Living frugally extends to all parts of a home, but nowhere does waste seem to occur more than the kitchen. The throwing away of food by every American is estimated to be 253 pounds each year. That is a lot of wasted food: grains, produce, meat, and dairy items. Think of how many hungry people that food could have been given to! Using an entire piece of food – whether it is fruit with a ring, or fatty meat – to its maximum capacity will not only save you money, but also result in everything from a clean house to treats for the birds in your yard. Here are some great ideas what you can do with food leftovers in your kitchen:
Citrus fruits. Citrus peel is great for use in cooking many dishes, like lemon chicken or orange beef. Or maybe you are squeezing lemons to make lemonade. Instead of throwing the remaining rind into the trash, toss it into the garbage disposal. The citrus scent will make your kitchen smell great without having to use a room spray to eliminate unpleasant odors.
Eggshells. Don’t throw these in the garbage disposal or trash just yet; add them to a compost box for your garden. Crushed eggshells can also be used to clean the drain in your kitchen sink. To completely crush a few eggshells, wrap them in a clean rag. Whack the eggshells with the heel of a shoe. Unwrap the rag, and pour the crumbled eggshells into the sink. Use a sponge and hot water to scrape the sides of the drain clean.
Week-old vegetables. Because most vegetables like carrots, asparagus, celery, and cauliflower start to lose their firmness after a week, cut them up in small pieces and use them to make soup. Simply wash the vegetables, cut them up in bite sized chunks, and add to chicken or vegetable soup. For vegetables like celery and carrots, use the green tops, too, for these often get discarded.
Tomatoes. There is no need to throw away tomatoes that have gone soft or have a minor imperfection in them. Simply use them in homemade tomato sauce or paste. Cut away any spots on the surface of the tomatoes before using them in the recipe. Homemade tomato sauce is fresh and delicious on pasta. Tomatoes can also be used in homemade tomato soup, too.
Banana peels. If your family eats a lot of bananas, you can use the peels to fertilize rosebushes in your garden. Chop up the peels into 1″ pieces using a clean, sharp knife. Place the peel chunks at the base of the rosebush, forming a circle that extends over the roots. Throw a handful of soil and mulch over the banana peels, and your rosebushes will thrive on the phosphorus from the peels during the summer season.
Crackers. Sometimes crackers can go soggy and lose their crunch over time. That doesn’t mean you need to throw out half a box of crackers. There are a number of things you can do with soggy crackers: add them to soups, break them up into crumbs for a fried chicken coating recipe, or seasoned breadcrumbs for use in salads.
Suet. This is the fatty portion usually found in beef and lamb. Instead of throwing away this part of the meat, save it and store in the refrigerator to make suet for the birds in your yard. Some suet recipes call for adding sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds. You can even add dry oatmeal to the mixture. Your feathered friends will appreciate the homemade treat!