7 simple ways I save money in the kitchen

Hello Dear Reader.  Many of you want to know if I have any tips or tricks on saving money.  I feel like I do but honestly, you guys have just as many.  The emails and comments are loaded with great ideas.  I'll share a few things I do consistently that add up. They may seem small but some save money and some save the planet.


The biggest way I save money is by not buying animal products.  Say what you will but they are expensive in all ways financial and ecological.  Other things I do is grow my own herbs.  I do have a few tomato plants growing but I save a ton year round by just growing herbs.  I can freeze them and also dry them.  Right now I'm harvesting basil that I'll use this winter in my recipes.  A friend just gave me a gazillion apricots and I've washed and frozen most of them for desserts and smoothies all winter long.  I always always have a container of fruit and veg scraps and they wind up in broth or my compost pile.  Nothing is wasted.  I was able to plant my small garden this year with soil I made 100% myself.  I even impressed me doing that 😹.


I still shop the .99 store for lots of things.  A few of you said you enjoyed it when I would post my shopping receipts so you could see just how cheap it is.  I am finding I spend even less when I only go to the market every week to 10 days.


I don't buy bottled water, I just use tap.  I fill a pitcher and put it in the refrigerator sometimes with lemons.  Now when I drink bottled water it tastes like plastic to me.  Our water is safe here.


My kitchen gets lots of sunlight and especially late afternoon very hot sun.  I hung my insulated drapes in here and what a difference they make.  My electric bill and the planet thank me.


I do batch cooking in the summer because of the heat.  I'll put a pot of potatoes or beans on early in the morning and use them in tacos, burritos and salads.  Yesterday I made a bunch of zucchini boats filled with Mexican and Italian ingredients.  Zucchini is basically free here because all my friends grow it and give me their surplus.


I keep my pantry as fresh and well-organized as possible so I can see at a glance what I'm low on.  I try not to buy processed food and cook from scratch most meals.  I build all my menus on what I have fresh and just fill in beans, rice or pasta to round out the meal.  It's so easy that way.  Also, I rarely purchase paper towels or paper anything.


I hand wash all my dishes because I don't have a dishwasher so I  save on water and electricity.  Of course I get my dish soap from the .99 store and will pour it into a prettier bottle (not always!) bc I'm a cheapskate.

I hope I haven't left anything out but if I did please add them in the comments. x


  1. Those tips are great Janet! I can do much better at saving the planet by adopting a few of your ideas. I do love lemon water and make homemade lemonade and iced tea. Having a small veggie garden and greenhouse help us save money and the flavour of the tomatoes, cucumbers and asparagus that we grow are incredible. Radishes are easy and remind me of my trip to France 🇫🇷 as the markets were full of them. Thank you for sharing another wonderful post!

  2. I'm so glad you mentioned the insulated curtains. It can make an enormous difference. Since quality curtains are SO expensive I wanted to pass on a tip for insulating curtains. You can often find heavy curtains at estate and thrift sales, even if not the right color these can be hung (on the same rings) behind existing curtains that match your aesthetic and you still get the wonderful insulating benefit.

  3. Bottled water is such a rip off and so bad for the environment. We drink tap water and have stainless bottles when we go places.
    I like all your tips, thanks!

  4. These are not just tips, but paths to living gracefully and gratefully! I'd love it if you could do a post on how you create your compost. My garden beds need revitalizing and I've started trying to compost but so far what I have isn't right at all. Some practical instruction from someone that's got it right would really be appreciated!

  5. I love it when you post ways to save money, be kind to animals, live more gracefully and reduce our impact on the planet. I also grow my own herbs, hoping it will inspire me to cook more and never purchase bottled water. I prefer it and don't actually like cold water anyway. I just roasted a ratatouille with vegetables from a local farm which I can use over the week in various ways. I really ought to do this more often. I really like it when you do menus and recipes , so helpful in my quest to move towards becoming vegan.

