Save Money and Stop Wasting Your Food

Don't toss those leftovers! Use last night's dinner and a few pantry staples to make money-saving dishes.

Eating on a Budget: Stop Wasting Food

Think it's too much work to turn leftover veggies, fruit and random ingredients into something tasty? No way! With a little creativity, you can use these commonly trashed items and save yourself major dough

*Broccoli Stems-> Broccoli slaw: Shred the stems and mix with coleslaw dressing to change up your regular salad.

*Citrus Peels-> Make a habit of zesting citrus before you juice. To save zest, cover with water in an ice cube tray and freeze. To use, add to beverages to defrost or drain.
*Beet Greens-> Chop and blanch the greens. Roast the beets, then combine them with the greens and some soft goat cheese for a healthy, colorful salad.

*Mushroom Stems-> Finely chop and use to stretch ground beef.

*Parsley Stems-> Toss into a juicer, or add to simmering chicken broth. (Strain broth before using.)

*Wilted Carrots-> Refresh soft carrots in ice water for a few hours before eating.

*About-to-Expire Eggs-> If they're just at their expiration date, hard-boil for a nutritious snack. Bonus: They'll be easier to peel!

*Softening Fruit-> Freeze bananas to use in baked goods. If you have extra apples or pears, peel, core and cook until soft. Mix with jam and spread on toast for a breakfast treat.

*Fennel Fronds-> Use fennel fronds as you would dill—on top of salads, in soup or to flavor coleslaw.

*Limp Spinach or Arugula-> Blend past-their-prime greens with walnuts or pistachios, olive oil and garlic for a nontraditional pesto.

*Take-out Brown or White Rice-> Warm rice with cinnamon, brown sugar, milk and raisins for a soothing breakfast.

*Jarred Pasta Sauce-> Heat up and use as a dipping sauce for grilled cheese.

*Noodles-> Toss extra noodles (even with sauce) into a frittata.

*Ground Meat-> Sauté with onions and garlic, add it to jarred tomato sauce and try as a pizza topping. Or wrap well, label and freeze. When you've saved up 1 pound, make meatballs or meatloaf.

*Potatoes-> Stir mashed potatoes into soup to add body; chop boiled or roasted spuds and sauté for a breakfast hash.