Easy Kitchen Tips to Save Time and Money

Back-to-school season is always a busy time for families. Lifestyle expert Nancy Soriano stopped by "Good Morning America" to share a few easy shortcuts that will save time and money in the kitchen.

Freeze to Reuse and Save

There are many common foods and drinks that Soriano says you can freeze in order to save and reuse later.

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Take an ice cube tray and fill it with leftover wine. You can reuse the wine cubes to spice up your sangria or for cooking casseroles and sauces.

Freezing tomato paste is also a great way to save time and money. Many recipes do not call for an entire can of tomato paste. Instead of throwing the remainder away put the rest in an ice cube tray or in teaspoon or tablespoon drops between two pieces of waxed paper and freeze it. Later simply tear off the amount you need.

Dessert Short Cuts

In order to keep the ice cream cone from dripping through the bottom, Soriano suggests cutting up a marshmallow and placing it in the bottom of the cone. It prevents the ice cream from leaking and is a sweet treat at the end of the dessert.

Use lifesavers to hold the candles in place on children's birthday cakes. The kids will enjoy the candy and it prevents the candles from falling.

Soriano says placing cookie dough onto a baking sheet does not need to be a sticky mess. Simply dip the spoon in milk before scooping the dough. It should easily fall off the spoon onto the sheet.

If you don't have enough batter to fill an entire cupcake tin, place a tablespoon of water into the remaining spots. This prevents rust from forming on the tin.

Make It Last: How to Keep Food Fresh

Americans throw away or waste approximately $1,200 each year in food. Budgets are tight, and making food last will save money at the grocery store.

In order to keep a cake fresh for a longer period of time, place half an apple in the cake dome. The cake will absorb the moisture from the apple. But don't leave the fruit in there too long, otherwise the apple will rot.

Storing cottage cheese upside down will help keep it fresh because it will slow the oxidation.

The next time you're wondering if an egg is still fresh, place it in salt water. If the egg sinks to the bottom then it is still fresh. If it floats to the top throw it away.

Household Items and Food that Can Do Double Duty

Food and certain household items can be used for multiple purposes, such as meat basters. Use a baster to make perfectly round pancakes every time.

The next time you have leftover pie dough, coat it in egg wash and sprinkle Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses on top. After you bake it you'll have a delicious appetizer to serve.

Leftover coffee grounds are rich in nutrients and can help your garden grow, especially acid-loving plants such as hydrangeas. Simply spread the grounds around the plant and then work them into the soil.

You can relieve the itch of a mosquito bite by putting undiluted white vinegar on the bite. You can also soften and fluff your sweaters by adding white vinegar to the rinse cycle.

Microwave Magic: Combat Stale Food

Brown sugar often gets hard after sitting in the cabinet, but Soriano says you can soften the sugar in the microwave by just placing it in there for 10 to 15 seconds. You can keep it right in the bag if you open it at the top to let it breathe.

The microwave can also combat stale potato chips. Crisp the chips by putting them in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, and then let them stand for two minutes. Although not as good as new, the chips will have their crispiness back because the microwave draws the moisture out of them while cooking.

The next time you need to peel a clove of garlic, put it in the microwave for five to 10 seconds. The skin will slip off easily.