There’s money hiding in your refrigerator!

I know it sounds funny, but it’s the truth. Every time you go to the grocery store, farmers market, Costco, etc. and buy food, you’re investing your money in the foods you buy. The next time you go to the store, look in your fridge and think about how much each item costs. It might look something like this:

Quart of Organic Milk: $4.50

Head of Romaine: $1

6 oz. Greek Yogurt: $1.25 each

Jar of Pasta Sauce: $3

Orange Juice: $4.50

That’s almost $15 for just a few items! All of these things expire at some point. Let’s say they do expire and you’ve only eaten half of each of them. Now you have to throw them away. You’re throwing away more than $7. Now, grab your wallet and pull out $7 and put it in the trash. If your stomach hurts just thinking about pulling money out of your wallet and throwing it away then you need this post! (I also need some tums. I can’t bear the thought of throwing money away!)

I got this little tip from a blog I follow called Savvy Housekeeping. Ms. Savvy has tons of tips from DIY, cooking, cleaning, decorating and much more. To save money on food items, she suggests making one of these:

It’s an “Eat Me First Box.” Simply place all of the foods in your refrigerator that are close to their expiration date in the box. When you’re digging around your refrigerator looking for something to eat, just grab something out of the box and know that you’re saving money since you wont be throwing these items away in the near future!

What do you think? Easy enough? Do you have something like this in your fridge? Has it worked for you? I also think an “Eat Me First Box” in the pantry would be nice. I would put opened bags of crackers, cereals, nuts, etc. in it. (I might label my box “Eat Me” just to see what my guests say when they open my fridge.)

Another great way to save money is to utilize your freezer! So many foods can be frozen and thawed and taste as good as new. Whenever I open a jar of pasta or pizza sauce I’m always left with half a jar. Instead of putting it back in the refrigerator (and waiting for it to grow a moldy, slimy layer on top when I finally pull it out of the fridge 3 months later since it got sucked into the black hole that is the back of my refigerator) I immediately place it in a plastic zip top bag, label it and freeze it! Your sauces will never go bad again! This is also great for nuts as they have lots of oil in them that will cause them to spoil. Just toss them in the freezer and they’ll be fresh when you need them! Did you buy fresh meat or fish that’s nearing it expiration date? Freeze it! I often buy meat and fish in bulk so I usually freeze about 3/4 of it when I get home from the store. Do you have any citrus that’s nearing the end of its shelf life? Juice them and freeze the juice! I’m always using fresh lemon juice in recipes and this way I always have it on hand.

What are your favorite ways to save money in the kitchen? I would love to hear your tips and tricks!

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January 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . FruGal Foodie. 2 comments.

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