Kitchen Frugality : Online Tools To Save
|July 11, 2012||Posted by thecheapskatemom under food, kitchen|
by Hannah Walton aka The Cheapskate Mom
As a total cheapskate, I'm very focused on frugality in my kitchen : I plan my meals around what I want to use up , what's on sale and what's in season. I'm not too into couponing but I'm always looking for ways to save money in the kitchen and off our grocery bill. We really only shop at two stores : Wal-Mart and BJ's wholesale club. We buy generic whenever possible though I do like organic dairy and produce (I'm not a stickler for it … I just try to eat it when our budget allows). We also use the freezer a lot : I literally keep our bread in the freezer – it stays super fresh and dethaws on the counter in minutes (it's magic to me because I'm a super dork). We eat a lot of rice and beans and though all of this gets boring it allows us to be less worried about money.
There are some great online tools for being more frugal in the kitchen and I'm very excited to share with you some of these resources I've found over the years!
I'm pretty anti trying out new recipes regularly because new recipes call for new ingredients = unneccesary food expenses! I love Cook's Thesaurus – it's an online database that tells you what you can substitute foods with when cooking! For example, if a recipe calls for almond extract but you don't have it – Cook's Thesaurus tells us that we could also use Almond liquer or even vanilla extract! By figuring out what you can substitute foods with – you can try recipes that otherwise would have been too expensive.
Recipe Key is an awesome site that is half virtual pantry and half cookbook. This site works by having you input the contents of your pantry and fridge (yep… it takes a little time) – and then any dietary restrictions or allergies you have. Then you tell it what kind of meal you want to make (breakfast, dinner, snack, etc) – and it gives you a list of recipes you can make based on what you've already got. The list results go from most compatible recipes first to least last. Super easy, super awesome : it's the future!
The Coupon Clippers
Though I'm more into frugality than focusing on buying and couponing – I have to say that using coupons for what you actually buy is a big help. I've even written to companies and gotten free product coupons that saved me a lot of money! The Coupon Clippers is an online resource for you to buy coupons (for example buy a 1.00 formula coupon for 10 cents) for the products you actually use. They mail you the coupons and you use them to save money…. this rocks.