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Budget | 13th & Olive

Many students living in college spend too much of their discretionary money on eating out. It’s hard to keep track of your money when you’re always spending more than you should at restaurants and fast food joints. If you ever try to last a whole week without eating out, you’ll notice an unexpected amount of money in your bank account by the time the weekend rolls around.

Don’t worry though, 13th & Olive is here to help. There are certain things you can do in the kitchen to keep yourself from eating out. It starts with grocery shopping on a regular basis, but there’s more to being financially responsible than just having a well-stocked fridge. Here are four signs that you have a kitchen that will help you save money. We know restaurant food is delicious, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a little extra cash in your pocket at the end of the month?

#1. Your grocery list is always a work in progress

If you aren’t doing this already, try keeping a piece of paper and a pen on your refrigerator with a running list of ingredients you need. Not only will this help you keep track of exactly what you need to get at the grocery store, it will also serve as a reminder that you often get things you don’t actually use. How, you ask? Next to the grocery list, you should keep an “Anti-Grocery List.” That’s a list of everything you ever throw out because it expired, or because you got sick of seeing it in the back of your fridge.

Everything on your “Anti-Grocery List” is something you bought because you mistakenly thought you’d use it. When you go to the grocery store next, you’ll be armed with a list of things you need as well as a list of things you definitely don’t need.

#2. You’ve invested in the kitchen tools you need

It’s hard to get excited about cooking when you know it will be a struggle. Cooking is less of a struggle when you have the right tools. Make sure your kitchen is stocked with the basics like a strainer, a can opener, a peeler, a cheese grater, various sized pots and pans and plenty of sharp knives. You can pretty much cook anything with those basic tools. Plus, once you buy a new tool you’ll want to test it out, and the only way to test out a new tool is by making yourself a money-saving home-cooked meal.

#3. You have a well-stocked shelf of herbs and seasonings

If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this: seasonings are the secret to restaurant-quality food. With enough herbs and seasonings, any food can blow your taste buds away. It’s always fun to try to combine different seasonings with different ingredients, giving you even more of a reason to cook at home. Herbs and seasonings are also cheap and last forever, so you’re pretty much out of excuses for why you don’t have a well-stocked seasoning shelf.

#4. You always cook multiple serving at once

This is the easiest tip on our list. Whenever you’re cooking for one, pretend you’re cooking for five. This will cut down on future cooking time by providing you with meals to last the whole week. Just be sure to invest in enough Tupperware to hold all your extra meals.

Thank you for taking some time out of your busy day to read the 13th & Olive's blog. We’ll be back next month with another edition. While you’re waiting for that, be sure to follow us on social media. There’s no better way to stay up to date with the latest news, events and offers from the coolest apartment for rent in Eugene.