Everything about the kitchen from kitchen gadgets to groceries to electricity can be expensive if you’re not careful. But by implementing even just some of these frugal kitchen tips you’ll be able to start adding up the savings over time!
These are some simple strategies for saving money with some information about how exactly they’ll save you money.
Best of all, these tips are not difficult or time-consuming so choose one or two to implement right away, then continue to try out more ideas over time to build sustainable, long-term frugal kitchen habits.
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Frugal Kitchen Tips
1. Save Money on Groceries
There are tons of ways to save money on groceries. Instead of purchasing expensive food items when you are shopping for groceries look for ways to save money by selecting low-cost alternatives.
For example, if it is possible to substitute no-name plain yogurt for an expensive brand-name sour cream in a recipe that you love, then go ahead and do it.
Also, consider looking and comparing the ingredients between the higher and lower priced brands of a particular product. Most of the time the ingredients are the same and the expensive ones are priced higher only because of the brand names.
Looking for food items below eye level on the shelves is also another way to save money. This is because most of the time, the inexpensive items are placed below eye level.
Ever wondered how much you should actually be spending on groceries? Read this article to find out!
2. Save Money by Cooking at Home
You can easily reduce restaurant expenditures by cooking for your family at home. Not only will this save you money on food but it is also a great way to control the ingredients that go into meals and also avoid hidden costs like service fees or tips should you eat in the restaurant.
Even without eating takeout all the time, cooking food for your family can be costly if you don’t plan ahead of time.
Creating a meal plan for the week helps you avoid expensive last minute takeout, helps save money by planning your meals around what’s on sale at the store, and reduces food waste.
If you need help with how to start meal planning without getting overwhelmed, get this free minimalist meal plan
Read More about Meal Planning:
Minimalist Meal Planning Workbook
Simple Meal Planning Ideas
Top 7 Minimalist Meal Planning Techniques To Simplify Meal Planning
Minimalist Meal Plan: 3 Reasons Why You Need One!
7 Totally Free Meal Planning Printables
Meal Planning Tips for People who Hate Meal Planning
3. Save Money by Cooking in Bulk
One way to save money while you are cooking is by preparing meals in bulk and freezing meals or ingredients for later.
You can prepare multiple portions of the same meal or different ones ahead of time, then store them all in a freezer container until it’s time to eat. This is a great way to save money on both food and cookware.
Read how meal prepping keeps your kitchen cleaner.
4. Save Money on Food Waste
One way you can spend less when cooking is by planning meals ahead of time. This includes planning to prevent food waste and ways that you might be able to reduce it so that the leftovers and extra ingredients are not wasted.
You can plan out your meals and create a grocery list ahead of time so that you do not buy more food than you need.
5. Save Money on Dishes
Choosing one set of dinnerware that is durable enough for everyday use but also nice enough for more formal occasions will prevent you from spending money on duplicate items.
Also look for dishes that can be bought in a set to save money, but can also be purchased individually so you only need to replace the exact dishes you need rather than having to buy a whole new set if a few break.
This minimalist dinnerware set meets all these criteria!
6. Save Money on Utensils
You know most utensils and cutlery are sold in sets usually. The price range differs. You want to make these purchases last long in your kitchen. If you however want to be frugal with these purchases, here are a few tips you should consider.
Number one tip is to avoid having lots of tools in your kitchen. Buy quality not quantity. Refer to this kitchen essentials list or this minimalist kitchen list for ideas of what you truly need or not.
When it comes to cutlery, it makes sense to buy in sets. I recommend a stainless steel set, as it will last longer compared to other finishes.
On the other hand, some cooking utensils should not be bought in sets.
For example, you really don’t need a whole set of wooden spoons or a set of spatulas. One of each is likely enough!
Everybody loves sales. So watch out for when there are sales in the kitchen section of stores. This is a good time to make that purchase for the utensil you have been wanting to buy rather than paying full price.
Another great tip is to store and care for your kitchen tools properly. You do not want to have to re buy things because they get wrecked from lack of care.
7. Save Money on Knives
Knives should be bought as individual pieces. Truth be told, most sets come with knives we will rarely use.
So instead of buying a set, figure out which kinds of knives you actually use. You will save money by only buying what you will use!
