Using Things Up
Cube leftover doughnuts or other sweet breads and make bread pudding. Use leftover stale bread for bread crumbs or croutons.
Leftover beef stew turns into a easy beef pot pie.
Not sure if your eggs are okay to eat? Put them in a bowl of water. If they sink, you can safely eat them. If they float, toss 'em.
Leftover slightly stale chips or crackers? Crush them up and use in meatloaf or meatballs as a filler instead of breadcrumbs or oatmeal. Because these are typically salty, you'll want to reduce or eliminate the salt.
Have a great deal on lemons or limes or a friend with a tree? Juice them and freeze them in ice cube trays. An idea I've read but not tried: freeze the whole lemon or lime and thaw it when you need it. This way you can use the zest as well. Or grate the zest off the lemons or limes and freeze in a bag. Just break off the amount you need.
Cut oranges in half and freeze them in a freezer bag or container. They make a cool treat in the summer! Just eat them with a spoon.
Have extra onions or peppers that you can't use before they go bad? Slice them or dice them and "flash" freeze them on a cookie sheet. When they are hard, put them into freezer bags. You can then pull out a handful of them to cook with when you need them.
Bananas about to turn and no time to bake banana bread? Freeze them whole in the skin and bake with them later.
Zucchini plant going wild on you? Shred the zucchini and freeze 2 cup portions in freezer bags. Bake with them later. Try this zucchini bread recipe.
Get a great deal on cheese? Shred it and freeze in 2 cup portions. When you need some cheese, pull out a bag and bang it hard on the counter. You can then pull out what you need
Do you love fresh herbs but don't have room for a garden and can't use the store bought ones up before they wilt or get slimy? When you get them home, put them loose (without the rubber band) into a glass or jar of water, like cut flowers. If you still can't get to them, wash and dry them, cut off the leaves and freeze. Discard the stemsunless you happen to be making chicken broth. You can throw the parsley stems into your broth. Do keep in mind that growing fresh ones in your kitchen one is both pretty and useful and frugal!
When you cook vegetables in water, save the broth to use for cooking later. You can use it to make rice or soups or anything where a little flavor in the water is helpful. Keep a container in your freezer for vegetable broth and add to it. When it's full, make soup!
If you are frequently throwing out small bits of vegetables, keep a container in your freezer for them as well. Carrots, celery, peas, beans, and the like will all be a nice addition to a pot of soup.
Leftover cornbread? Break it into chunks and put it in a bowl. Add some milk and honey or syrup and microwave until warm. This makes a great breakfast or after-school snack.
Back to Family Menu Planning