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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
  • Sticky Post - Warning: 4ever Recap reusable canning lids. The reports are growing daily of these lids losing their seal during storage. Some have lost their entire season's worth of canning to these seal failures!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Frugal Mantra

Frugal Kitchens 101
One of my favourite television channels is the Food Network Canada. I watch it almost daily and one thing I have noticed that is a common theme amongst most chefs is the importance of being frugal in the kitchen. It is stress that anything you throw out costs you money. Now in a restaurant setting those pennies being tossed away has to be kept in strict check otherwise the restaurant won't see a profit. In the home kitchen every bag of garbage generated costs money including the garbage bag. The topic for today's Frugal Kitches 101 is the manta anything you throw out costs you money.
Every peel, bone, can, jar, bag, box or container has ultimately cost you money because that is all worked into the price of food. The costs of transportation from the farmer to the store are also factored in. I know I've talked about some of these aspects of saving money in the kitchen but this post will extend it a bit further. Here's a few ways to reduce what you throw out:

  • reduce packaging - Reduce packaging every chance you get with respect to all foods and kitchen products. This will give immediate savings at the point of purchase. Avoid foods packaged wrapped in styrofoam trays and any kitchen utensil or item packaged in those horrible environmentally unfriendly plastic packaging that is a nightmare to open.
  • reuse packaging - Glass jars and dairy tubs can be used for so many things around the house so rather than put them in the recycle bin find household uses for them. Some cardboards can be used under mulch to keep weeds in check in your garden.
  • ditch the disposables - The commercial industry has brainwashed us into believing that disposable are the only way to go but that simply is not the case. Instead of buying bottled water invest in a couple of nice refillable water bottles to eliminate the disposable bottle but to also save on the cost of water. I recommend 3 - 4 refillable water bottles each depending on your lifestyle. Invest in a thermos and/or refillable travel mug for hot drinks when traveling to eliminate the disposable coffee cups that are a landfill issue. Truck stops even sell small coffee makers that work in your vehicle and anytime you make your own coffee you save money. The cheap technically disposable plasticware eventually ends up in landfills. There is a lot of issues surrounding using plasticware in the kitchen. Avoid all that with using glass bowls with either glass or plastic lids that do not come into contact with foods and don't use the plastic lids in the microwave oven. Lidded glass containers eliminates or greatly reduces the use of tinfoil, plastic wrap and wax paper saving you money by not having to buy these disposable wraps. Some glassware (eg. Anchor Hocking) can be used in the freezer, refrigerator, oven and microwave oven Invest in one or more Silpats (silicone baking sheets) to eliminate parchment paper.
  • utensils - You can't run a kitchen without cooking utensils. What I have noticed is that cheaper quality utensils may or may not last and the same can be said for higher quality utensils. I like heavy duty cooking utensils that work for both non-stick and stainless steel pots and pans. There is less tendency to break. Inexpensive but durable silicone spatulas and scoopulas can be found at dollar type stores. So when it comes to utensils look for durability. The less times you have to replace utensils the better.
  • gadgets - Most home cooks have way too many gadgets. Now some gadgets are quite useful but many end up filling up drawers and never being used. Gadgets cost money to acquire but each time you get rid of a gadget you either didn't like or didn't use that money has been wasted. So be very discriminatory when acquiring any kitchen gadget.
  • plastic vs paper bags - Neither. The cost of either bag is factored in or a growing number of grocery stores are now charging for either type of bag. The eco-friendly and cheaper choice to bagging your groceries is to use cloth bags that in many cases have a pay back period of 20 - 40 uses. After that the cloth bag has paid for itself. Some stores are putting out a plastic weave type bag while others also have plastic bins for sale or you could even hit the dollar store for milk crate style bins for groceries. If you want even large wicker baskets with handles can be used for bringing groceries home. Invest in a few reusable totes or bags or basket and say no to both plastic and paper bags. If each bag costs 5¢ and you save using 4 bags per grocery trip that 20¢ which isn't much but 5 trips per month is $1 or $12 per year BUT more importantly you've lowered your carbon footprint.


1 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

All great tips... Water bottles are a personal bugaboo to me.

But I am a bot of a gadget whore