Money Saving Cooking Tips

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I saw this on one of my favorite cooking sites - Food52 - and thought I'd share. These are really good ideas...some of which I already do, and some that I plan to start doing. I always wonder what to do with the tomato paste after I use only 2 tablespoons from a can (aside from my usual method of forgetting about it and throwing it out when it gets moldy); I will be freezing dollops of it when I get home tonight.

Here they are (the usernames of the person giving the tip are at the end of the line). What other frugal things do you do?

It Pays to DIY
  • Skip buying things like salad dressing that you can make for less! And they’re WAY better. -aekiefer
  • Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies, buy them whole then wash, cut, store for whatever! -the_bees_baronessa
  • Make your own spice blends with whole spices -redinnyc
Recycle and Reuse
  • Regrowing scallions by putting the roots in water on a windowsill. -joyosity
  • Saving all my bacon grease and using it for pancakes, eggs, etc. -5boysandakatie
  • Use leftovers in new ways! Potato wedges night 1, chorizo and potato tacos night 2. -amcneillm
  • Sunday-leftovers... every Sunday dinner is made from all the leftovers make from the week. -chamal
  • Mixing cooked lentils into ground beef for meatballs or lasagna or patties. - leeleighleah
  • Taking leftover biscuits and making bread pudding. -chef_jim
  • Yogurt approaching its expiration date goes into the freezer to become ice cream pops! -little_kosher_lunch
Rethink Your Shopping Routine
  • Shopping on Wednesdays because that is most grocery stores’ double ad days. -mrsmeganmiller
  • I’ve been grocery shopping online! It keeps me focused on what I what to have on hand. -kendra_limback
  • I only eat meat when I go out, and I love Imperfect Produce, which is a great company! -helen.america
Freezer-Friendly Advice
  • Freezing extra tomato paste in tablespoon dollops. -pitasushi
  • Saving vegetable scraps in the freezer to make homemade stock! -hollczar
  • Freezing herbs in fat (butter/olive oil), making vanilla sugar with used beans. -karishmashah3
Better in Bulk
  • I buy beef local and in bulk! 1/4 steer its in my freezer, costs less, and has a better taste! -gabrihab
  • Buying bulk coffee beans on Amazon = cheap cold brew every day. -monikattt
  • Bulk up meals using less expensive ingredients like frozen peas or couscous. -lisasdima
  • Always check the price by weight, instead of comparing sticker prices! -sarallin
  • Buying in bulk and prepping religiously. -kristinemahan
  • Buying bulk and sharing with friends! -twolittlebites
 
Joined
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if appropriate for what you are making, use the microwave.
Great one! I think the idea of money-saving usually means how much you spend when you buy something, but this does certainly save money (not to mention time!)

And, it certainly is the most under utilized piece of equipment once you become a fancy pants elevated home cook (and certainly professional chef). It's amusing when I see cooking shows where contestants have a limited amount of time to prepare their dish, and they still insist on cooking things in the oven. It's as if they have a blind spot, and can't even conceive of using it, even for things where the taste or texture aren't compromised. Then, when someone finally does decide to use the microwave, it's a shocking move.

Having said that, I also do neglect the microwave. I use it for things like scalding milk and quickly softening butter, but that's usually about all.
 

morning glory

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  • Shop for spices in Asian/Indian supermarkets/mini markets - large packets at a fraction of the price of those titchy jars.
  • Buy cured sliced meat from the deli counter in Polish shops - tasty and much cheaper than the supermarket (this might be a UK thing).
  • Re-use foil. Unless its completely stuck with bits of burnt food it can be rinsed/wiped off and used again.
 
Joined
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absolute0cooking.com
Shop for spices in Asian/Indian supermarkets/mini markets - large packets at a fraction of the price of those titchy jars.
Very true! I had to mail order Sumac because I couldn't find it at any of the even high end specialty shops near me. Then, I happened to see a massive jar of it at a middle eastern market, for a fraction of the price.
 

Yorky

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Having said that, I also do neglect the microwave. I use it for things like scalding milk and quickly softening butter, but that's usually about all.
I hardly ever use the microwave. Maybe to toast bread buns which won't fit in the toaster for burgers. My wife used to use it to warm milk for the cats but they appear to have gone off milk recently. Generally I defrost frozen foods in the fridge (meats) or in the open. Of course, that's if I remember.

Whenever I make coffee (instant), I endeavour to only boil the quantity of water required for my one mug (my wife doesn't drink coffee (or tea)).

Re-use of cooking oil for deep frying: Of course, this is dependent upon what was initially cooked in the oil. If it was fish, then subsequent uses would only be for more fish (or seafood) or chips (to accompany the fish). Frying battered chicken or pakoras would not prevent me from using it again for other items, even fish. We keep a jug with filter specifically to store used cooking oil.

oil filter.jpg
 
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