When it comes to setting money saving resolutions and goals, several people desire to save money on their grocery bill and spend less eating out. The right appliances in the kitchen make both goals possible. With the right appliances, you can save money on how you prepare food, as well as save a lot of time in the kitchen. However, it is not wise to purchase all new appliances just to save money on your grocery bill. Instead, here are some helpful hints on how to use what you have to decrease your grocery budget and some great appliances to get one day and how to save on them.
1. Crockpot/Slow Cooker: A crockpot is probably the most common budget appliance talked about. There is a reason for that. They are perfect for doing all of the cooking when you are busy. Think the crockpot is good just for meals from a can or dump meals? Think again.
Although most of the crockpot cookbooks I have seen are full of ingredients for canned items (which I do not like to use), I use my crockpot to prepare healthy recipes. I’ve made huge batches of rice to freeze for an easy side dish. I have also made huge batches of beans from scratch. Simply soak your desired bean overnight without the crockpot on. Then replace the bean water the next day and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Depending on the type of bean, you can add seasonings. For example, when I cook pinto beans, I cook them with large slices of onions, garlic, cumin, and oregano. I think freeze the beans in individual bags for easy meal preparation later in the week or make several bean, rice, and cheese burritos for the freezer. I have even cooked whole chickens in the crockpot and that has provided me with homemade stock and delicious chicken that can be used for several meals too.
How Does This Save on Your Grocery Bill: If you use the crockpot to make bulk meats, soups, stock, beans, and more, you can almost eliminate your need for canned items. A can of soup costs about $1-2, depending on the brand and sale price. That makes it .50-$1 per serving. To make soup from scratch, it can cost approximately $5-10 to make a whole crockpot full of soup. This soup can then be frozen for later use, and be as cheap as .10 a serving.
How to Get a Crockpot/Slow Cooker for Less: If you don’t have a crockpot, you can easily get one from a yard sale or Craigslist for next to nothing. You may even be able to score one for free from someone you know. Usually everyone has a crockpot or two, but they hate how much space it takes up, so they get rid of it.
2. Upright, Compact Freezer: We just bought a 7-cubit feet, Energy Star, freezer for $156 + tax on sale for Black Friday. It costs $30 a year to run, but the saving potential it has is large. I can now buy several packages of meat, including organic meat, when it is reduced to clear. My local grocery store and Super Target drastically marks down meat, loaves of bread, and produce a few days before expiration. I especially love getting loaves of French bread for less than .50 each and making 4 huge French bread pizzas I can stick in the freezer for quick meals or lunches for my husband when he goes to work.
Having an extra freezer leaves more room for freezer cooking too. It is so easy to prepare extra dinner than can be frozen for another time. For example, homemade lasagna can be time consuming, but the time is well worth it if I make 2-3 lasagna casseroles at one time. It takes very little extra time and not too many extra ingredients, which saves you time and money in the long run.
How Does This Save on Your Grocery Bill: When you have a place to store extra meats, you can buy them at rock bottom prices and store them for later months. With a good clearance deal, you can buy up to four packages of meat for the cost of one at regular price!
How to Get an Upright Freezer for Less: It is possible to have some success with getting a used upright freezer for a good price. My only concern would be how the previous owners took care of it. You can also find a new freezer at a discounted price by buying the floor model or by finding a good sale.
Next week, I will share three of my other favorite kitchen appliances that save money on your grocery bill.
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