Money Saving Kitchen Quirks...I mean...Tips - Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller
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Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller

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Money Saving Kitchen Quirks...I mean...Tips

There are times that my brain just really thinks so far out of the 'box' that I am in my own world and think its normal. Yet inevitably some one sees me do something that I think everyone does and they say, "I have never thought of that!" It's those 'light-bulb' moments (for me and for them) that make me think it would be good to share some of my 'odd quirks' with others who may also find it interesting.

So, here are just some (of the non-food) things that I do in my kitchen to save money:

Dishwasher Detergent Deception: Did you know those little dispenser cups do not have to be filled completely to get a clean load of dishes? Play with a tablespoon at a time and try it that way to see if the dishes come just as clean. Try a tablespoon of detergent and a tablespoon of baking soda. This is what works for me.

Pew! The Garbage Disposal!: No need to spend money on those little yellow 'balls' to plunk in the disposal. When we eat citrus fruits (grapefruits, oranges, lemons) we save the peels and quarters of anything not eaten (like when you juice an orange) and cut them into about 2 inch squares. Then freeze them storing them in a baggie in the freezer. Use one to freshen the disposal and sharpen the blades every so often.

Foiled Again: Aluminum foil is easily washed and folded for storage if not used on raw meat.

Freezer Bag Free-cycle: Okay originally I just did this with the gallon size then had an epiphany of my own. If we buy the pint and quart size freezer bags, we can wash them too! This is making the best use of a sandwich size (pint) freezer bag and using it over and over and over again for lunches. Turn the bags wrong side out and wash in soapy water, rinse and hand or stand to dry.

Paper or Plastic? Neither - Cloth! We have switched to cloth napkins and towels exclusively. I found that the cost of two sets of daily cloth napkins is about the same as two packs of 500 napkins. But I don't have to re-buy them each month like we did the paper napkins. The same goes for a pack of good cloth dish towels vs. paper towels. These take up minimal space in the laundry that is already being washed.

This also goes for taking the cloth tote to the grocer and using it instead of store bags whenever possible!

Plastic Store Bag Detox: Inevitably, plastic store bags make their way into the home. We try not to toss them, but either take them back to be recycled or re-use them ourselves to save money. Here are some ways we re-use store bags - bathroom trash can liners, cat box liners, between two pairs of socks when the ground is still wet for chores (or playing in the snow), catching fruit flies, car trash 'can' and many more options to avoid throwing them away unused or spending money on items we could use these freebies for.

I hope you enjoy and use some of these tips. For me, they are but a few of the many habits that have become little quirks that I don't even think about, but just do them as part of a regular frugal kitchen operation. For more ideas, including food ideas – you can come SEE what I do at

Best Blessings!

Donna Miller

Donna Miller is an author, teacher and entrepreneur. Her favorite roles are that of wife and mother to three home-school graduates. Living with a Homesteading Mindset in the country, the city and suburbs has been an adventure! The Millers own and operate Millers Grain House which offers Organic and Chemical-free Whole Grains, Bosch Mixers, the NutriMill, instructional tutorials, recipes and more.



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About Millers Grain House

Donna Miller is the wife of almost 29+ years to the love of her life Joseph, the mother of three home-school graduates and has one daughter-in-law. She is the hostess of the radio shows Your Preparation Station, Surviving on Shoestrings and Encouragement in the Kitchen . She and her husband are the Organizers of WNC Preparedness Group in Asheville, NC. She is an Adjunct Instructor for Frontier Christian University. She teaches local classes and ladies retreats for people to learn hands-on lost skills. She is a teacher, author, sought-after speaker and trainer. She and her husband are the owners of Millers Grain House and are the founders of PREPARE Magazine .

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