These 12 Kitchen Hacks Will Save You Time And Money Slideshow

These 12 Kitchen Hacks Will Save You Time and Money

But before you just throw away half a dozen eggs because you think they might have gone bad or you eat five bananas at once because you worry they'll get overripe soon, know that there are plenty of ways to save your food or check its freshness — and you already have exactly what you need to do so.

Keep Bananas Fresh Longer

While there are plenty of great uses for overripe bananas, fruit with mushy brown spots and a very sweet flavor isn't for everyone. Keep your bananas at the desired ripeness for longer by picking them apart from the bunch and wrapping the tops in plastic wrap. This prevents ethylene gas from spreading to the rest of the fruit.

Find Out Whether Eggs Are Still Fresh

Not sure if your eggs have gone bad? Don't toss them quite yet — check them using this super-simple method. Place your eggs in a bowl and completely submerge them in water. If the eggs sink to the bottom or sit upright on the bottom of the bowl, they're still good to go. If they float, get rid of those eggs ASAP.

Forget Flipping

If you roast veggies or bake French fries in the oven to free up time in the kitchen, flipping these foods mid-way through cooking can be a real annoyance. To avoid going back to the oven, heat up your sheet pan before placing the food on it. This way, your food will brown evenly and you'll have time to focus your cooking efforts elsewhere.

Freeze Your Herbs

If you bought too much dill or your parsley grew like a weed in your garden this year, don't let it wilt and die. Instead, freeze it when it's at its freshest. Wash the herbs, pat them dry, chop them up, and put them in perfect portions in an ice cube tray. Add a little bit of olive oil and you'll have fresh-tasting herbs for a pop of flavor in any recipe.

Give New Life to Crystallized Honey

In theory, honey never goes bad. However, the sugar crystals in this sticky condiment can crystallize. But don't throw that adorable bear-shaped jar out. Instead, toss the jar in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir it, allow it to cool for 30 seconds, and repeat until the honey liquefies. Placing the jar of honey in a pot of warm water and heating over medium-low on the stove will work just as well.

Make Your Own Buttermilk

If you have just a little bit of milk left or need buttermilk for a recipe and don't want to buy a whole quart of it, you can easily make your own. For every one cup of milk, add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Then whisk the milk with the acid and set it aside until it starts to curdle. Voila! Buttermilk!

Ripen Fruit Quickly

Stuck in a bind and need ripe avocados immediately to make guacamole for your margarita night? Don't run to the store. All you need is a paper bag. Placing unripe fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and avocados in a brown paper bag at room temperature make them ripen faster.

The Secret to Crunchy Salad Mixes

If you have a problem with your bagged salad mixes getting soggy quickly, worry no more. To keep your chopped greens fresh, place them in a plastic or glass storage container with a paper towel on top and store it upside-down in the fridge. A paper towel at the bottom pulls moisture out of the lettuce and keeps your salad nice and crunchy for longer.

Soften Butter in a Second

If you need softened butter for your cookies but don't have time to let it sit on the counter all day (and risk it over-softening), all you need is a plastic storage bag and a rolling pin. Place the butter in the plastic bag and pound the butter flat with the rolling pin. The action will soften the butter while keeping it chilled, and the larger surface area will bring it to room temperature in just minutes.

Take Corn Off the Cob With Ease

There's nothing quite like fresh corn on the cob in the summertime. But if you have braces or need to get the kernels off the cob for a corn soup or fritter, it can turn into a mess quickly. To take corn off the cob with no mess and no fuss, place the cob in the center of a Bundt pan and use a knife to get the kernels off. The pan's center will hold the cob in place and the pan itself will catch all the kernels.

Turn Stale Bread Into Croutons

Oops! You left your bread out overnight, and it's gone stale. Don't toss it! Instead, fire up the oven and roast some homemade croutons. Cut the crusty bread into cubes, drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Bake the cubes in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until they're perfectly browned.

Use Food Scraps for Stock

After roasting a whole chicken, don't throw out the bones! Instead, make your own chicken stock. All you need are chicken bones, scraps of common household vegetables (such as onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, or leeks), and water. Similarly, you can make your own beef stock with beef bones and scraps or vegetable stock with leftover veggie tops and scraps.