Are you throwing out money each week? If you’re tossing certain kitchen scraps, you are! Don’t want to start a kitchen scrap garden? These ways to use kitchen scraps are right up your alley! None of them are gardening related but they will still have you creating new, waste free goodies right in your own kitchen; all while you’re saving money too!
Don’t get me wrong, I love my own little kitchen scrap garden. It helps to feed us while saving me money in my grocery budget. That makes it all worth it, but I can only regrow celery so much in my life ya’ll.
Woman can not live on celery alone. I think that was written somewhere. Don’t quote me though.
How to Use Kitchen Scraps
It was the celery that made me start researching how to use kitchen scraps. I simply did not want to plant another planter of celery when I already had quite a few growing. Instead, I wanted ways to use them that would reduce the amount of kitchen waste I had but would also save me money.
and oh boy, did I figure it out! Now, I only regrow what I will need and the rest get used in different – amazing – ways!
Reuse Bacon Grease
Your grandma had it right with the can or jar of bacon grease by the stove. Not only can you add amazing flavor to other dishes with bacon grease, there are quite a few other uses for bacon grease (Six Dollar Family) that make it well worth saving and reusing.
Make Broth with Meat Bones
Don’t toss meat bones! Chicken bones, turkey, beef and other meat bones can be roasted then slow cooked with water to make an amazing broth or stock. At an average of $0.50-$0.60 per can of broth at the store, you’ll save a fairly decent amount of money on your grocery bill.
Save Fish Bones and Heads to Make Fish Stock
Steve and I love to fish and do so as often as possible since it lowers our grocery bill so much. But even after we’ve filed the meat, we don’t toss the bones and heads! Instead, we use them to make homemade fish stock (Honest Food)!
I realize how it sounds because chances are I had the same reaction when I first realized I could do it, but it’s so yummy when added to seafood based soups or chowders!
Render Chicken or Goose Fat into Schmaltz
Have you ever heard of schmaltz? Chances are you have. It’s rendered chicken or goose fat (West of the Loop). Save your fat to create an amazing cooking fat that will save you money while kicking up the flavor of your cooked goodies.
Since most chicken does not have a lot of fat on it, freeze what you have in an airtight food storage container until you have enough to render.
Render Beef Fat into Tallow
Chicken fat is not the only fat that can be rendered. Rendered beef fat is called tallow and it has so many uses! When you learn how to render beef fat (Happy Money Saver), you can not only cook with it but you can use the tallow to make everything from candles to soap!
Render Pork Fat into Lard
Once upon a time, I was a strict butter believer; even when making things like homemade pie crust or biscuits. Then I started cooking with lard and I will never go back!
Rendered pork fat is called lard and if you’ve been trying to figure out why your biscuits don’t taste like Grandma’s, the answer is lard. While it’s fairly cheap to buy, it’s even cheaper to render pork fat you already have into lard for your family to use.
And the fact that it’s super easy to learn how to render pork fat into lard (Homesick Texan) doesn’t hurt things either.
Save Vegetable Scraps for Stock
Bones are not the only kitchen scrap you can use for stock. Save your vegetable scraps too! Carrots, onions, celery, herbs, garlic and even mushrooms can all be saved, frozen until you have enough and used to turn a plain broth into a delicious stock or bone broth.
Add Calcium to Your Dogs Food with Egg Shells
Do you have a coffee or herb grinder (Amazon)? If so, use it to grind eggshells into a powder then add them to your dogs food. It will add much needed calcium to their diet. Just be sure not to over do it.
If you find you have too many to feed your dog, you can also add the powder to your morning coffee to add calcium to your own diet. Doing it this way is much cheaper than buying a calcium supplement!
Clean Copper Pots
If you have copper pots, you know how tarnished and yucky looking the bottoms can get. Lemon scraps can help you with this! Squeeze any leftover juice in your lemon into a bowl and add a course salt. Stir and let it sit for a few moments then use a wet cloth with the solution to clean the bottom of your pots.
