Waste Not… Want Not

by zesty on December 28, 2012 · 31 comments

Happy Friday folks…. With the Christmas season and holidays among us, this post really has practicality written all over it.  No need to waste things that have perfectly good uses.

Give this a read through and note in the comments if you can think of any other great ideas on how to waste less.

I was reading a magazine a while back and it had an article related to being more resourceful with products and supplies we would normally throw out.  I thought about some of these and I also talked to Mother Zesty as well and this is the list we came up with.

Top 7 Things Not To Throw Out

1.  Stale Bread – When your bread goes stale before you have time to eat it, freeze it and use it for dressing/stuffing the next time you have a chicken or a turkey.


2.  Bones – Never throw away bones!  These are essential in making delicious homemade stocks.  Great for freezing and adding flavor to many dishes.

3.  Coffee Grinds – These are great to place in certain areas as a natural deodorizer.  Place them in an airated container in the firdge or freezer to absorb smells.

4. Butter Wrappers – Save these in the fridge and next time you have to grease a baking dish for your baking – grab it from the fridge and lube up your pan.


5.  Rotten Bananas – These guys work great in the freezer for smoothies and of course the ultimate zesty bread…. Banana Bread.

6.  Onion Peel – These are great for adding flavors to sauces and soups without the onion texture.  Just chuck them in your dish and remove before serving.


7.  Don’t Forget the Freezer – Utilize your freezer.  Certain foods can be frozen and not lose any of their flavor or impact.  Instead of throwing out freeze.

I thought this was a fun, but practical, list to come up with.  I am sure you have more great ideas so I welcome you to add them in the comments to share with the rest of us.

Have a great weekend.

Take care


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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lara (Thinspired)

These are great tips, Zesty! I have never heard of the onion one, but I will definitely use that next time. And I purposefully let bananas get brown sometimes…they make the best smoothies!


2 Meg

Wow! I certainly learned some new tips from Zesty today. I had no clue coffee grounds could be used as a deodorizer in the refrigerator.

Adding a Megan’s Munchies tip to the list: I use the peels from my oranges, and put small pieces down in the garbage disposal and then run it. Freshens up the disposal a bit and makes for a pleasant smell in the kitchen.


3 Pam

Zesty, that was a great and informative post…thank you!

Enjoy your day as much as possible!


4 Lauren

Great tips, Zesty! Using coffee grinds as a deodorizer is genius.


5 Lizzy

these are great tips! thanks Zesty


6 Amanda

I save more than just onion skins :) I save carrot peelings, the cut ends of carrots and of celery. They all go in the freezer until i make stock again.

I don’t throw away crumbs from chip bags either! Sounds silly, but they make great breading for chicken fried steak or chicken picatta :)


7 ZestyCook

Amanda – That is an awesome idea


8 Marian

In the vegetable scraps bag you can also add herb stems that you would have removed. Adds a lot of flavour! garlic skins, too – love garlic!!


9 Amanda

Just thought of another. Before peeling an orange to eat, zest it and store the zest in the freezer :)


10 Kate

I second the idea of saving carrot peelings, the root ends, celery etc. and add that the leaves of celery make for amazing flavor in soups too.

I save stale bread and crackers and chip ‘dust’ and make my own bread crumb mix from them. Whir it all together in the food processor and keep it in a plastic bag. Each variety turns out slightly different, but they are always delicious.

Coffee grounds have enormous potential around the house, and in the garden. If you have a compost pile, be sure to mix in coffee grounds. These also work to help clean up a garbage disposal, although not with the delightful scent like citrus offers.


11 Julia

What a great post! I love the coffee grounds idea. One more idea: save your peanut butter jar that has the last globs of PB still clinging to it. Use the jar the next time you make oatmeal – put the cooked oatmeal in the jar and the PB melts right into the oatmeal.


12 ZestyCook

@Julia – This is borderline genius!


13 brandi

some of these are why I can’t wait until we have room for an extra freezer!

I always peel and cut fresh ginger into 1″ pieces and freeze in a ziploc bag. You can take it out and cut it, straight from the freezer.


14 Lex

LOVE the tips!!! SERIOUSLY! The only one I follow is the banana one, but the rest seem so OBVIOUS yet GENIUS at the same time!



15 Keri

awesome tips Zesty! I am a big believer in not wasting things! My freezer is my best friend!


16 Runeatrepeat

Love tips like this!


17 Alisa - Frugal Foodie

Thanks Zesty! I had never thought of using the onion peel, very cool.

Since we just started purchasing bone-in chicken breasts (versus boneless) it didn’t occur to me until yesterday to save those carcases to make soup …. several bones too late, but better late than never! For some reason I always associated whole chickens with making stock, not just the breast bones.


18 Sheila | Live Well 360°

I feel like I am reading a blog post written by my grandmother. Are you channeling her spirit? LOL! Who new Grandma’s tricks would come full circle!? Thanks for the great reminders. I actually look forward to my bananas getting over-ripe, that’s when they have the best flavor!


19 Danica

LOVE it – pretty impressive for not having much to say :) Thanks for sharing the fun ideas for how to waste less.


20 Elizabeth(cotntail)

Excellent tips! And readers’ comments rock, too.
I also save bits and dabs of leftover meats @ veggies in one container in the freezer. When I have enough, I make “gargage soup”. When my boys were little they LOVED eating “garbage soup”!


21 Light Delight with TouTou

Thanks for the tips ! I like that butter wrap idea!


22 Dynamics

It is always great to use to butter corn on the cob when you do not have bread.


23 Sues

Awesome tips! Unfortunately, my bread usually gets moldy before it goes stale :) But I absolutely love the onion peel advice! And the rest of it, too. Thanks!


24 Marian

If you keep the bread in a paper bag, it won’t go moldy. I always dry my bread that way – smaller pieces are best – and them whirl them in the food processor for great bread crumbs. Can’t remember the last time I had to buy bread crumbs.


25 Maggie

I always make French toast with stale bread too!


26 Andrea@WellnessNotes

Great tips! I love to make homemade breadcrumbs out of stale bread. And I love the freezer tip. I have found the key is to label the items though; I have had way too many “mystery” packets in my freezer! ;)


27 Allie (Random Teaspoon)

Good idea about the butter wrappers! I have two ‘waste not’ tips: a compost bowl on the counter (hidden behind the coffee maker) and a “broth bag” in the freezer (stock worthy kitchen scraps go into a ziploc bag until I’m ready to make broth). Here’s how I make my broth: http://randomteaspoon.blogspot.com/2009/10/cool-way-to-make-hot-broth.html


28 Gena

This is a TREMENDOUSLY useful and practical post, Z!


29 Amira @hungrydancers

great ideas! I am definitely going to throw my almost too rotten bananas in the freezer tomorrow for smoothies!


30 Doreen Gale

Great ideas…my leftover bread and rolls are in the oven now in the form of bread pudding!


31 Helene

Love all the great tips. Happy New Year!!!


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