Using Kitchen Scraps To Enhance Your Meals

Stretching your food dollars has never been more important than right now. For many it’s the only way they can put food on their family’s table. In a previous post I wrote about making changes that would stretch your food dollars, today I wanted to add some additional thoughts that you might find helpful. Some of this information was in a flyer from our counties recycling center.

Vegetable Leaves make a great addition to soups, stews, casseroles, salads and quiches. The tops I am referring to are carrot tops, beet greens, turnip and radish greens. Herb stems can add extra flavor don’t cut off the tops and toss the stems, instead, chop them up and add to any dish you are using the tops in.

Stale Bread is one of the single most common categories of food waste. Old bread can be turned into croutons, bread pudding or egg strata. One of my husbands favorite desserts was made from old chocolate cherry muffins that I would bring home from my bakery. You can use any muffins that you might have on hand to make great bread pudding.

Bruised or Old Fruit are great to use in smoothies, they usually have a more intense flavor so the smoothie tastes better. You could also cut up the fruit and freeze in a freezer bag for later use. Or make freezer jam or fresh jam that keeps in the refrigerator for a month.

A few other tips I use to save money all of the time but are very helpful right now.

Buy pints of organic liquid eggs when they are on sale to use for baking. They often go on sale at my grocers so I buy several and freeze. When thawed they are still fine for baking.

Meat is very expensive, if you have ever wanted to reduce your meat consumption this is a great time to do it. Tofu is cheap and very easy to use, portobello mushrooms make great substitutions for meat either in soup, quiche or to replace the beef in a burger. Using quinoa instead of rice with a vegetable stir fry can be very satisfying and full of protein. Garbanzos are great in Indian dishes, salads, soups, of course used in hummus and subbed out for meat in chili. These are just a few of the many ways you can replace meat in a dish.

Watch for the clearance carts or shelves, they often have good items that you might not buy at their regular price but could afford at clearance prices. Right now these carts and shelves are very full so it’s a good time to check them out.

Check your grocers produce section there is usually a place where they have older bruised items at very low prices. As I mentioned above these can be added to soups, stews and quiches. Or used to make sweet breads, or other dessert items.

Another practice that I do all the time is to use my left overs in a different way for the next meal or maybe the third meal if there is enough left. This is helpful when you have family members that do not like to eat the same thing more than once in a week. Or do like the older ladies in my family used to do, make a pot of beans at the beginning of the week to use with your meals to stretch them.

You can find recipes for a variety of ways to use the things I have mentioned. There are some on my blog as well. Get creative make some delicious things and let me know how you like to stretch your food budget.

And by all means Enjoy!

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