I spend a lot of time in the kitchen (insert lame woman joke… wait do we do that anymore?) Not only do we have a little granola business which requires time in the kitchen, I do the cooking in our house (because I love it and am v picky) and it’s actually one of my favourite hobbies… to bake!
Being as I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen, I have learned small things that help make food go further, make my life easier and help eliminate waste while still eating healthy. I wanted to share some of them below.
- Put you fresh herbs in a glass of water when you store them in the fridge. Fresh herbs are one of my favourite things to add to meals, but it’s always a bummer when they go off too fast. This trick will help extend their life.
- Collect leftover bones to make bone broth. Bone broth has got to be one of the most nourishing/good for your gut dishes. Something I do is whenever we have chicken of any sort, I collect the bones after we have used the chicken and freeze them. I freeze them until we have enough to make a bone broth. There’s heaps of recipes out there, but I even made one the other day that was simply bones, water, s&p and ACV. So easy and ensures the bones don’t go to waste.
- Wrap your greens in a damp dish cloth/paper towel. Similar to the herbs, this will help extend the life of your greens and keep them from wilting as fast.
- Make some of your basics. Most dips from the shops come in plastic and are packed with hydrogenated vegetable oils. We make our own sweet potato dip, black bean dip, hommus and salsa to keep in the fridge. All are extremely budget friendly and taste way better than anything you’ll buy at the shops. Things I use everyday, like coconut kefir, banana bread and nut butter are things we also make instead of buy.
- Purchase things in “bulk” when they are on special. For some of the things we buy, when they are on special we will grab an extra 2-4 to keep in the cupboard or freezer. This includes things like coconut milk, teas, chocolate, etc We also find it works really well with any meat we buy. I often will purchase 2x chickens from our farmers market at a time and then just stick one in the freezer.
- If you’re a meat eater, look for things at the shops that are going to go off soon because they are usually reduced price. This is another chance to stock up on lower than normal prices. If we are being honest, we almost never purchase full price meat because we freeze it when we are able to get it on special. It makes our value of eating organic meat possible.
- Use seasonal, cheaper veggies to bulk out your meals. I am notorious for NOT following a recipe. One of my favourite things to do is add extra veggies to any meal to make it go further. For example, when we make spag bol, I always add in any veggies we have in the fridge or anything that is going to go off… mushrooms, carrot, zucchini, peas, rocket etc It nutritionally boots the food, makes it last longer and gives an opportunity to reduce food waste.
- Freeze any fruit or veg that is at it end. Rather than chucking out those soft carrots, if you chop them up and freeze them, you can use them in a future meal. I find curries and soups are good for thing like that, even bone broth. I do the same for any leafy green to put into my morning smoothies.
- Keep your glass jars! Anytime I purchase something in a glass jar, I always wash it out and repurpose it. It works great for when you need to store stuff in your kitchen or to fill things up at the bulk store.
- Try pickling foods if you have an excess. Pickled foods are delicious, last awhile and are a good way to incorporate food that you might not be able to use in time. My favourites are pickled onion and cucumbers!
I could probably continue to write this list all day, but I’ll start there. I hope that some of these hacks make your life easier and give you a chance to help save some dollars and waste in the kitchen. Maybe they’re things you already do or things you can begin to do. It always starts with the first step! Let me know your favourite kitchen hacks!