22 Uses for Kitchen Scraps & Waste

20150304_130445[1]Last year the USDA estimated that about 31% of the food available to consumers in the United States goes to waste. As someone who tries to live both sustainably and frugally, this seems absolutely ridiculous. However, when I really think through my eating habits, I know that I’m not perfect. I don’t think I’ve ever thrown away as much as 30% of my food, but I definitely know that there are leftovers that go bad in my fridge and produce (especially at the height of harvest season) that gets thrown away.

Planning is a partial answer, I find that if I plan my meals out ahead of time I can avoid a lot of waste, but there is more than I can do. Finding ways to use food scraps and waste is definitely going a step further. Here are some ways that I’ve found to reuse food waste that others might just throw away:

  1. Compost (article one, article two, vermicomposting)
  2. Re-grow food from scraps
  3. Make broth
  4. Feed them to your chicken, pigs, or other animal
  5. Make forgotten vegetable kinpira for your lunches
  6. Make asparagus end soup
  7. Make tomato water from leftover seeds and pulp when canning tomatoes
  8. Use stale bread to make croutons
  9. Use stale bread to make bread crumbs
  10. Use stale bread to make strata
  11. Use stale bread to make stuffing
  12. Use stale bread in tomato bread soup
  13. Make citrus peel household cleaners
  14. Make your own dried orange peel for teas, baked goods, etc
  15. Grill fish on a pineapple skin
  16. Add overripe fruit to breads or other baked goods, some recipes here, here, and here
  17. Make apple peel tea
  18. Make apple jelly
  19. Make apple cider vinegar from scraps
  20. Use eggshells to deter pests and add calcium to your garden
  21. Use coffee grounds in your garden to deter pests
  22. Use coffee grounds to exfoliate (and for other beauty uses)

Do you have any other suggestions for using kitchen scraps?

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7 thoughts on “22 Uses for Kitchen Scraps & Waste

  1. I save all of my kale ribs in the freezer. When I have enough I dehydrate them and then grind them into kale powder that I can add to smoothies, soups, stews… Anything that I want to hide veggies in!

  2. This is a great list. I do a lot of these now but didn’t used to. I had always prided myself on composting but I had been putting a lot of stuff in there that was still useful. The only think I can think of to add is soup. You can use the broth you listed and toss in whatever veggies and leftover grains, beans or meat you have in the fridge.

  3. Pingback: Preparing to detox, part 1 | Real Food Real Budget

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