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Friday, April 27, 2012

Frugal living: Waste Not

      We are big in our household on not wasting much at all.  We reuse, recycle and do everything possible that everything we have is used, resused or consumed in some way.  Some examples, I make homemade bread for our family.  If the end dries out, we cut it off and I turn it into bread crumbs to be used in meatloaf or dressing or make croutons out of it.
        After we make a pot of coffee, we pour the coffee grounds out into our garden.  Coffee grounds at nitrogen to the soil and your garden will really benefit from it.  At the end of the day, if you have a little bit of coffee left in your coffee pot, don't pour it out.  Pour it into an ice tray so next time you want iced coffee, use the frozen coffee instead of regular ice.  When it melts, your iced coffee is great and not just watered down.


     When we have potatoes, we fry them up with the skins on.  The only time we peel a potato is when we have mashed potatoes and then we save the peelings for our pigs.  Or put them in a compost bin if you have one.  And if I boil the potatoes, I never pour out the "potato" water.  Save it in the refrigerator or freeze it.  I use potato water for soup & bread recipes.  Use it in place of plain water and the difference is wonderful.
     When I use an onion, I save the outer peelings and ends for when I make my chicken broth and chicken stock.  Same with carrot ends and peelings, celery, etc.  Use them for chicken broth or chicken stock.  Or feed them to your meat rabbits, chickens, or pigs.  Or if it is a green onion, I keep it and regrow it.  Here is how:  How to regrow green onions.
 
      When I cook chicken, I cook a whole chicken.  I save the neck and other parts my family won't eat to be used for the chicken broth I make.  The leftover bones will be cracked and used in my chicken stock.  I crack the bones because you get more minerals and nutrients into your stock from the marrow that is released.
      Any time you have an orange or lemon, grate off the peelings and freeze them until you need them for zest in a recipe.  Bananas go bad, freeze them and use them to make banana bread.  Feed the banana peels to your pigs or compost them.  When we crack open an egg, we put the egg shell out for the pigs, or we grind them up to be fed to our chickens or even rinse the eggshells, crush them than put them in your garden near the tomato or pepper plants.  The calcium will help them.
     Don't know what to do with your corn cobs once you have eaten off the corn?  Well, how about making Corn cob stock out of them or corn cob jelly or coating them with peanut butter and bird seed and put out for squirrels and birds to eat?  All great and practical ideas.
     When your laundry detergent bottle or dishsoap bottle is empty, fill them up with water and save them.  Use the soapy water to wash dishes on a camp-out, etc.  Just think before you throw anything away.  Think how can I use this item.  I am sure you can think of a use for it.  
   Do you have any other suggestions?  I would love to hear them.


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32 comments:

  1. I love the idea about saving the potato water for soup! I've just been dumping it down the drain...

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    1. Thanks Casey. I appreciate it. Hope you'll stop by again soon!

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    2. I also use potato water for making homemade breads.

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  2. Casey,
    Glad you found something here useful. Hopefully you will find more. I try to blog every day so would love to have you around. We appreciate suggestions, comments, etc.

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  3. My dog always liked corn cobs in lieu of bones...her favorite treat!

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    1. Charyse, I have never tried giving corn cobs to our dogs. We usually give it to the pigs. I will see if our dogs like them next time we have some. Thanks for the tip and hope you will come back soon.

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  4. Love the idea of freezing coffee for iced coffee. Yum!

    I keep a bag in the freezer for all my stale bread leftovers, that way I don't have to turn them into bread crumbs/croutons right away.

    If I cook vegetables for dinner, the kids and I drink the juice (they absolutely love it!) and that way we're not wasting the nutrients that get cooked into the water.

    Great list! Thanks for linking it up at Thrifty Thursday. :)

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    1. Anna, I am glad I found your blog so I could link up to it. Hope to do so every week. :-)

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  5. Great ideas! Really enjoying your blog :) We made the homemade playdoh this morning and will be trying your homemade laundry soap soon too! I wonder though, have you ever tried adding an essential oil or something extra to the laundry soap for fragrance?

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    1. Good question. Truth is, I live outside a very small community. The city just got its first stop light not long ago. We live a few miles out into the country. The nearest large city (18,000 people)is an hour away. The nearest decent sized city (84,000 people) is an hour and 45 minutes away. Needless to say, we stay pretty close to home. If I had some essential oils already, I would probably use them but since I do not, I just have never purchased any while I was on a shopping expedition. I do make a fabric softener and I add a beautiful smelling bottle of conditioner (hair conditioner) to it so it helps the clothes smell nice. Thank you so much for reading my blog!

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  6. What great ideas! I love being resourceful and using what we have well! Composting is a big no-waste solution we use and swearing off paper products (towels, napkins, etc). Thanks for all the tips and inspiration!

