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50 Ways to Never Waste Food Again

Putting Extra Grains to Good Use

21. Make croutons out of day-old bread.

22. Turn day-old bread into homemade bread crumbs.

23. Freeze leftover bread. This way you’ll have day-old on hand whenever you need bread crumbs, or croutons rather than using fresh bread.

24. All of those little broken pieces of pasta in the bottom of the box? Collect them and mix with rice and veggies for a simple side dish.

25. A few tablespoons of leftover oatmeal isn’t enough for a meal, but it is great sprinkled on top of yogurt.

26. Add chopped bread to a soup. It will dissolve and thicken the soup.

27. Made too many pancakes for breakfast? Put them in the freezer, then toss in the toaster for a fast, tasty weekday breakfast. Ditto waffles.

28. If you make plain white or brown rice with dinner, use leftovers for breakfast the next morning by adding them to oatmeal. This provides extra fiber and allows you to use up that rice.

29. If you our your kids don’t like the bread crusts on your sandwiches, save these bits and pieces in the freezer to turn into bread crumbs later. Just throw the crusts into a food processor or coffee grinder to make them into crumbs. Season as you like.

30. If you have just a smidge of baby cereal left in the box, and it’s not enough for a full meal, add it to your babies pureed fruit. It adds bulk and fiber, and keeps baby full longer.

Make the Most of Meat

31. Don’t toss those chicken bones after you eat the chicken. Boil them to make chicken stock.

32. Ditto for bones from beef and pork.

33. The fat you trim from beef can be melted down and turned into suet for backyard birds.

34. Turn leftover bits of cooked chicken into chicken salad for sandwiches the next day.

35. Use leftover roast beef or pot roast in an easy vegetable beef soup the next day by adding veggies, water, and the cooking juices from the meat.

Use Dairy Before It Expires

36. If you’ve got a few chunks of different types of cheese sitting around after a party, make macaroni and cheese.

37. Eggs can be frozen. Break them, mix the yolks and whites together, and pour into an ice cube tray. Two frozen egg cubes is the equivalent of one large egg.

38. You can also freeze milk. Leave enough room in the container for expansion, and defrost in the refrigerator.

39. Use cream cheese in mashed potatoes or white sauces to give them thickness and tang.

40. Put Parmesan cheese into the food processor with day-old bread to make Parmesan bread crumbs. This is excellent as a coating for eggplant slices, pork, or chicken.

Herbs and How to Get the Most Out of Them

41. Chop herbs and add them to ice cube trays with just a little water. Drop whole cubes into the pan when a recipe calls for that type of herb.

42. You can also freeze herbs by placing them in plastic containers. Certain herbs, such as basil, will turn black, but the flavor will still be great.

43. Make pesto with extra basil or parsley.

44. Dry herbs by hanging them by their stems in a cool, dry location. Once they’re dry, remove them from the stems and store them in airtight containers.

Don’t Waste a Drop

45. Leftover coffee in the carafe? Freeze it in ice cube trays. Use the cubes for iced coffee or to cool down too-hot coffee without diluting it. You can do the same with leftover tea.

46. If there’s a splash or two of wine left in the bottle, use it to de-glaze pans to add flavor to whatever you’re cooking.

47. If you have pickle juice left in a jar, don’t pour it down the drain. Use it to make a fresh batch of refrigerator pickles, or add it to salad dressings (or dirty martinis).

48. You can also freeze broth or stock in ice cube trays, and use a cube or two whenever you make a pan sauce or gravy.

49. If there’s just a bit of honey left in the bottom of the jar, add a squeeze or two of lemon juice and swish it around. The lemon juice will loosen up the honey, and you have the perfect addition to a cup of tea.

Finally….

50. If you can’t think of any way to use that food in the kitchen, compost it. Everything except for meat and dairy will work in a compost pile, and at least your extra food can be used for something useful. Such as growing more food!

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

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Megan, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, PlanetGreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

308 comments

+ add your own
6:15AM PDT on Jul 5, 2013

the problem with greenn living, save, eco and so many is that, people mark these as miser!!!

8:01AM PDT on Jun 18, 2013

Who would waste food?Really good ideas..!

8:13AM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

Who would waste food?

1:58PM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

Great article with useful tips.Thanks for sharing

6:04AM PDT on May 14, 2013

Interesting article and 50 tips on only two pages, a bonus.

8:02AM PDT on Apr 30, 2013

thanks! use my freezer,frozen fruits and veggies last a lot longer

5:14AM PDT on Apr 30, 2013

I LOVE this! We already do most of these things, but will definitely be trying some of the other great ideas! Thank you!

8:02AM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

I have been shopping well before expiry dates existed. So I don't worry over much about them as long as I have stored the food correctly. I rely on my nose.

3:57PM PDT on Apr 26, 2013

I love those ideas. Thank you so much!

11:48AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

Thank you. While I do many of these things already, many are new. Some are a little difficult as we've downsized to a smaller home in the interests of simplifying and saving energy, so storage space is a factor.

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