Food costs have been on the rise in recent months, leaving many of us looking for ways to stretch our grocery budgets further. Some of our go-tos include shopping sales and swapping out expensive ingredients for affordable alternatives, but the biggest money saver has been learning to cook with food scraps that we’d normally throw away. Fortunately, using all parts of an ingredient also helps to reduce food waste and encourages creativity in the kitchen. Here are a few of our favorite ways to get more bang for your food buck.
Collect vegetable peels, stems, and slightly wilted leaves and use them to prepare your own homemade veggie broth. Keep your scraps in the freezer, and once you’ve got about two cups worth, simmer them in a large pot filled with water for about 1 ½ hours. Once cool, store your broth in an air-tight container to use later in all kinds of dishes such as stews and risottos.
Instead of throwing away leftover citrus peels, grate them and use the zest to add a tangy twist to all kinds of entrees and desserts. You can also place the peels in a bottle of olive oil to create your own infusions or boil them in a mixture of sugar and water for a simple, yet delicious citrus peel candy. Like gummy worms, but so much better.
Use up the last few drops of condiments like mustard, peanut butter, and jelly by turning them into homemade salad dressing. Just add a splash of oil, some vinegar, and a squeeze of citrus to the nearly empty jar and shake vigorously to combine. Play around with what you add depending on what type of condiment you’re looking to use up—for example, we love adding a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil to peanut butter for a savory Asian-style dressing.