These days, eating out should be more of a treat than an everyday event. Restaurants are, after all, expensive. Also, restaurant food isn’t always the healthiest. Not to mention the fact that it takes time to travel to and from restaurants, as well as to get the family ready to go to the restaurant. That’s why more and more people are cooking meals at home, or at least should be.
Just deciding to cook at home is not necessarily an energy or money-saving idea, though. It’s also important to know how to cook at home efficiently. That means taking time, money and energy consumption into account.
Here are some things to think about:
• Efficient Food Shopping
• Efficient Food Storage
• Efficient Food Cooking
As far as the shopping goes, if you want to save time and money, you need to have a plan of action. That should include:
• Making Accurate Lists Ahead Of Time
• Buying Foods On Sale
• Buying Foods In Bulk
• Taking Advantage Of Any Coupons Or Special Deals
• Avoiding Shopping On An Empty Stomach (Impulse Shopping)
Some people actually manage to cut their spending by 50 to 75 percent by using coupons when they shop and the really savvy coupon users can do even better than that. So, using coupons is definitely worth it. You can even find great coupons online.
As for the bulk shopping, did you know that estimates indicate that people spend 15% of their monthly household budget on nothing but food? That’s staggering, especially during economic downturns. If you can buy even just two things in bulk, you could cut that back significantly. Those things are:
Spices are fairly easy to buy in bulk and then store. They’re also much less expensive that way. A pound of bulk cinnamon might cost less than a tiny commercial jar by as much as several dollars. That’s because you provide your own packaging in the form of baggies or jars, which means less production costs.
Bulk meats are a bit more difficult because you need space to put them. So, a great investment would be a large freezer, especially a chest-style freezer, which is more efficient than a front-opening freezer. In fact, if you get a chest freezer, you can actually stock up on all sorts of foods when they are on sale, including breads, frozen vegetables and even frozen snack foods.
Then, of course, there’s the real energy and time-saver, the cooking process. There are a couple of important components to consider, when it comes to cooking, such as:
• Bulk Cooking
• Organized Cooking
• Energy-Saving Cooking
Cooking in bulk simply means making a big batch of your favorite food at once. You can always package and freeze some for later. In fact, if you package those leftovers in single-serving sizes, you can just pull them out and reheat them easily. You’ll save yourself a lot of time that way.
Organized cooking basically means be ready when your appliances and ingredients are. Don’t preheat the oven if you won’t have the food ready to go into it right then. Make sure that you time things well, so that your appliances aren’t wasting electricity for no reason.
The final component to the equation of saving time, money and energy when you cook at home is to use energy-saving appliances. Newer technology has made appliances so efficient that they can save you hundreds of dollars on your gas and electric bills. Also, using small appliances whenever you can, like a toaster oven, slow cooker or microwave, can save more time and more energy than using a cook top or large oven.
So, whether it’s using an oven toaster, like a Breville toaster oven, or simply cutting coupons, there are some great ways to cook at home on a budget. Not only will you save money, but you can cut back on cooking times, allowing you to spend more time with family. You can also do your part to protect the planet for yourself, your kids and future generations.
This guest post was provided by ToasterOvenGuide.com, a website that helps consumers choose the right toaster oven for their kitchen, with great information and reviews on different brands like the Cuisinart, and Breville Toaster Ovens.