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Thursday, December 22, 2011

10 Ways to Save in the Kitchen this Holiday Season (Guest Post)

Today's post is contributed by guest writer Jakob Berry. Enjoy!

10 Ways to Save in the Kitchen this Holiday Season

With the holidays here and many people having guests there’s a lot of room for things to get out of hand, especially in the kitchen. That’s where the potential for a lot of waste exists.

Think about it: Food, drinks, gifts and increased energy usage, which can jump dramatically when having extra people around, are all added expenses that can turn a sweet holiday into a stressful decision making process based on money.

That’s why in order to stay grounded, be that wonderful host you love to be, and enjoy this time of year with family and friends here’s a few tips that can help take some of the financial burden off your mind. Let them transform your home into a more efficiently working mechanism and carry you into the new year:
  1. Compost: Some towns charge for the amount of trash put out each week. If you have a lot of scraps from cutting fruits and vegetables composting will take weight off those garbage bags and if you live in a garden friendly state like New Jersey JerseyCity gardeners won’t hesitate to tell you how much important nutrients all that organic matter adds to your soil.

  2. Repurpose: Whether freezer bags, containers, plastic bottles, or glass jars, you’ll probably be    handling more than usual. Use them over and over so you never have to purchase new ones.

  3. Boiled water: Try and plan ahead when it comes to boiling water and reuse it for something else. For example, you may steam green beans or another veggie and instead of pouring out the water use it for the soup you were hoping to make.

  4. Cut out disposables: Instead of buying fancier disposable plates and cutlery for the table use your real dishes and silverware. Yes, it will mean a little more work cleaning up but chances are your guests will be happy to help out.

  5. Dishwashing: Cutting out disposables might mean a higher water bill because of the extra dishwashing. To prevent using excessive water fill two dish pans; one for soaking and another for rinsing after the dishes are scrubbed. If this isn’t feasible scrub everything and then turn on the water to rinse. Never leave the faucet running.

  6. Veggies: Limit waste when cutting vegetables and try to use as much as possible freezing extra pieces for a rainy day. Example: If you’re cutting broccoli freeze the trunks for soup.

  7. Thermos: Keep a thermos with hot water available so you can make tea or coffee without having to constantly reboil water.

  8. Portions: Don’t give out large portions that may not get eaten. It’s better to serve smaller amounts and have guests come back for more.

  9. Monitor electricity: Unplug appliances when not in use as they still use energy when plugged in.

  10. Delegate: Have guests bring an appetizer, wine, or desert and don’t think of it as being cheap. You’re actually giving them a chance to contribute and lend a hand in the festivities.
    Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for He also blogs for contractors across the U.S. like Hialeah remodelers and electricians in Aurora.

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