You don’t need a degree in environmental science to understand why we should all be making an effort to reduce the amount of waste we produce. Our household waste is processed by landfills and incinerators, and that processing adds millions of tons of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere every year. By reducing the amount of household waste we produce, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help sustain the environment.
You may already be cutting back on disposable products in your home, but there’s another area where you can cut back on waste – your kitchen. Throwing out food waste is not only a waste of money, but it’s bad for the environment, too. Today I’ll be sharing 10 easy “hacks” that will help you use up the very last of some common food items. Cutting down on food waste is an easy commitment that will save you money, and make you feel good too!
10 Ways To Cut Down On Food Waste
If your peanut butter jar is empty, you can still get one last use out of it before throwing it out (or better yet, recycling it!)
Choose a morning to have hot oatmeal for breakfast, and scoop it right into the empty peanut butter jar. The heat from the oatmeal will help melt the remaining peanut butter, and you can mix it into your oatmeal for a tasty breakfast!
There are few sights in this world more tragic than an empty jar of Nutella. (Okay, slight exaggeration.) But like the peanut butter tip above, you can still get one more use out of that jar before you get rid of it!
Scoop your favorite flavor of ice cream right into the Nutella jar for a delicious snack. The leftover Nutella will mix right into your ice cream, and you can rest easy knowing that your jar of Nutella did not die in vain.
Read More: “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” – Part One
If you’ve reached the bottom of a tub of butter, don’t toss it out just yet! Hang on to that container and make some delicious poached eggs in it – right in your microwave!
Crack an egg into the container, then add 2 tablespoons of water and a dash of salt. Place the container into your microwave, and cook for 1 minute. You’ll have a tasty poached egg without the mess or effort!
Have a few bananas that are going brown? Save them for a batch of banana bread later on! If you don’t have enough for a batch, just store them in a freezer bag in your freezer. Keep adding brown bananas to your collection until you have enough to make bread. Yum!
If you have some fresh herbs in your fridge that are on their way to going bad, extend their life span by drying them! Check out my blog post about drying herbs in your oven for full instructions.
Read More: How To Dry Fresh Herbs In Your Oven
A few weeks ago I had a pound of strawberries that I wasn’t sure what to do with, until I remembered my Instant Pot! I’ve been slowly getting acquainted with my new favorite appliance, and I was delighted when I learned that I could use it to make jam. I used that pound of strawberries to make some of the easiest and most delicious jam I’ve ever had! Check out my post below for all the details.
Sometimes you need a lemon just for the zest, and then you’re not sure what else to use the lemon for. Don’t toss it out, because there are all kinds of ways you can put that lemon to good use!
You can use half of the lemon along with some coarse salt to scrub your cutting board clean. Or you can use that lemon to make your own sanitizing vinegar cubes to clean and deodorize your garbage disposal! (Get instructions on how to make them below.)
If you don’t need a lemon for the zest, you might have bought it for the juice. But good news – you can use the peels, too! Learn how to dry the peels to make your own dried lemon peel. It’s easy to do, and lends great lemon flavor to almost any recipe!
Read More: How To Make And Use Dried Lemon Peel
Save the peels, ends, and discarded parts from the fresh veggies that you use to make your own homemade vegetable stock. Store your collection in a freezer bag in your freezer, and keep adding to it until you have enough veggie material to make your stock!
Sometimes you need egg whites for a recipe, but what should you do with the yolks? Use them to make homemade mayonnaise, of course! Here’s a recipe that’s perfect for any occasion where you have a couple of spare egg yolks on hand.
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cup olive oil
Add the yolks, vinegar, mustard, and salt to your blender or food processor and turn it on low.
Pour the oil into your blender or processor SLOWLY while it blends, to allow the mixture to emulsify properly. Once the mixture has reached the desired texture, turn off the blender and transfer your mayo to a storage container.