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!