Frugal February in the kitchen

The months of December through to March are our most challenging financially. Christmas, followed by holidays, plus bills and insurance mean that we really have to pull in the reigns and make an extra effort to save money. I thought I would share with you a few of the thrifty things I've been doing in the kitchen. 

Last month I set myself a water challenge. It's Summer here in Australia and we're using a lot of water on the garden (we have a tank for the garden, but without rain there is no tank water). 

*Place a container in the sink and use the water from rinsing fruit, vegetables and eggs on the garden.
* Run water into a jug while waiting for hot water - I get heaps of water this way, which either goes into our purification jug or onto the garden.
*Halve the amount of water you normally wash up with. There is no need to fill the sink with hot water to do the dishes! I've been really surprised by how little I can use for this purpose. This goes for floor washing too - you don't need that much (not that I wash my floors all that often, ahem..)

Next up is the use of appliances and utilities (gas, electricity) in the kitchen.

*If steaming vegetables, boil until steaming is underway, turn off the gas and keep the lid on. I find this is enough to steam the veggies without having to use another 5 - 10 minutes of gas.
*The oven can also be turned off early. When I make bread, I turn off the oven 5 minutes before the bread is done and let it sit with the door closed. It stays hot enough to cook and it saves 5 minutes of cooking time. Add that up over a year and it would be a lot of time!
*Bake your own bread. I've been doing this for a long time and it saves us a lot of money. The whole family prefers homemade loaves too. I bake 4 at a time to get the most out of the oven.
*Think about the appliance before you use it. Is it really necessary to plug into the electricity if you can do it by hand? For example, we sweep hard floors instead of vacuuming, our cooking ingredients are often mixed by hand and all our dishes are done in the sink with no dishwasher.

I'd love to hear your frugal tips for February too!


Nanna Chel said...

Good frugal water saving tips, Kelly. During our big drought years ago our city brought its water usage down drastically. Mind you nearly every house had a water tank by the time the rains came as we were not allowed to use town water for our gardens. We still use our grey water on the lawn and non edible plants.

Sue Elvis said...


Saving water is so important. I will never forget the 6 months we lived with tank water and no rain. We had to buy water a few times and then make the filled tank last as long as possible. Your tip about catching the cold water while waiting for the hot to come through the pipes, reminds me of how I used to catch the cold shower water in buckets and then put it into the washing machine, instead of letting it slip down the drain. There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing water wasted when you don't have much!

Sam Forster said...

Great tips! We leave dish washing water in the sink (one sink wash water, one rinse) and use the water to soak dishes, or wash larger mess off (eg. the porridge pot, sauce/gravy off plates) so that we aren't using fresh water to do this. I'm also getting more conscious of how I use water in the kitchen. I'm noticing that using running water to rinse messy dishes uses WAY more water than wiping them with a cloth or sponge. If the sink has some sediment in it, I now use a burst or two of water from the tap and that is plenty, along with wiping with a cloth or my hand if need. I also rinse out lidded containers by putting a by putting in a little water, putting the lid on and giving it a good shake. Like I said, MUCH more water efficient than using the pressure of running water to knock everything off.

Kelly Casanova said...

Great tips Sam, thanks for sharing!

I have a rigid heddle loom, why would I consider buying a floor loom?

I was asked this question in one of my Facebook groups. I started to type a response, then decided it would be better answered in a blog po...