Tips Search Results

Cooking

The trick to peeling garlic

Instead of peeling it by hand, smash your garlic cloves quickly with the side of a big knife, or between two cutting boards. The paper skin comes completely off, without the work of peeling.

Make a healthy swap with cauliflower

Steam cauliflower, then mash and season it the same way you would make mashed potatoes, for a less starchy side dish. Replace pasta with baked squash, pulled apart with a fork, for fewer carbs and calories.

Step-by-step pepper slicing

Cut off the top and bottom of your pepper. Make a slice length-wise down the pepper then lay it on its side. Guide your knife along the inside of the entire pepper, removing all the stems and seeds in one swoop.

Store foods the right way

Make your food last longer (and taste better!) by storing it properly. Tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, and basil should never be refrigerated. Honey, coffee, and bread are also better kept in a cupboard or pantry.

Save your ripe bananas

As bananas ripen, their starch turns to sugar. Even though you might not eat brown bananas, you can still cook with them! Mash them into cookies, pancakes, and bread or freeze them in pieces and blend them into non-dairy ice cream.

Add veggies to everyday recipes

Incorporate healthy vegetables into the foods you already cook. Finely shredded zucchini and carrots can be added to pancake or muffin mix, tuna salad, canned soups, and casseroles.

Stock up on seasonal produce

Fruits and veggies are much more affordable when they’re in season. Take advantage of two-for-one sales and summer favorites then freeze what you don’t use for the following seasons.

Cut the perfect pineapple

Cut off the stem and rind, then stand your pineapple upright and slice away the skin from top to bottom. Next, cut diagonal grooves following the lines of eyes. Quarter the pineapple lengthwise, slice out the core, and cut into bite-size pieces.

Freeze unused herbs in olive oil

Herbs come by the bunch. Cut up your leftover herbs and freeze them in an ice cube tray filled with water or olive oil, keeping them easily on-hand for many more meals to come.

Make a meal plan to reuse ingredients

Think about how you can reuse leftover ingredients from meal to meal. Random vegetables can come together in delicious soups, and unused fruit can quickly become a tasty smoothie.

Gardening

Re-grow vegetables at home

Place the base of your celery stalks, scallion ends, and leftover lettuce stems in shallow containers of water in the sun. Change the water daily, and transfer to soil once they begin to grow.

Save your eggshells

Start seedlings in empty eggshells instead of containers. The shells are self-composting, so you can plant the entire thing once it sprouts, and your plant will get a boost of calcium that doesn’t cost a dime.

Spend less on soil

Instead of filling an entire pot with expensive soil, fill half with reused packing peanuts, followed by a layer of fabric covering the foam. Your potted plant will cost you less, and be a little easier to carry around the house.

Save rainwater, save money

Collect rainwater instead of watering from the faucet and adding to your bill. The lukewarm water is less shocking to plants and typically contains fewer contaminants because it’s completely untreated.

Try DIY garden toppers

Make your own mulch with crushed up leaves and grass clippings, and create nutrient-rich compost from fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and filters, and ground-up eggshells.

Water plants with ease

Fill any recycled glass bottle with water, and place it upside down in the soil of your potted plant. Water will slowly seep out of the bottle, watering your plants while you’re away.

Make a salad garden

Grow your own self-contained salad garden with lettuce, radishes and tomatoes. Plant seeds in window boxes or recycled plastic containers, like clean milk jugs or laundry detergent bottles with tops cut off.

Grow herbs in the kitchen

Basil, cilantro, and chives grow great indoors. Find a sunny window where your herbs will get at least four hours of direct sunlight. Start seeds or small plants with premixed potting soil and keep the soil moist.

Grow tomatoes from groceries

Grow lots of tomatoes from the seeds of one ripe heirloom. Squeeze seeds into a container, cover with water, and set aside for a few days. Rinse them really well, removing any tomato pieces, and dry your seeds until it’s time to plant them.

Sprinkle cinnamon on seedlings

Over-watered, damp soil can lead to diseased plants. Cinnamon has amazing anti-fungal qualities that could be a low-cost way to keep them healthy.

Kitchen

Play it safe, get an extinguisher

Keep a fire extinguisher or extinguisher spray in the kitchen. If you can do it safely, smother small flames with a metal lid or with baking soda. Never use water on a grease fire, which will make it worse.

Clean it before you eat it

Rinse fruits and veggies well with cool running water—no need for soap or cleaners. Keep lettuce and other leafy greens fresh by waiting to wash them until you’re ready to use them.

Handle stovetop pots with care

Never leave pots and pans unattended on the stovetop. Face handles toward the stove so they can’t get caught on loose clothing or get grabbed by curious kids in the kitchen.

Know your knife safety

When you’re using a knife, always cut away from your body. Once you’re finished, wash knives one at a time. Don’t toss knives into a sink full of soapy water where they can’t be seen.

Use your little helpers

Give the kids simple kitchen tasks, like tearing up herbs or stirring ingredients together. Keep a small, sturdy stool in the kitchen if they can’t safely reach the counters to help.

Clean plates you had raw foods on

Always put cooked food on a clean, dry plate. Don’t reuse any plates you had raw ingredients on, especially meat and unwashed vegetables.

Cook with oil carefully

Never add water or dripping-wet ingredients to a pan of hot oil. After your used cooking oil has cooled, empty it into an unrecyclable container and throw it away. Never pour it down the drain.

Treating a burn

Run cool water over minor cooking burns for 10 to 15 minutes, then loosely cover with clean gauze and burn cream. Seek medical attention if the burn is too large or if it starts to blister.

Fresh cleaning with lemons

Clean dirty countertops and cutting boards by putting a dash of salt on them, then scrubbing them with a cut lemon.

Use safe kitchen storage

Keep cleaning supplies, chemicals, and fire extinguishers in a safe place away from the oven and furnace vents. If you can, install childproof locks on kitchen cabinets and on your oven door.

Shopping

Celebrate the season with fresh foods

Use fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season. They’re easy to get, have more flavor, and usually cost less. Your local farmer’s market is a great source of seasonal produce.

Why pay full price? Cut coupons

Check the local newspaper, online, and at the store for sales, coupons, and specials that will cut food costs. Often, you can get more for less by visiting larger grocery stores (discount grocers if available).

Stick to your list

Plan your meals ahead of time and make a grocery list. You’ll save money by buying only what you need. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Shopping after eating will make it easier to pass on tempting snack foods. You’ll have more of your food budget for vegetables and fruits.

Try canned or frozen vegetables

Compare the price and the number of servings from fresh, canned, and frozen forms of the same veggie or fruit. Canned and frozen items may be less expensive than fresh. For canned items, choose fruit canned in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with “low sodium” or “no salt added” on the label.

Buy small amounts more frequently

Some fresh vegetables and fruits don’t last long. Buy small amounts more often to make sure you can eat the foods without throwing any away.

Buy in bulk when items are on sale

For fresh vegetables or fruits you use often, a large size bag is the better buy. Canned or frozen fruits or vegetables can be bought in large quantities when they are on sale, since they last much longer.

Store brands mean savings

Choose store brands when possible. You’ll get the same or similar product for a cheaper price. If your grocery store has a membership card, sign up for even more savings.

Buy foods in their simplest form

Buy vegetables and fruits in their simplest form. Pre-cut, pre-washed, ready-to-eat, and processed foods are convenient, but often cost much more than when purchased in their basic forms.

Plan and cook smart

Prepare and freeze vegetable soups, stews, or other dishes in advance. This saves time and money. Add leftover vegetables to casseroles or blend them to make soup. Overripe fruit is great for smoothies or baking.