Many of us spend a lot of time in our kitchens. It can take a great deal of time to cook for a family every day, and in many houses the kitchen is a place to socialize, to work on homework, to eat, etc. It’s also one of the places in our home where we often inadvertently spend too much money. Most people will read this, and think “yeah, there are a lot of ways to save money on food…” While there are many good tips about how to save on your groceries that’s not the only place where we spend too much money in the kitchen.
Take a look at the following tips to see how you can cut back on your kitchen expenses.
Ditch Those Paper Products
Paper is convenient, but it’s expensive and the cost can add up quickly. Think for a second about all of the paper products that you use in your kitchen. You probably have paper towels, and you might have paper napkins. Paper plates are another popular culprit in some families. This is not to say that these items do not have their time and place, but it is easy to overuse them.
Instead of using paper towels for every spill, you can invest in some washable dish towels. Because they can be washed and reused they are much cheaper in the long run. You can even make your own dish towels out of old bath towels. If you have talent with a sewing machine, you can even make them look nice. You can also buy cloth napkins.
Some nights, paper plates are a lifesaver, but overall it is much less expensive to wash your ceramic plates than it is to buy paper ones.
You can save a little money by reusing your plastic storage bags. While reusing the bag that held your kind of squishy peanut butter and jelly sandwich might be more trouble than it’s worth, the bag that held a block of hard cheese could be used to store the half of the onion that you didn’t use with dinner. You can also rinse bags that aren’t very dirty and hang them upside down to dry. Just using a bag twice can help you save money.
Cleaning the kitchen can be hard work, but it does not have to be expensive. Granted when you go to the store, you are bombarded by dozens of options for keeping your kitchen counters clean. Instead of shelling out $6 bucks on kitchen counter cleaner, you might want to consider some very inexpensive homemade options. Baking soda and vinegar mixed together makes a good cleaner for kitchens and bathrooms. You can dilute bleach, which is typically inexpensive, and use it to sanitize your sink, your counters, and more. Homemade cleaners take a little time, but you save money, and you know exactly what’s in the cleaner that you are using.
Optimize Your Dishwasher
If you don’t watch out, your dishwasher can be a money grabber. When it comes to using your dishwasher, you want to make sure that you run a full load every time. Though that might sound obvious, you have probably run a less than full load at least one before. Think about it this way, you do not want to pay for the same amount of electricity and water that it would take to wash a full load only to wash half a load of dishes. However, you should also be sure not to overload your dishwasher, which can lead to dirty dishes even after washing.
You can also save a little money by turning off the heated dry setting on your dishwasher. It takes a little longer to let them air dry, but your electricity bill will be slightly lower.
A Little Lighting…
Goes a long way. Many of our kitchens have a great deal of lighting. You might have half a dozen cans in the ceiling, accent lighting over a bar or island, under counter lighting, and more. All of these lights can be useful if you need a bright kitchen to do something specific. However, you probably do not need all of these lights all of the time, and you can save a little money on your electricity bill if you make a conscientious effort to only use the lights you need rather than all of them.
These tips will not make you into a millionaire overnight, but they can help you save a few bucks.
Would you add anything else to this list?