  6. Great tips. One thing I try to do is not use a plastic sandwich bag or food storage bag unless I absolutely need to. Which is almost never. I put things in food storage containers instead, or if I am just storing something overnight I put it in a bowl with a plate on top. And of course I bring my own shopping bags so as to not use plastic ones. Doesn't save money but I don't want to add to all the plastic bags in the world! And I refill pretty soap bottles with cheap stuff too!

  7. I found insulating curtain liners in various sizes on Amazon for a very low price. They are designed to be hung right behind your curtains. I have east facing windows in the bedroom so I enjoy the darker room in the morning as well as the extra insulation during both warm and cool days. My other big saver is making my own sourdough bread.The price of bread at the store is quite shocking.

  8. Love this post! Thank you!

  9. Wonderful post! We are not vegan nor even vegetarian, but over the past year, I've greatly diminished our meat consumption for health reasons. You're right - it saves money, too. Because when I do buy meat, it's organic and/or farm-raised so it's quite expensive.

    I stopped using paper napkins and plates over 20 years ago. I do still use paper towels for cleaning up certain messes (cat vomit, for one!).

    We have a dishwasher and I run it fully loaded every day. I do so much home cooking (I do not buy any convenience meals nor processed foods, so I cook everything from scratch) that I have a ton of pots and pans and dishes to wash every day. If I did my dishes by hand, it would actually use more water than our energy-efficient dishwasher.

    We have a nearby Dollar Store but I never shop there, as everything there is basically "rubbish" - all made-in-China stuff. You must have a much nicer shop by you!

    We do recycle everything we can and we also compost. We grow our own tomatoes and green peppers, but also support our local farmer's markets and farmers who run a farmstand up the road.

    Hmm, what else could I throw in here...we drink mostly water (we don't buy bottled either, but I do use a filtered water pitcher as we have well water), but I also keep a jar of my homemade tea (herbal) in the refrigerator in the summer.

    I use glass containers for leftovers and have reduced the consumption of using plastic wrap by instead using waxed bee's wrap. I bought mine on Amazon.

    Great discussion - can't wait to read more tips from others! xoxo

  10. I reuse the glass jars that food comes in to store leftovers in. And when I want to take soup or beans to a friend I can use a jar and they never feel like they have to return the dish. I also use them to store all my rice, pasta and anything else that can go in them. If I freeze food in them I make sure to let it cool first and never fill to high.

  11. Your posts are always so inspiring...

  12. I just heard on National News that the mainstream hamburger places are adding no meat burgers to their menus. and people are LOVING them! one man they interviewed couldn't even tell the difference. maybe it will start going in the right direction now. I sure hope so.
    like you... I drink tap water that's in a special jug in my refrigerator. it's safe here too and so refreshing! I'm trying to avoid plastic. it's hard. but it can be done.

  13. ❤️Love your posts! Keep them coming!❤️

  14. Fabulous post, and wonderful comments- I am learning a lot. I no longer use plastic anything- I have a glass water bottle that I constantly refill throughout the day and also save glass bottles and containers for leftovers. I grocery shop on Sunday mornings and cook several meals on Sunday night to eat during the week. I love cheap old linen dishtowels for not only drying dishes and wiping up spills, but also as napkins. I often collect branches of greenery in the yard to use in crystal vases throughout my home. Janet- would love your recipe for a zucchini boat!

  15. I find not buying water and coffee saves so much money...I always take a water bottle with me when I go out....And have a coffee before I leave home....
    Love your kitchen and I am enjoying your blog....

  16. Thank you for those tips, Janet. Now could you share with us how you keep your house so spotless. Do you cave a cleaning schedule?

  17. Such a great post Janet. I feel I am somewhere in between when it comes to getting rid of plastic containers & bags. I use paper towels, but each towel is used several times...getting demoted at about the 3rd or 4th use to dog or cat vomit & spills that are messy. I also compost & have mine in a raised bed I built just for it. I have too much shade for much in the way of veggies, but do grow herbs. My well water is great, so I rarely use bottled water except to give to a guest.

