1. Make your own food
Making your own food is a lot cheaper than buying a ready dish from the restaurant or from the frozen section. Literally everything you think of can be made at home. If you can’t make it at home, chances are they’re not that good for you anyway.
There are lots of healthy benefits from making your own food. You know EXACTLY what you are putting in your body. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. If you eat all these processed foods, most likely you will feel like crap or have these unexplained bloating. Cooking your own meals doesn’t just mean you save money but you can impress your friends and family too!
2. Keep your fruits and vegetables lasting longer
There is a science behind how we store our fruits and vegetables. Don’t believe me? Have you ever had bananas ripen too quickly before you can even eat them? Or your avocados went bad the next day after you bought them? Why is that? Certain items should never be stored together.
Fruits such as apples, bananas and kiwis produce a compound called ethylene. Ethylene is the gas that speeds up the ripening process. This is the reason why bananas and apples are sold without bags or bags with holes in them so the gas can escape. Locking in the gas in a sealed bag will essentially speed up the ripening process and the fruit will spoil faster. If ethylene produces are put close to other fruits or vegetables have the same effect. This is why we should keep bananas and apples away from each other as well as from sensitive fruits like avocados.
Not all fruits and vegetables are sensitive to ethylene. Cherries, pineapples, garlic, grapefruit and blueberries can be safely stored together or next to those that produce this gas. The same applies to white potatoes, but not sweet potatoes.
Cooler temperatures (like in a refrigerator) will slow down the ethylene producing process. This is why fruits and vegetables tend to last longer in the fridge. Just remember, tropical fruit tend to like warmer temperatures and fruit closer to the ground or fruits coming from cooler climates where they are used to cooler temperatures can withstand cooler temperatures in the fridge (like the back of your fridge)
3. Save your over ripe fruits and vegetables
Over ripe fruits and vegetables can be frozen to be cooked right away. But if you start to see mold or turn super mushy, it’s past the saving point. Fruits can be saved by washing them and frozen to be used in smoothies or make your homemade jam (it’s super easy!).
Vegetables can be put into a stew or made into soup! Go further and don’t let anything go to waste, the scrapings (assuming you cleaned your vegetables before), can be made into a vegetable broth. If there is enough salt in the broth, it can be kept in the fridge for a few weeks. If you want to keep it longer, then you can divide them in ice cube trays and store the cubes in the freezer and use as needed!
4. Keep your leftovers!
Leftovers can be eaten as its original dish or used to make a completely new dish. I made pancit from leftover chicken from the other night and my guests didn’t know the difference! If you have a hard time getting ideas, watch Food Network’s “Chopped” or “Best Leftovers Ever” on Netflix. They turn completely random dishes into something we would find in a 5-star restaurant.
5. Re-use your aluminum foil and ziploc bags!
Did you know they could be reused? Feeling cheap? It’s really not. If you used something lightly, and there are clearly no punctures, these can be cleaned and reused again. Why do you say? Well #1 it’s better for the environment. Even if aluminum foil and ziploc bags can be recycled; recycling still leaves a carbon footprint. So why create more carbon emissions when we can do our little part to reduce it?
Before you mention rumours that you heard ziplock bags are not recyclable, I learned this myself while writing this article that I was wrong. They are recyclable. See here for proof. Just make sure the bags are clean and dry. If they’re not clean, it’ll get sent to the dump.
6. Purchase cleaning products in bulk
Buy your soaps on sale. I buy hand soaps in this 4L jug from the dollar store and divide them into fancy soap dispensers (no one knows the difference!). Why the dollar store? All soap are made of the same basic compounds: fats, oils and alkalis. One brand is more expensive than the other for the marketing and their “add-on” that make their soap better than the competitor. If you’re not a sucker for a brand and want to save some money, this is a great option to try!
7. Make your own cleaning products
Talking about soap, you can make your own soap. Yes and it’s not hard at all. There are so many tutorials on how to make it. If you are ever interested, I can show you how you can make soap at home. The price will be about the same cost as purchasing one but it will last you 2-3 times longer.
Besides soap, we can make our own all-purpose cleaner. I have replaced all the cleaners in my house. These homemade ones are safe to use for adults, children and animals. The ingredients are all items you should already have at home and totally safe to accidentally (say your dog or baby licks the newly mopped flow) consume.
I will share with you my recipe I use at home to clean table tops, smudges on walls, hard water stains, bathroom, etc. This recipe isn’t suitable to be used on stone as it will etch away the stone over time.
8. Use towels and rags
Next time when you spill your glass of water, try using a dedicated towel to clean the mess. Using towels can be reused – just pop them in the washing machine, let them dry and viola! Brand new! You can use this same principle when you’re drying your hands, drying your pots and pans before you put them away and even for dusting. A damp towel removes dust better than a swiffer or a duster) and it cleans better than a swiffer. Swiffers only remove surface light dust, but if it’s been caked on dust or dirt, you have a better chance of removing it with a damp towel.
9. Don’t buy fancy kitchen gadgets
I love fancy gadgets like everyone else. You have all seen my kitchen, it’s not big. Why would I want to waste my precious cabinet space and money for things that I have readily available already?
Just to list a few
Bread is super easy to make. There are even some no knead recipes out there and they taste good too!!
Love popcorn and I was buying the pre-packaged ones with butter from the grocery stores until I found out they give off chemicals causing cancers. So I started making my popcorn in a pot or alternatively place them in a paper bag and pop them in the microwave!
I love deep fried foods, but why oh why would you want to keep such a huge machine in your kitchen? Just take out a deep pot. It works just as well!
Getting eggs perfect the way you want it can be difficult. But all you need is to place them in a pot covered with cold water; cover the pot with a place to boil; once it’s boiled, turn off the stove and keep the lid on, leaving them between 4 to 12 minutes. The longer you wait, the more cooked it will be!
I just use the egg shells or my hands. It’s perfect every time.
10. Scented trash bags
If you need scented trash bags, chances are that you are waiting too long before you take out the trash. But for those who have absolutely no choice but to keep your trash indoors, then I will share a few hacks that will save you some money.
Organic trash will start to smell as it starts to decay. One way to stop the smells from escaping is by closing the bag so there are no gaps. No gaps means no way for the smell to escape. Bag or compost the most smelly foods like fish or that unknown fuzzy dish you found in the back of your fridge as soon as possible.
Sprinkle some baking soda in the areas where you store your trash. It will absorb the smell and when it is time to clean your trash, it will help deep scrub your trash bin too!