Over 10 Clever Food Hacks – All Tested By Our Team!
November 21, 2023 | by Egpin
These food hacks can help you get the most for your money! The next time you’re struggling to use your groceries, these kitchen hacks can come to the rescue!
You’ve herb it here, first!
It’s happened to all of us. You waltzed right into that grocery store or farmer’s market and bought those leafy green veggies and fresh herbs, and you had every intention of doing something with them.
And then, life happened.
You forgot about that head of lettuce and now it’s looking pretty pitiful. If this sounds like you, these kitchen hacks can help! I’ve compiled a list of clever ways to get the most bang for your buck – from keep your greens fresh for longer to keeping food chilled at a BBQ!
Hip2Save’s favorite food hacks:
How to revive romaine lettuce. 🥗
Just remove the leaves, discard any brown parts, and give them an ice water bath in your kitchen sink. After 10-20 minutes, they should pep right up!
Extend the life of your herbs in the freezer.
This tip for extending the life of your herbs is one of my favorite kitchen hacks. Freeze herbs in butter, water, broth, or olive oil. This really is as simple as chopping the herbs and removing their stems, adding them to ice cube trays, and covering them with your liquid or butter of choice. For the cubes frozen in oil or butter, these are great to pop into a skillet to grease and flavor the pan when sautéing.
Or if you prefer, you can mold the butter into a log shape and double-wrap it in plastic wrap and/or parchment paper before freezing. Simply thaw when it’s ready for use! Pads of the flavorful butter go great over cooked veggies, or a sizzling steak. Try our sheet pan steak with veggies and herb butter recipe.
When you’re freezing leafy greens, blend with just enough water or olive oil, add to ice cube trays, and freeze. This method is by far my favorite, and it’s one I’ve used for many years. Once the cubes are frozen, pop them into a sealed bag or container and keep them frozen for later use.
The uses for these frozen herbs and veggies are endless and that’s why this is one of the best food hacks. I’ve used herb and veggie cubes to cool off soups, stews, and chili. They can be stirred into pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, and couscous. I’ve even blended them up into smoothies and juice. I’ve also added a layer of veggies in casseroles, stir frys, stocks, and to make over-the-top grilled cheese sandwiches and countless other things.
For heartier leafy greens you plan to cook, like kale, spinach, collard greens, and chard, just place them in a large, resealable bag and toss them right into the freezer. I’ve experimented with freezing the leaves flat on a sheet tray first and then bagging them, which turned out to be pretty pointless.
Another option? Just cook these greens and freeze them so they’re ready to go when you are.
You can also place herbs and most leafy green veggies, stems, and all, into a resealable bag, squeeze out all the air, and freeze.
Or, if you plan to use them within a couple of weeks, just store them in water like flowers in your fridge. You can also cover them loosely with the produce bag they came in or a plastic baggie.
Think outside the box for more use.
Want to really get creative with your veggies? Try making gummies! This requires a little more effort on your part, but it basically consists of making juice using your blender or juicer (like the baby greens and blueberry juice pictured above), adding gelatin powder, and allowing enough time for things to firm up in silicone molds. This is one of the popular kitchen hacks on Pinterest. Check out Pinterest for tons of ideas!
Another resourceful method is pickling past prime vegetables. If you have leftover pickle juice from a jar of pickles, add the stems of the greens of veggies you’d normally throw out, and after they brine for a day or two, they’ll be ready to eat! I suggest first boiling these stems for 30-60 seconds and then plunging them in ice water to stop the cooking (aka blanching). This makes them absorb the salty pickle juice better and a little more palatable.
Greens powder is so expensive. Why fork over all that cash when it’s so easy to make your own using your oven or food dehydrator?
To dehydrate herbs and greens in your oven:
- Set your oven to 175° – 200°.
- Lay your leaves out on a sheet pan lined with parchment or a baking mat.
- Prop your oven door open slightly.
- Start checking after about 30 minutes or so until the greens feel crisp and crumble between your fingers.
*Note that heartier greens and younger lettuces will take much longer to dehydrate.
Once the herbs or greens have completely dried, pulse a few times in your blender or food processor, and press through a fine mesh strainer. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Want some more easy food hacks?
Here are some more great cooking hacks for herbs:
Make herb vinegar, olive oil, or salt by adding fresh herbs. Toss in citrus zest and your favorite spices to create a customized blend! The salt will be good to go right away, but for the best flavor, let the oil or vinegar infuse for a week or two before using.
Herb paste is a great way to extend the life of your herbs, and it’s much cheaper to make at home than buying those tubes you find in the produce department. Add a handful or two of fresh herbs to your mortar and pestle, food processor, or blender, along with a little olive oil. Pulse or mix by hand until the mixture forms a paste.
Side note: add cheese, garlic, and nuts, and you’ve got pesto! This mixture can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks or, yep… you guessed it, frozen for later use.
Freeze herbs with sliced fruit in water to cool down and add flavor to beverages.
Freeze rosemary, sliced citrus, and white vinegar to use as garbage disposal refreshers.
Make an herbal tea by steeping fresh herbs like mint or oregano in hot water with lemon and ginger. Then, freeze in ice cube trays or resealable baggies so when a cold or stomachache sneaks up on you, all you have to do is pop into a mug and reheat. You can also add honey and freeze it in Popsicle molds or blend it into a slushie to soothe sore throats.
Add fresh herbs with or without fruit to vodka, gin, tequila, rum, or whiskey. Let sit in a cool spot until it reaches the level of potency you’re looking for.
