There are many things you can do with food scraps to cut down on food waste besides the good old compost pile. Some of them will help your budget, too, so they have the added benefit of being frugal in addition to sustainable practices.
Make an orange cleaner by filling a glass jar with orange peels and pouring white vinegar over them. Let the mixture sit in a dark, cool place for 2-3 weeks. Mine is under the kitchen sink. Use it full strength for tough cleaning jobs or dilute with water for an all-purpose cleaner.
Freshen the air by boiling orange peels with cloves, cinnamon sticks, and a couple bay leaves. I especially like doing this around the winter holidays.
Toss some down your garbage disposal to freshen it up. Or at the bottom of your trash cans.
Add it to tea for a bit of orange flavor.
I generally add mine directly into my garden, but coffee grounds as they contain many nutrients, but they can also be used as a body scrub to exfoliate the skin, make a great addition to homemade soap, and can replace baking soda in the refrigerator for odor control. You can even use them as a base to grow mushrooms in or start a worm farm.
Outside of composting my vegetable scraps, another great idea is to freeze them until you have enough to make vegetable stock out of. When you have about 4 cups of vegetable scraps, boil them in about 12 cups of water. For added flavor, throw in some fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage. Avoid using too many scraps from strongly flavored vegetables like cauliflower and vegetables that have gone bad.
Egg shells are another item I add directly into the garden. Not only do they add nutrients to the soil, but they are known to keep snails and slugs at bay because they don't like to crawl over the crushed shell.
If you raise chickens, add the finely crushed eggshells into their feed as a calcium supplement.
Unless it's gone moldy there is no reason to throw out stale bread. Use it to make bread crumbs or croutons for salads. Make a yummy bread pudding or french toast. Other recipes that are great for using up stale bread include French onion soup and the Italian recipe, Panzanella.
Avoid feeding stale bread to birds. It's not healthy.
|Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash|
I've been buying fresh milk from a local food co-op. Sometimes if I don't drink it fast enough it starts to go bad. I don't want to drink it, but I don't want to throw it away because it is expensive. As long as your milk hasn't gone chunky on you, there are still ways you can use it up. Use it in place of buttermilk or yogurt in recipes. It's also great for making homemade yogurt and cheese.
It's also great for skin care. Apply it to your face for softer, firmer skin.
Mix it with water and spray it onto garden plants inflicted with powdery mildew. It works wonders.
This is just a few ideas on how to reduce food waste. I'd love to hear from you. How do you reduce food waste in your household?