Preparing meals at home helps save money and makes it easier to eat healthy, nutritionally balanced meals. Here are some kitchen hacks that help make meal preparation less time-consuming and also help save on food expenses.
Use your freezer to help with food prep
Place fresh herbs from the garden into stock or olive oil in ice cube trays and place in the freezer. Use these later for seasoning in recipes for sauce or meat.
Want thinly sliced beef for stir-fry or pepper steak? Partially freeze the beef first, before slicing.
If you buy spinach or kale in bulk and have too much to eat before it wilts and goes bad, place it in freezer bags, being sure to squeeze all the air out before sealing the freezer bag. Keep up to 3 months, breaking off pieces of spinach or kale and using them in smoothies or recipes as needed.
Before using an egg, place it in a cup of water to see if it is still good. A fresh egg will sink while an egg that is spoiled will float. To make shell removal easier when you boil eggs, add baking soda or vinegar to the water. Have a big batch of boiled eggs that you need to peel for egg salad? Put them in a lidded container and shake them.
If you need buttermilk for a recipe but don’t have any, try using some plain Greek yogurt thinned with water. Use 1/4 cup water to 3/4 cup Greek yogurt. If you don’t have any Greek yogurt, try adding a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to the milk.
If you need brown sugar for your recipe but it is rock hard, microwave it next to a glass of water to soften it.
To easily skim out the fat from your favorite stew or soup, skim some ices cubes wrapped in a paper towel across the surface of the stew, soup, or sauce. The ice will cause the fat to solidify some and it will then be easier to remove.
If you need to cut soft goat cheese, use unflavored dental floss. To make grating soft cheese like mozzarella easier, put in the freezer first for 30 minutes.
Remove the onion or garlic smell from your hands by rubbing them with baking soda or lemon juice.
Cleaning up the microwave is one of the more annoying kitchen tasks. Make the microwave easier to wipe clean by first soaking a sponge in water and then microwaving it for about 1 minute.
If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, try cleaning up your oven by spraying it with some water and applying some baking soda. It may take some effort to scrub off some of the worst patches of burnt food but at least you can avoid using harsh chemicals.