You should also consider how to properly store and maintain these knives when you purchase them.
Sharpening knives often ensures your knife will maintain a sharp edge and will last a long time. Learning to sharpen your own knives will save a lot of money compared to paying someone to do it or buying new knives when yours get dull.
Knives should be stored individually in a wooden knife block, in individual knife sheaths, or on a magnetic knife holder. Avoid storing them loosely in a drawer or canister to prevent corrosion, chips and accidents!
This article goes over the essential kitchen knives and gives options for proper storage.
8. Save Money on Cookware
Another way to save money in the kitchen is by purchasing cookware and utensils that are made from stainless steel or cast iron instead of buying non-stick cookware.
While these nonstick cookware may be inexpensive, they tend to wear out in just a couple years so you may be better off buying a product that can stand the test of time.
Copper is also a very high quality and durable material but is a lot more expensive than stainless steel or cast iron so I don’t recommend it if you’re on a budget!
9. Save Money on Appliances
When it comes to appliances, be mindful of what you purchase. Investing your money in an 11-in-1 InstantPot or a multi-function food processor may be the best option for you instead of buying multiple devices to help with individual tasks in the kitchen.
Avoid the Cheapest Options
When you are purchasing kitchen appliances, avoid the cheaper options. Instead of buying a new appliance for less than $50 take time to compare prices and read reviews before making your purchase decision.
You will most likely end up spending more by having to rebuy cheap appliances every few years than by buying a good quality ones that will last for years.
Buying quality instead of buying the lowest price is one of the differences between being frugal vs cheap.
It is always better to get what you pay for when it comes to kitchen equipment because this is an area where durability counts.
For example, a Vitamix Blender like these costs more upfront but will literally last a decade or more and do a better job than cheap $100 blenders like these that you’d be lucky to use for more than a year or two. When you do the math this way you can see why it pays off to invest in better quality products.
So when you do finally choose appliances to buy, try to get discounts or sale prices on high quality models.
Black Friday is the perfect time to get appliances at special discounts. See how frugal minimalists manage Black Friday shopping.
For example, when looking for big appliances like a fridge, stove, or dishwasher, shop the dent and scratch section or ask the sales person whether the floor models are for sale. Often you can get major discounts for these appliances and they’re still brand new in perfect working order!
Buying used is another good option. Make sure to ask lots of questions to find out why they’re selling. I often see people who are upgrading from white appliances to stainless steel so there is nothing wrong except they don’t like the color.
There are also many small kitchen appliances you could do without entirely! Purchasing the latest gadget without careful consideration of whether you need it or not is a waste of money.
For example, if you have a regular oven, there is no need to get an air fryer.
There might be cheap air fryers like these on the market but are they really worth your money? Save your money by not purchasing it. Your oven serves the same function as an air fryer, which is actually just a mini convection oven!
Your regular pot can cook rice perfectly so a rice cooker is not a must-have unless you eat rice every day. But if you don’t eat rice that often, cooking it on the stove is an option to consider instead of buying a rice cooker.
Of course if you use your small appliances regularly, feel free to keep them, but in general, you’re not going to be saving money by buying every different kind of appliance.
If you really think you’ll use all these different appliances but still want to save money, getting an appliance that does all these functions, like this one, could be another way to save money as well as space.
10. Save Money On Electricity
Your kitchen is home to some of the highest electricity using appliances in the home, so it can be a prime place to save some money!
Avoid putting hot food in the fridge
When you cook, it’s important to wait till the food cools down enough to stop steaming before you store it in the fridge.
If you put hot food in the fridge, you are giving the fridge more work to do. More energy is required to cool down the food thus you might be seeing an increase in your electric bill if you don’t put a stop to it.
Don’t open the fridge for long periods at a time
Did you know that leaving the fridge door open wastes energy. All the cold air just pours out and once you close it again, it has to work hard to make the rest of the fridge cold again.
You will end up paying for this wasted energy so don’t stand in front of the fridge with the door open deciding what to eat!
This is one lesson I had to learn the hard way. I have in recent years bought a fridge that beeps when I keep the fridge door open for too long. My freezer has the same function too.
