My motto is, “Save Where You Can, So You Can Spend Where You Want.”
I know disposable items and kitchen gadgets can sometimes be convenient and sometimes it’s worth the extra expense but usually the added cost simply isn’t warranted. Over time these quick-fix items can bust our budgets especially if we get into the habit of using them when wet we really don’t need to. I’d much rather take the couple extra minutes to say, load my plates into the dishwasher then spending extra money to get paper plates and just tossing them into the trash. But that’s just me.
Convenience items may make our lives seem easier for a hot second but be on the look-out for these traps. Check through your grocery list to see how often you go for easy over affordable.
Here are 7 things you can ditch from the kitchen to cut down on your expenses each month. You might just be throwing away money without even realizing it!
1. Paper Towels
Paper towels can be a nice way to clean up a mess and get rid of it but you can waste less by using old towels and t-shirts instead. Cloth napkins or re-usable microfiber towels (my favorite) can help you waste less paper and money.
2. Paper Cups and Paper Plates
You’re probably already going to be loading up the dishwasher so just throw in the plates and glasses you already own instead of wasting money on pricey paper plates and cups.
Save the environment, avoid creating more waste, and save money too. Win, win, win!
3. Brand-Named Cleaners
Not only are brand-named cleaners unnecessary (go to the dollar store for these items!), they could actually be harmful to some members of your family. Use alternatives like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice to clean your home and disinfect your kitchen on a regular basis.
Check out this post on my blog if you’d like to jump-start your spring cleaning with some natural alternatives: Cheap, Green Spring Cleaning. Natural cleaning products are shockingly easy to make!
4. Brand-Named Groceries
If you like to buy groceries based on their brand-name, start trying out some generic versions. While it is true that some generic brands do not compare in taste or quality (Mac and Cheese comes to mind) did you know that many generic brands are manufactured by the exact same brand-named company? They just invest less money in marketing and package design! I bet your mind is blown right now.
5. Prepared Frozen Meals
Frozen meals may be handy but they are more costly and less nutritious (in most cases) than if you were to prepare meals from fresh ingredients. If you need quick meals, prepare several meals ahead of time and freeze portions for easy access and simply reheat the foods when it’s time to eat.
6. Redundant Small Appliances
I know the infomercials would like you to believe otherwise but you can actually completely survive on the few basic appliances most kitchens already have. Think:r refrigerator, stove, oven, blender, crockpot, and coffee maker. Don’t fall for the trendy appliances like waffle makers, smoothie makers, and other appliances that just clutter up your cabinets and countertops.
One reason you may be spending too much money in the kitchen is because you can’t find what you already have. Take a weekend to organize your pantry and cabinets so you can clearly see what you have rather than buying duplicates (I’ve definitely been a victim of simply forgetting what I already own because I just don’t see it. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Shame on me. Eek.).
De-clutter all kitchen space and keep a trash can and an empty box nearby for things you never use. Sell or donate these items and clear up your space, and don’t forget to get a receipt for items you donate because that can help you come tax time!
Do you have any secrets for saving money in the kitchen? Do you fall prey to using convenience items?
Image source: GallivantingGirl