So often we run to the nearest drugstore or mega mart to purchase overpriced items, such as cooking tools and cleaning solutions, without considering the many resources readily available in our kitchens.

After viewing this video above from BabyFirstTV displaying the easiest way to save a scorched pan without scrubbing, it made me think about a few of my favorite ways to save time and cut costs around the kitchen.

It also inspired me to put together this list of my favorite quick and easy kitchen hacks to save time, cut costs and stay organized in the kitchen.

Hack #1: Give your fruit a longer life.

Don’t you hate it when you buy bananas and they ripen too fast? I certainly do. To help keep them fresher for a long period of time, I have two easy solutions: One option is wrap the ends of the bunch you’ve purchased with plastic wrap. Another great way to make your bananas last longer is to simply unpeel and freeze them in a safe container.

Another easy fruit fix? To keep my apples from browning, I slice them up and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on them to slow down the oxidation that causes it to darken.

Hack #2: Cutting any type of cheese is easy.

A quality cheese grater can be expensive – and messy. To prevent too much of a mess before grating semisoft cheeses such as fontina and fresh mozzarella, I freeze them for about 30 minutes.

To cut soft cheeses like brie or goat cheese, I also like to use unflavored dental floss to keep from smushing them.

Hack #3: Keep parchment paper on hand – always.

Parchment paper is an avid baker’s best friend. Aside from making clean up easy, it prevents baked goods from sticking. I also like to use parchment paper when I’m baking goods like brownies because it helps me cut them without dealing with the crumbs!

After lining my pan with parchment, baking my brownies and letting them cool, I simply lift the edges of the paper and transport the entire sheet of brownies from the pan to a flat surface to cut them.


Hack #4: Give new life to leftovers.

Reheating meals like a steak dinner or a slice of pizza can prove challenging as the microwave tends to dry them out.

To remedy this, I place a cup of water in the microwave alongside my food in the microwave to add moisture to the air and keep my food from getting too dry!

Another troublesome food to reheat in the microwave? Pasta. After microwaving it on the appropriate setting, the outcome is usually pasta that’s nice and hot on the perimeter and cold in the middle. I’ve found that shaping my pasta in the shape of circle on my plate prior to reheating encourages even warming.

Hack #5: Eliminate cross contamination while cooking.

While it can be tempting to use the same cutting board while prepping dinner, I’ve found it’s best to use two – one for raw meat, the other for all over food items. This prevents the juice from uncooked meat from everything else, also thwarting cross contamination.

Tell Me: What are your favorite kitchen hacks?