Food & Cooking Hacks That Will Save You Time And Money
I don’t know about you, but I spend a heck of a lot of time in my kitchen. More time than I’d like most days of the week! There are a lot of things I really enjoy about cooking, but the prep and cleanup isn’t my favorite part of my culinary adventures. Although I do enjoy delicious food, I’m almost always looking for creative hacks and shortcuts to make life easier.
I’ve rounded up a list of a few kitchen tips and tricks that took me years to realize I was doing wrong. Everything from waste reduction to time-saving hacks that you’ll soon be wondering why you had never thought of before.
1. Repurpose Your Ice Cube Trays
I’m willing to bet you have a few forgotten ice cube trays laying around in the back of a cupboard somewhere. Time to put them back to use! They are perfect for freezing leftover sauce, broth, milk, tomato paste, fruit juice, and more. Now you don’t have to buy a carton of heavy cream when you only need half a cup for a recipe. This is a great way to reduce waste as well as have handy small portions of commonly used ingredients available.
Small portions of frozen broth are great for reheating meat as well as adding flavor to rice or pasta.
2. Fresh Produce & The Magic of a Paper Towel
If my produce isn’t washed and chopped ahead of time, it tends to go bad in my fridge because everyone is simply too lazy to make a salad or eat a few grapes if they aren’t prepped and ready to eat. I try to wash and cut a lot of my produce to prevent this from happening, but the extra moisture can cause them to go bad very quickly. There’s a simple fix for that! Place a few paper towels in with your stored lettuce, celery, grapes, and more. To make them last even longer, replace the paper towel every few days once it become moist.
Paper towels are very effective at absorbing moisture, preventing your produce from wilting and growing mold for much longer.
3. Save Time in the Kitchen
Store-bought convenience items may not be the best way to save money, but they sure do give you more time to do other things. Chopping an onion is probably my least favorite kitchen task, so I don’t mind spending an extra $1 to have them already chopped for me. This also cuts down on the dishes needed to prepare dinner!
Most grocery stores offer shredded rotisserie chicken in their deli department. This is a major timesaver when you are making soups, casseroles, sandwiches, salads, quesadillas, and more!
4. Those Evil Jars of Natural Nut Butter
The oil in natural peanut and almond butter always separates, which has seriously made my life miserable at times. No worries! There are a few ways you can make this agonizing process a little easier. Always store them upside down in your pantry and place them in a bowl of hot water before stirring. I’ve also done extensive research on putting the the glass jars in the microwave for a few seconds before using, and there doesn’t seem to be any harm in it. Here are the full details on stirring nut butters without getting pissed off.
5. School Lunch Ideas
If you have kids, then you know the struggle of packing a lunch box that doesn’t contain the usual sandwich and chips every day. My kids are too old now for me to be cutting their watermelon into stars, but I used to have so much fun making bento boxes for them. Thanks to cupcake liners you can do this in just about any kind of container to make lunch fun and exciting!
Heat up a frozen meal or dinner leftovers and pour it into a small thermos. The easiest hot school lunch you’ll ever make!
6. Sheet Pan Pancakes
If you’re serving four or more people for breakfast, this is seriously the easiest and best way to make pancakes! You can use just about any pancake recipe, although you’ll probably want to double it. This trick works really well for the recipe on the back of a Bisquick box, and you can customize them with the toppings of your choice such as berries, banana slices, walnuts, or chocolate chips. Full Recipe & Instructions
A quick & easy breakfast idea for sleepovers, large families, parties, holidays, brunches, and more.
7. Non-Stick Spray Tip
Use that handy can of Pam to spray more than just your pans and baking dishes! This stuff works wonders on kitchen utensils like your cheese grater and measuring cups. I also like to spray it on my hands when rolling cookie dough, forming beef patties, or squishing Rice Krispie treats or cereal bars into place.
8. Get More Juice out of Your Citrus Fruit
I squirt limes more often than I probably should in cocktails, and I’m always so disappointed when I go to squeeze one and I get a puny little drop. Here’s a tip. Microwave a lemon or lime for 10-20 seconds to practically double the juice!
It’s also best to store your citrus fruit on the counter instead of the fridge to optimize the flavor and amount of juice you get. You can additionally roll them on the counter with the palm of your hand before slicing.
9. Get More use out of your Pizza Cutter
Let’s not even call it a pizza cutter anymore! This ingenious tool is great for cutting all kinds of foods from pancakes and pasta to herbs and dough. Keep it in your knife drawer so you don’t forget to use it. Here’s is a complete list of things you can cut with a pizza cutter.
10. The Best Way To Hard Boil Eggs
Boiled eggs are a staple food in my house especially when I’m trying to watch my weight. They are the easiest way to get a little protein in your diet without cooking! However, if you don’t do it right, they can be a complete pain in the booty to peel. I’ve found that this boiling technique works 100% of the time for easy-to-peel-eggs. Here’s the complete list of tips and tricks as well as an amazing deviled egg recipe.