1. Real vanilla is only necessary if what you’re making is vanilla flavored. i.e. vanilla ice cream. Imitation is fine and less expensive.
2. Enhance and strengthen chocolate flavor by adding a pinch of cinnamon to the recipe.
3. While so-called ‘ purists’ insist on using butter at all times, bakers can substitute a good quality shortening to save money. Just add a little extra salt to make up for the unsalted shortening.
4. Unsalted butter is more expensive. Use regular butter or good quality shortening instead.
5. Buy herbs and spices where they are sold in bulk for huge money savings. Health food stores and many grocery stores sell them by the fraction of an ounce for a fraction of the pre-packaged price. Best of all they are much fresher and, therefore, more flavorful.
6. Sort silverware by type ( forks, knives, spoons) as it is put into the dishwasher. Then putting the clean silverware away is a breeze. The hard part is training everyone to do it this way.
7. Spray a little cooking spray on top of eggs in a frying pan before flipping them over. They can then be flipped again easily or lifted out of the pan with ease.
8. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to cheese soups. The result is a deliciously cheesy looking soup AND less cheese is needed.
9. To speed up your time spent in the kitchen, do as much as you can in one area and then move instead of running back and forth like a chicken. Try it!
10. Get that recipe together fast. Don’t carry ingredients to the mixing bowl. Take the mixing bowl to the ingredients and have your measuring spoons with you. Better yet, have your baking ingredients all in one spot in your kitchen.
11. Don’t buy buttermilk if no one at your house drinks it. Just add a few drops of regular vinegar to the amount of milk you need. It’s a cheap and convenient substitute.
** Source: I am a fully qualified chef. I don’t know where I learned much of the knowledge I have.