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16 Thrifty Cooking Tips That'll Save You Some Serious Cash

Save that money!

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share some of their thriftiest tips for saving money in the kitchen.


Here are 16 of their best:

1. Store veggie scraps in a Ziploc bag and freeze them to make homemade stock...

Instagram: @nikkirumm

"I save everything I don't use (veggie scraps, extra tomato paste, etc.) in freezer bags all month."


Learn how to turn those scraps into a simple vegetable stock here.

2. And freeze any leftover stock you make in an ice cube tray.

Instagram: @ameliaameliorate

"I like to freeze my homemade stock in a silicone ice cube tray — then just pop them out and store them in a Ziploc bag. They're the perfect size for when you need a little stock to make gravy, sauce, or cook rice in."


Check out six other food-saving ice cube hacks here.

3. If you find yourself with an abundance of fresh produce, pickle it or turn it into homemade jam before it goes bad.

Instagram: @storie.etc

"If you know you won't get to eating all your veggies before they go bad, just pickle them!"

—Staceycakes Leonard, Facebook

"Learn how to can! I know it's really old-fashioned and can take a long time to do, but you save money in the long run — plus, you can control how much sugar is added (which you can't do with stuff bought from the store)."


Learn how to quick-pickle vegetables here and transform fruits into jams here.

4. Start following some budget food blogs for dinner inspiration that won't break the bank.

"Budget Bytes is THE BEST site for saving money!"


Check out Budget Bytes, Good Cheap Eats, and Frugal Hausfrau for some delicious (and inexpensive) recipes.

5. Buy whole chickens and learn how to break them down yourself.

"Learn to cut a whole chicken and freeze it. Label it with the date you froze it — that helps you remember how long it's been in there and it's cheaper than buying precut."


See how to do it here.

6. Buy cheaper, tough cuts of meat and cook them in a slow-cooker.

Getty Images

"Even the cheapest cuts of meat will become incredibly tender after several hours of slow cooking."

—Mini Nunu, Facebook

Check out 18 slow-cooker recipes that won't break the bank here.

7. Take advantage of vegetables that regrow from scraps, like green onions and celery.

Instagram: @karlaspalate

"We grow our own green onions and they grow back every time we cut them."

—Olivia Burrell-Jackson, Facebook

Check out 16 other vegetables you can regrow from scraps here.

8. Avoid stocking up on spices you might not use again by buying them from the bulk section.

Instagram: @roadtozerowaste

"I always buy spices from the bulk section. This is perfect for new recipes where you don't want to be stuck with an entire jar of a new spice you may not even like. There's usually a set of teaspoons so you can even measure out the exact amount you need."


9. Save chicken and turkey carcasses to make homemade stock.

Instagram: @beckygebhart

"I save chicken and turkey bones to make stock with. If you want to get fancy, a much larger (and heartier) batch can be made from the bones of several birds instead of just one."


Learn how to make leftover roast chicken stock here.

10. Shop the salad bar for prepped ingredients you can use in pastas, pizzas, and other recipes.

Instagram: @whatchiueating, Instagram: @wholeyfoodz

"When I make homemade pizza, I buy my toppings from the salad bar. This saves money and cuts down on prep time."


Check out some of the best (AKA cheapest) things to buy at the salad bar here.

11. Transform a rotisserie chicken into a week's worth of meals.

Instagram: @rowefarms,

"Grocery store rotisserie chicken is around five bucks for a delicious, already cooked bird — and grabbing one on my way home is cheaper than buying take-out when I'm too tired to cook. I eat a few pieces and turn the rest into other meals. As a single person, I can stretch that five dollars into at least four meals."


Get the recipe for this rotisserie chicken chili here and check out 24 other ideas for transforming rotisserie chickens here.

12. Embrace meal planning — but don't feel like you have to go all out.

Instagram: @thelionsprep

"Meal planning is so important! You don't have to plan to the dot, but a general idea helps in controlling grocery costs."


Check out 13 simple tips for meal prepping here.

13. Stock your freezer with DIY frozen dinners for those nights when you just don't want to cook...

Instagram: @mrs_rose2014, Instagram: @flabulous__

"Make your own TV dinner/frozen meals. I try to always keep a few frozen dinners/breakfasts in my freezer — lasagna rolls, breakfast sandwiches, and soups can all be made with fresh and healthy ingredients and freeze really well."


Check out 21 freezer-friendly recipes here.

14. As well as items you buy in bulk that you just can't eat fast enough.

Instagram: @rellara

"Buy food when you see a good deal and freeze it until you need it. Meat, fruit, veggies, bread, cheese — it all keeps in the freezer. A well-stocked freezer makes meal planning so easy."


15. Hit up the farmers market right before it closes to score some deals.

Instagram: @agfoodstyle

"Hit up the farmers market right before it closes — they usually start to slash prices because they want to get rid of extra produce."


16. Invest in a FoodSaver to prevent freezer burn and make your food last longer.

Instagram: @jerrytsai001

"A lot of food cost is due to food waste. Getting a vacuum sealer means that you can buy items you use a lot in bulk, vacuum seal them, and freeze them for months to come."


Get it on Amazon for $59.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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