Food Scraps That You Have to Stop Throwing Away

Stop wasting food and give it new life with these creative ideas
Food Scraps That You Have to Stop Throwing Away

Save the fat from cooked chicken or bacon for future cooking.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, we discard more food than any other municipal solid waste material and only a tiny fraction of that food is composted; about one fifth of the waste that reaches landfills and incinerators is food — millions of tons of it. Reducing food waste has a positive impact on the environment, saves individuals and businesses money, and can help address problems of hunger around the world. In this economy, with the cost of just about everything going up, save money (and help others and the environment) by reducing your individual food waste.

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Making the most out of food “scraps” saves money in more ways than one. Obviously, spending money on food and then throwing it out is a waste, but repurposing food scraps can also mean that you don’t have to spend as much money on items that are easily made at home from ingredients you already have on hand. No need to buy croutons, for example, if you have the heels of a loaf of bread; simply toast them with a drizzle of olive oil, some salt, and your favorite seasonings before storing them in an airtight container.

Using food scraps can save you time in the kitchen as well. Not only does thrift and ingenuity in the kitchen save you a trip to the grocery story on occasion, but some items that are routinely discarded are capable of contributing complex flavors to your food. The rinds of hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano, for example, can be added to a pot of simmering soup for a slow-cooked flavor.

So, before you toss your food scraps, think about creative ways they can be used to save you money and add flavor to your favorite dishes.

Animal Bones

(Credit: Shutterstock)
If you’ve purchased a whole chicken or a bone-in roast, make the most of it. After you’ve cooked the meat, place the cleaned bones into a pot with water, vegetables, and seasonings to make a flavorful stock.

Wilted Greens

(Credit: Shutterstock)
Wilted greens may not be good for salads, but they work great in rice or egg dishes. If you’ve got limp salad greens on hand, resist the urge to throw them out and add them to a creamy risotto or make a frittata instead.


Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.