A frugal green kitchen is a great way to not only save money, but to save on the amount of waste you produce too.
I fully believe that living the simple life includes being frugal and debt free. For some it includes being a minimalist or living a “green” life. The kitchen is one of the easiest and best places to start.
Save Money in your Frugal Green Kitchen
I’ve put together a list of ways to create a frugal kitchen. It just so happens that many of these include “being green,” aka not producing much garbage and using reusable products.
I personally hate paper towels. It’s literally spending money to throw it away. I’ll take a cheap, white bar towel that I can throw in the washer any day.
Here are several frugal green kitchen ideas for you to try today! I’ve included links to many of these ideas below as well.
Frugal Kitchen Ideas
Meal Plan – think about the week ahead of you. What’s your work schedule/ kids schedule/ family schedule look like? Pull meat from the freezer to thaw in time. Check out what you’ve got in your pantry. You’d be surprised what you can come up with. I used to firmly be in the “I eat whatever I’m in the mood for” crowd, but after meal planning for a couple months, I’m totally on board! Not only does it save on groceries, but I don’t spend each night trying to figure out what to make- I’ve already figured that out.
Ditch the paper towels. Make your own reusable “paper” towels or purchase inexpensive bar towels to use instead. You’ll save in the long run!
Stop buying yogurt! Making your own is cheaper, healthier, and way more delicious! And no, you don’t have to have access to raw milk for this. Store bought milk will work just fine. No fancy equipment needed either! (Unless you want this cool yogurt maker…)
Say no to napkins. Well, paper napkins at least. Take dinner up a notch and use cloth napkins to stop throwing money away and feel fancy while you do it.
Reuse glass jars for food storage. Stop buying Tupperware or fancy food storage containers. Did you buy some pasta sauce lately? Instant leftover soup container!
Stop buying bottled water. If your tap water is gross, consider investing in a Britta or Berkey water filter. Not only will you be cutting down on plastic waste, but you’ll end up saving lots of money in the long run. Along those lines, if you’re a java junkie like me, consider taking your own to-go mug to buy your coffee fix. This cuts down on waste and some coffee shops will give you a discount for using your own mug.
Make broth with scraps. Homemade broth is free food! Keep a container in your freezer to put vegetable scraps from onions, carrots, leeks, greens, etc. and when the container is full, put it in the crockpot with water to make broth. You can do the same thing with bones.
Compost. If you have or are planning on having a garden, you can’t start composting soon enough. You’ll get amazing fertilizer for your garden AND you’ll see a significant difference in your trash bill! (Got chickens? Supplement their feed with your veggie scraps!) We pay for our trash pick up by the size container we use. Thanks to composting and recycling, we have the smallest one and it only needs to be picked up every two weeks.
Recycle. Many towns have a free recycling program. Feel good about saving your garbage from the landfill AND save on your trash bill. If you live in one of the few States that have a refund program for glass, plastic, and aluminum containers, be sure you’re taking full advantage of it!
Grow a Kitchen Garden. Even if it’s just a small herb garden or a few veggies in pots on your patio, it will help with your grocery bill! A packet of seeds are minimal cost compared to produce at the grocery store. (Or join Rootsy in our Seed Swap!)
Do a “Pantry Cleanse.” Some may consider it extreme, but have you ever considered a pantry cleanse? Basically it’s eating everything in your pantry and fridge before you go shopping again. You may end up with some… interesting meals by the end of it, but that’s part of the fun! If you have no grocery bill one month, just think what you could put that budget towards instead!
Reusable bags for groceries. This seems to slowly be spreading across the USA. Many stores no longer offer plastic bags and are now charging for bags for your groceries. Yes, it takes some getting used to remembering to take your bags in with you, but you’ll get there. That 10 cents per bag adds up fast! Put the bags with your purse so you’ll remember to take them out to the car when you go. Even if you forget to take them in the store, skip buying bags and you can bag up your groceries at your car. (Anyone else like me and prefer to bag your own groceries anyways? I get to pre-sort where things will go in the house, colds with colds, etc, etc.)
Thrift store shop for kitchen basics. Need a certain appliance or more dinner plates? Consider thrift store shopping for these instead of buying new. You’ll save money and keep things from being needlessly added to the landfill.
Cook from scratch and eat seasonally. Pre-made or box mixes may seem like a good idea for time and convenience, but the cost will add up quick! Try your hand at cooking from scratch for cheaper and healthier meals. Or you can try your hand at making your own pre-made mixes! Eating fruit and vegetables that are in season will help costs too. They’re usually the ones that are on sale!
No plastic wrap. Another one of those kitchen items that is bought to be thrown away. Plus its plastic. No thanks. Consider making your own beeswax food wraps. If you can’t do that, you can purchase them. Works just as well as plastic wrap, but you get to use it again and again!
What are some of your favorite ways to have a frugal green kitchen? Share in the comments below or join us in our Rootsy Facebook Group!