If you’ve just jumped into the frugality wagon, you’ll find that the kitchen is one of the best places to start.
It is no secret that cooking your own food instead of having it cooked – and delivered – for you can cost less than half of your overall expenses every month; or even every week.
Not only that, you get to start eating healthier foods, as you bring more fresh fruits and vegetables to the table.
You’ll also find that frugal cooking may require a lot of preparation, and they often come in the form of cooking utensils.
Oftentimes, you’ll find that what you have in the kitchen are the rarely used pans and ovens, and the overused microwave. At any rate, here are a few things you’ll need to start being able to cook on a budget.
Make no mistake, a bigger fridge isn’t that necessary, but it will come in handy due to the fact that you will need to stock up on produces.
When in the grocery store, always head for the “bonus” or discounted sections, and buy as many as you can. You’ll need a bigger fridge to stock up on meat, vegetables, and whatnot.
As mentioned, a bigger fridge may not be necessary. You can simply look at the types of foods that you usually buy. More often than not, you’ll see that you have different variants of the same product.
If you have jam, for instance, you usually have mango and strawberry. Try to buy just one kind and stick with it. This results to a lot more room in your current fridge.
For example, if you and your family are chip lovers, then you can buy a whole bag of potatoes. Make your own French fries, mashed potatoes, and whatnot.
You can even use leftover mashed potatoes as pancakes the next morning. The same goes with cheeses. Just purchase a regular block of cheese and slice and grate to your heart’s content.
Bread makers allow you to make your own bread, negating the need for buying and stocking up on bread, which even helps in conserving fridge space.
Bread makers are often not as heavy in electric usage as big ovens, so it helps in saving money as well.
In terms of meals, bread can make your food a lot more filling. Just look at Italian food, for instance.
Italian menus often include bread with their pasta, and this is because pasta does not make you feel full – at least not until several minutes later when you realize you can’t eat anymore.
Speaking of pasta and bread, a bread maker also allows you to make something other than bread.
One of the biggest enemies of frugality is ordering food, and what we usually order is pizza.
With a bread maker, you can make your own pizza, and still enjoy that Saturday evening family TV time without having to order – and give a tip.
There are some meals where bread simply doesn’t belong, and that’s where rice comes in.
Rice, a flavorless grain, is more popular in the East that in the West; perhaps due to the fact that Eastern cuisine involves food with stronger flavors and that rice is a good taste equalizer, or because Western folks just don’t know how to cook rice properly.
Kidding aside, you have to try bringing more rice in your meals. It makes your meals more filling, and you are left with more food for future entrees.
Rice cookers are merely an option if you don’t know how to cook rice.
Just for the heck of it, here’s a simple instruction: put X cups of rice in roughly X – yes, the same X – cups of water, turn on the stove at near full, and turn down the heat once it boils. When the rice has soaked all the water, serve.
These are just a few things you’ll want in your kitchen if you want to start cooking at home. Once you’re all settled in the kitchen, frugality becomes a whole lot easier.