Make an All-Purpose Disinfecting Cleaner
Once you’ve cleaned your copper pots, don’t toss the rest of the lemon. Citrus fruits – lemon, oranges and grapefruit specifically – can be used to make an all purpose disinfecting cleaner if you follow THIS DIY all-purpose cleaner tutorial (Six Dollar Family). Simply swap out the fruit needed based on what you have on hand.
Make a Citrus Zest
Most folks never consider zesting a citrus fruit before they use the meat of the fruit, but this is one kitchen scrap you’ll want to start saving.
Whether it’s lemon zest or orange zest, taking it off the peel and learning how to dehydrate zest (Six Dollar Family) for later is a great way to make sure you always have it on hand.
Use Apple Peels to Make Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar
There are so many benefits to apple cider vinegar (Six Dollar Family) but why would you pay to buy it? Instead put your kitchen scrap apples to work and make homemade apple cider vinegar (Traditional Cooking School) for far cheaper.
Use Apple Peels and Cores to Make Apple Scrap Jelly
Apple scraps – the peels and cores both – are not only great for making homemade ACV, but also apple scrap jelly (Simply Creative Living). If you’ve never had it, give it a try! It’s so yummy!
If neither ACV or apple scrap jelly appeal to you, you can juice them if you have a good quality juicer (Amazon) to use.
Make Homemade Oil Lamps from Orange Peels
The next time you have an orange, cut it in half only and remove the flesh while leaving the stem. Why? Because you can use the empty peel to make homemade candles! Fill with vegetable oil and light the stem that is sticking up for a sweet smelling candle.
If candles or lamps don’t appeal to you, dry the peel in strips and use as homemade fire starters.
Or Make Candied Orange Peels
Another great way to use orange peel scraps is to make a candied orange peel recipe (All Recipes). They’re sweet and definitely tasty!
Put Empty Milk Jugs to Use
Kitchen scraps do not always have to be food. They can also be waste that you put out consistently such as milk jugs. Most people might not think about using milk jugs to make something new, but believe it or not, there are quite a few different ways to use empty milk jugs (Six Dollar Family) that you might love!
Make a Homemade Potpourri
Fruit scraps are great to use for a lot of things but one of my favorite ways is to make my home smell amazing! I love to use those scraps to make THIS homemade potpourri recipe (Six Dollar Family).
Try it. Trust me. Your home will smell amazing!
Make a DIY Sugar Scrub
Sugar scrubs are great for exfoliating but they can get expensive if you’re buying them. So why not skip the store and use orange peels to make THIS orange sugar scrub (Six Dollar Family). You can use other fruits too such as with THIS raspberry sugar scrub (Six Dollar Family).
Or Make a Salt Scrub
If you prefer salt scrubs, your kitchen scraps can help with that too. Use a little leftover honey to make this Honey Salt Scrub (Living Well Spending Less).
Infuse Water with Flavor
If you like flavored water, put your kitchen scraps to use by making homemade flavor infused water. All you need are your favorite fruit or vegetable scraps such as cucumbers and an infusing water bottle like THIS one (Amazon).
Make a Coffee Scrub
If you’re looking for a way to wake up your skin in the morning, make THIS homemade coffee scrub (A Pumpkin and a Princess) using leftover coffee grounds. I hear it’s also great at fighting cellulite too!
Vegetable scraps are not only great flavoring for homemade stock, but yo can also make an amazing vegetable broth to use as a soup base. HERE is a great recipe (Little Broken) if you need help getting started.
Make Homemade Dog Food
My dog thinks this is the best way to use kitchen scraps out there. Depending on what scraps you have, you can make a great homemade dog food (This Mess is Ours).
I hope you can see now that there are a lot of ways to use kicthen scraps that don’t always involve the garden. While the gardening uses are fantastic on their own, you will save the most money if you branch out to use them in many areas of your life.
But honestly, if all else fails, you can always compost your kitchen scraps – for the most part.