How to save money in your kitchen

Consumer Reports reveals biggest money-wasting spots

Considering our uncertain economy and a lot of people still out of jobs, saving money is a big priority these days.

Consumer Reports has some tips on how to save money in the kitchen.

Start with the refrigerator.

Consumer Reports says to follow mom’s advice and don’t stand there with the doors open.

But did you know of a less obvious money waster -- overfilling your fridge?

“Cold air needs room to circulate in a fridge. If you overstuff it, it’s going to use more energy and cause more wear and tear on the appliance,” said Perry Santanachote, of Consumer Reports

Your refrigerator’s condenser coils collect dust and pet hair that tax it. To prevent a pricey breakdown, vacuum the coils every six months.

Next is your oven.

For smaller meals, use a toaster oven or microwave or air fryer instead because they all use less energy.

You may even be wasting money on cookware by wearing it out.

“Avoid using aerosol cooking spray on your nonstick cookware. It can actually build up on the surface and damage it,” Santanachote said.

Using your nonstick skillet for high temperature cooking, like searing meat will wear out the coating so consider investing in a cast iron pan.

At the sink, don’t scrub under running water. Instead use a good soapy soak.

Your dishwasher uses more water and wears out faster if you run it half empty, so fill it up. Avoid the pre-rinse cycle because it messes with the sensors.

And one of the biggest wastes in the kitchen: spoiled-food. Americans toss out about a quarter of their groceries.

So keep milk out of the door where it’s warmer and instead keep condiments there.

Santanachote said making little changes can stop of lot of money from going down the drain.