Are you a hoarder, or do you get rid of everything?  What about your spouse?  I am the hoarder in my house, but my husband, is the type to throw everything away.  In fact, it drives me crazy because he will throw away things that aren’t his and then I go crazy looking for it later—he has no idea what he does to me!!!  And, although it drives me crazy, I am thankful for the balance—Lord knows what my house would look like otherwise!

However, although my husband throws anything he can get his hands on away, if I’m quick I can sneak a few things by him and save our family money, not waste the resources we have, and save time for me in the long run—shh…he has no idea how lucky his is to have me!!! ; D

A few examples of this is with those individually packaged crackers you get at the restaurant.  Do you ever take them to keep in your glove box for your kiddos (or you) when you’re driving and need to feed the ravenous beast?  Well, I LOVE it when we go somewhere that they have these—not only to keep in the car, but then sometimes they get crumbled in your purse—can you relate?

Well, when that happens, walk away from the trash can!  Get a tupperware container and begin to collect these crumbs.  I keep one for graham crackers, and one for salty crackers.  THEN, when I’m cooking or baking a need a cracker crumb—they’re crumbled and ready to go!  You’ll be surprised how quicky they add up!  Oh—and when you finish a sleeve of crackers, there are always crumbs in the bottom of the sleeve, go ahead and add those to the pile also!

Alright, another idea— when you have produce that is beginning to ripen and you know you can’t use before it goes bad—freeze it!  But not just fruit—put your onions in the food processor and chop them up—then freeze them in a ziploc.  Same goes for green peppers and spinach (cook the spinach first).  You can also freeze tomatoes whole and use them for making a spaghetti sauce or anything you need whole tomatoes for.  Corn is great for cooking mexican dishes.  Oh–and squash, cook it, puree it, and freeze it in ice cube trays (once it freezes put them in ziploc bags), then when you want to make breaded chicken crispers (with your cracker crumbs), you can first dip them in the squash for added nutrients!  Zucchini for zucchini bread.  These can make cooking sooo much quicker and easier—AND, you saved the bank!  You may have otherwise dumped it in the trash, but now you have something you can use and will thank yourself for later.

OH- and the fruit?!  Save berries, bananas and citrus fruits for smoothies.  Bananas are also great for banana bread, but be sure to wait until they are completely brown.  Be sure to store them in a ziploc to keep from making messes in your freezer.  Try using cherries to top pancakes (thaw and add powdered sugar), or for baking cherry chocolate cake!  Even watermelon could be saved to add to smoothies.

Other food and money saving ideas:

Buy bulk cheese and freeze portions of it so that when you use one portion, you take the next out of the freezer.  This will keep your cheese fresh, and buying in bulk saves the pocket book in the long run.

Make large portions of chili, pasta sauce, soups, pasties (meat pockets), scones, pie crust, cookie dough, etc.  Just be sure to date and label everything.  I sometimes am in a rush and don’t do that and then I’m trying to figure out the next month what it is.  These are great for when you don’t have time to make meals, and it cuts down on all that work it takes to make such delicious food!

Also, check out this article from one of my favorite bloggers, Blissfully Domestic, on how to keep foods that you have fresh for longer (ie: tortilla chips, celery, sugar, cheese).

Do you have any ideas on what you do to save your money, resources and time?!  If so, I’d love to hear about them!!!

Here’s time, money and resources saved so that you can live Le Dolce Vita!!!