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7 Little Ways to Save $4,500+ in a Year

Imagine this scenario: you’re in your kitchen, and everything is highly organized.

Not only that, you’ve figured out a way to optimize your kitchen experience in order to save BIG. What would you do with an extra $4500 at your disposal?

For many of us, food is a big part of our spending, and that means we are spending time and money in the kitchen. Since implementing the following strategies, I know that I have saved myself so much money.

Check out these fantastic tips. They’re fantastic because a) they are oh-so-easy to implement, and b) they’ll save you a ton!

  • 7 Easy Ways to Save $4616 a Year! 1 of 8
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  • 1. Stop Buying Paper Towels 2 of 8
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    Think about it. Paper Towels can't be recycled. You can only use them once. They are wasteful and expensive. Sure, they are convenient when you spill something, but there's a better way.

     

    Try this, instead: cut up an old cotton shirt into rag-shaped pieces. Put them into a resealable container. Pour vinegar over the top, then add water. Now, put the container where the paper towels used to be.

     

    Viola! They're easily accessible and can be thrown in the laundry when they're soiled, so they can be washed and used again.

     

    Average savings: $2.50 a week, or $130 a year.

     

    Image by pedrojperez

  • 2. Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner 3 of 8
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    Have you ever cleaned your kitchen, using those industrial cleaners and gotten a headache or a runny nose? Or have you switched to the organic cleaners and noticed that their price tag is really high?

     

    Try this, instead: Make your own all-purpose cleaner! Here's a fantastic recipe for an all purpose cleaner that uses vinegar and lemon juice. I tried it in my kitchen and it sparkled and smelled so fresh! And the total cost was around $2, which will last at least a month.

     

    Average savings vs. Organic cleaners: $3 a month, or $36 a year.

     

    Image by pjotrek

    http://www.cleanmama.net/2013/04/diy-homemade-cleaners-all-purpose-cleaner.html

  • 3. No More Zipping Plastic Bags! 4 of 8
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    Sure, they come in all kinds of sizes and they help you with your portions, but using zip-top plastic bags is a huge drain on your wallet. The answer is simple: stop buying them! You'll notice immediately that you don't really need them as much as you'd thought.

     

    Try this, instead: Use them up, then replace them with the cheaper bags without the zipping tops for things that you need to individually portion. Use twist ties to seal. For the things that actually need a zipping top, try swapping the bag for a reusable container (more on those later).

     

    Average savings: $75 a month, or $900 a year! These snack bags are REALLY expensive.

     

    Image by krosseel

  • 4. Nix Bottled Water 5 of 8
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    If everyone in your family drinks a bottle of water a day, you're going through more than 900 bottles of water a year. That's a lot of money down the drain.

     

    Try this, instead: Buy everyone a really awesome reusable water bottle. Even the most expensive water bottles are around $20, and they won't get lost (especially if you let the little ones pick one out themselves).

     

    Average savings $700 a year.

  • 5. Make Your Own Snacks 6 of 8
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    Snacks can take a huge chunk out of your grocery budget, and once you get home, they take up more room in your cupboards than you'd ever expect. Plus, the snacks you buy at the store have ingredients you can't pronounce.

     

    Try this, instead: Make your own healthy snacks! Like homemade apple chips or soccer power cookies.

     

    Average savings: $10 a week, or $120 a year, minimum. Way, way more if you start to pick up the "I made it myself!" inspiration.

     

    Image by mconnors

  • 6. Eat Food Before it Spoils 7 of 8
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    Did you know that the world wastes 1 billion tons of edible food a year? That's fully one third of all the food out there. That is simply absurd, and you can make a difference. Very easily. You can choose to be a part of the solution, rather than the problem.

     

    Remember, letting food spoil is exactly the same as throwing cash directly into the trash can.

     

    Try this, instead: Buy only what you need, and use what you buy! If you find that you keep buying more than your family can eat, decide to buy half as much and go to the store again mid-week to pick up more! Eat leftovers. Get everyone in on the "let's clean the refrigerator before we buy more food" game.

     

    Image by Schick

     

    Average savings: $50 a week, or $2500 a year! Stop wasting food and you'll see more cash in your wallet, or more numbers in your bank account. Plain and simple.

  • 7. Upgrade Your Storage Containers 8 of 8
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    The right tools will take you far, and that's so true in the kitchen. If you find that you can't eat something by the third day, it's best to freeze it, and if you use the cheap, plastic containers, you'll expect to use them 2-3 times, or until the lid cracks (or until the food inside starts smelling so bad that you'd rather just throw away the container than clean it out).

     

    Try this, instead: Buy interlocking glass containers (like these). Using these, you can put the food directly in the freezer and know that in a few weeks time, you can put it straight in the refrigerator to thaw and eat without any gross freezer burn, leading to less waste (both on the product side and on the reduction of gross freezer burned food side!).

     

    Average savings: $350 a year.

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