When I mention keeping kitchen scraps out of the garbage, it might sound like a no-brainer. Of course you don’t throw away kitchen scraps; you compost them! But before you head out the the compost pile to add them to your future fertilizer, you may want to see if there is another way to stretch them even further.
Don’t toss the bones! Once you’re done eating that tasty, meaty meal, pile the bones into a crock pot and make broth or stock. Not sure how? Use my Everything But the Kitchen Sink how-to and make your own. Don’t worry – it’s so easy it practically makes itself! This recipe is also helpful for using up other undesirable scraps like garlic and onion peels.
Save the citrus. Instead of buying pricey fruit infused teas, save up your citrus peels and make your own. All you have to do is add the dried peels to your favorite brew and you’ve got yourself a one-of-a-kind tangy tea! Just be sure to scrape out the pith before drying to keep that unpleasant bitter taste away.
When the kitchen gives you lemons… Before tossing already-been-squeezed lemon halves, consider saving them in a sealed container for quick kitchen cleanup. They’re great to rub on stove tops and counter spills. Just wipe up with a cloth when done. Leftover lemon halves can even be used as a natural deodorant.
Don’t scrap the scraps. One of my biggest money-saving methods is turning one meal into two… or three. Instead of locking meal scraps up into a container, tucking away in the fridge and forgetting about it, I often make my next meal with it. With three hungry boys at my house, it’s not often we have enough leftovers for a full meal, but it’s to create a base for the next one. Leftovers go great on top of a pizza, in a meatloaf or stew or a bread.
Bananas – not just for slipping. You can turn a banana peel into a shoe sine. Just rub the inner peel over your shoes and buff with a soft rag. I do this everyday to ensure my boots look great for the barn. What? Just making sure you’re paying attention.
Take a time out. Save up those already spent herbs from making tea and transform them into a luxurious tub experience. Just fill a large tea bag or muslin sack with leftover loose tea, herbs and even fruit rinds. Add to a hot bath and give yourself a time out to recharge yourself! Baths not your thing? That’s OK – you can also toss tea and fruit scraps in your blender and mix with a bit of water and sugar or salt for a homemade scrub!
Supplement. Save money and add leftovers to your pet or working animal’s food. Our family pet, working dogs and even farm cats have all had a taste or two of my cooking. If you know you just aren’t going to have the chance to use those leftovers, try mixing them in with the cat or dog food. I doubt you’ll hear a single complaint about it, and you can rest assured the food won’t mold away someplace.
Give it life. Some produce scraps like celery stalks and green onion bulbs can be planted and will regrow.
Leftover Joe. All those spent coffee grounds have many uses as well. Deodorizing and dying are just two of the ways I use leftover grounds.
Leave it to the birds. Seeds aren’t the only things you can put out for the birds. Fruit and veggie scraps and even bread and meat are suitable supplements for the birds to feast on as a treat.