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I often find myself throwing away vegetables that have turned bad before I’ve had a chance to cook them, or tossing coffee, or broth I can’t immediately use. Do you have that problem too? Do you feel like your being wasteful?
Part of my problem stems from learning to cook for fewer people and learning to scale it back.
But even if I do scale it back, sometimes a recipe calls for a small amount of an ingredient, leaving you with a lot left over. What do you do then?
All that changed the day I learned of these creative and clever food hacks. I’m now not wasting food (which I hate) and I’m stretching my food budget even further.
9 Clever Food Hacks That Can Save You Money
1. Store Asparagus Like Flowers
When you get home for the grocery store, put your asparagus in a glass of water with the stems up. It will allow your asparagus to last twice as long as other methods.
2. Freeze Left Over Wine
I’m not a huge wine drinker, but every now and then I do crack open a bottle of wine and have a glass. The problem? What to do with the left over wine that surely will go bad before I ever get to it again.
Use ice-cube trays to freeze the wine. Once frozen, pop into a freezer storage bag. Use the cubes when you need to make a wine reduction, or other sauce that uses wine.
3. Onions, Garlic and Shallots Oh My
Are you constantly throwing away onions, garlic or shallots that have gone bad? Well, maybe it’s because you’re storing them all wrong.
These Allium need air to breath and so if you’re storing them in the refrigerator (big no, no) or in a closed container, they’ll end up rotting sooner rather than later.
Put them in a ventilated brown paper bag or leave in an open container on your counter.
4. Freeze Leftover Coffee
Another use for ice-cube trays! Freeze that left over coffee for ready-made coffee the next day or add to your iced coffee. Using the frozen cubes will cut down on the watery affect you get when you add regular ice to your iced coffee. It will stay strong and flavorful for the whole cup!
This is the one hack I use most!
5. Turn Veggies Into Snacks
I eat a lot of my veggies raw, but sometimes the vegetable just isn’t fresh enough to eat this way. That’s when I grab my mandolin and make veggie chips!
Here’s a quick and easy recipe to try at home:
Using a mandolin, thinly slice your zucchini. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika. Cook at 400 degrees until crisp turning once.
Tip: Watch them carefully. They go from not cooked to burned in no time if you’re not paying attention.
Find other veggie chip recipes by visiting my Pinterest Boards.
6. Apples and Potatoes?
I can never seem to get a bag of potatoes to last as long as I want them too. That was until I found this food hack.
Put an apple in the bag with your potatoes. It prevents premature potato sprouting and shriveling.
7. Avocado and Onions?
Keep leftover avocado halves green by storing them with a cut onion to keep them from browning. The sulfur compounds in the onion prevents oxidation. This hack will have your avocado lasting for up to two days.
8. Freeze Left Over Stock
This is my second most used hack! Can’t use all the stock in one recipe? No problem. Grab those ice-cube trays again and fill them up with left over stock. When frozen remove and place in a freezer storage bag to use when needed.
9. Keep Brown Sugar Soft
I hate when I go to use brown sugar that has been opened and the darn stuff is hard as a rock. Next time you buy brown sugar buy some marshmallows too. Toss a few into the bag to keep the sugar soft.
These food hacks provide a great way to stretch your food budget and are particularly helpful for people like me who are cooking for a small family.
Stop wasting food and throwing money out the window. Start utilizing these clever food hacks and stretch that food budget!