Store food outside in the winter instead of in the freezer
If you live in a place where the winters stay around 0 to -13 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 to -25 degrees Celsius), you can keep frozen food outside because that’s the normal temperature range of a freezer!
You can store food like meat, baked goods, and frozen produce an enclosed space like an unheated porch or garage to protect your food from animals and keep it out of direct sunlight.
This saves you money because you can stock up on sale items that you wouldn’t normally have room to store in your regular freezer. You could also unplug your regular freezer for the winter to save on some electricity!
If you do this, just make sure to eat up all the food or have enough actual freezer space to move it to before the weather warms up again.
For more tips for saving electricity in the kitchen, check out this article with over 45 more ideas!
11. Save Money on Cleaning Your Kitchen
The kitchen is one place in the home that cleaning is constantly happening. To save some money while keeping this space clean here are a few tips to consider.
Clean With Baking Soda
Use baking soda for both cooking and cleaning purposes. You do not need separate products just because some are intended for use in the oven or on dishes while others are used as deodorizers.
Baking Soda can be used for cleaning several sections in the kitchen such as fridge, stovetop, microwave, oven, and even the sink.
You save money by not purchasing different cleaning supplies for different sections of your kitchen.
Check out this detailed blog post for other uses of baking in your kitchen including specific cleaning hacks.
Ever wonder why your kitchen cleaning takes so long?
Cleaning often prevents things from getting really bad and requiring heavy duty cleaners and harsh chemicals. Most things in the kitchen can be cleaned with warm soapy water, baking soda, or vinegar if you get to it right away.
In the freezer, you want to avoid the build-up of ice. The freezer functions poorly if there is built-up ice, making it work harder to keep things cold.
Plus the built up ice takes away from your storage space and makes it harder to find what you’re looking for and can result in food getting freezer burn.
Cleaning often also helps you avoid getting overwhelmed by the mess!
12. Save Money by Rotating Your Food
Rotating the food in your pantry, fridge, and freezer will keep it organized and will save you money by making sure you find food to use up before it goes bad. You want to practice “first in, first out” which means to simply use up the older food before the newer stuff!
Have you ever heard the phrase, “one bad apple can spoil the bunch”?
If you take it literally, a spot of mold or rot on one fruit or vegetable can quickly spread and ruin all the food around it. That’s why fruits and vegetables are the food group that needs particular attention.
Also, the proper fridge organization will help in even distribution of the coolness in the fridge, food stays good longer and your fridge smells nice.
You can try a mini pantry purge challenge if you want to tackle your pantry one shelf at a time!
13. Save Money on Food Storage Containers
Storage is also another important thing in every kitchen. It can get expensive if you think about all the storage supplies you need to keep your kitchen organized. This post goes over minimalist kitchen organization tips.
One way to save money in the kitchen is by using food storage containers with lids instead of storing your leftovers in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Not only will storage containers last longer, but they are also better for the environment because you won’t have to throw away after every use.
If you’re on a budget, there’s no need to have matching storage containers. Purchase a container if it’s on sale and you like it or reuse containers from other foods like big clear plastic containers of nuts bought at Costco.
Reusing glass jars is another cheap alternative. Your pantry can look fancy on a budget with glass jars.
Wash the jars and take off the labels and you have a glass jar to use for storage! You can check out how to easily remove the labels from jars in this article.
14. Save Money by Composting
Another way to keep a frugal kitchen is by composting instead of throwing your food scraps into the trash or down the garbage disposal all the time.
Composting in your backyard could save you money for garbage removal, especially if you have to pay per bag.
It can also save you money if you use your compost in the garden. If you have a veggie garden, the food scraps that you compost can be used to nourish your garden. You will not have to buy fertilizer and you will get a higher yield of food too!
As you can see, there are so many ways to have a frugal kitchen and still have everything you need. As always you know your needs better than anyone else so be sure to adjust these frugal kitchen tips to suit your situation and come up with your own creative solutions!
Hope you found these frugal kitchen tips helpful! Please feel free to share your favorite tips for a frugal kitchen in the comments below!
This article was written by Norkor Naate-Kivimaa. Norkor writes mainly about saving money through frugal living and ways to make money with side hustles at That Naate Mom.