Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Easy ways to save money in the kitchen

When setting budget for groceries it needs to be realistic. It's amazing what convenience items a you can do without when they are really trying to save money. Trying to live frugally and within a budget will test your creativity. But you can do it!

One of the things I used to do was to stretch our milk by mixing 1/2 a gallon of reconstituted powdered milk with 1/2 a gallon of 2% or whole milk. Some people say that the straight powdered milk & water mixture doesn't taste different, I don't buy that - to me it DOES taste different but is barely noticable (if at all) when you stretch it by mixing the powder/water mixture with an equal part of milk. I say used to because right now, at least for me, it doesn't save me enough money that it's worth the bother. A large box of powdered milk at Sam's Club is about $14. If you reconstituted the entire box you should get about 5.5 gallons (or 22 quarts). The total for me per gallon works out to about $2.55. I can buy a gallon of milk for $2.79 a gallon. Personally I can justify spending the extra $0.24 for that bit of convenience.

Some great place to save money in the kitchen is by making your own spice mixtures. You would be surprised by how much you could save and how many different mixtures you can come up with. I save my old spice containers to reuse with my mixtures. Here are a few recipes to get you started, you can mess around with the measurements to personalize them to your taste.

Taco Seasoning
6 tsp chili powder
4 1/2 tsp cumin
5 tsp paprika
3 tsp onion powder
2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Seasoning Salt
8 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp pepper
2 Tbsp paprika
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder

Italian Herb Mix
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme

Most of these mixes can be made with spices you already have around the house. If I need to replenish my supply to be able and make more mixes or I need more of single ingredient spices I usually will hit our local Walgreens. They are often on sale for 2/$1 and sometimes even 3/$1 (with a coupon)!

Do you have a great tip to save money in the kitchen you'd like to share? If so leave a comment for me so that I may post it.


Michelle said...

thanks for the spice suggestions!

Miriam said...

Ooo, the seasoning salt is something I need but haven't spent the $$ on. And I have everything I need to make it!! Yippeee!!!

Jessica said...

How crazy that I came across this post! A friend of mine was telling me today that she makes her own taco seasoning and such and I wanted to try it but didnt know where to begin. But now I do! Thanks for posting!