    Carly @ ryandcar.blogspot.com

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    1. Carly, I am embarrassed to say, we do not have a compost bin right now. We never throw anything out so don't know what I would/could put in it anyway. :-)
      I appreciate you stopping by and hope you will do so again sometime.

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  7. I love all your wonderful tips! I saw your blog on Whole Intentions and have become your newest follower. I look forward to getting to know you better, and would love for you to stop by and visit me sometime. :)
    Many blessings!

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    1. Lisa, thank you so much! I will be sure to visit your blog later today!

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  8. This post is full of ideas I have never thought of! I especially love the coffee ice cubes- brillant! I will definitely be trying that, as I always have leftover coffee. As for composting, that is something I'm looking to try soon, now that we have our own yard. Maybe you could post about your experiences? Very neat- and thank you for linking up to Workin' It Mondays!

    Blessings,
    Nicole
    Working Kansas Homemaker

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    1. Nicole, I would compost but really do not have anything to compost. I use EVERYTHING! If not reused then the pigs get it. :-) If you have any tips or ideas for me, please share. This is a new blog but I am optimistic and enjoy writing it sooo much!

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  9. Howdy! This is a neat post! I love your idea about saving the extra coffee in ice cube trays (why I didn't think of it myself is beyond me). I save my eggshells for my garden, compost and red worms...though the birds like picking up the shells I use in the garden. :0) I like to save my citrus fruit peels to make homemade surface cleaner.

    Thanks so much for linking-up to Living Green Tuesdays! Great addition indeed! :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and for allowing me to link up with you. You have some really good suggestions too!

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  10. Wow! I love the coffee ice cube idea! I never even thought of that! I usually just stick the pot in the fridge and drink it the next day. Another recycling idea: I love using wide mouthed spaghetti sauce jars for storing soup in. It helps prevent spills in the fridge and it is a great way to deliver soup to a sick friend or family member. I am new from NOBH. :o)

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    1. Great ideas! Thank you for sharing and for stopping by!

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    2. love this idea

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  11. I do all that too! I made 17+ cups of broth last week from the ends of veggies I saved and froze and the bones of a chicken I shredded for 3 different meals. I love making "free" broth that is SO healthy and flavorful!

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    1. Tara, great job on the broth you made. It really tastes so much better and definitely cheaper in the long run.
      Hugs,
      Melody

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  12. I just found you on Facebook and I'm excited to read more posts on your blog! Love your tips, I am working on wasting less so this helps!

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    1. So glad you dropped by. Hope you are still finding things useful here!

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  13. Great list of kitchen habits.. I just wrote a whole blog post about one of them--(filling the soap bottle with water) and then came here where you have about 20 different ideas in one post. Great blog!

    It was hard to think of something that you didn't already list...One thing we also do is dehydrate or cut up and freeze fruit such as apples when they are wrinkly and about to go off. Dehydrated apples are great snacks and its always nice to have frozen chopped apples for pie filling.

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    1. Elina, I love my dehydrator too. Thanks for stopping by and for your great comments!

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  14. Enjoyed reading these tips! I have been on a mission for about a year now to simplify, waste less, upcycle when I can, and compost. I never thought about cracking the bones before making broth....will do that from now on! I make large batches of broth in my crock pot and freeze it for later use. I reuse small-medium jars that once contained store bought products to store the broth. There are some "store bought" jars that cannot be used for canning and using them for freezing things saves my canning ars for other things! Thank you for the tips!

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    1. Thanks for the comments. I'm hosting a giveaway that you might want to enter. Easy to enter and there are 6 prizes in all. http://countrifiedhicks.blogspot.com/2013/03/giveaway-my-very-1st-giveaway.html

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  15. I like to reuse containers and plastic zip-lock bags. I especially like to save the one pound sour cream containers and use them to freeze ground beef (that I bought in bulk to save $), soup, chicken broth, etc. The day before I need something, I just put it in the frig and it's thawed by the time I need it. I don't reuse plastic bags if they've had raw meat in them (just in case my dishwater is not hot enough to thoroughly clean them). We make our own flavored herbal teas for iced tea. This is so easy to do that I wonder why people buy ready-made tea. :) I plan my menu each week by starting with what's in the house and using up foods before they go bad. If I've made too much of something, I'll freeze individual portions to be uses for lunches later on. Most foods and casseroles can be frozen. Sometimes you just have to experiment and see what can be and what cannot be frozen. If I had to only list one thing that would be my biggest money saver, I would say PLANNING! Plan meals, plan everything! Saves trips to the store and helps to make the most of what you have.

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    1. I reuse containers myself. No reason to throw away a perfectly good container with a lid. Thanks for sharing some great ideas.

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