Here are 20 cooking ideas that will help you save time and money! You’ll find easy tips for organizing your kitchen better, using leftovers and more.
20 Cooking Ideas To Save Time And Money!
- Put flour in an old spice bottle to use when flouring cake pans.
- Unsure what a Dutch oven is? It’s just a 6-8 quart saucepan or large pot.
- Use a sharpie to mark the TOPS of your spice bottles so you can see at a glance which spice it is.
- If you frequently bake, buy a pretty set of measuring spoons and hang them on the wall. Then you don’t have to dig around to find them all the time.
- Use a small basket to store bottles of extracts and food colorings. Then you can just bring the entire basket down off the shelf without fumbling over a bunch of small bottles
- Keep salt all over your kitchen. My kitchen is very tiny but I have salt on the table, salt in my baking cabinet, salt on the stove AND salt in with my spices. Then I’m not walking back and forth each time I need to salt something.
- Having leftovers again? Serve them by candlelight with tablecloths or place mats. A tablecloth and candles make even plain meals look special.
- This is an unexpected canape and a handy little finger food. Take your favorite cream cheese dip and roll about 1 teaspoon full into a ball. Press it between two walnut halves. Lay on a platter to serve.
- Save dry cereal odds and ends to add to your Chex mix when you make it.
- Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting it in the fridge. It will keep much longer.
- When you have one hot dog, hamburger, sausage patty, or slice of ham left over, throw it in a container in the freezer. Use these leftovers to make a meat lovers pizza or to add a little more zip to a regular frozen pizza.
- Don’t forget to add a few of your favorite spices to a frozen pizza or add extra cheese and toppings.
Mix and match any of these:
- Bread and honey butter. This is an old fashioned easy stand by. Place some soft, fresh bread on a plate and honey butter in a bowl for something that is good and couldn’t be easier. (Make honey butter by mixing a little bit of honey into regular butter.)
- Sliced fruit of any kind. Cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, kiwi and others work well.
- Sliced veggies of any kind. Try tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots or celery.
- Sandwiches of every kind. You aren’t committing a sin by serving your family easy sandwiches on a hot summer day. Combine them with fresh fruits or veggies and you’ve got a meal.
- Salads – Jello, fruit, veggie, pasta or potato salads make great summer fare.
- Desserts – Ice cream, ice cream and more ice cream. Make it into floats, banana splits, brownie sundaes or regular sundaes, milk shakes, ice cream pie or ice cream sandwiches.
- If you have leftover brownies or cake, add a few pieces to the bottom of a dish and then top with pudding and whipped cream.
- Keep a bag or container in your freezer to store that 1 or 2 pieces of coffee cake, donuts or other baked goods that are sometimes left over (which doesn’t happen often in my house ;-). Then when you get enough for your favorite bread pudding recipe (hopefully one that is in Dining on a Dime ;-), use them instead of bread.
You can make EASY and delicious meals at home in less time than eating out! You’ll save a ton of money on food and your family will thank you!
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aluminum foil wrapped celery huh? Never heard of that but we like our celery around here but never seem to eat it all before it loses its crispness. Going to try that one!
Lynn another thing I not to long ago learned about celery is to store it in a tall glass or something like that standing upright in water the way you would keep flowers in a vase. I even have an antique thing which looks like a clear vase but it is a celery crisper. I have pulled it out and started using it and it does seem to keep the celery longer too after I have cleaned by storing it standing up.
I know no question is a silly question, but do you put the bulb side down in the water or the tops of the celery stalks in the water in the refrigerator? This tip is great because I’m the only celery eater in a home of 4.
When I put the celery in water in the fridge I cut the bottom (bulb side) off and clean as if I was getting ready to serve it then place it bulb side down in the water. I leave some of the inter leaves on it because there are members of my family who like that part. Don’t put the leaves in the water because they will become mushy.
There are no silly questions because most of us didn’t know anything when we started cooking. I could fill a book with it. That is part of why we wrote Dining on a Dime – to help others not to have to make all the mistakes I had made when I started. : )
the tin foil works great I used to toss it after about 6 days as it would go brown. now it lasts to about 5 weeks.
my mother used to cut up the stalks and put them in a pitcher of cold water along with carrots and everyone was welcome to grab them out as a nice cooling snack on hot humid days. Or they were ready washed to be chopped up for salads or soups and stews.
You can also plant the bottom of a stalk of celery in your garden, and it will grow another whole bunch of celery! Just cut off the bottom like you normally would, put it in a saucer of warm water overnight, pop it into a water-filled hole in your garden and cover with 1 inch of soil. I got this tip from chickensintheroad.com, and it works great!
I have an unusual recipe for bananas called “One ingredient Ice Cream” that I have made several times. It is very good, and a way to use ripe bananas that you stored in the freezer. The ice cream only contains the one ingredient of frozen bananas, and comes out looking and tasting like ice cream. You just peel and freeze some bananas for at least 2 hours and then cut into small pieces and put in food processor or blender and whirl away until the frozen bananas turn into ice cream. You may have to push the bananas down a few times during the process but they come out creamy and cold and fluffy like ice cream and are very yummy.
Bet this would be good with a little chocolate syrup on it. Although in my mind anything with chocolate on it is good. :):) I admit it I love my chocolate.
It is great with chocolate syrup Jill, and you’d be surprised how much like ice cream it looks and tastes. Something about the little bit of fat content, the ice crystals, and the water in bananas does the magic.
That makes sense because the best ice cream is the kind that is made with cream and it’s fat (another one of my favorite things :). I had better quit I can hear everyone’s horrified gasping with that comment. :) :) Just joking ( or being honest???) everyone. This will be a super good recipe for this summer.
and a great way to fool the ones who do not and refuse to eat any kind of fruit or vegi .. (thinking of the mock apple pie made with zucchini)…
thanks for sharing this .. and jill i agree .. anything made with chocolate would taste sooo yummy :D
I also have a little trick, I scrub my veggies before peeling and keep the peels(onion skins too)in a freezer bag in my freezer. I use it when I collect enough bones for a very nice rich soup stock. Keep that little last nub of wrinkled up ginger too. it adds nice depth of flavour to chicken broth.
Yes Natalie this is a good idea. For any of you who need a recipe for this we have it on the website Homemade Soup Recipes and Tips