Okay, so this isn’t a recipe. However, as I’m going to visit family tomorrow, I am trying to take care of things around the house to save money and keep food from spoiling. My grandmother is the queen of thriftiness (aren’t all grandma’s?) and she has taught me a lot. Now, I don’t do all of them … (I am far from a ziploc baggie washer!) but now that I am staying at home and trying to find ways to be more efficient, I am adapting many of her practices. I am always up for more tips — so please feel free to add to the list!
*Don’t throw out produce. I am horrible at buying certain vegetables that begin to wilt before I remember to use them. My main problems? Onions, peppers, and celery. Now, I don’t know what to do about tomatoes or lettuce (let me know if you have any tricks), but if I think that I will not be able to use a one of these veggies before they wilt and spoil, I dice them up and freeze them. These veggies are practically staples in cooking, so freezing them and adding them to casseroles and other dishes are really handy. Often, I buy celery with the intention of snacking on it and I fail to eat it all up in time. This saves me money and even time when it’s time to make chicken and rice (or whatever meal I’m cooking up). *tip* If you know you won’t get back to the veggie when it’s still fresh, go ahead and dice it all up when you are using it for the first time. That way you don’t have to dice twice. 🙂
*Freeze over-ripe bananas. Do you make banana bread or smoothies? Are you like me and only bananas when they are a little green? I freeze those suckers and they are SO MUCH better in baked goods than fresh bananas. I let them thaw a little when I’m making the banana bread and I cut the end off and squeeze it like toothpaste. Looks gross… tastes delicious. Same with smoothies. It’s cheaper than buying the pre-frozen fruit. I also do this with fresh berries and other fruit when we have too many to handle. 🙂
*Don’t throw out butter tubs and other plastic containers. We do not have recycling easily available in Stillwater, but I try to do what I can when I can. I make large amounts of spaghetti sauce, chili, soup, etc… and it would go bad if we didn’t freeze it (we’d also be too burned out on the leftovers!). I have my fancy Tupperware and my Foodsaver, but for these liquid dishes I prefer to use this and mark it with a Sharpie. 🙂 Also, these are great “to go” containers when your brother comes and cleans out your fridge (oh, that’s only my brother? okay.).
*Keep bread ends. I hate the end of a sandwich loaf. Fresh baked bread? That’s a different story. I keep these ends. You can freeze them and toast them for croutons, bread crumbs for meatloaf, meatballs, etc. Or, you can take the bits to the duck pond and feed the ducks. 🙂 Same with stale Cheerios.
Those are a few tips I thought of while I was in the kitchen today. What are some tips you use? I’d love to hear them!