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Feeling The Pinch? How To Make Your Grocery Dollars Go Even Further


A dollar sign in a double circle in pink and green




With the rising cost of living and groceries being a hot topic lately, here are a few ways to make the most commonly wasted foods last, or stretch a bit further, to get every bit of goodness out.





Step one, is of course, to buy the freshest produce you can. The fresher it is when you get it, the longer it will last in your fridge!


 

A top tip to using up veges is to start a “stock pot”. This can be a large freezer bag or container that you put the ends of your veges, peelings etc into, and then place that in the freezer.


Keep adding to it, and when you come to make soup for example, you’ll have a wealth of fresh veges to use in your home-made stock. There's no need to buy expensive supermarket stock laden with additives. All you need are your own scraps and some herbs and seasoning and you’ve got litres of free, yummy home-made stock right there!


Talking of making soup, that's a really good way to use up any veges kicking around in the salad drawer, but here are some other ideas for you.


 

White cabbage

Cabbage keeps super-well in the fridge for weeks, as long as you wrap it tightly in Gladwrap. Just cut off what you need and re-seal to prevent the air getting to it.


It's such a versatile vege – raw for slaws and great sauteed! The core can go in the compost or in your stock pot, along with the outer leaves (or give it to your pet bunny if you have one!)


 

A carrot being sliced up with a knife.

Carrots – no need to peel! Just give them a good scrub, and top and tail. The ends can either go in your stock pot or in the compost.


If you are buying bunched carrots, don't throw away the green tops! They make a lovely addition to a salad with a slightly peppery taste, almost a cross between parsley and rocket.


Can be used for garnish on a cheese platter too!



A dog eating a carrot

Alternatively, feed them to your dog.


Our mini-schnauzer, Zac, loves carrots!











 

Some potatoes with drawn on eyes

Potatoes are best stored in a cool, dark place away from your onions, to stop them from sprouting.


Again, no real need to peel unless you really want to. Give them a good scrub, cut out any eyes with a sharp knife and you’re good to go.



If you’re into composting, the peels make excellent worm food. (Side note – don’t add onion scraps or citrus scraps to your compost otherwise you will kill off your worms!).



 

A slow-cooker full of tomato sauce

Don't waste a single tomato! Even if they are starting to go soft and past their best for raw eating, they can be easily roasted up in the oven, or throw them in the slow cooker or air fryter to make a tomato-based sauce that you can use for heaps of things.


Season to taste and add onion and garlic if you like. I like to keep my base sauce simple, and then add whatever flavourings I need at the time I use it. Pop into containers and freeze.


 

A bowl of salad with cucumber and celery

Celery - wrap tightly in foil and keep in the crisper drawer in the fridge. It should last a good two weeks this way.


The leaves make an excellent garnish for a salad, or add them to your stock pot stash.











 

A yellow spotty banana on a yellow background

Bananas - once they start going spotty, they are becoming really sweet and are now top candidates to use in your baking – think banana bread, banana muffins etc. The spottier they are, the better and sweeter, although obviously don’t use any rotten parts!





A blender containing smoothie ingredients

If you haven’t got time for a baking session, peel them and freeze either whole or cut into chunks.


Bring them back to room temperature for baking or throw them still frozen in the blender to make your morning smoothie thick and delicious! No need to add ice!








 

A bag of frozen lemon ice cubes on a bench

Lemons – if you have a glut, zest them, juice them, cut them up and freeze them!


Squeeze, then freeze the juice in ice-cube trays for ease.


Another option is to slice them up and free-flow freeze. To do this, line a baking sheet with baking paper and place the sliced lemons on top. Freeze, and when solid, transfer to a bag and pull out what you need as and when.







 

A plate of charred cooked capsicum

Capsicum – if they are past their best to be used raw, quarter them, or leave whole, chuck them on a baking sheet (line with paper for easy clean-up), drizzle with oil and balsamic vinegar, season, and roast until really well done.





Perfect in big slices or cut up small to add to your dish. Alternatively, blend up together with some tomatoes for an amazingly flavourful sauce.


 

Red and green chillis spelling out the word hot

Chilis – if you have some fresh ones and haven’t managed to use them all up, freeze and slice as required.


Scrape out the seeds and membranes with a teaspoon if you don’t want the extra heat.



 

An egg box containing six eggs on a black background

Our beautiful Lamond free-range eggs are too good to waste.


If your recipe just calls for the yolks, egg whites freeze well. Pop them in a bag, label and use another time, thawed, for meringues or add to whole eggs for fluffier scrambled eggs.


The yolks don’t freeze at all well, so it's best to use those up straight away – home-made lemon curd, mayonnaise or aioli is a good use for them.



 

A blue patterned bowl containing fresh breadcrumbs

Bread is one of the most commonly wasted foods, which is such a shame because there really is no need to throw any away as it's so easy to find things to do with it!


Keep it in the freezer and just take out individual slices as you need them. Whizz up the crusts/ends/heels (so many terms for that bit of the loaf!) in the good old Nutri-Bullet for home-made breadcrumbs. Bake them in the oven to dry them out and make them nice and crunchy! Perfect on top of your macaroni cheese - yum!


 

These are just a few ideas, I’m sure you have heaps of other ones too! Comment below and share your best food-saving techniques.







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