You don’t have to be a chef to prepare a five star meal! There are several things you can do that make it easier to cook green and enjoy a delicious meal, at half of the cost. In today’s society because more people are choosing to eat in to save money, here are some little things you can do to live greener and create a great meal every time with very little effort.
- Work your green thumb! Herbs like mint, basil and oregano are easy to grow and add tons of flavor to simple meals lasgna and pasta. You’ll be surprised how fast they grow when you put them in a sunny spot in your kitchen. Keep what you don’t use in a ziploc bag for later. Lowe’s carries great little pots and any soil you might need for growing small plants.
Recycle your used cooking oil! There are several auto parts stores like O’ Riley’s that will take your used cooking oil for recycling. Once it’s recycled it goes to oil plants that will convert it over to diesel fuel. You very well may be riding around with oil from last week’s dinner in your car..
- Buy you grains in bulk! Products like rice, millet and beans can be bought in bulk and you save money. Plus, you can plan your meals out ahead of time so you know just how much to get. Try different kinds of grains like Quinoa and Millet too! They can be cooked just like rice and can be found at any health food store in the bulk aisle.
- Rinse before you wash! When you rinse your dirty dishes before you wash them it saves you money. Many people just put thier dirty dishes right in the dish water, but you will find that your water stays cleaner and you use less dish washing detergent if you just rinse before you wash. Instead or buying anti-bacterial soap, try regualar dish detergent with a cap full of bleach. Your dishes will be just as clean and you can be sure your killing germs. This also applies to dish washing machines
- Invest in a sturdy set or tuppleware! A great set of tuppleware will go a long way, you dont have to worry about saran wrap and foil. Get a heavy duty set and clean them well and they will last for years.
- Stick to your recipe! When you plan your meal out, only shop for the ingredients you need, and see how much you save. If you go in the store not knowing what your going to prepare, it’s much easier to buy a bunch of things you will end up tossing in your cupboard.
- Clean that fridge! Typically, many of us only clean the inside of our refridgerators when we accidently spill something, well if you take the time to take out all the food and deep clean the fridge atleast one every week or every two weeks you will save tremendously. If you fridge is like mine (way to small for the volume of groceries) it’s easy to miss that melon hiding behind the lettuce. If you can’t see it, your not going to prepare it and by the time you get to it, there will be nothing but an awful smell to greet you.
- Don’t be so quick to chuck it! Save the broth from seafood and poultry dishes and freeze it, you can incorporate it later in soups and other recipes. Save your potato skins and lemon peel for garnish and desserts.
- Support you local farmer’s markets! Simple ingredients like eggs, honey, fruits and vegetables can be purchased locally at the peak of ripeness. Fresh ingredients makes a fantastic meal. When you buy locally you can support local farmers and have a great time giving back.
Only you can make the best out of your meals. These simple tips will make it easier for you to have a delicious meal and give back at the same time. See how you can become an active member in making your community alittle greener, one kitchen at a time.