1. Use coupons and The Krazy Coupon Lady to save on groceries.
Well, duh! You should totally use us. We post dozens of deals daily. All you have to do is print the free coupons we link to and follow the deal scenario when you’re at the store. No more shuffling through ads and paying full price for things like toothpaste and toilet paper. KCL does the work for you.
2. Freeze everything from chips to eggs — especially when they’re on sale for dirt cheap.
When a product is on sale for dirt cheap, stock up! We recommend buying enough to last you at least three months. Here are some of the things you can freeze:
- cooked chicken
Learn how to freeze them all and more in The Ultimate How-to-Freeze Guide.
3. Regrow vegetables from scraps.
Celery, lemongrass, potatoes, garlic, ginger, bok choy, scallions…stop paying for them! These are just a few vegetables you can regrow from scraps.
Keep the root end of vegetables and immerse just the roots in water. Eventually you’ll need to move them to a pot with rich soil. Don’t forget to give them plenty of sunlight! For more info check out 7 Vegetables You Should Never Pay For.
4. Make your own cleaning supplies.
Baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, hot water, and sometimes salt is really all you need to make your kitchen sparkle.
To deodorize wood cutting boards, cut a lemon in half, squeeze some juice over the board, and sprinkle some salt over it. Use the lemon half to scrub in the salt.
Clean the inside of your fridge and countertops with 2 tablespoons of baking soda mixed in hot water.
And use straight or diluted vinegar in a spray bottle for general household cleaning.
5. You can also use leftover food to clean.
Dust paintings with bread heels, clean leather with banana peels, condition wood with mayo, prevent water stains with orange peels…it’s true! The things most people throw away can be used to clean your house.
6. Make your own appliance accessories.
Need a splashguard for your KitchenAid? Make one out of a gallon ice cream bucket lid. A shower cap also works well as a dust cover for your KitchenAid’s bowl when you’re not using it. Get more ideas in 9 Brilliant KitchenAid Hacks You’ve Never Heard Before.
And if you need a splashguard for your hand mixer, just do this:
7. Pull out rarely-used appliances for new things.
Like using a waffle iron to make pizza pockets and 5-minute brownies or your blender to aerate wine.
For more ideas, see 11 Shocking Ways to Use Your Blender and 10 Unexpected Things You Can Make in a Waffle Iron.
8. Clean your dishwasher so it can perform how it’s supposed to.
Under the lower sprayer in your washer, you’ll find a piece that’s removable. In it, you may see bits of food and other buildup. Rinse the tray in the sink, or use a towel and toothbrush to remove the gunk.
9. Make your own oat flour and powdered sugar in a blender.
Place 1 cup of rolled oats in a blender and pulse on high for about 30 seconds or until the oatmeal becomes the consistency of flour.
For powdered sugar, add 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a blender or food processor and use the pulse setting until a powder forms.
10. Make your produce last.
Soak strawberries in a three-parts water, one-part vinegar solution for 10 minutes before drying and re-packing in their original breathable container.
For lettuce and leafy greens, always store them with a paper towel or two so the excess moisture gets soaked up instead of speeding up the rotting process.
Wrap your celery in foil and it will stay crisp for weeks — and finally, don’t store potatoes and onions together. Instead, keep potatoes near apples to keep them from sprouting.
11. Know the real meaning behind expiration dates.
Before you toss that condiment bottle that’s been sitting your fridge, look closely at the date:
“Sell by” lets the store know how long to display products for sale. The product should be purchased prior to this date. “Sell by” is typically found on perishables like meat or poultry.
“Best if used by” is a recommendation for best quality or flavor, not safety.
“Use by” indicates when a product will start deteriorating in quality and flavor as determined by the manufacturer.
12. Know which products never go bad.
Soy sauce, tea, white rice, cornstarch, sugar, pure maple syrup…these are just some things that pretty much last forever if you store them properly. So the next time you’re cleaning out your pantry or fridge, save money and don’t toss these 26 Items That (Almost) Never Go Bad!
13. Don’t buy generic syrup, peanut butter, paper towels, and crackers.
The taste is just not worth the savings on these items. You’re better off spending a few cents more — plus, you’re likely to find coupons on the name-brand items, enabling you to score better-quality products for sometimes less than generic.
DO go the generic route when it comes to buying bacon, baking ingredients (except for chocolate chips), milk, orange juice, and ice cream. I did a blind taste test with family and friends, and the majority couldn’t tell the difference between generic and name brand for these items. See the full results in 25 Name Brand vs. Generic Face-Offs: Best and Worst Revealed!
14. Keep a grocery stockpile.
This is how smart shoppers avoid paying full-price for groceries. They stock up when the price is rock-bottom. For instance, if cereal is only $1 per box, don’t just grab enough to last you a week; buy enough to last you months.
Don’t worry — KCL will let you know when a price is stock-up worthy with the yellow stock-up symbols next to deals:
For more stockpile tips, check out How to Build a Stockpile for Less than $10 a Week.
15. Organize your pantry, fridge, and cabinets like a boss.
When your kitchen is organized, you’ll want to spend more time in it instead of spending money on take-out. Plus, you’ll know exactly what you have and need so you don’t end up buying unnecessary items.
Re-organize your kitchen with these ingenious tips and tricks:
- 13 Life Changing Fridge & Freezer Hacks
- 20 Genius Ways to Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets
- 19 Pantry Organization Hacks That Will Change Your Life