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23 Money-Saving Cooking Tips You’ll Actually Use, From Our Community

Food52 logo Food52 8/17/2018 Katie Macdonald
a pizza sitting on top of a pan on a table © Provided by Food52

It’s pretty simple: no matter who you are or where you live, saving money is a good thing. But then why does sticking to a budget or figuring out where to cut costs feel so hard? Especially when it comes to food. We have to eat, right?

a piece of cake on a plate: Dinners That Will Get You Through the End of the Month © Provided by Food52 Dinners That Will Get You Through the End of the Month Dinners That Will Get You Through the End of the Month by Katie Macdonald a bowl of food on a plate: The Budget-Friendly Recipes You Turn to Time & Time Again © Provided by Food52 The Budget-Friendly Recipes You Turn to Time & Time Again The Budget-Friendly Recipes You Turn to Time & Time Again by Hana Asbrink

And sure, serving up beans for every meal definitely saves some dough. But variety is the spice of life, and we were curious to learn all the other thrifty tricks cooks in our community actually use every day. So, we asked our Instagram followers to share their best money-saving kitchen tips, and got hundreds and hundreds of answers. Below, we’ve picked 23 of our favorite thrifty tricks to keep us (and our wallets) full.

My best money-saving tip in the kitchen is:

It Pays to DIY

  • Skip buying things like salad dressing that you can make for less! And they’re WAY better. -aekiefer
  • Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies, buy them whole then wash, cut, store for whatever! -the_bees_baronessa
  • Make your own spice blends with whole spices -redinnyc

Recycle and Reuse

  • Regrowing scallions by putting the roots in water on a windowsill. -joyosity
  • Saving all my bacon grease and using it for pancakes, eggs, etc. -5boysandakatie
  • Use leftovers in new ways! Potato wedges night 1, chorizo and potato tacos night 2. -amcneillm
  • Sunday-leftovers... every Sunday dinner is made from all the leftovers make from the week. -chamal
  • Mixing cooked lentils into ground beef for meatballs or lasagna or patties. - leeleighleah
  • Taking leftover biscuits and making bread pudding. -chef_jim
  • Yogurt approaching its expiration date goes into the freezer to become ice cream pops! -little_kosher_lunch

a bowl of food on a table: Use, Regrow, Repeat: 4 Vegetables that Regrow in One Week © Provided by Food52 Use, Regrow, Repeat: 4 Vegetables that Regrow in One Week Use, Regrow, Repeat: 4 Vegetables that Regrow in One Week by Jaime Brockway a plate of food with broccoli: No-Buy Night Is the Money-Saving Strategy I Swear By © Provided by Food52 No-Buy Night Is the Money-Saving Strategy I Swear By No-Buy Night Is the Money-Saving Strategy I Swear By by Emma Laperruque a close up of food: The Formula You Need to Dress Up *Any* Salad or Grain Bowl © Provided by Food52 The Formula You Need to Dress Up *Any* Salad or Grain Bowl The Formula You Need to Dress Up *Any* Salad or Grain Bowl by Katie Macdonald a plant in a garden: What is a CSA, Really? © Provided by Food52 What is a CSA, Really? What is a CSA, Really? by Sarah Jampel

Rethink Your Shopping Routine

  • I like organic, but… 💵. So I got an organic CSA box Jun-Nov for what I’d spend in a month! -a2minella
  • Shopping on Wednesdays because that is most grocery stores’ double ad days. -mrsmeganmiller
  • I’ve been grocery shopping online! It keeps me focused on what I what to have on hand. -kendra_limback
  • I only eat meat when I go out, and I love Imperfect Produce, which is a great company! -helen.america

Freezer-Friendly Advice

a plastic container of food: How to Make Your Freezer Work For You © Provided by Food52 How to Make Your Freezer Work For You How to Make Your Freezer Work For You by Valerio Farris Glass Oven & Freezer Safe Storage Containers (Set of 8) © Provided by Food52 Glass Oven & Freezer Safe Storage Containers (Set of 8) Glass Oven & Freezer Safe Storage Containers (Set of 8) a large pot: Microwavable Nested Storage Bowls © Provided by Food52 Microwavable Nested Storage Bowls Microwavable Nested Storage Bowls a bowl of food on a table: 6 Ingredients That Are Cheaper in the Bulk Aisle—and a Surprising One That Isn’t © Provided by Food52 6 Ingredients That Are Cheaper in the Bulk Aisle—and a Surprising One That Isn’t 6 Ingredients That Are Cheaper in the Bulk Aisle—and a Su... by Emma Laperruque

Better in Bulk

  • I buy beef local and in bulk! 1/4 steer its in my freezer, costs less, and has a better taste! -gabrihab
  • Buying bulk coffee beans on Amazon = cheap cold brew every day. -monikattt
  • Bulk up meals using less expensive ingredients like frozen peas or couscous. -lisasdima
  • Always check the price by weight, instead of comparing sticker prices! -sarallin
  • Buying in bulk and prepping religiously. -kristinemahan
  • Buying bulk and sharing with friends! -twolittlebites


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