The hard-core money savers amongst us may be trying to find ways to reutilise our kitchen scraps. These may include coffee grounds, vegetable peels, corncobs, fruit cores etc. They are all waste and in many households would usually end up straight in the bin.
Instead, today we are going to look at some of the best ways you can reuse these scraps in clever ways before they get thrown away. Most of these ideas are centred around creating additional meals or aiding the process of cooking a meal. So if you don’t want to simply throw away your scraps then find out how you can save money by getting better value for your previous purchases.
Vegetable Peel into Stock
The stock produced here is from all those bits you cut off, e.g. the end of the onion or the tip of the carrot etc. That’s right, all those loose bits are not waste just yet and they don’t have to go straight to the compost heap. Throw all of them into a pot with some herbs (or even limp herb stems), salt, pepper and other spices, cover with water and allow them to simmer. A pressure cooker works better, but once you have allowed for the contents to simmer long enough you have a beautiful broth left over to accompany whatever you plan to have for dinner the next evening.
Corn on the Cob
The sound of corn on the cob almost makes my mouth water as we start to exit winter and the idea of BBQ summers float into the mind. However, if you strip the corn from the cob then they can turn a pot of water into a delicious savoury-sweet corn stock. Alternatively, they also have the flavour to turn a pot of cream into a rich corn cream to add to other recipes. If you feel very daring you could even consider whipping it up into a savoury-sweet whipped cream for desserts.
If the later was too daring for you, then you can always use the cobs as a bed for your roast bird, simply place the ham/bird on top of the cobs in a baking dish and roast for a more flavoursome meal.
Citrus Peels Deodorise Fridge or Dishwashers
If for whatever reason you are peeling some citrus fruit e.g. oranges, grapefruit, lemons or lime then use the peels to deodorise either your fridge or dishwasher. As I have covered in the past, vinegar and baking soda will also do the trick, but save money and simply use a by product from the fruit and do a dishwasher cycle with an orange peel for example.
If your white goods are fine then you can also use the peels to protect your household plants from your feline friends. The citrus smell will deter your cats from digging up the soil.
Banana Peels and Hot Cocoa
The banana happens to be the most popular fruit across the planet, they are high in potassium, taste great and you can find them pretty much everywhere. However, think about all those peels you’ve thrown away in your life, I bet you didn’t know they were edible. Now, I’m not saying eat them raw like some people in the world, but you can certainly use them to make a great cup of hot cocoa. Simply simmer a banana peel in the cocoa to add a distinct banana / nutty flavour.
Re-grow Fresh Vegetables
As mentioned in my previous article you can take the scraps of certain vegetables and regrow them in water to create completely new, edible vegetables. This effectively means you could potentially have an unlimited source of veg such as spring onions, romaine and alums for example. Other types require soil to grow but if you read the previous article mentioned above it will show you all the veggies that can be regrown from water alone.
Cheese Rinds Boost Flavour in Soups or Broth
It always seems a waste when you have to throw away that large rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano and other cheeses when they could be used to enhance another meal instead. Next time you have a spare rind try tossing it into a soup or stew and see how much flavour they add to the dish.
If you are not a big soup fan and would prefer a broth then try throwing some rinds into a pot and simmering with water for a velvety tasting cheese broth. The some process works with any form of hard cheese e.g. pecorino, romano and asagio for example.
Ground Coffee Cleaner
If you drink as much coffee in your household as I do then finding more ways to get better value for money out of your coffee can feel like a great victory. Coffee grounds can be used in multiple ways to clean e.g. scrubbing dishes, killing fleas and even deterring ants. If you don’t feel these solutions are applicable to you, try using the grounds to scrub out drains, garbage disposals or even help with cleaning the fireplace.
Alternatively, if you want to venture into the gardening world but don’t like the idea of having a compost heap then coffee grounds are the next best thing to helping plans germinate, if you don’t believe me give it a try. Otherwise, feel free to let us any other ways that you reuse your scraps at home to save money by typing in the comments section below.