Frugality begins with putting into practice the philosophy behind the old Depression mantra: Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without. That, my friend, is frugality.
We’ve become accustomed to throwing so many things away that we’ve almost lost touch with the usefulness of all that we call “trash”. In the past couple years, I’ve been on a mission to find uses for things that I would previously have thrown away, and I’m amazed at how much life is still left in what I considered to be junk.
Food, for example. We peel an apple and run the peel through the disposal, or dump the chicken bones in the trash, never stopping to consider what we are casually wasting.
It’s actually rather exciting to find that this so-called “trash” truly is a treasure! Here are 5 different foods you don’t ever need to throw away again:
Of course, you should eat the peel when you eat the apple, because it’s good for you. (Didn’t your mama tell you that?) But sometimes, you don’t really want the peel in the way, like if you’re making applesauce. Even the cores can be put to good use – and I hope you don’t eat the core! So whenever you have a pile of peels (or cores), consider turning them into something else:
- Apple Scrap Vinegar – sooo simple, and so healthy
- Apple Pectin – If you make your own jam, you’ll love this idea! Use the apple scraps to make your very own pectin, for honest-to-goodness from-scratch jam.
- Apple Honey Tea – a frugal and delicious alternative to spiced cider
- Spiced Apple Potpourri: Dry or Simmering
- Dried Orange Zest – Dry the peels so you can have citrus zest any time you want it!
- Multi-Purpose Citrus Cleanser – a fragrant and effective household cleaner
- All-Natural Oven Cleaner - Lemon peels are probably the most effective, but you can try any citrus, especially if your oven isn’t all that dirty.
- Candied Orange Peel – Who knew trash could taste so good?
- Bread Crumbs – just in case you need a tutorial
- Croutons – another no-brainer
- Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding – Just in case nobody eats the cinnamon rolls (or sticky buns, or sweet muffins) that you made, here’s a way to make sure they never go bad (scroll down for the recipe).
- Chocolate Bread Pudding – You won’t believe this elegant dessert came from bread crumbs!
- Bread Crumb Pancakes - a vintage recipe from a wiser era
- Super Simple Bread Crumb Pudding – Crumble any kind of bread into an oven-safe dish the size you need. Pour milk (cow’s milk or non-dairy) over the bread just until it’s covered. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. Stir in honey and cinnamon to taste, and sprinkle with unrefined sugar. Bake in a 350F oven until bubbly and cooked through. Cool slightly. Top with syrup and whipped cream or eat plain.
- Chicken Stock – one of the best tutorials I’ve seen
- Ham & Bean Soup – what ham bones were really made for
- garlic and onion peels
- celery leaves
- wilted or old celery
- carrot peels and tops
- apple and pear peels
- wilted greens (not slimy greens, though!)
- stems from herbs and greens
- pepper tops
- corn cobs
- cauliflower/broccoli stems
- zucchini peel
- winter squash rind
- well-scrubbed peel from potatoes and other root vegetables (many people suggest these, but I’ve stopped using them, because no matter how well-scrubbed they were, they always gave a very earthy taste to my broth)
- citrus peels
- tomato/pepper seeds
- cucumber peels
- peels from root vegetables (see above)
- corn husks/silk