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Kate's Favorite Penny-Pinching Tips for the Kitchen

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The Boyer Blog: Kate's Favorite Penny-Pinching Tips for the Kitchen

Monday, July 28, 2008

Kate's Favorite Penny-Pinching Tips for the Kitchen

~Although I've occasionally resorted to washing out plastic baggies for reuse, I don't enjoy it and I feel like more of a cheapskate than I want to feel like! :) I found a solution, though. Instead of constantly going through boxes of baggies, I use food containers for everything from storing leftovers (including things like homemade bread, the last piece of cake, etc.) to packing in my husband's lunchbox. I have cylinder-shaped plastic containers that were intended for freezer jam making; I pack carrot and celery sticks in those instead. One of my husband's coworkers, without thought to cost, complimented him on the brilliance of using such a container for carrot sticks. Little did he know, I'm not a genius, nor even intentionally creative -- just a miser! :) I also bought a couple of containers shaped like a piece of bread, designed to hold a sandwich. They hold so much more than just sandwiches! And I've used them enough to get my money's worth out of them many times over.
~Convenience foods are far more expensive than their whole counterparts. If it eliminates work for you, it creates work for someone else, and they charge you for it. Buy cheese in a block and grate it yourself. (My food processor has an attachment that can shred 2 pounds of cheese in approximately 60 seconds. It saves so much money! If you don't have a food processor, check at yard sales. Mine was a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law who rarely used it.)
Other convenience foods are pre-cut or sliced vegetables (such as in vegetable trays or individual containers), lettuce for salads, baby carrots, etc. Buying the whole vegetable and preparing them yourself saves you money. If you make it a habit to prepare them as soon as you get home, or in advance of when you need them, you won't miss the convenience (or paying the extra money!).
~Do you dread the end of the loaf of bread, like me? I've never liked the end pieces! But I like them now -- just not in sandwiches. I freeze all my end (or heel) pieces, and then, using my hand-me-down food processor, grind them into crumbs. Store in the freezer and use for making meatloaf or meatballs, or mixing with butter for casserole toppings, and as coating for chicken. Your own homemade bread crumbs! -- which, of course, you can season as you choose by adding garlic salt, Italian seasoning, etc.

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