Have you ever noticed when you buy produce, especially things like berries or grapes, they can get moldy pretty quickly? I don't know about you but I hate wasting food. The other week I got a huge basket (half a bushel) of grapes marked down for only $2.70!! Of course there were a few we had to throw out but for that price, it's no big deal. That's why they were marked down so darn cheap.
Once we got home, the kids sat down to sort out the grapes & pull them off the stems. From there, I filled one side of my sink with cold water (after cleaning it good with my homemade cleaner.) Then I added some vinegar to the water.
Why you may ask?
What a great question! haha
See, rinsing produce in a solution of 10:1 water to vinegar ratio kills any unseen mold spores that might be on the grapes. It's also a great way to rinse off any residue as well. So I put the grapes in the sink for a few minutes, swishing them around. It's amazing how dirty the water looked when I was done. Cleaning the grapes this way definitely got them cleaner than just rinsing them under water.
I wanted the grapes to dry a bit so I took a clean bath towel, spread it on my counter and put the grapes there to dry off. I was anxious to see how long the grapes stayed good in the fridge, especially for being marked down. They lasted well over a week with no mold before we finally finished them all off! I plan to clean more of my produce this way in the future!
My other money saving tip is to make your own oatmeal packets! We don't do a whole lot of cereal around here for breakfast since most just aren't that healthy. For the mornings I don't have something already made, like my Blueberry Baked Oatmeal, I want something easy for the kids to quick grab if we are in a hurry. The oatmeal packets you buy in the store are so expensive and there are ingredients in them you just don't need.
So I make my own oatmeal packets using those little snack size sandwich baggies. And since I only put dry ingredients in them, we reuse the baggies! This is something super simple to put together & you can get creative in what you include in your packets.
This was all it took to put together a bunch of oatmeal packs. My packets were brown sugar & cinnamon flavored but you can add whatever you like to it. I want to try dehydrating some fruit to toss in sometime as well.
About 1/2c of quick cooking oats (I go just a hair under this as my kids said a heaping 1/2c was too much for them).
1 Tbsp of brown sugar (I don't pack it, just a loose 1 Tbsp)
Sprinkling of cinnamon (sorry, I didn't measure this, it was just easier to go through & sprinkle some in the baggies).
Put all 3 ingredients into a baggie and there ya have it! Easy peasy for sure (and SOOO inexpensive to make!!)
I make a whole bunch at a time and put them in a clementine box I had saved which is a perfect size for them to fit. As the kids empty the packets, they put the baggie in the back of the box. My husband also likes to grab one of these packets to take to work. It makes for a quick & easy breakfast for him as well!
What's one of your money-saving tips you use in the kitchen?
Visit my Money Saving Tips page for other ideas of how I save money!