This month's theme is saving in the kitchen. I will discuss and show you how I save in my kitchen every day. I also planned on doing some "cherry picking" at the markets today along with other errands but our roads are a sheet of ice. We have about 5 inches of snow and it looks like winter again.
So after I enjoyed my first cup of coffee this morning, I made breakfast. The only light I use to do that is the one on the stove hood. That gives me enough light to cook in the mornings when it is dreary out like today. Before I dive into the fridge to get out breakfast items, I think about what I need from that fridge. I don't want to waste electricity by deciding after I open the door.
I pulled out bacon, eggs, butter and the English muffins. I keep all of these things together in the fridge so that I can just make one trip from the fridge to the counter. I do the same when I put them away. Then I made the decision to cook the bacon and eggs in a skillet on the stove. One half of an English muffin went into the toaster oven to toast. It would be a little cheaper to cook the bacon and eggs in the microwave. But we don't like microwaved bacon. The eggs don't take much longer cooked in the same pan and I always turn the burner off a couple of minutes before everything is done to use the residual heat and save on gas. When we are just making eggs, I make poached and omelets in the microwave. It only takes about 90 seconds of energy.
I own Curtis Stone's pots and pans. Having had many pots and pans over the years including Capahalon, Emeril's stainless, etc., these are the best pans that I have ever cooked with. They heat evenly and clean up beautifully with little or no effort. I just wipe them out with a little soap and water and then rinse. It takes very little hot water which saves me on the water bill and gas bill everyday.
After wiping the pan out that I used to cook with, I emptied the dishwasher which I ran last night when it was really full. I don't use the dishwasher until I can no longer fit a thing in it. I also don't rinse my dishes before I put them into it unless they have something really stuck on. I just scrape them. When the dishwasher is done washing, I open it up so that the dishes dry overnight. I purposely bought a dishwasher that has no dry heat cycle. When I didn't have one like this, I never used the dry cycle anyhow. I would always turn it off after the wash and rinse cycle and then open it up to dry. When I take the clean dishes out, I always stack them on the counter so that I can just take a couple of trips to the dish cupboard to put them away. Then I loaded the few dishes from breakfast.
Next it was time to determine what I would be making for lunch and dinner. I have bananas that are ripe so I decided we would have banana salads for lunch. I mix creamy peanut butter with a little milk and toss it on top. That way I can spread the peanut butter onto every piece as I eat it. Hubby mixes his peanut butter with mayonaise and then tops his with crushed peanuts.
I made Korean teriyaki chicken stir fry last night for dinner. There is enough left for Hubby for dinner tonight. I didn't like the Korean sauce but he did. So I had to decide what I would have.
I grabbed a chicken breast out of the freezer and cooked it in the toaster oven which only costs me about $ .05 for the amount of time that I used it. The regular oven would have cost me more to bake it. When it cooled, I cut it up into thin slices for sandwiches. We rarely buy cold cuts because they are expensive and are processed. The chicken breasts I purchased at $ 1.49 a lb. It's cheap lunch meat and is healthier for you. I used one of those bulk purchased cheap poppy seed rolls, mayonaise, lettuce and a slice of tomato to make my sandwich. Yes, we do use all of our tomatoes even the top slice. I hate wasting food. When I made the stir fry, I used fresh pineapple. I had slices leftover so I added one on the side of my sandwich. There is nothing more delicious than fresh pineapple in my estimation. The fact that I purchased it for $ 1.29 makes it taste even better.
All of these things are just little things that save money. However, there are more little things that you can do than big things. The little things add up to big money every month especially when you see the reduction in your utility bills. By buying at rock bottom prices and then making sure that you use up the food that you purchase and not waste it, you save a lot of money. When we go to someone's home for dinner and I see them throwing the leftovers into the garbage, I cringe. I see dollars being thrown out. And those dollars add up to a huge amount of money over a year's time.
So the next time, you cook in your kitchen, think first about what you are doing and how you can do it cheaper and more efficiently.
Your wallet will thank you!