11 Creative Ways To Use Food Scraps To Reduce Food Costs

by Miranda Jackson

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When you toss those food scraps, you could be tossing money in the trash. With a little creativity, you can use those food scraps to save money.

In a frugal kitchen, nothing goes to waste.

A whole chicken gets transformed into two or three different meals, and then the carcass is used to make chicken broth. Those random ends of zucchini, carrots or other veggies are used for vegetable broth or to enrich a compost pile.

But you can use food scraps for much more than broth and compost to save money.

Here are some creative ways some frugal folks are using up food scraps in the kitchen, which can, in turn, reduce food costs. Below you’ll find a description of each “recipe.”

1. Compost Cookies

Combine leftover nuts, seeds, dried fruit and cereal with a basic cookie dough recipe to create a unique and tasty treat.

2. Smoothie Boost

Save fruit and vegetable scraps, such as the cores of apples, pineapple tops or broccoli stems, for smoothies. Blend them with other fruits and vegetables for a nutritious boost.

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3. Pesto

Use carrot tops, radish greens or other leafy vegetable scraps to make a delicious pesto. Combine them with garlic, nuts, olive oil and Parmesan cheese in a food processor.

4. Pickles

Pickle your vegetable scraps, such as cucumber ends, onion skins or cauliflower stems, in a simple brine of vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Add spices like dill, mustard seeds or garlic for extra flavor.

5. Flavored Oils

Infuse olive oil with herb stems or citrus peels for a delicious, flavored oil. Use it for cooking or salad dressings. These tips for saving money on oils can help keep costs down for this food scrap recipe.

6. Breadcrumbs

Save stale bread, crusts and leftover bread to make breadcrumbs. Toast the bread, then pulse in a food processor until you have the desired consistency. Season with your favorite spices and store them in an airtight container.

7. Veggie Chips

Slice vegetable peels, such as potato, sweet potato or zucchini, thinly and toss with oil and spices. Bake them in a low-temperature oven or an air fryer until crispy.

8. Soup Additions

Save meat scraps and bones to add flavor and nutrition to soups and stews.

9. Eggshell Calcium Supplement

Rinse and dry eggshells, then grind them into a fine powder. You can add this calcium-rich powder to smoothies or use it as a pet supplement.

Find out more about the benefits and risks of eating eggshells here.

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10. Scrappy Salsa

Use tomato, onion, and pepper scraps to make fresh salsa. Chop the scraps finely and combine them with lime juice, cilantro and salt for a delicious dip.

11. Candied Citrus Peels

You can easily turn citrus peels into candy with a few cheap ingredients from your pantry. Start with this recipe from the King Arthur Baking Company.

How Many Ways Will You Use Food Scraps To Reduce Food Costs?

Using food scraps not only reduces waste but can also provide you with delicious and nutritious meals.

Remember, creativity is key. Experiment with different combinations and recipes to find your favorites.

Reviewed October 2023

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