This article was originally published by Sara Tipton at Tess Pennington’s Ready Nutrition.
Most of us can benefit from learning to live a more simple and frugal life. And there is no reason to bust your budget on food waste or storage! You can take the beginning steps toward frugality and save a lot of money by using these food storage tips we’ve put together for you!
I know just how much money it costs to feed a family. With a seven and an eight-year-old, the grocery bill doesn’t ever decrease. Because of that, food has become a much more precious commodity, and not to be wasted. So it’s important to figure out how to frugally save your food to make sure it ALL gets consumed!
Some recipes, especially those delicious baked goods, call for an egg white only. But you shouldn’t waste the yolks. Instead, freeze them. I like the ice cube trays for this. Once they have frozen in the tray, I simply pop them out and put them in a plastic storage container. I used them to make scrambled eggs, and the kids actually like them this way! The flavor is richer than using a whole egg, but preventing waste is the ultimate goal. You will want to use the egg yolks right after they have thawed. I just put the ones I will need in the refrigerator overnight. And…you can do this with egg whites too! If you’ve only used the yolks of some eggs, freeze the whites with the same process and make yourself an omelet one morning!
Bread, like eggs, can also be frozen. If you make your own, like I do, and bake three loaves all at once (I don’t like to waste sourdough starter) you can freeze two loaves and keep one out to eat. I just use the same large gallon-size plastic bags to freeze several loaves. When you decide it’s time to thaw your bread, put a paper towel in with the loaf when it’s defrosting. That paper towel will absorb the moisture as it thaws out. This prevents some waste, as you can use the bags until they get a hole in them. Even if the zip part doesn’t stay closed, I will find a rubber band and close the bag in order to prevent from wasting one.
But still, sometimes, bread goes stale. We’ve all been there. But instead of throwing it away or giving it to the birds, I coat it in olive oil, basil, oregano, and thyme, then add a dash of garlic salt. I cut the bread into bite-sized pieces and then put it on a cookie sheet. It only takes about 15 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit to get some perfect salad croutons!
Every summer we buy a flat of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. As soon as we get them home, I clean the strawberries and wash all the berries. Then they go in plastic gallon bags in the freezer and I usually have bags I can reuse. The important thing is to let the berries dry a little before freezing them so they separate more easily with less thawing. You should also make sure to get as much air as possible out of the bags to help prevent freezer burn.
Another way to make the most of a surplus of berries is to dehydrate them for adding them to baked goods and cereals. Dehydrating maintains its nutritional content up to a year or longer if properly stored and is an excellent way to make use of the food you have around you, but there are some rules you should follow before starting out. This also holds true for vegetables. Dehydrated vegetables can make delicious soups and even seasonings.
Basements are most often the most temperature-stable places in a home and would be ideal for root vegetable storage. Use a dark and cool corner of the basement to store root vegetables bought on sale. Store produce in mesh bags to allow air circulate and reduce the risk of unwanted pests. A basement stays cool without any electricity adding to your bill!
Any time you discard the peel or an eggshell, remember to compost it! Crumbling eggshells in the garden will add nutrients like calcium to the garden and your bank account will appreciate that you are buying less soil and creating less waste. For composting tips, click on the following articles:
Being frugal and saving money where you can stretch the family budget, as well as, teach essential tips on frugality and zero waste. While these sustainable ideals are a beginning point, they can make a big difference down the line. In what ways do you practice frugality in your home?
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals.
When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years!