LOL! I thought I would get your attention with that title! Let me explain...I have been on a quest to save my family as much money as possible in the food department. So, while I was making a recipe the other day, it donned on me that I waste a TON of food when I cook, and I don't even notice. I also purchase things at the store that I could easily make myself for just pennies, but end up buying them out of sheer laziness. But no more!
Which takes me back to the title, cooking the trash. I decided to dig up some of my old restaurant habits and apply them to my home to save some $$! First up, chicken stock...
Now, a box of chicken stock is about $2.50 here and contains around 4-6 cups depending on the brand. So that's roughly about $0.42 a cup.
That's way too much in my opinion. Especially when I go through 2-3 boxes A WEEK!!
So how did I make 3 GALLONS of stock for FREE? Simple...I cooked the trash!
Whenever I make dinner, if I cut up veggies like onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, bell peppers, etc. I take the part I would normally throw away, like the tops of the carrots and the skin that you shave off, or the top and bottom root ends of the onion (minus the paper and "root" part that I just BARELY slice off, or the center of a heart of celery and the leaves too as well as the ends that you cut off when serving it. All of these things get tossed into a HUGE ziptop freezer bag after every meal I prepare. When the bag gets full, I make stock.
So this week, I had a chicken that I roasted, so I took all the meat off the bones and threw that in a pot along with all of the STILL FROZEN leftover veggies, an entire head of Italian flat leaf parsley that was about to go bad, fill with water to the top, Italian seasoning, and 1 head of garlic, and let it boil to town for a few hours, until all of the veggies were about to fall apart.
Then you just drain all of the liquid into another pot and let it cool. Then, pour the cooled liquid into ice cube trays and allow to freeze. Next, take the cubes (enough to equal 2 cups) and put them in freezer safe bags with a label. The next time you need chicken stock for a recipe, just pop the cubes into a small sauce pan over high heat until it's melted!
I also made breadcrumbs, which I use in SO many dishes! I make Lagan a peanut butter and jelly sandwich EVERY DAY! lol She LOVES them, but I always cut them into fun shapes with my gazillion cookie cutters. So I take the extra bread and throw it in a zipper bag, and freeze it. (I also throw in the leftover bread from all of our meals.) Again, when it fills up, I chop it up into small cubes and toast it in the oven for a few minutes. Then I grind it up the the food processor until its in crumbs, then stick it in a air tight ziptop bag, label it, and throw it into the fridge for safe keeping.
So what do you do to save your family money in the kitchen? I would love for you to share your ideas!!
Oh...and here is a little preview of a project I will be sharing very soon! Any guesses what this humble little frame I built will become?....