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Prices are sky-high these days and it seems our money just doesn’t go as far as it once did. It’s no wonder so many of us are looking for ways to cut costs. One would think a person couldn’t be consistently shocked at the register total EVERY time they visit the grocery store, but here we are. (It’s me. I’m that person.)

After months of sticker shock and in an effort to further avoid throwing out what I feel like I just bought (Reverse Meal Plan is a great place to start for this!), I knew it was high time for some useful kitchen solutions. I thought these tips might help you too. So, here are 5 great kitchen tips to help you save money and reduce food waste!

#1 – Prep & Freeze Smoothie Fruits & Veggies

baggies of frozen produce

I love smoothies in the morning, especially on the days I work out. It’s easy to throw in protein powder and any other powdered supplements you’d like to incorporate into your diet. (I like to empty a capsule of turmeric in for an additional brain and heart boost!)

If you’re like me, you might buy a ton of fruit and veggies for smoothies, but find that you’re unable to use them all before they go bad. I kept doing this and kicking myself until it dawned on me one day… I could be freezing these! Not only would it break the pattern of buy, toss, buy, toss, but it would significantly simplify my morning routine! 

Instead of pulling out all your smoothie produce every morning and putting a little bit of each in your blender, take the time to portion out what you need for each smoothie. Be sure to use up all your produce and place them into designated freezer bags by portion. (I like to reuse my freezer baggies each week.) When it’s time to make your smoothie, all you’ll have to do is pour your pre-chopped mix into the blender, add any dairy, dairy substitute or fruit juice of your choice and blend!

Look at you, saving time, money AND getting your veggies in! 

 

#2 – While You’re At It… Freeze Those Overripe Bananas!

freeze brown bananas for baking

How many times have you bought bananas by the bunch and not eaten them in time? Inevitably you’re left with a mushy brown mess you don’t know what to do with and a sense of regret for throwing them away (once again). You almost wish there was a use for overripe bananas. Well… there is!

Extra ripe bananas are the best for baking all sorts of delicious pastries like banana bread or this Secret Ingredient Microwave Chocolate Cake. The sugar content increases as bananas age, so the riper they are, the sweeter they get. They’re also great for banana muffins, banana cookies, oatmeal, or blended into waffle or pancake batter. You can even make them into ice cream or use them for future smoothies! 

So don’t toss those brown bananas! Store them in a freezer bag ’til your sweet tooth calls for a delectable dessert!

 

#3 – Store Your Food For Optimal Preservation

keep food fresh longer

One of the best ways to reduce waste and save money is to extend the length of time you have to use food items, and the best way to achieve this is through optimal storage. 

I’ve previously outlined fruit and veggie storage tips, but what about non-produce?

Brown sugar is perhaps most notorious for becoming unusable over a relatively short amount of time. But did you know that tossing an orange peel or an apple slice into an airtight container of brown sugar can prevent it from hardening? 

“It’s too late, Jaden,” you’re saying. “I already have a jar of brown sugar in my pantry that could double as an anchor.”

Fear not! Simply stick the amount you need in the microwave next to a small glass of water. The moisture will help it separate with ease!

 

#4 – Love Those Leftovers!

leftover recipes food waste

If you know me, you know I love to show love to my leftovers by reusing them in completely new recipes! There are more ways to do so than you might think! In fact, you can breathe life into anything from leftover charcuterie meats and cheeses to sour milk to make inventive new dishes! 

Don’t eat the same old thing three nights in a row. Here’s a whole list of amazing ways to love YOUR leftovers! 

 

#5 – Serve Sauce On The Side

serve sauce on the side

Speaking of loving your leftovers…

Okay, so you may have cooked too much for dinner and you’re DEFINITELY gonna have leftovers. Before you mix in any sauce or gravy… wait! 

Serving sauce on the side will not only ensure your food (like noodles) will last longer in the fridge, but unsauced leftovers are much easier to use in another recipe!

So when in doubt, serve sauce on the side. You’ll thank yourself later!

How did you enjoy these kitchen tips? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Love Your Leftovers Series

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