Infused sugar is as easy to make as adding fresh herbs to sugar. Just give the mixture a little shake whenever you walk by for a week or two – that’s it. Mint, lavender, lemon balm, thyme, and rosemary are perfect for this. I made lavender vanilla sugar and lemon thyme sugar a few years back to use in shortbread cookies, and they were a HUGE hit.
Make an infused simple syrup by simmering equal parts water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, add herbs, and let steep until cool. You can then remove the herbs, or leave them in. Be sure to toss them if they turn brown.
Make a body scrub by combining salt or sugar, coconut, avocado or olive oil, herbs, and your favorite essential oils.
And yes, while you can usually regrow herbs and vegetables right in your own kitchen, that hasn’t worked so well for me thanks to this furry lady who can’t seem to keep her paws off of them.
So, there ya go! Giving new life to herbs and veggies is no big dill. 😏Just a few simple ways to make your hard-earned green go a little further.
Add a bag of riced cauliflower to stretch your ground beef budget!
The next time you are making tacos, chili, or even sloppy Joe’s for the family, try adding a two-dollar bag of riced cauliflower instead of more meat. You’ll be able to add sauce and seasonings so the flavor blends in nicely with the dish. It’s a great way to save money and sneak in some veggies too as your family may not even notice!
This easy way to peel a potato is one of my favorite kitchen hacks.
Skip the tedious method of using a potato peeler on a raw potato. It takes FOREVER. Instead, use a knife to cut a slit all the way around the middle of the potato. Then, simply boil your potato until tender. Once finished. you’ll be able to pull the skin off quickly!
Just watch how fast Hip2Save’s Lina peeled her potato:
How to easily juice a lemon using a skewer.
So many recipes call for using lemon juice. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were food hacks for doing this task? Luckily, there are! You can puncture the top of a lemon with a skewer to make it easy to juice. My coworker Lina tested it out and it truly works. Check out her video which is one of our favorite TikTok hacks:
Hosting a party? Keep your food cool with this clever kitchen hack.
There is nothing worse than a cold dish getting warm sitting outdoors or on the counter. If you’re hosting a party and want to serve chilled fruit, veggies, dips, or desserts then this tip will come in handy. It’s one of the top cooking hacks that every good host should know!
Buy one very large aluminum foil tray. Then, buy two smaller aluminum trays about half the size of the large one. On the day of your party, fill the large tray with water and place it in your freezer.
Meanwhile, fill up the smaller trays with your cold dishes. When you’re ready to serve the food. Place the two smaller trays on top of the large food tray that is now filled with ice. Voila! You have made a makeshift cooler that will keep your food chilled during your event!
Talk about being the “hostess with the mostest!”
Need chocolate drizzle? Use a saucepan to heat up a Hershey bar!
If you’re on a crunch for time and need to make a quick dessert, this idea might just help! Buy a Hershey’s bar and some seasonal fruit. Heat up a saucepan and put the Hershey bar into it with the wrapper still on. Once melted, use tongs to remove the packet and use scissors to cut a small diagonal slit at one end.
Cut up your fresh fruit. Then, simply drizzle the melted chocolate right from the candy wrapper, using it like a piping bag.
In just a few moments, you’ll have a yummy dessert that’s a crowd-pleaser!
Garlic lovers can make use of these food hacks…
Hip2Save’s Lina has a bunch of really great kitchen hacks for using garlic. One of my favorites is pureeing your garlic and then freezing it in ice cube trays. When you want a pinch of fresh garlic in your cooking, you won’t have to worry about buying any or peeling it. Just grab a cube from your freezer and throw it in your saucepan!
Another great tip Lina shared is to invest in a silicone garlic tube. They currently cost around $6. Simply roll a clove in the tube and it will peel in just a minute!
For more of Lina’s tips on using garlic, read her post about her favorite cooking hacks.
Make a quesadilla quickly using a toaster.
Do you love some good Mexican food? Check out one of our favorite TikTok hacks! You’ll be making yourself a quesadilla in the toaster in no time!
Upgrade your sandwich game with this easy toaster tortilla hack! 💯 Wrap up your favorite ingredients, pop it in the toaster, and enjoy! 🧀🥑 #foodie #easyrecipe #easylunch #tortillawrap #tortillatrend #wraphack #foodtok #hip2save
Cook multiple dishes in your slow cooker with this handy hack.
Only have one slow cooker but need to cook two or more dishes? No problem! Use tin foil and slow cooker liners to create multiple compartments within one slow cooker. This allows you to cook multiple recipes at once!
There’s something genius about this hack! :nerd_face: With just aluminum foil and one liner, you can make two dips (or any other apps/meal) in one Crock-Pot! Create a separator with foil and pop in the liner – so easy, so clean. :clap: Let us know if you use this life-hack! @crockpotbrand #crockpothack #crockpotrecipes #lifehacks #kitchenhacks #aluminumfoil #reynoldsfoil #hip2save
Looking for some yummy slow-cooker recipes to make? We’ve got you covered!
Making sandwiches for a crowd? One of the neatest kitchen hacks is this DIY sandwich dispenser.
Who knew it was so easy to create your own sandwich dispenser? All you need is a loaf of bread and a bread buddy container. Take the bread bag and use it to line your bread buddy. Then, fill the bag with your sandwiches. When you’re ready to eat, just tug on the bag and your next sandwich will move to the top opening!
This hack is perfect for those who like to go camping, go on family vacations, do meal prep, or are in charge of snacks for a kid’s sport. Lina made step-by-step instructions for those who would like to give this food hack a whirl!