For example, if you are baking and run out of butter, replace it with coconut oil or apple sauce. You can substitute unsweetened yogurt for mayo, sour cream or crème fraiche. Also, lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar and white wine are interchangeable in recipes.
4Get friendly with your freezer
Freezing foods is a great way to preserve ingredients at peak freshness and get more value when buying in bulk. When freezing meat, which will last three to four months in the freezer, wrap singular portions in plastic before placing in a resealable bag. Meat will thaw faster, and you will avoid cooking more than you need.
Blanching vegetables before freezing helps maintain color and flavor. Frozen veggies, berries and cooked grains keep for two to three months in the freezer, while soup and bread will last three to six months. Just be sure to label all items you freeze with the date.