    You touched on cooking fresh, which I would love to learn more about. I have been alone for 7 years & still can't seem to get a handle on my meals. I live next door to my son & his family, so they often include me in dinner, but I need to get better at being prepared to make appealing meals for myself. I still eat some meat, but not often...I would say I lean toward being vegetarian, but still love meat once in a while.

    Love all your posts on money saving, eating clean, organization & clothing. I even cleaned out my closet last year in my effort to move more toward what I call a uniform. And you have been an inspiration in all of this.

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek
    ...all is grace!

  18. Very good post and comments. I'm inspired to do more to conserve.

    I eat a whole food plant based diet and also batch cook - it makes eating good food so much easier to have things ready. I eat lots of veggies, potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, and some fruit. I love eating this way, for my health, the animals and the planet. I use less dish soap too, by eating clean. :)

    I worry about pharmaceutical waste in tap water, and need to find a good filter. I have been using reusable bags for years, and recycle whenever possible.

    I've been thinking about how much you've spent on clothes this year. So impressed and inspired to conserve here too. Thank you!

  19. I appreciate your tips on saving money. Some of them I already use, but it's nice to hear of some of the ideas I haven't used. I always enjoy seeing pictures of your home. It is honestly one of my favorite houses ever.

  20. I love your ideas. I don't eat any animal products either, I also grow herbs and eat a clean and simple diet- buying as much of my food in season and as locally sourced as poosible. Also, no alcohol or processed foods.(great money savers) I set the table with only cloth napkins that we re-use for 2-3 days, use all glass storage containers and challenge myself to create as little waste as possible.

  21. Thank you for this thoughtful post, Janet. Your home is so serene and pristine. It probably isn't always so, and really shouldn't be to be well lived in, but it's inspiring to feast our eyes on your clean lines and read about clean eating and low waste living. We bought a Soda Stream awhile ago and have been enjoying sparkly water with a splash of lemon or lime. (Or even wine in the late afternoon sunshine.) I have been following your lead in eating less and less meat (which my husband misses when he's in summer barbecue mode.) Now we have many friends attesting to their spectacular weight loss and inflammation reduction eating the keto way and it all becomes so confusing. I love your clear voice in all the muddle. Stay strong, our dear friend. xo karen

  22. Your kitchen is beautiful and I LOVE the floor. Please write a post on how you preserve your herbs, both by freezing and drying. Thanks for sharing and for being kind to the planet.

  23. there you go again . . . providing us with much to consider. Call these challenges particularly for one like me who has strayed into the easy conveniences of disposable receptacles of all sorts. I shall attempt to undo these "habits" while reducing the amount of prepared food products that find their way into our pantry and refrigerator/freezer.
    This isn't going to be easy. Still I am grateful. Very grateful for the examples you set and for your gentle nudges. Progress reports to follow.
    Love, love, LOVE your kitchen floor, puddled drapes and tidy pantry.
    Big hug for you,

  24. Thank you for your post. Your ideas help us to spend less and live better. Very grateful to you and wish you all the best.

  25. Such an interesting post, Janet, filled with an approach that we should all be adopting! I grow a great deal of our own fruit and veg; delicious eaten fresh at this time of year and then frozen to last us throughout the winter months. (I have three freezers!) Meat is a very occasional treat and it is only now that Britain seems to be waking up to how ecologically problematic the dairy industry is. We are doing what we can and use solar electricity from roof panels and extend their use by means of an air source heat pump.
    As ever, the photos of your home look delightful.

  26. I love your kitchen and pantry!
    I wish I could use fewer paper towels. I try to use washcloths and dishtowel, but still find I grab paper towels quite often. sigh.
    Thank you for a very enjoyable post.

  27. Hi Janet,

    I missed some of your recent posts...Tony and I just got back from a mini-vacation. I was laughing because a couple days before you posted this I purchased some Murchison Hume Fig (hand) soap before we left Ojai. I intend to do the same thing, when it runs out I will fill it with something cheaper! :o)



kindness is never out of style.

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