If you recently purchased a new American condo, it probably came with a full-size refrigerator, oven, microwave and dishwasher, even if your home is inhabited by only one or two people. This is not a waste but rather an excellent tradition within American real estate! With a little knowledge and practice on your part, your kitchen can save you an unlimited amount of money at the same time it helps you eat with nutrition and variety. Here are some thoughts on getting started!
Get in the habit of weekly grocery shopping. American refrigerators can be a target of environmental criticism because they are large and hence consume space and energy. However, the sheer size allows families of any size to stock up on all kinds of foods items.
For example, you can mix up and store a gallon of orange juice from frozen concentrate with the same amount of effort as a half-gallon. You can buy all kinds of long-lasting condiments, ice cream toppings, and jams and jellies, allowing you to create infinite variety within the same basic lunches and desserts. Many other food items can benefit from refrigeration once opened-dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips. Even if you live by yourself, try blending in with the American mainstream by visiting the grocery store at the same time each week. While it may sound rigid at first, not having to decide every few days when to shop frees the rest of your week for more substantive or spontaneous pursuits! The American tradition of once-weekly shopping of course saves gasoline. By contrast, Europeans are likely to make two or three stops throughout the week, hence making them better candidates for smaller appliances.
The weekly ritual will help you think about what you consume most of so you can begin to buy in bulk, yet do so only to the point it’s really useful. Fortuitously, the space limitations of your condo will deter you from buying so much of a food item it goes to waste. Read the owners’ manuals for your kitchen appliances. Your condo developer should have left copies of these manuals when they installed your appliances. If they didn’t, try downloading them free from the Internet. Then browse through them at your leisure to get detailed ideas on how to care for your appliances to make them last as long as possible. The manuals will also explain many interesting features of which you might not even be aware!
For example, many modern ovens allow you to pre-program them to bake at a certain time. Though you may not be able to leave food in the oven all day long, you might be able to take advantage of the pre-heating aspect. You could come home work from work at 6 pm, hungry and exhausted, to find your oven already heated. Crash in bed or watch television-uninterrupted-while your oven bakes pizza or fish for dinner. After this respite, if you are truly famished you could munch on the entrée as you prepare a salad or soup if it saves you from consuming extra junk food. Finally, resolve to entertain! As you get more skilled using your appliances, you’ll find it easier and easier to invite friends and family members for meals, casual or elegant. This will improve your social life, anyway, as it saves everyone the expenses of restaurants, tips and taxes. You’ll get maximum use of your dishwasher. Guests will give you additional ideas and tips about appliances, helping you appreciate them even more. Above all, try not to take these machines for granted! There are many working families in the United States staying in hotels or other emergency housing situations without these comforting and money-saving assets.
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